easy hamantaschen hack recipe quick hamantaschen purim cookie jewish
Photo credit Shannon Sarna

This Is the Easiest Hamantaschen Recipe Ever

It all starts with a box of Duncan Hines Yellow Cake mix...

If baking hamantaschen makes you nervous, you’re not alone. It can be finicky and challenging to make the dough and roll and shape it into perfectly formed triangular stuffed cookies. I’m here to make your lives easier with the ultimate hamantaschen hack, taught to me by my friend and accomplished baker Suzy Applebaum.

When Suzy asked me if I was planning to make hamantaschen this year I replied, “Absolutely not. I never have and I probably never will.”

In response, she told me her secret ingredient, one that simplifies the process so that even I can make hamantaschen without fear.  

Seven years ago, Suzy, an avid collector of Judaica, bought a mid-century box of Jewish recipes off Etsy. Most of the 50 recipes inside, written on 3×5” index cards, were for classic 1960s American dishes like jello molds and casseroles. But one gave her pause: Hamantaschen made with Duncan Hines Yellow Cake mix. Eureka!

Suzy has never looked back. The cake box dough is not too sticky, and the consistency and texture make for hamantaschen that are “perfect every time.” The best part is that, unlike most hamantaschen recipes, this dough doesn’t have to be chilled, so this easy, 5-ingredient hamantaschen recipe comes together in under 45 minutes. You’re welcome.

This hack sounded non-threatening enough for even a hamantaschen virgin like me. I rolled, shaped and stuffed as instructed; it really is the easiest hamantaschen recipe ever. I handed the finished jam-filled cookie (though you can use prune, poppy seed, canned cherry or blueberry pie filling, or any filling you prefer) out to family and neighbors. Thumbs up all around!  And nobody guessed that a cake mix was involved.

This recipe is based on a recipe from Duncan Hines.

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easy hamantaschen hack recipe quick hamantaschen purim cookie jewish
Photo credit Shannon Sarna

The Easiest Hamantaschen Recipe

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5 from 1 review

It’s amazing what a box of cake mix can achieve. And the best part? No chill time!

  • Total Time: 42 minutes
  • Yield: 3648 1x


  • 1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • filling of your choice (prune, poppy seed, preserves, canned cherry or blueberry pie filling)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. With an electric hand mixer, combine cake mix, flour, oil, eggs and water until blended. Gather up the crumbly dough in your hands and form into a ball. Using a pastry cutter, cut the ball into four sections.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out one of the sections ⅛” thick. Cut into 2½-3” rounds using a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass. For fluted edges, use a biscuit cutter.
  4. In the center of each circle, place 1 tsp filling. Cover the unfilled rounds with a damp dish towel to prevent the dough from drying out.
  5. To shape, take the left side of the circle and fold to the right, covering approximately one-third of the circle. Repeat with the right side, folding to the left, making sure that the top of the right-side fold forms a tip roughly resembling the top of a triangle. Take the bottom (which should still have a circular appearance) and bring it upward to produce the third side of the triangle. When you bring the bottom up, fold the newly created flap on the lower left under the left side of the pastry dough, but leave the newly created right side flap to remain over the right side of the triangle. Each side of the triangle should now have one corner that is tucked under and one that is folded over. (Shaping the hamantaschen in this way will prevent any of the sides from opening while in the oven.) Pinch each corner to complete the shaping.
  6. Place hamantaschen on a lightly greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Author: Rachel Ringler
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Holiday


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  • Judi

    My recipe, which I used in school for decades as it didn’t need to be refrigerated. It used crisco instead of oil, but this is easier. I’ve made them with chocolate fudge cake mix and French vanilla cake mix.
    Make 2 different varieties and make ” marble” dough.

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