• Chocolate rugelach (Evan Sung)Source: Evan Sung

Chocolate and cinnamon are the two standard fillings - here, a thick chocolate paste is amply swirled through the cookie.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (13 votes)

The baked cookies are also brushed with sugar syrup, giving them a glossy sheen and plush texture.

Israeli-style rugelach are noticeably different than those typically enjoyed in America. Instead of a butter and cream cheese dough, they tend to be made from a dairy-free yeasted dough.



  • ½ cup (100 g) sugar
  • ½ cup (120 ml/4 fl oz) water


  • 1½ tsp active dry yeast
  • ½ cup (50 g) plus 1 tsp sugar
  • ¾ cup (175 ml/6 fl oz) warm water (43°C/110°F)
  • 3–3½ cups (420–490 g) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus more for kneading and rolling
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup (60 ml/2 fl oz) vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate filling

  • 1 cup (80 g) cocoa powder, plus more as needed
  • ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml/2 fl oz) almond milk or milk, plus more as needed
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. First, make the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the syrup thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Set aside until needed, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

2. To make the dough, in a large bowl, stir together the yeast, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, and the warm water. Let sit until foaming, 5–10 minutes. 

3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups (420 g) flour, the remaining ½ cup (100 g) sugar, and salt. 

4. Stir the oil, egg yolks, and vanilla into the yeast mixture, followed by the flour mixture, adding it in stages and stirring until the dough begins to come together. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead, adding up to ½ cup (70 g) additional flour, a little at a time, until the dough is smooth and supple, 5–10 minutes. You may not need all of the flour. (The kneading can also be done in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, 5–7 minutes.) Grease a large bowl with about 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, add the dough, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let rise until it has doubled in size, about 1½ hours.

5. Meanwhile, make the chocolate filling. In a medium bowl, stir together the cocoa powder, sugar, almond milk, and vanilla until a thick but spreadable paste forms. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more almond milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. If it is too thin, add a little more cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

6. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas Mark 4). Line 2 large baking sheets with baking (parchment) paper. 

7. Gently deflate the dough with the heel of your hand and divide into two pieces. Working on a lightly floured surface with 1 piece at a time (keeping the remaining piece covered), roll out the dough into a large rectangle 3 mm (⅛ inch) thick. (Trim off and discard ragged edges.) Spread half of the chocolate filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 6 mm (¼-inch) border. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife and starting at one of the long sides, cut out long, thin triangle strips from the dough that are about 5 cm (2 inches) across at the top and taper at the bottom. Starting from the wide end of a triangle, roll up like a Swiss roll (jelly roll) and place on one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

8. Bake, rotating the pans front to back halfway through, until puffed and golden brown, 15–18 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately brush the tops and sides of the rugelach with a generous amount of syrup. Transfer to wire racks to cool.


The Jewish Cookbook by Leah Koenig (Phaidon $65, hbk). Photography by Evan Sung.