Gluten-Free Rugelach

When you're willing to put a bit more effort into cookies beyond simply dropping dough from a spoon onto a baking sheet, filled and rolled rugelach are a project worthy of your time. Go with traditional fruit and nut filling or opt for chocolate (see "tips," below); either way, we guarantee everyone will be asking for "just one more"!

We know you’ll love this gluten-free version of our Rugelach recipe, a long-time favorite here on our site. Substituting Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour for the flour in that original yields tender, buttery crescent cookies that are sure to be a hit with friends and family following a gluten-free diet. Enjoy!

Prep
20 mins
Bake
25 to 30 mins
Total
1 hr 45 mins
Yield
36 rugelach
Gluten-Free Rugelach - select to zoom
Gluten-Free Rugelach - select to zoom
Gluten-Free Rugelach - select to zoom

Instructions

  1. To make the crust using a food processor: Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly to combine. Cut the butter and cream cheese into chunks and add to the bowl along with the sour cream. Pulse just until the dough forms chunks, and you can squeeze it together.

  2. To make the dough using a mixer: Beat together the butter, cream cheese, sour cream, and salt until smooth. Add the flour, mixing to make a stiff dough.

  3. Divide the dough into three equal portions. Press each gently into a disk. Make the disks as round as possible, smoothing their edges; this will allow you to roll the disks into a perfectly round circle, making the resulting rugelach more attractive. Wrap the disks in plastic, and chill the dough for about 1 hour, until it's firm but not rock hard. Or chill longer (up to overnight), then warm for about 45 to 60 minutes at room temperature, until the dough softens enough to roll out without cracking.

  4. To make the filling: Process the sugar, walnuts, dried fruit, and cinnamon in a food processor or blender until finely chopped and well combined (but not pasty). Don't have a food processor? Simply stir together the filling ingredients; your filling will be chunky rather than smooth.

  5. Place one piece of the dough on a generously floured sheet of parchment, wax paper, or plastic wrap; lightly flour the top of the dough and add another piece of parchment (or wax paper or wrap). Using parchment or an equivalent helps keep the dough's stickiness under control. Roll it into a 10" circle, peel off the paper, and brush the dough lightly with water. For a flavorful touch, brush with a thin layer of boiled cider, warmed apple or currant jelly, or puréed fruit preserves, instead of water.

  6. Use your fingers to spread about 1/3 of the filling onto the round, going all the way to the edges and gently patting the filling to help anchor it to the dough.

  7. Using a pizza cutter, baker's bench knife, or sharp knife, divide the dough into 12 equal wedges. Roll each wedge up, beginning with the wide end and ending with the narrow end. Place the rolls point-side down on a baking sheet; lining the baking sheet with parchment will help with cleanup. Repeat with the remaining two pieces of dough.

  8. Brush the rugelach with milk or cream; and sprinkle with granulated or coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.

  9. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Refrigerate the rugelach while the oven is preheating.

  10. Bake the rugelach for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool right on the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  11. Store leftover rugelach in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Both the rugelach dough and shaped, unbaked rugelach can be made ahead, wrapped airtight, and frozen up to 4 weeks before using. For best results, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, wrapped, before using. 
  • Try these tasty fillings; each makes enough for one-third of the dough, so feel free to mix and match various fillings using a single batch of dough.
    Dark Chocolate: Whisk together 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder; add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, if desired. Sprinkle atop rolled-out dough. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) mini chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate. Alternatively, sprinkle 3 tablespoons baker’s chocolate filling mix atop the rolled out dough and top with mini chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate.
    Double Apricot: Process 1/2 cup (3 ounces) chopped dried apricots, 3 tablespoons (2 ounces) apricot jam or preserves, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and a pinch of salt until the apricots are finely chopped, but the mixture isn’t totally smooth.
    Apple-Cinnamon: Combine 2/3 cup (about 4 ounces) peeled, grated apple; 2 teaspoons lemon juice; 1/3 cup (2 3/8 ounces) sugar; 2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) cornstarch, and 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a small saucepan. Stir to thoroughly combine. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the apple starts to release its juice. Increase the heat to medium, and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring, until the mixture thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool to room temperature; if you want to hasten the process, place in the refrigerator.