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Sour Cherry Rugelach

24 cookies

1 hour plus chilling and cooling

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Rugelach are pastry-like cookies that feature a rich, tender dough wrapped around a dried fruit filling. Our dough is spiced with cardamom and “folded” three times, similar to a puff pastry, to give the baked cookies a delicate flakiness. Additional spices add warm flavor and fragrance to the sweet-tart filling. We preferred the chunky texture of apricot preserves, but smoother-textured apricot jam worked well, too.




Don't use dried sweet cherries in the filling. Dried sour cherries, which are usually lightly sweetened, give the filling a pleasant tang. When slicing the dough logs before baking, don't cut all the way through; partial cuts will prevent the filling from oozing out during baking.

1 hour

plus chilling and cooling


  • 16

    tablespoons (2 sticks) salted butter, cut into 16 pieces, chilled

  • 1

    8-ounce package cream cheese, cut into 16 pieces, chilled


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Erica P.
November 8, 2023
Nut substitutes?
These look amazing but we have a nut allergy. Any suggestions for a substitute that would work well with the sour cherries? Roasted pumpkin seeds? Sunflower seeds?
Marcus B.
November 30, 2022
A Crowd Favorite
I have made this recipe every year since it was first published, and it is always a hit. As is, the spices are delicious; I have also found that the recipe is very adaptable. Change up your choice of fruits, nuts, and preserves for the filling, and enjoy the results!
michele h.
December 25, 2022
frozen sour cherries
hi, I could use help in converting this from dried sour cherries to those I froze this summer.
Matt K.

Can anyone help explain how to roll these a little better? I can't quite envision how to do so based on the instructions and pictures provided

Lynn C.

Hi Matt -

I actually just made these yesterday and, yes, it's a little confusing. Once you roll the dough to a 13x12 rectangle (have the 13" length parallel with the edge of the counter), cut into three 4' x 13" strips. Place the filling and nuts down the middle of the strip. Then, starting with the edge of dough closest to you (parallel to the counter), lift the dough over the top of the filling and sort of tuck it under the filling. Then roll into a cylinder and pinch together the seams. I always give it another roll to really seal the seam. At this point, my dough had already been stretched to 16 inches but, if yours isn't, just roll it a bit where the dough might be a little thicker than others and it should stretch it out. I hope that helps explain it a little better. Let us know if not!

The Milk Street Team

Evan T.

Hi - I love the flavors of these, but each time I’ve made them ive found the inner bottom crust to be undercooked. I know it’s hard for you to know on your end what’s happening, but what would you recommend I look for to fix this? Roll thinner dough? Cut each cookie completely rather than partially? Maybe switch to the crescent shape? Less filling, or at least, cut out some of the preserves?

Lynn C.

Hi Evan -

As you mentioned, it's hard for us to know what is causing your rugelach to be underdone on the bottom. First, are you using a heavy rimmed baking sheet? A more lightweight sheet, like a traditional cookie sheet, may not conduct enough heat to really cook the bottom. Second, it's possible your dough is too warm going into the oven. If you are only refrigerating it for the minimum time we would recommend increasing the time. You want the dough to be firm to the touch before they go in the oven. This will prevent the butter from melting too quickly and pooling at the bottom preventing the bottom dough from cooking through. Lastly, assuming the cookies aren't over browning on the top we would probably let them cook longer to see if you can get that bottom crust to cook through. Hope that helps!

The Milk Street Team