Apricot and Strawberry Rugelach

Strawberry and Apricot Rugelach.

Classic Rugelach are made with a rich cream cheese dough and filled with different jammy centers. They’re rolled in a cinnamon, sugar and nut coating before baking into the most tender, outrageously delicious cookies. These Apricot and Strawberry rugelach are perfect for the holidays.

apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest

I’d never had rugelach until I moved to Boca Raton.  As a lapsed Catholic from bible-belt Virginia,  the only question of faith was which Christian denomination you belonged to.  But I don’t live in Virginia anymore and Boca Raton has a huge Jewish population!!  Consequently, restaurants and food emporiums catering to Jewish tastes have been rolled into the broader culture here, in the same way Latin flavors have permeated our environs.  Can it be long before I’m ordering a hot pastrami in rye empanada or a plantain latke?  Sounds good to me!

apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest

Anyway, I digress.  I was at a Jewish Deli with my co-workers having lunch and they ordered rugelach for dessert.  Holy cow!  Little bites of sweet, nutty heaven!  It made me want a Jewish grandmother.

apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest
apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest

Since that wasn’t an option and no one would lend me their Grandmother, I had to make my own rugelach.   I didn’t have a generation of experience to call on, so I sought advice from my idol,  Julia.  I adapted this recipe from the Baking with Julia cookbook.  I read over the recipe once or twice — decided I wasn’t making my own lekvar (what is that???) and would sub in some apricot and strawberry jam instead — like they did at the restaurant.

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apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest
apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest

Making the dough was a snap – I don’t say that lightly — you know me and pastry. But it came together easily in the stand mixer.  I divided the dough, wrapped the two halves and set them in the fridge to chill.  

apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest
apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest
apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest

However, rolling and filling the dough wasn’t nearly as simple.   After a lot of trial and error and four letter words (proof of why I’m a lapsed Catholic), I made it work.  And I also made some changes and notations to Julia’s instructions, so you won’t have the same meltdown I did.

apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest

To roll out the dough, flour your work surface well to assure that it doesn’t stick.  Roll the dough to about 1/4? thickness and use a pizza cutter to trim it into an even rectangle.   Then spread it with your favorite jam and the uber-cinnamony nut and sugar mixture.  Roll it up like a jelly roll and chill until very firm (overnight for me).

apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest

To bake the rugelach

  1. Remove the logs from the refrigerator and slice the cookies into 1″ pieces.
  2. Brush the pieces with egg wash and roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  3. Set on a prepared baking sheet to bake.
apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest

Keep the rugelach cookies about 1-2″ apart on the baking sheet.

apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest
apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest

Some of the jam leaked out but after a minute or so of cooling, the gooey jam firmed up and I was able to trim away the nasty bits.  Anyway, these cookies are supposed to be rustic, right?    

apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest

I brought an oversized tin of these to a family dinner to get feedback and I can’t adequately describe the hand-to-mouth frenzy that ensued.  There were no leftovers, and there were repeated requests for more cookies.  I must’ve done something right!

apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest

More holiday cookies:

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apricot and strawberry rugelach | Garlic + Zest
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5 from 3 votes

Apricot and Strawberry Rugelach

They take some time and effort and your first go round may not be the prettiest, but  these rugelach are dangerous — because you seriously can’t stop eating them.  
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cream cheese pastry, rugelach
Dietary Restrictions Vegetarian
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 day
Servings 30


for cream cheese dough

  • 3 sticks butter 12 ounces, at room temperature
  • 12 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

for the filling and topping

  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • tablespoons cinnamon divided
  • cups walnuts or pecans toasted
  • 1 cup strawberry preserves or any type of preserve you like
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk


For the dough

  • In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese with the paddle attachment. Add the salt and sugar and beat until light and fluffy at medium/low to medium. Reduce speed to low and add the flour in ½ cup increments until just combined. (Don’t overbeat).
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and work it into a ball. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and and press each into a rough rectangle shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

For the cinnamon nut mixture

  • Put the granulated sugar, brown sugar cinnamon and the nuts into the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse together until the nuts are finely chopped, but still have some texture. Set aside.

Rolling and filling

  • In the bowl of a mini prep food processor, pulse the apricot preserves until smooth and transfer to a bowl. Rinse the food processor and process the strawberry preserves until smooth. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
  • Generously flour your work surface. Working with one piece of chilled dough at a time, place the dough on the floured surface. If the dough is very cold, let it soften for 5-10 minutes before you start rolling it out.
  • Roll the dough into a rectangle about 12 x 5 inches. Continue to check that the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface. If you need to re-flour and flip the pastry, do it so that it doesn’t stick. (note: it needs to be at least 5 inches because you’re going to roll it up to hold in the jam etc.) Use a pizza cutter to even up the sides and edges.
  • Spread about ½ cup of jam evenly over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle ⅓ – ½ cup of the cinnamon, nut mixture over the top of the jam and lightly press it in with your fingertips.
  • Starting on the long end, roll the dough, jelly-roll like into a cylinder. Wrap the cylinder in plastic wrap, place on a baking sheet and refrigerate.
  • Continue with the remaining rectangles of dough, spreading them with jam and sprinkling with the cinnamon-nut mix and rolling them up.
  • Refrigerate the logs of dough at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Reserve the remainder of the cinnamon sugar mixture for rolling the cookies in.

To slice and bake

  • Arrange the oven racks to the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare two large baking sheets with 2 pieces of parchment each (to prevent the bottoms of the cookies from burning). Set aside.

Prepare your work area

  • In a small bowl whisk together the egg and milk for an egg wash. Set aside. Add the cinnamon nut mixture to a small bowl and set aside.
  • Working with one roll of dough at a time, brush the dough on all sides with the egg wash. Use a serrated knife to cut the roll into 1″ slices. Toss each slice in the cinnamon sugar mixture, lightly pressing the coating and nuts into the cookie. Arrange the cookies a few inches apart on the parchment paper.
  • Place one cookie sheet on the top shelf and the other on the bottom shelf. Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes, then swap their positions in the oven — moving the top pan to the bottom and vice versa and turning them 180 degrees. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes until rugelach are brown.
  • Remove from the oven and cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet before using a thin spatula to transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. When the cookies reach room temperature, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week and can be frozen for up to a month.


Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 163mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 445IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1.1mg

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  1. Are both jams spread on the dough? One on the other or are they separate. Not combined?

    1. Definitely separate. In fact, you can make either Apricot or Strawberry if you have a preference.

  2. Seems like I’m missing that type of grandmother too 🙂 Never heard of Rugelach but it sounds tasteful! Better than the Crème au beurre we usually get served here haha

    1. I don’t know … creme au beurre sounds pretty fantastic!

  3. We used to go to a New York deli and buy Rugelach. They were so good! Unfortunately, the deli closed. Now I can make your recipe instead. I’ll be honest, your Rugelach look better than the ones at the deli!

    1. Wow – thanks Debi! If my Aunt is any judge – they are pretty remarkable!

  4. Veena Azmanov says:

    I love rugelach.. these looks so delish.. I could almost get into the screen and pick one out.. he he.. thanks for the recipe.

    1. Thank you Veena – you’re such an amazing cook, I’m sure yours would be outstanding!

  5. J at BlessHerHeartYall.com says:

    Oh my goodness! You have my attention. These pictures are making me so hungry. I need to make these obviously! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Rugelach is one of my all time favorites. I learned about making it while living in CT. How can you go wrong with butter, cream cheese, flour and sugar for the dough? Raspberry is my favorite fillings. Your pictures, as always, are divine.

    1. I know – butter, cream cheese, flour and sugar = HEAVENLY!