Vanilla Rugelach {Recipe}

Vanilla Rugelach | Lil Miss Cakes

I actually shared a recipe for vanilla rugelach on about 4 years ago. It is a really popular recipe because they are insanely good! But I personally haven’t baked them in a long while. My brother in law loves these vanilla rugelach from a certain bakery in town, but he recently moved away. So when I was getting ready to visit I figured I should probably bring him some, but not store bought. Homemade obviously. I started by mixing up a batch of my favorite sweet dough, the dough I use for my famous cinnamon buns. Then I pulled up my recipe on and realized that I had originally made some changes to that dough by adding some vanilla pudding mix. Whoops! I was not about to make another batch of dough so I continued with the recipe. It worked beautifully so I don’t think I’m going to bother with the other dough recipe anymore. I don’t always have vanilla pudding mix in the pantry and it’s really not worth the hassle or extra cost. Originally I was dividing the dough in half, making 32 huge rugelach. Some of the comments on the original recipe actually mention that they were quite big. So this time around I divided the dough into 6 portions. This makes 96 perfectly sized sweet rugelach.

Tray of Vanilla Rugelach | Lil Miss Cakes

The next update to the recipe to the recipe is not actually in the ingredients but how the rugelach bake. I used to space the tiny pastries on the tray, but the sugar was baking out and all over the tray. I noticed that in Israel they bake their rugelach much closer together, almost like cinnamon buns. I figured they probably know what they are doing so I packed my rugelach onto the baking tray with just a tiny space in between each one. I wanted them to have a little room to puff up and rise. This baking method is genius because the sugar has nowhere to go-keeping the rugelach sweet, moist, and gooey. The last change I made what to the sugar glaze that I brush on as soon as the rugelach come out of the oven. Instead of using simple syrup, I mixed up equal parts of clear apple jelly with water and warmed it on the stove until the jelly melts and dissolves into the water. You can certainly use sugar instead of the apple jelly, but the jelly gives the rugelach a bit of a shine and some added sweetness. These pastries are really easy to make and freeze so well! I made a quick video just to show you how I roll out, fill, and shape these rugelach.

Vanilla Rugelach {Recipe}
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 96
  • 2 packets (4½ tsp.) dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water (90 to 110 degrees)
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 4½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup vegetable oil or margarine, melted and cooled
  • ¾ cup soy milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup margarine, melted
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup vanilla sugar
  • ¼ cup apple jelly
  • ¼ cup water
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add in the dry yeast, warm water, and sugar and whisk to remove lumps. Let stand for 5-10 minutes until foamy and bubbly. If it doesn't "proof" then discard and start over (the yeast is dead).
  2. Once the yeast is alive, add in 4 cups of flour, the oil or melted and cooled margarine, soy milk, sugar, eggs, and salt.
  3. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together and is smooth, about 5 minutes.
  4. Once the dough comes together form the dough into a ball, rub oil all over and place in a clean oiled bowl. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
  5. Once your dough doubles in size, divide it in 6 pieces and work with one piece at a time.
  1. Melt the margarine and set aside.
  2. Mix the sugars in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Roll your dough out thin on a lightly floured surface. Try to roll the dough into a round shape.
  4. Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer all over the dough.
  5. Sprinkle a layer of sugar over the entire piece of dough.
  6. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 16 wedges .
  7. Starting at the widest part of each edge, roll up each wedge of dough.
  8. Transfer the rugelach to a parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure the end of each rugelach is tucked underneath so they don't open while baking. The rugelach should be placed close together on the baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes to an hour.
  9. Bake the rugelach for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Until the rugelach are golden brown.
  1. While the rugelach are baking, prepare the glaze.
  2. In a small pot, add the apple jelly and the water. Heat over a low flame until the apple jelly is melted.
  3. As soon as the rugelach come out of the oven, use a heatproof pastry brush to brush the thin glaze all over the rugelach.
  4. Allow to cool on the tray and enjoy!


5 thoughts on “Vanilla Rugelach {Recipe}

    1. You can use apricot jam as well or make a sugar syrup by mixing equal parts sugar and water and heating that until the sugar melts.

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