Hanukkah Collection: Gooey Good Rugelach, Gluten Free

If cookie swaps were popular with Hanukkah households, rugelach would be the odds on favorite.

Funny-ish story. At my dad’s funeral 150 years ago during a blizzard that kept most people home, a family friend brought over a container of homemade rugelach. She kept refilling the platter that was on the coffee table in the mostly empty living room. Baffled, she blamed the disappearing rugelach on the dog.

The dog never told on me. It was hands down, the best rugelach I’d ever eaten before or since. I wish I had thought to have enough sense to get the recipe.

Every time I attempt to make the stuff, my goal is to recreate that magical rugelach. It was flaky, full of flavor, rolled perfectly, yet rustic, and tiny. Nothing like the fake rugelach you’d see in those grocery store which are commercially prepared and obviously on steroids. No one should make them look like croissants on purpose.

Hanukkah is a far more perfect opportunity to make a batch or two of delicious rugelach and indulge.  I made enough to feed a small city. And shared. Tis the season and all.

Make some rugleach. You’ll be glad you did. And so will any lucky duck who gets a taste.

Happy Hanukkah.

Hanukkah Collection: Gooey Good Rugelach, Gluten Free
You will want to make this dough ahead of time. It is actually much less work to whip up the dough, wrap it up and refrigerate for a day or two and then make the rugelach. You can freeze the dough, too. Thaw in the refrigerator and bring to a chilled room temperature before rolling. The filling in this recipe will give the rugelach a nice gooey texture. It is how my fake Aunt made her rugelach. You don't have to eat the whole platter, but you will want to eat some warm from the oven with a nice cup of something hot.
  • 11.25 oz. flour = 8 oz. superfine brown rice flour, 2 oz. white rice flour, 1.25 oz. tapioca starch (or 2 cups Keller's Cup4Cup GF flour)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 8 oz. butter, diced into small cubes while still very cold (2 sticks)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, diced into small cubes while still very cold
  • 1 large egg
  • about 66 grams cold water
  • 200 grams (about 2 cups) Brown sugar
  • 270 grams (about 2 cups) toasted, chopped nuts (pick your favorite)
  • 300 grams (about 2 cups) dark or golden raisins (or other dried chopped fruits)
  • zest of one large lemon (for sprinkling)
  • about 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • about ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling on top (brown or white)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment when you are ready to bake the rugelach. The dough must rest and chill in the refrigerator, preferably overnight. Or days.
  2. Weigh the flours together and add the sugar and salt. Whisk to combine. Using a food processor or a pastry blender, work the butter and cream cheese into the flour until it looks like coarse cornmeal the size of peas. Add the egg and combine. Begin adding in the water just until the dough forms a ball. Scrape the sticky dough onto plastic wrap. Separate into two balls and cover with the wrap. Smash into a flat disks and refrigerate overnight or freeze. Cut each disk in half. Keep covered but bring to a cool room temperature (don't let it get too warm). Place on a large piece of plastic wrap dusted with tapioca starch. Dust the top with starch and cover with more wrap. Using a rolling pin, press into the disk in opposite directions to start to flatten the dough into a circle. Press first, roll second. If you roll the dough too soon, it will break. Pressing helps get it going and relaxes the dough just enough to roll it. Roll into a 12-14 inch circle and trim the edges. Make sure the dough is not sticking to the wrap by using a bit more starch as needed.
  1. Place the filling ingredients in separate bowls near your work area.
  1. Sprinkle the dough with brown sugar. Add some chopped nuts, and the raisins or other dried fruits. (If you use chocolate chips don't tell me about that). Sprinkle on a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg and the zest of a lemon. Cover the whole thing with plastic wrap and gently press the rolling pin on the top to adhere the toppings to the dough. A light touch works. Be gentle.
  2. Using a sharp paring knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough and toppings like a pizza into even sized pieces. I begin with half/half and then cut those half pieces into more half pieces - evenly. You should end up with about 16 crescents. Starting with the fat end and using a small offset spatula or butter knife, gently roll each piece toward the center so that you end up with the point on top. Place on prepared baking sheet covered with parchment and place about an inch apart. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar right before baking.
  3. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes and rotate sheets. Bake about 10-15 minutes more or until the rugelach are golden and the filling is bubbling and a little leaky. Cool for about 5 minutes and transfer each piece to a cooling rack. Cool thoroughly. Store in a tin for best results.


  1. Yeah, why aren’t cookie swaps de rigueur in Hanukkah households? Love rugelach. What’s not to love, anyway.
    xoxo Nicole

  2. Oh, these look fantastic! Now to find the time to bake them…

  3. I don’t celebrate Hanukkah, but these look super delicious so I’m making them for my book club cookie exchange. The dough is chilling in the fridge right now!