These cinnamon-spiced apple rugelach hit all the cozy feels and are made all the sweeter when brushed with honey hot from the oven. I’ve made sure to break down all the steps in great detail, to really walk you through the process. While it can seem daunting with all the steps, these tasty little treats are well worth the effort! You got this.
Let’s bake, friends!
This post is sponsored by Yes! Apples.
Some Materials You’ll Need:
- Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
- Measuring cups/spoons
- Peeler & Box Grater
- Rolling Pin
- Parchment paper
- Plastic Wrap
- 1-2 large baking sheets
- Pastry brush for egg wash + cutter (pizza cutter works too)
What are Rugelach?
These honey apple rugelach came into being because my husband is Jewish in our almost decade of being together I’d never made any Jewish desserts! Terrible partner, I know! So I sought to fix that with making these sweet little treats and so happy I did because YUM.
Rugelach are sweet little cookies, often filled with jam and/or nuts. The dough typically contains cream cheese or sour cream, and is rolled out and up into a crescent-like shape before baking. They originated in Eastern Europe, conceptualized and popular in the jewish communities of Poland, initially made with a yeasted dough.
I love how unique this cookie is! For one, it’s almost hard to call it a cookie with how the dough comes together and feels (can be very flaky). It’s much more reminiscent of pie dough or other pastry. If you’re out searching for rugelach, you might see both “pastry” and “cookie” associated with them for that reason.
Here’s a great article that breaks down rugelach and it’s history even more, if you’re curious!
Making the Dough for these Apple Rugelach
You’ll notice that for the cream cheese and butter it says “softened” instead of cold or room temperature. Typically cookies will call for room temperature ingredients, but since this dough leans a little into the pastry side of things, you still want to maintain some of that cold. This makes your apple rugelach cookies a little flaky (I mean, yes please).
Just leave both out on the counter for about 15 minutes—they’ll soften up a bit, but still be a little cold.
I’d recommend cutting up both into smaller pieces (as noted in the recipe). This will help them cream together much easier/quicker. Also, be sure to scrape down the bottom and sides of your mixing bowl a few times throughout, especially before adding in the flour.
Lastly, try not to overwork the dough! Much like a pie, the less you work the dough, the flakier it’ll be. Just make sure there are no streaks of flour.
Assembling Rugelach Cookies
These apple rugelach can seem daunting, but once you read through the instructions, you’ll see it’s fairly straightforward. They can also be a bit messy when you go to roll them up, but that’s totally normal and to be expected with some apple butter and juicy shredded apples.
Do your best to get the dough into a perfect circle (10-12 inches is best, mine was 10) after rolling it out. This is what will you give that classic, signature look—much like a crescent roll or croissant. I turned a 10 inch pie dish upside down and cut around that to get a perfectly even edge!
See the images above to show the assembly process and how it looks. You got this!
Say HELLO to Yes! Apples
So happy to be partnering up with my buddies over at Yes! Apples for these apple rugelach cookies! I used their EverCrisp (honestly my favorite apple variety ever) for these babies. The subtle crunch and sweetness they lend to the bake is divine. I recently used them in my Easy Apple Loaf recipe (with crunch pecans and warm spices)—another one you don’t want to miss!
Learn more about their EverCrisp variety on their website here, friends. You’ll be hooked from that first bite like me, I promise you!
Grab $10 off plus a FREE hat (while supplies last) with your first order using promo code “JOSHISBAKING” at checkout! Head here to find some delicious apples and get baking.
Tag me (@joshisbaking) over on Instagram if you make these tasty honey apple rugelach, friends!
Check out some of my most recent recipes:
- Everything Bagel Pastries with Cream Cheese
- Apple and Goat Cheese Tart with Fig Jam
- Strawberry Almond Snacking Cake
Honey Apple Rugelach
- Prep Time: 1 Hour
- Chill/Rest Time: 2 Hours. 30 Minutes
- Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- Total Time: ~4 Hours
- Yield: 16 Rugelach Cookies 1x
These cinnamon-spiced apple rugelach hit all the cozy feels and are made all the sweeter when brushed with honey hot from the oven.
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 oz. cream cheese (full fat), softened
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled, not scooped)
Filling & Topping
- 6 tablespoons store-bought apple butter, divided
- 2 large EverCrisp apples (peeled, grated, patted dry—see instructions)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
- 1 large egg, lightly whisked for an egg wash
- Honey to brush on after bake (I used clover)
Making the Dough
- First, set your cold butter and cream cheese out on the counter for about 15 minutes so that they’re still somewhat cold, but have softened up a little. Cut your butter into tablespoon-sized pieces (15g) and your cream cheese into quarters. Then cream your butter, cream cheese, and kosher salt in stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, beat for one more minute, then scrape the bowl again.
- Turn the mixer on low, then gradually add in your flour until it’s just incorporated and no streaks remain (you may have to stop one or twice to scrape the bottom of the bowl to get some of the crumbly bits that don’t want to mix in). Divide the dough into two equal portions, flatten each into a rough disc, wrap them both tightly in plastic, and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
Prep Your Apples + Baking Sheets
- When you have about 15 minutes left of your chill time, prep your apples. Peel and grate them (using the largest grate on a box grater) in a strainer set over a bowl or the sink. Once grated, either using your hands or a kitchen towel, squeeze out as much of their juices as you can (it can be a lot, so just keep working until it’s mostly dry). Set aside.
- Also prep one or two large baking sheets with parchment and set aside (I have a rather large baking sheet so I was able to fit them all on one, but you may need two).
Assembly & Bake
- Take your chilled discs of dough out of the fridge and let them rest on the counter for 10 minutes (makes them easier to roll out). Then, on a lightly floured surface, roll each disc out into large circles, roughly 10-12 inches in diameter. Cut around the edges to create a perfect disc—I turned a 10 inch pie dish upside down and cut around the outside edge. Place one disc back in the fridge to keep cold while you work with the other.
- Evenly spread 3 tablespoons of apple butter around the disc, leaving a good 1 inch border around the outside. Sprinkle half of your grated apples overtop the apple butter (it won’t fully cover the surface, just try to evenly distribute them). Then sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon over the apples.
- Using a pastry or pizza cutter, cut your disc into 8 evenly-sized triangles (cut it into quarters and then cut each quarter in half). Rolling from the outside in, roll each triangle inwards like you would a crescent roll or croissant, making sure the pointy tip stays tucked underneath. Place on your prepared baking sheet(s), spaced a couple inches apart. Place these finished pieces in the fridge to chill while you assemble the next disc.
- Once all of your rugelach are assembled, chill then in fridge for 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 375°F. Once chilled, generously brush the tops with an egg wash (one egg, lightly whisked) and bake at 375°F for 30-35 minutes, until nice and dark/golden on top. Once out of the oven, immediately brush the tops with honey—they’ll have a wonderful shine. Let cool completely on the baking sheet before serving.
Best enjoyed same-day, but will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container.
Check out my other recipes with Yes! Apples:
- Apple Biscoff Cheesecake Bars
- German Apple Cake with Golden Figs
- Fresh Apple Oatmeal Cookies
- Apple and Almond Cream Galette
Looking for something else to bake?
recipe is very clear and easy to follow. my rugelach turned out delicious!
Love hearing this Joanne! Thank you so much!