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Easy and Delicious Vegan Rugelach (updated 2023)

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Vegan Rugelach are delicious Jewish pastries, perfect for anyone following a vegan diet. Made with a mixture of plant-based ingredients, this recipe is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Cream cheeze dough is rolled out into a thin circle and filled with a flavorful combination of dried fruits or nuts, and sweet spices before being rolled up. Baked to golden perfection, these vegan Rugelach pastries are ready to be enjoyed with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Vegan rugleach on a christmas plate.

As many of you have probably realised by now (and I use the term “many” ironically), I love to read and write about the history of food. This does not help my readability analysis. My sentences are often long, and stream of consciousness, as I parlay my thoughts about different foodie cultures into a blog post of a sort.

This one will be no different. I am enamoured particularly by the Jewish culture of cooking, which is as deeply engrained in their heritage as the religion itself.

What is Rugelach?

Rugelach comes from Yiddish word for “Little Twists” and this is kind of the process you do to make them, although “Little Rolls” might be more correct, technically speaking. Some recipes call them Little Horns as well, and they resemble the horns that Vikings might choose to signal their impending arrival.

Yona Levi has written a fantastic and witty article on the history of the Rugelach, which you can find here. But, what we all seem to agree on, is that Rugelach are indeed the Jewish Croissant. And I’m not so sure I wouldn’t rather forgo the French namesake for one of these!

Rugelach are traditionally made with a dough enriched with either cream cheese or sour cream. These additions give the dough a unique flaky texture, not dissimilar to rough puff pastry. They are filled with a sugar-spiced walnut filling which is so delicious. On first bite, your mouth explodes with crumbly pastry that melts away, then the crunch of walnuts, your taste buds tantalised by spices and sweetness.

Baked rugelach on a plate.

My recipe is a riff on Maida Heatter’s version, from her 1995 classic, Brand-New Book of Great Cookies. Sadly this is now out of print, but is filled with great recipes, if you can find a copy!

Some versions of rugelach use many different fillings: jam and peanut butter, nutella, chopped dates and nuts. Make sure that your filling is not too wet, I think fresh fruit might not work very well, but any dried, sticky, nutty, spicy chopped things will be perfect!

How Do You Make Vegan Rugelach?

My simple vegan rugelach version takes Maida Heatter’s original recipe and replaces it with vegan dairy-free butter, a egg replacer and plant-based cream cheese. I also replaced the sugar in the filling to brown sugar simply because I prefer the taste.

Rugelach on a cooling rack.

Ingredients and modifications

To make the dough you need:

Ingredients for vegan rugelach.
  • Plain flour
  • Vegan cream cheese, I used Violife.
  • Vegan plain yogurt.
  • Vegan butter, I used Flora unsalted.
  • Lemon zest
  • Egg replacer. I used Orgran. Because we are only replacing the equivalent of an egg yolk, I only use half a tablespoon of the mixture whisked up with a tablespoon of cold water.

To make the Rugelach filling:

Ingredients for Rugelach filling.
  • Walnuts, chopped finely. You can omit the nuts altogether and used chopped dark chocolate instead for a rich, spiced rugelach.
  • Brown sugar
  • Spices: ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg and cocoa powder.
  • Note: you can simply spread the rugelach dough with your favourite jam and omit all of the filling above if you prefer.

This is ONLY a list of ingredients for the recipe; please see recipe card below for complete printable recipe.


Mixing together yogurt and cream cheese for rugelach dough.

Melt the butter and leave to one side.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric whisk, beat together the cream cheese, yogurt, egg replacer and lemon zest.

Adding melted butter to cream cheese mixture.

Now beat in the melted butter.

Beat in the flour and salt.

Beat in the flour and salt until you have a soft dough.

Wrapping the dough in clingfilm.

Spoon the dough onto a piece of clingfilm.

Chilling rugleach dough.

Chill for about an hour.

Rugelach dough cut into quarters.
  • Once the dough is chilled, flour your hands and work surface, roll into a ball, flatten slightly and cut into quarters.
  • Now roll each quarter into a ball, and again, flatten slightly. These will form your rugelach.
  • Clingfilm and chill for another couple of hours.
Mixing the filling for rugelach.

Whilst the dough chills, whisk together the finely chopped walnuts and brown sugar.

Adding the spices to the rugelach filling.

Sprinkle the cocoa powder and spices over the top and mix well to combine.

Rolling out rugelach dough.
  • Preheat oven to 180c.
  • Taking one ball of your dough at a time (leaving the others to chill), lightly flour your work surface and roll it out into a circle, about 8″ dia. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t a perfect circle, but if you prefer it to be, just pop a plate over the top of the dough and trim around it.
Sprinkling filling on rugelach dough.
  • Sprinkle your walnut mixture all over the dough circle.
  • Using your rolling pin, roll over the filling to ensure that it has stuck to the dough.
Cutting rugelach dough into segments.

Now carefully cut the dough into 12 using a pastry cutter, pizza cutter or a knife.

Rolling up individual rugelach.
  • Taking one segment at a time, working from the outside, roll each segment up.
  • Place on your prepared baking tray. Continue until you have used up all your dough from the fridge.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a couple of minutes before placing on a cooling rack.


My vegan rugelach cookies will last for at least a week in an airtight container (if you can resist them that long!).

You can easily freeze the dough so that you can bake a batch of rugelach whenever you like. I would recommend that at the stage when you divide the dough into four disks (step 6), you freeze them now, so that you can remove one disk when you need it. Thaw in the fridge before continuing the steps above. You will need to make less mixture, depending on how many of the disks you thaw.

Top Tip!

You can prep the filling 2 or 3 days in advance of baking the cookies, simply clingfilm and keep at room temperature until you’re ready to bake.

Love Vegan cookies? Try these too!

Rugelach Pastries

Easy Vegan Rugelach Recipe
The classic pastry veganised.
4.93 from 83 votes
Prep 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes



  • ½ cup Butter - vegan
  • ½ tbsp Egg replacer - whisked with 1 tbsp cold water
  • ¼ cup Cream cheese - vegan
  • ¼ cup Yogurt - or sour cream, plant based
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 Lemon - zest only
  • cup Plain flour


  • 1 cup Walnuts - chopped to the size of lentils
  • 6 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 pinch Grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Cocoa powder


Make The Dough

  • In a microwavable jug, heat the butter until melted.
  • In a large bowl, using an electric blender to mix the egg replacer, salt, cream cheese, yogurt and lemon.
  • Beat in the melted butter.
  • Finally beat in the flour until you have a sticky dough.
  • Dollop the dough onto clingfilm, wrap and chill for an hour.
  • Remove from fridge. Dust your hands with flour and roll the dough into a ball. It should be much firmer now.
  • Cut the dough into four and then roll those into balls. Flatten with the palm of your hand. Wrap in clingfilm and fridge, preferably overnight, but for at least an hour.

Make the filling

  • You can whisk this all up the day before. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and spices.
  • In another bowl, add the chopped walnuts and brown sugar and mix. a
  • Pour the dry filling ingredients over the top. Mix well.

To make the Rugelach!

  • Preheat oven to 180c and prepare a couple of baking sheets by lining them with greaseproof paper.
  • Taking one ball of your dough at a time (leaving the others to chill), lightly flour your work surface and roll it out into a circle, about 8" dia. It doesn't matter if it isn't a perfect circle, but if you prefer it to be, just pop a plate over the top of the dough and trim around it.
  • Sprinkle your walnut mixture all over the dough circle, leaving about an inch in the middle empty. This is to avoid too much overspill when you come to roll them!
  • Using your rolling pin, roll over the filling to ensure that it has stuck to the dough.
  • Now carefully cut the dough into 12 using a pastry cutter, pizza cutter or a knife. You will need to be firm but steady doing this as it can tear the dough.
  • Now, taking one segment at a time, working from the outside, roll it up. Use a little bit of water to seal the pointy end down.
  • Place on your prepared baking tray. Repeat until you have rolled up all your segments.
    Continue until you have used up all your dough from the fridge. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your oven.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a couple of minutes before placing on a cooling rack.


The dough is supposed to be sticky when you first chill it so don’t panic! It will firm up nicely in the fridge, but please don’t omit this step otherwise you will have a sticky mess!

Please note that where the recipe asks for milk, butter or yogurt, this refers to any plant-based version that you prefer.

Nutrition Facts
Rugelach Pastries
Serving Size
20 g
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing these! And I appreciate the process shots! Would have never have thought about making these until I saw this post. Will have to try soon!

  2. 5 stars
    Hey! So I came across your recipe in the Food Bloggers’ Tribe group, but just wanted to actually comment and say I love it!! As a fellow history lover, run-on-sentences aficionado and someone who also has to adapt many traditional recipes to suit her dietary restrictions, I thing these vegan rugelach are the bomb.
    I have a gluten-free rugelach recipe I feel equally passionate about 🙂

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for your comment! It actually made my day! I’ve followed you on Instagram too, so lets stay in touch, maybe a free-from collab?

  3. 5 stars
    I am really glad you shared the recipe. I had my first Raspberry Rugelash from Lord’s Babery in Brooklyn NYC, and has been hooked on them ever since. Love your vegan twist on the recipe. ?

  4. 5 stars
    This vegan rugelach was AMAZING! It was my first time trying rugelach and I am so glad I did! Loving all of the easy plant based recipes on your blog.

  5. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe! The only thing I did different was put them in my air fryer instead of the oven. It took about 15 minutes and they came out fantastic.

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve never tried rugelach before but will be regularly now. These are incredible and your instructions and photos make them so easy to make.

  7. 5 stars
    Lovely dessert.. I bet it’s perfect with afternoon tea. I will definitely make this. I’ve never tried vegan rugelach.

  8. 4 stars
    Hi! Thanks for the recipe 🙂
    Curious what cream chz & yogurt (or sour cream) you used.. My dough was tasty, but definitely too wet/soft.. I ended up adding a little more flour to be able to roll it into balls.. And it probably didn’t help I was using my oven top as a working surface, but even straight out of the fridge they were very difficult to roll. I baked them at 355f, but 25 mins was way too long.. 15 mins seemed to work. They are tasty nonetheless!

    1. Hi Rachel! I can’t remember what brand I used when I first baked this recipe, but I would probably recommend using the Philadelphia plant-based brand if you can find it. Many plant-based brands vary so much, some seem much “waxier” in texture than others. If you can find it, I would use Tofutti sour cream but I can’t find that in the UK very easily anymore. I use a plain vegan yogurt these days (I prefer Alpro and I don’t like to use coconut ones as they tend to a little overpowering flavour-wise, unless that’s a flavour you want). Thanks also for the comments about the cooking times. My oven bakes very cool, so things always take longer for me, I will adjust that!
      I am also reworking my older recipes so I will add this one to the list and note your comments about the dough being wet. Did you beat it a second time when you removed it from the fridge?

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