If you love traditional rugelach, this gluten free rugelach recipe will be a fun new cookie recipe to enjoy! These homemade cookies are popular for Hanukkah and can be filled with many tasty filling types. The dough is made with cream cheese, which adds an incredible creamy texture to this rugelach.

A close up of baked gluten free rugelach on a cookie sheet.

Rugelach is a traditional Jewish pastry that originated in Eastern Europe. The name “rugelach” is Yiddish, and it means “little twists” or “rolled things” in reference to the shape of the pastry. These cookies are like flaky, rolled cookies. People most often make rugelach for the holiday season, especially at Hanukkah.

Mr. Fearless Dining’s grandmother used to make rugelach, and the combination of the flaky, buttery dough and the sweet, flavorful filling makes rugelach a special treat. If you love cookies as much as we do, you will want to try all of my Gluten Free Cookies recipes!

Baked rugelach on a cookie sheet.

Why we love this gluten free rugelach recipe:

  1. This gluten free rugelach recipe is flaky and firm and nestles the filling beautifully through every dough roll.
  2. You can make this cookie by rolling pie wedges in the traditional way or by spiraling strips of dough.
  3. The sky is the limit on fillings you can use, and you can make these cookies with the kids for a fun kitchen project! Consider this a rugelach dough base for your favorite fillings! I share some tasty ideas below.
  4. These cookies are easy to freeze, so you can make them ahead to save time. They keep their delicious taste after thawing.

Love this recipe! I actually used vegan cream cheese and vegan butter because I’m allergic to dairy, and it worked out great. I also added a tablespoon of pure pectin to help flexibility- anyway, everyone thought they were delish and couldn’t believe they were gf!”

mary, blog comment

Allergen Information:

This homemade rugelach recipe is gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free (if you use a filling without nuts), oat-free, and soy-free. Make it dairy-free using plant-based butter and cream cheese. Reader Mary did this and said above that it turned out great.

Photos of the rugelach ingredients.

Ingredient Notes:

For the full list of ingredients and amounts, please go to the recipe card below.

  • Gluten Free Flour Blend – I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure, Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend, and Authentic Foods Multi Blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work; I just have not tested other flours.
  • Cane Sugar – You can also use brown sugar.
  • Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum – if your gluten free blend doesn’t include one of these, you must add one teaspoon. See the Substitutions section below for a gum-free option.
  • Cream Cheese – I recommend using full-fat cream cheese. Ensure the cream cheese is at room temperature.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter. See the Substitutions section below for a possible dairy-free option. The butter will need to be soft at room temperature.
  • Vanilla Extract – Use pure vanilla extract.
  • Mix-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, and dried fruits.

Substitutions:

  • To make this recipe gum-free, use my DIY Gluten Free Flour Blend. It uses psyllium husk instead of xanthan or guar gum.
  • One reader told me they made these gluten free rugelach dairy-free by using Smart Balance plant-based butter and Kite Hill Cream Cheese. They said they worked well in the recipe, but I have not tested this myself.

What kind of fillings can you use?

I have made many flavors of gluten free rugelach, both traditional and non-traditional. Here are some of my favorite fillings for rugelach:

  • Spread Nutella and chopped nuts on the dough.
  • Chopped nuts – pecans and walnuts are the most popular.
  • Chocolate – gluten free chocolate chip rugelach is one of my favorites!
  • Cinnamon sugar – these taste like cinnamon rolls.
  • Strawberry or other fruity jams – I love to make strawberry white chocolate rugelach! I have also made this homemade rugelach with apricot preserves and orange marmalade.

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

Rugelach steps 1 and 2 photos.

Step 1: Add all of your dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl, add the wet ingredients, and mix. (Make sure your cream cheese and butter are softened.) You can also mix these in a standing mixer if you prefer. If you use a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.

Step 2: Your dough will look firm like this.

📢 Sandi says: Every gluten-free flour blend has a different starch-to-grain ratio. The brand of gluten-free flour you use will affect the moisture of the batter. If your cake batter is too runny, add more flour, and if it is too thick, add more liquids.
Read Why Gluten-Free Flour Blends Vary to learn more about this.

Rugelach steps 3 and 4 photos.

Step 3: Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. You will want to refrigerate the dough for 45 minutes.

Step 4: Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on wax paper. Add another piece of wax paper on top, and use a rolling pin to roll it out to 1/4-inch thickness.

Photos rugelach steps 5 and 6.

Step 5: Prepare your mix-in. I use a food chopper to chop the nuts and other mixings so they are more evenly sized for rolling. I am using cinnamon, brown sugar, and walnuts in this photo. You can also add chocolate chips.

Step 6: Sprinkle the mix-in over the top of the dough. Spread it out evenly.

Photos of the rugelach steps 7 and 8.

Step 7: Cut the pastry dough with a sharp knife or a pizza wheel. You want to make the wedges in equal-sized pieces. See what I mean by the rugelach dough looking like a pizza?

Step 8: Very carefully roll the wedges from the widest part (the long end) to the middle. When you are finished rolling them, they will have a crescent shape.

Place each cookie on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.

👀 Sandi Says: I recommend using a metal baking sheet and not a glass 9×13 dish. The cookies will be baked more evenly.

Photos of rugelach cookies steps 9 and 10.

Step 9: This picture shows the rugelach on the cookie sheet ready to bake.

Step 10: Bake at 350º F for 9-10 minutes, depending on the size of your rolls. Your rugelach will be golden brown when they are ready. Here is a picture of my baked rugelach, ready to eat!

Photos of the rugalach in spiral form on a cookie sheet.

Here is the gluten free chocolate chip rugelach I made last week. This shows the spiral method by using long rectangular strips of dough instead of cutting the dough like a pizza. You can also make little twists with the dough.

With a little effort, these delicious cookies will be gobbled up by your whole family! Dust with powdered sugar for a pretty effect.

We are cookie fanatics here at Fearless Dining. If you are looking for cookies, you will want to check out all of my best gluten free cookies recipes.

A photo of three rugelach on a plate.

Why are my cookies flat, aka spread too much?

This is one of the most common questions I get from my readers. There are several reasons for flat cookies, including:

  • Check to see how long you chilled your cookie dough. If you use partially melted or softened butter, you must chill it to prevent spreading.
  • How did you measure your flour? Measuring your flour accurately is important. I don’t often weigh my ingredients because every flour blend has a different weight, and my readers all use different gluten-free flour blends. I recommend using either the Spoon Method by using a spoon to add flour to the measuring cup. Use a knife to level along the top to remove the extra flour. Leveling Method by putting the measuring scoop into the flour and filling it with flour. Do not pack the flour. Use a knife to scrape along the top to remove the extra flour.
  • Every gluten-free flour blend has a different starch-to-grain ratio. This can affect the moisture levels in your cookie dough, resulting in flatter cookies. In this situation, you would need to add more flour.

Why do my gluten-free cookies taste gritty?

This grit you experience is from the rice flour in the gluten-free flour blend. Not all companies mill their flour extra fine. To eliminate the grit, I recommend letting the cookie dough rest for 15 minutes. This extra time will allow the rice flour to soften, eliminating the grit.

How do you make cookies the same size?

The best way to ensure your rugelach is the same size and looks uniform is to use a pizza wheel and cut the wedges carefully. I really like my XOXO brand pizza wheel. It is the only scoop I have used that has lasted a long time and hasn’t broken. Check out all of my favorite gluten-free cookie tools.

For more cookie troubleshooting, read my Gluten-Free Cookie Troubleshooting Guide.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What happens if your dough cracks while rolling it?

You will need to pinch together the dough when the dough. The dough squishes back together easily, but you will want to do this every time you see a crack like this.

How long will Rugelach last?

These cookies will last up to 4 days in an airtight container or up to 4 months in the freezer.

Can you freeze Rugelach?

You can definitely freeze these rugelach cookies! I put them in a sealable Ziploc bag. Are you ready to try to make these cookies for yourself?

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. Please include which flour blend you used. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

Baked rugelach on a cookie sheet.

Quick and Easy Gluten Free Rugelach

Sandi Gaertner
Easy gluten free rugelach recipe and step by step photo instructions.
5 from 23 votes
an egg free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Gluten Free Cookies and Bar Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 93 kcal

Equipment

  • Standing mixer
  • Cookie sheet

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup cream cheese softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • dash salt
  • 1 ¾ cup gluten free flour blend * see note
  • ¼ cup +2-3 tablespoons water (add extra tablespoons gradually until you can shape your dough as shown in the photo
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  • In a large bowl, add dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
  • In a small bowl, add cream cheese, butter, water, and vanilla. Mix well with an electric mixer. (Do not add extra tablespoons of water yet.)
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix well. Add extra tablespoons of water one at a time until you get a good dough consistency like shown in my picture above. Refrigerate the dough for 45 minutes.
  • Divide the dough in half. Lay out a piece of wax paper. Put the one of the dough balls in the middle of the wax paper and shape into a ball. Place another piece of wax paper on top.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll the dough, keeping it in a circle shape until it is 1/4 inch thick.
  • Spread on your mix-in. I like to use chopped nuts, cinnamon, and sugar. You can also use chocolate chips.
  • Spread the mix-in to cover the dough evenly.
  • Use a pizza cutting wheel to slice it into thin wedges as shown above in the picture.
  • Gently pull a wedge out and roll as shown. Pinch the dough to fix any cracks that happen.
  • Place rolled rugelach onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with the second dough ball.
  • Bake for 10 minutes until your cookies are golden like shown above.

Notes

  1. I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF, Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend, and Authentic Foods Multi Blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
  2. If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
  3. If you notice your dough cracking as you roll the rugelach, carefully pinch the cracks back together.
  4. These cookies will keep up to 4 days in an airtight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.

SPECIAL NOTE

Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 93kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 50mgPotassium: 7mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 186IUCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @FearlessDining or tag #FearlessDining!

Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

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36 Comments

  1. I would appreciate the measurements for the cinnamon, brown sugar, and walnut mix-ins for the gluten free rugelach. Would it be possible to add raisins as well?

  2. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! I actually used vegan cream cheese and vegan butter because I’m allergic to dairy, and it worked out great. I also added a tablespoon of pure pectin to help flexibility- anyway, everyone thought they were delish and couldn’t believe they were gf !

  3. 5 stars
    You know how much I love rugelach. I often make some that are nut-free for friends. So glad to be able to also prepare them gluten-free now. Your dough recipe is so similar to non gluten-free versions and it works so well!