Chocolate Rugelach

These Chocolate Rugelach are a pie crust cookie made with a cream cheese pastry wrapped around a dark chocolate and orange filling. They’re a bit of effort to make, but you can make the rugelach dough or the cookies ahead of time and freeze them for later reward.

So read on for all the info about these Ashkenazi Jewish cookies and detailed tips and tricks for making rugelach. Or just grab your rolling pin, hit that Jump to Recipe button, and let’s make chocolate rugelach!

three chocolate rugelach on a plate.
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  • Cream cheese – cream cheese makes the rugelach dough easier to work with and gives a slightly tangy flavor.
  • Butter – since much of the rugelach dough is made with butter, this is one case, like with puff pastry or shortbread cookies, where it’s ideal to use a higher fat European-style butter.
  • Chocolate and cocoa make these chocolate rugelach what they are, so use the best chocolate you can. I always recommend Ghirardelli or Scharffen Berger chocolate.

If you love these rugelach with chocolate and want more rich chocolate cookies, try next these brownie crinkles, salted caramel chip chocolate cookies, or caramel brownies!


Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations and substitutions

  • Make these chocolate rugelach with pecans or other nuts. Toast a half cup or so of nuts, chop them finely, and add them on the chocolate layer of chocolate before rolling.
  • Spread the rugelach dough with jam and top with chopped chocolate and nuts.
  • Spread with melted butter and top with cinnamon sugar, raisins, and walnuts.

Recipe tips and tricks

Rugelach come from the Ashkenazi Jewish communities in Poland and Eastern Europe. If you’re looking to explore more Jewish baking, make this Nutella babka, raisin challah, or challah rolls.

Making the rugelach dough

If you are comfortable with pastry, chocolate rugelach are easy to make. In fact, this rugelach dough is very similar to my cream cheese pie crust I use a food processor for convenience, but you can use a mixer or do this by hand.

First, mix the flour with sugar, salt, and baking powder (Panel #1 below). Add cold cream cheese and pulse (Panel #2) and then cold butter (Panel #3).

six panels showing the pastry consistency after each step.

Add the cream and water and pulse a few times (Panel #4) just until the mixture can be pinched together (Panel #5). Divide the dough, put it into plastic bags for a brief kneading, and shape it into a disk (Panel #6). At this point, put it into the refrigerator or freezer for resting.

Making the chocolate rugelach filling

While the dough is resting, make the chocolate filling for the rugelach. Melt the chocolate and butter together and then mix in the cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, orange zest, and a pinch of salt. Let cool.

bowl of melted chocolate filling with a whisk.

Filling and rolling the chocolate rugelach

First roll the dough out to about a nine inch circle (Panel #1 below). Spread one quarter cup of chocolate filling over the circle in a thin layer, leaving about a half-inch uncovered (Panel #2).

four panels showing rolled out dough, layering with chocolate, cutting and rolling segments.

Cut the circle into twelve segments (Panel #3) using a bench scraper. Finally, roll the chocolate rugelach into a spiral, starting from the wide outside and rolling towards the point at the middle of the circle (Panel #4).

ProTip: Don’t use a sharp knife on your countertop or silicone mat!

Baking the rugelach

Place the point of the chocolate rugelach down on baking sheets lined with silicone mats or parchment paper. Brush with the egg wash, and bake until they are golden brown.

two panels showing the unbaked and baked chocolate rugelach on baking sheets.

If you are freezing unbaked chocolate rugelach for later baking, wait to do the egg wash until you’re ready to bake them. Bake them straight from the freezer at the same temperature for an extra minute or two.

baked chocolate rugelach on a cooling rack.

Recipe FAQs

Do I have to weigh my ingredients?

I always say you will get more consistent results if you weigh your ingredients, especially for baking. Plus, it dirties fewer dishes!

Can I freeze these chocolate rugelach?

Yes, most pastry freezes really well. You could freeze the dough before rolling, freeze rolled cookies before baking, or even freeze the baked cookies for three to six months. Personally, I’d always choose to freeze before baking.

How do you pronounce “rugelach”?

Here’s Webster’s pronunciation of the Yiddish. The chet at the end is a tricky letter we don’t have in English and is same letter that starts Hanukkah and challah.

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.


Chocolate Rugelach

5 from 2 votes
Category: Cookies
Cuisine: Jewish
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 48 cookies
Calories: 94kcal
These chocolate rugelach are a marriage of a cream cheese pastry wrapped around a rich, dark chocolate and orange filling. Rugelach are classic part of Jewish baking.
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  • Food processor


Rugelach pastry dough

  • 1 cup (125 grams) bleached all-purpose flour plus more for dusting the countertop
  • 1 cup (125 grams) cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 9 tablespoons (128 grams or 4.5 ounces) cold cream cheese, roughly cut into four parts
  • 12 tablespoons (170 grams or 6 ounces) cold butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

Chocolate filling

  • 4 ounces (113 grams) bittersweet chocolate
  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons (30 grams) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • pinch salt

Assembly and finishing

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


Pastry dough

  • Add the flours, sugar, salt, and baking powder to the food processor and process to combine.
    1 cup (125 grams) bleached all-purpose flour, 1 cup (125 grams) cake flour, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • Add the cream cheese and pulse 10 times.
    9 tablespoons (128 grams or 4.5 ounces) cold cream cheese, roughly cut into four parts
  • Add the butter cubes and pulse 20 times. You should not be able to see any large cubes of butter.
    12 tablespoons (170 grams or 6 ounces) cold butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • Add the cream and water and pulse another 10 times. You should be able to pinch the mixture together between your fingers.
    1 tablespoon cold water, 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Divide the mixture evenly into two plastic kitchen bags. Keeping your hands on the outside of the bag, knead the mixture for a minute or two, pulling the bag away from the dough as needed, until the dough forms a smooth ball. Divide this first bag into two balls, flatten them slightly into disks, and place them in the refrigerator to rest. Repeat with the other half of the dough in the other bag. To freeze the dough at this point, wrap the disk in two layers of plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag for 3 to 6 months.

Chocolate filling

  • While the dough is resting, melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler or heatproof bowl over a pot of barely simmering water.
    4 ounces (113 grams) bittersweet chocolate, 8 tablespoons (113 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • When the chocolate has nearly completely melted, remove the bowl from the pot (dry off the bottom) and stir in the cocoa powder, confectioners' sugar, orange zest, and salt. Let cool briefly.
    5 tablespoons (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, 5 tablespoons (30 grams) confectioners' sugar, 1 teaspoon orange zest, pinch salt

Assembly and finishing

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  • Lightly dust your countertop with flour. Remove a ball of dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to a thin circle about 9 inches in diameter.
  • Add ¼ cup of chocolate filling to the dough circle and spread it with a knife or offset spatula to about one half inch from the edge.
  • Use a bench scraper or knife (being careful of your countertop) to cut the circle into quarters and then cut each quarter circle into three wedges (i.e. each wedge will represent about 30° of the circle).
  • Take one wedge. Starting at the outside edge, roll tightly towards the center of the circle.
  • Place the cookie so that the final tip of the wedge is face down on a baking sheet.
  • Repeat with the 12 wedges and then the next dough circle. Rugelach will not spread significantly, but do not crowd them on the baking sheet.
  • When you have filled one cookie sheet, put it in the freezer for at least 15 minutes prior to baking.
  • Remove the rugelach from the freezer and brush them lightly with the beaten egg wash.
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, until the rugelach are a golden brown.
  • Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then move to a cooling rack. Once cool, rugelach can be stored at room temperature for a week or two or frozen for 3 to 6 months.


  • The rugelach dough can also be made in a stand mixer or by hand, but I find that the food processor gives the most consistent results.
  • You can use only all-purpose flour if you don’t have cake flour. Using the cake flour reduces the protein content and makes the dough slightly more tender.
  • If you want this to be sweeter, you can sub semi-sweet or milk chocolate for the bittersweet chocolate in the filling. Or sprinkle some granulated sugar on over the egg wash before baking.
  • The time stated here is the amount of time it takes me to make this recipe. The first time or two you make rugelach, please allow for a longer amount of time. You’ll get the hang of it by the time you finish your first batch!


Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 198IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. 5 stars
    Hi! These are so delicious, thank you for sharing! I’d like to make a big batch and freeze the rolled dough before baking—do I bake them straight from the freezer or thaw first? Do I need to adjust oven temp or cook time? Thank you!

    1. Hi Naomi – I’m so glad you loved my chocolate rugelach! That’s a great question. The one thing to know is that you should wait to egg wash them until right before baking. But you can make them straight from the freezer at the same temperature. They’ll just need an extra minute or two in the oven. J

5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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