Chocolate Rugelach

from 11 votes

A not-so-secret ingredient in this recipe for Chocolate Rugelach guarantees these little treats will be a big hit with cookie lovers of all ages.

The best Chocolate Rugelach cookies

Rugelach and I go way back, back to the holidays of my childhood, when my siblings and I would scarf down batch after batch of jam-filled rugelach at my Hungarian grandmother’s house.

She would purchase the rugelach, or “little twists” as it translates to in Yiddish, from a local European bakery, but their distinctive shape and oh-so-flaky texture were impossible to forget.

Rugelach cream cheese dough in food processor

I’ve done my best to recreate that perfect pairing of flaky cream cheese dough and filling of your choice. Julian got his mom’s sweet tooth, and he’s been requesting the little “chocky cookies” overflowing with a mix of shaved semisweet and bittersweet chocolates. (I love this combination, as it guarantees the filling won’t be overly sweet.)

Rugelach dough with chocolate, cinnamon-sugar filling

This recipe makes nearly 50 of the croissant-shaped sweets, but they’re only a few bites each, so don’t let the high yield overwhelm you.

If you’re looking to save a little time, you can freeze the unbaked rugelach then defrost them and bake off batches as needed. They taste just as great on days 2, 3 and 4 as they do the day they’re made, so don’t hesitate to use this recipe as your go-to make-ahead dessert for the holidays.

Applying egg wash to chocolate rugelach with brush

Because they maintain their stellar flavor and texture, these chocolate rugelach are also a great option for packaging up and gifting, no matter how far the destination!

Easy Chocolate Rugelach cookies

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Chocolate Rugelach

The cookie craze continues, with this week’s recipe starring bittersweet chocolate chunks rolled into flaky cream cheese dough for the ultimate Chocolate Rugelach. 
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.55 from 11 votes
The best Chocolate Rugelach cookies
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 48 Rugelach


For the cream cheese dough:

  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, cold and cubed
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for rolling out the dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the chocolate filling:

  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces or shavings
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, whisked with 1 Tablespoon water


  • Make the dough by combining the cream cheese, butter, flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Blend the ingredients together until the fat becomes evenly dispersed within the flour and it begins to form into a ball.  
  • Remove the dough from the food processor (squeezing it into a ball as needed) then place it in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap then refrigerate the dough for one hour or up to one day.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut it into 4 pieces. Place 3 pieces back into the refrigerator.
  • Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Set it aside.
  • Lightly flour your work surface, then using a rolling pin, roll it into a circle about 1/8-inch thick. (The dough will be very hard, so it's best to first beat it down with a rolling pin to flatten it slightly. It will loosen up as it comes to room temperature.)
  • Immediately brush the rolled out dough with one-fourth of the melted butter and sprinkle it with one-fourth of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Sprinkle one-fourth of the chocolate onto the dough, pressing it lightly into the dough.
  • Cut the dough into 12 wedges.
  • Roll each wedge up, starting from the thickest end, until you form a crescent shape.
  • Repeat the rolling, topping and shaping process with the other three pieces of dough.
  • Place the rugelach on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. (You can also freeze the rugelach at this point for later use.)
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. 
  • Brush the tops of the rugelach with the egg wash then sprinkle them with additional cinnamon-sugar.
  • Bake the rugelach for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer the rugelach to a cooling rack to cool completely. 
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


Calories: 77kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 48mg, Potassium: 33mg, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 95IU, Calcium: 10mg, Iron: 0.6mg


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Recipe adapted from BellaOnline.

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4.55 from 11 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. Hi Kelly
    Can I get more info re the Cream Cheese please as I am in Australia. Is it like the Philadelphia block cheese or loose like a Creamed Cottage Cheese which has the look of curdled milk?

    Also, is there a variation for it to not be dairy?

    1. Block cream cheese :) I’ve never tried a dairy-free substitute so I can’t say with certainty what the results would be.

  2. You mentioned semi sweet and bittersweet chocolate in your introduction, but only listed bittersweet in your recipe. Do you add the same amount of semi sweet chocolate or 3 oz of each?

  3. 5 stars
    Perfect! Thanks so much for a great recipe. Going to use this at our Mission Market/Cookie Sale. My husband found this recipe, made it last night. I grated semi-sweet with regular chocolate bars and mixed that. yum! The crust is right on!

  4. The recipe looks great and am looking forward to making these. BUT the casual way it says ‘cut the dough into 12 wedges’ what!? It’s not like saying makes 12 dough balls! Thankfully I did what I always do and read through the recipe first so I’ll plan this part beforehand.

  5. 1 star
    Had really high hopes for this recipe, but it turned out pretty bad. I listened to all the instructions but the dough, even after 1.5-2 hours in the fridge, was so sticky! After wrapping them (which was very difficult b/c of the dough) and cooking them, they tasted really bad. Love your blog, maybe it was something I did bad on my end! Only thing I can think of is that i put my cold butter and cream cheese in the food processor and came back to it 20 mins later b/c i had to run out to get more flour

    1. Hi Hannah – I’m sorry you had this experience. The butter and cream cheese should re-solidify once it’s in the fridge but leaving it out will make the dough way too sticky to work with.

  6. what do you mean until “fat” is evenly dispersed? Do you mean cream cheese? Some recipes have fat for the pastry.

  7. 5 stars
    my aunt made these–she called them “Kieflies”–using crushed walnuts and brown sugar–then sprinkles confectioners sugar on top–She’d make them at Christmas–and I was lucky enough before she died to get her recipe. Once put out on a plate–they are gone immediately!!! Great, easy recipe–and they freeze well too1

  8. 5 stars
    I made these yesterday. I usually make cookies but needed something without egg because we had someone coming over who has an egg allergy. Omg! I ate probably 6 of them before our guests even got here! Perfect recipe. I followed exactly, except made one batch of dough with only the melted butter and cinnamon sugar. They were all delicious!!

    1. Hi Shoshana – No, you’ll want to definitely use regular cream cheese as the texture of the rugelach won’t be the same if you use the whipped kind.

  9. 5 stars
    These are delicious! I froze a bunch of the rugelach to make later. How long should they be left out before baking them?

  10. 5 stars
    Wow the Chocolate Rachelle look so yummy ;-). I really love the way you shoot the Chocolate Rachelle. Thumbs up!!!

  11. You mentioned in the write up semisweet chocolate but I only saw bittersweet in thr recipe? Is it better with both? Also I don’t have a food processor-could I use a Vitamix instead or a Kitchen Aid mixer?

    1. Hi Georganne – Any singular type or combo works but I prefer both! And I’d definitely recommend making this in a food processor, not a blender.

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