Poppy Seed Rugelachs – Рогалики с Маком

Rugelach pastries are formed in a crescent shape by rolling a triangular shape of dough around a filling. In Russia, these pastries are also known as гости на пороге, or guests at the doorstep. In other words, if unexpected guests arrive, you can quickly get this dessert in the oven. I use a cream cheese dough and a poppy seed filling for this version of rugelachs. The cream cheese dough makes these pastries unbelievably soft and tender. The dough needs to be refrigerated before you can start shaping them, but you can make it ahead of time and store in the refrigerator or freezer. It’s a great option You can buy poppy seed filling at the store, and I have also included a recipe for homemade poppy seed filling.

Yields: 70-80 rugelachs


8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened

1 yolk

2 Tablespoons of water

2 cups flour

Poppy seed filling (there is enough filling in this recipe for 2 batches of rugelachs)

powdered sugar, for dusting the pastries

In the standing mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until they are an even consistency. Add the egg yolk and water, mix until incorporated. I was making a double batch, hence the two egg yolks:).  IMG_0472 Add the flour and also mix until incorporated.  IMG_0480 Wrap in aluminum foil and refrigerate until firm, at least a few hours. You won’t be able to roll out the dough if it’s not firm enough.  IMG_0482 I usually make a few batches of this dough and keep the extra in the freezer. Next time I feel like having these pastries, I have dough ready to go. Here’s where the guests at the doorstep aspect comes in:).  IMG_0483 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To shape the pastries, here’s what I usually do. On a floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough and cut out a circle.  IMG_0750 I used a 10 inch lid. You can use a dinner plate or anything else round.  IMG_0758 Save the scraps and put them in the refrigerator or freezer to firm up again. Place about 2 tablespoons of the poppy seed filling and spread it all over the surface of the dough. If your poppy seed filling is hard to spread and clumpy, add a few teaspoons of hot water to it. Cut the circle into 8 triangles.  IMG_0755 Roll up each triangle, starting from the widest part, into a crescent shape.  IMG_0756 Place on the prepared baking sheets.  IMG_0760 Bake for 12-18 minutes, until starting to brown on the tips. The pastries will still be white. Do not bake them until they are golden all over, they will be overcooked and hard.

If you like your cookies to be brown, you can use the egg white that you didn’t use for the dough, whisk it up and brush it on the pastries before baking. You can also sprinkle some sugar over the egg wash, since these pastries aren’t very sweet. I prefer to dust with powdered sugar. Repeat will the rest of the dough. Use the scraps too, but make sure to refrigerate until firm first, or they won’t roll out very well. You can use whatever filling you like for these pastries, cinnamon, cream cheese, jam, preserves or nuts. IMG_0766



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  1. Natasha says

    I’ve looking for a good simple rugelachs recipe for a long time! I think this will do just great! Looks very delicious!!! Thank you!

  2. Alla Sherstyukov says

    Making them now. Didnt have any poppyseed filling (Also, anything else I can grind poppyseed with if I don’t have a coffee grinder?) I am making mine some with cream cheese/sugar and some with raspberry jam :) Thank you Olga!

    • says

      Alla, there really isn’t anything else you can use. I tried everything I could think of, but the poppy seeds are so tiny, it just doesn’t work with anything besides a coffee grinder.

    • Larisa says

      One time I really needed poppy seed filling but only had whole seeds. Didnt have a grinder, so after rummaging in the pantry for an hour, I came upon a salt grinder. Removed the top, flipped it over, and used it to grind poppy seeds :) Was a bit of work, but got the job done! :)

  3. tanya says

    i just made them. they are delicious. and i love that i could make the dough yesterday night and have it all ready to use today. will def make them again soon:))

    • says

      That’s one of my favorite things about them. Around the holidays I make the dough and freeze it. Any time I have a little bit of free time, the dough is ready for action. I love the texture of this dough too. I’m so glad you liked them too:).

    • says

      Olga G,
      It’s not an advantage or disadvantage; it’s just a different type of dough. Each one is distinctly different and delicious in it’s own way.

  4. Anna says

    Love this recipe… I made a double batch like you and left it in the freezer for when I want some.
    I love how easy this is and delicious to taste!


    • says

      Super, Anna! From all the different cookies and pastries that I make, this is probably one of my favorites too. Thanks for taking the time to write:).

  5. Angie says

    Hi, I’m not a baker at all and would love to try this!!!
    When you say to use cream cheese is there a specific type? Like the Philadelphia cream cheese or something specific ?

    I was also looking at other desserts and the ingredient was heavy whip cream or something where do I buy these creams to make the frosting? I’m clueless when it comes to baking sorry

    • says

      Hi Angie! You can use any kind of cream cheese that is sold in the store. I prefer using the full fat, not the light cream cheese. Philadelphia cream cheese is great.
      The heavy cream is sold in the dairy section of the store near the milk. It’s labeled heavy cream or heavy whipping cream.

    • says

      Since the filling is sweet and they are covered in powdered sugar later, these little cookies are absolutely sweet enough, Natasha! In my opinion, anyway. If you like your baked goodies really sweet, you can add more sugar to the filling or even add some to the dough. We’ve been making these for years in our family, and everyone always raves about them, so I would guess that the sweetness is enough to please almost any tasters.

  6. Ella says

    Hello Olga,
    Not quite sure if I changed anything in the recipe when I was making these, but they took me about a half hour to bake fully. Have you had that before?

    • says

      Hi Ella.
      Since the dough is made from cream cheese, the finished cookies will not be as brown as the typical rugelach that Russians make. They do appear kind of white. Some people have told me that I didn’t bake it enough, but when they ate it they were surprised at how tender the cookies were. And done, too:).
      However, if you want the cookies to be more brown, just bake them longer. They will be a little crisper around the edges.
      It also depends on how thin you rolled out the dough and how big or small you rolled out the circle, which would effect the size of the cookies.
      They will taste great either way though.

  7. Sasha says

    Olga! I tried making these and had a couple of issues. First, straight out of the fridge, the dough was crumbly and very hard to roll out. I waited for it to soften, which made rolling out easier, but then when it was time to roll the triangles, it was too soft and stuck to the surface (I did flour it prior). So they ended up being messy globs:( I loved the tasted and the texture though!! Any advice?.. Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Sasha!
      I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble with these rugelachs.
      The dough needs to be chilled or it will be too soft to roll it out, as you’ve already found out. I keep most of the dough in the refrigerator while I’m working with a small portion of it at a time. You will need to soften the dough for a short time, 5 minutes or so, it depends on how warm it is in your kitchen. The dough will be really easy to roll out if it’s chilled but slightly warmed at room temperature. Hope that helps.

  8. Lily says

    How long can I leave this in the fridge for? Would it be ok for like 2 days? Or would I have to freeze it? And those it take long to thaw?

    • says

      Do you mean the cookie dough, Lily? You can leave it in the refrigerator for a few days. If you mean the actual baked cookies, then you don’t have to store them in the fridge, room temperature is best.

  9. Olga says

    I am in the process of making them, but I do have a question is foil essential in this case? can I just put it into a bowl or other container? I placed my dough in the freezer and now it’s all frozen so I have to wait until it defrosts.

    As for the filling I hope any of it will survive after my boys “sampling” :) Thank you :)

  10. Tony says

    Hi Olga: I made the poppy seed filling yesterday,I was not sure if I was really going to like it. Today I made your recipe for poppy seed Rugelachs. Let me tell you, I just though they were great. I had them with a cup of tea and they were not too overly sweet just right. Thanks for the recipe. Will make again. I had extra filling left so I put it in the freezer. It should keep, I don’t see why not.

  11. Laura says

    My mom detests the flavor of cheese in any way and even isn’t a big fan of cream cheese. Do these have a strong cream cheese flavor? I had some sort of poppy seed pastry with a polish friend once and LOVED IT and am hoping my family will love it, too. I’ll just need to warn my mom ahead of time.


    • says

      Hi Laura!
      No, these pastries do not taste like cheese AT ALL. Since the cream cheese is in the dough, you won’t detect the taste at all. It does make the dough very tender, which I love. If you would use cream cheese as a filling, then you would be able to taste the cheese.

  12. Dorina says

    Just got these out of the oven. Absolutely delicious! Brought on so many childhood memories. Exercised my arm muscles quite a bit, too, while rolling out the cold dough. :) Next time I’ll use white flour, not wholewheat (that’s what I had to hand) – that should make them even more tender. Way to go, Olga! My mom makes the rugelachs with rose petal preserve that she herself prepares every May – the rugelachs come out soooo fragrant! It’s traditional in their neck of the woods in Moldova, but where do I find that type of rose petals in Canada… Still, poppy seeds are just as good, if not better! :)

    • says

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Dorina! And rose petal preserves sound delicious. I’ve never tried it, but would love to.

  13. Nadia says

    I just made these. They turned out delicious! Thanks for the recipe. The only thing was that the dough was hard to work with. It was very sticky when I tried to roll it out thin. I was rolling it out straight from refrigerator after it sat there overnight. I even tried freezing it. Did you use a lot of flour when rolling out the dough? Another thing is that this recipe yielded only 32 pieces but the recipe says it yields 70-80. Do you really get that many out of just one batch? Just curious cause I rolled out the dough pretty thin but only got that many.

    • says

      Hi Nadia,
      Yes, I use quite a bit of flour when rolling the dough out. I also make the cookies really small, so that’s why I get so many. If you make them larger, you will only get half as much.

  14. Andrea says

    Hi Olga

    Your cookies look so beautiful! I would like to try to make these Poppyseed rugelachs this weekend–I have one question though: In the instructions you say to roll out a portion of the dough. Could you approximate, or give an exact weight in grams or ounces, what a portion would be?

    I’d like to get as many cookies as you did, so I imagine if I use bigger portions I might run out of dough…
    Thanks in advance!

    • says

      I really don’t remember, Andrea. I never divide them into a certain number of portions, just kind of eyeball it. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you roll them out thin enough. You’ll get the hang of it once you start making them, and figure out how big of portion you need. I will try to count next time I make these cookies.

  15. says

    I’ve been searching all over for a recipe for, “poppyseed butterhorns” that a old family friend use to make. These look just like them :) I can’t wait to make these to see if they taste like hers. Only one question, do you use salted or nosalt butter or does it matter? Thanks

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