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poppyseed rugelach

Poppyseed Rugelach

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.2 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 2 hrs 30 min
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hrs 50 min
  • Yield: 4 dozen 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


Poppyseed rugelach are rich and flaky crescent-shaped cookies wrapped around a delicious poppyseed filling. It’s a staple pastry to make around the holidays!


Units Scale
  • 1 (8 oz.) brick cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spoon & leveled
  • 1 cup poppyseed filling, see note
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • Confectioners’ sugar, optional


  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and granulated sugar with a handheld mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in lemon zest, vanilla, and salt. Gradually beat in flour on low speed until combined.
  2. Divide the dough into four equal portions, wrap in plastic wrap, and gently flatten into a 3/4-inch thick disc shape. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day or freeze for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. 
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of the dough at a time into about 10-inch circle. The dough will be hard but as you start rolling it out it will soften. If the circle is a little more than 10-inches that’s okay. Mine were between 10-and-11 inches. Spread 1/4 cup of the poppyseed filling over the circle, leaving a 1/2-inch uncovered edge.
  4. With a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the circle into 12 wedges. Starting at the wide end of each wedge, roll up toward the center. Place each pastry on a parchment-lined baking sheet 1-inch apart. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cover with a dish towel and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with milk. Brush each pastry with egg wash. Bake on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes. The outside should be lightly golden and the inside very soft. Do not bake longer or the cookie will be tough. Immediately, transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Sift powdered sugar over the pastries and serve.


  • Poppyseed Filling: You’ll need 1 cup of poppyseed filling for this recipe. I make my own filling using this recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen. It makes more than 1 cup though. I usually freeze the extra. I also tested this recipe using a store-bought poppyseed filling from this brand. You’ll need 1 (12.5 oz.) can for this recipe. This specific brand of filling is a little drier than homemade. Be careful when spreading to not rip the dough.
  • To Store: Store leftovers in an air-tight container for up to a week at room temperature or in the refrigerator for over a week.


  • Serving Size: 2 cookies
  • Calories: 188
  • Sugar: 4.8 g
  • Sodium: 119.7 mg
  • Fat: 13.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.3 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 37.7 mg