Lemon Rugelach

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Lemon Rugelach

A classic Jewish food, Rugelach, a rolled pastry gets updated with the fresh flavor of lemon.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 32 RugelachServings



  • 2 packages yeast
  • ½ cup warm water (around 100 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup margarine
  • ¾ cup soy milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Lemon Filling:

  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) margarine, melted
  • ½ cup lemon juice from about 1 large lemon
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Sugar Syrup:

  • ½ cup water
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Lemon Icing:

  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 3 tablespoons water



1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix yeast with warm water and tablespoon of sugar and allow to proof for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place the margarine and soy milk in a microwave safe bowl and heat until the margarine is just melted.

3. Allow to cool. To yeast mixture, add 4 cups of flour, melted margarine and soymilk, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, nutmeg and salt. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together. If the dough is very sticky, add the last ½ cup of flour a little at a time until it is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl. Mix on low for 10 minutes to develop the dough. 

4. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with a little oil or cooking spray and place in a clean bowl to rise. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour.

Lemon Filling:

1. Melt margarine. In a second bowl, squeeze lemon juice. 

2. In a third bowl, mix sugar with lemon zest, ginger, and nutmeg. After an hour, cut the dough in half. 

3. On a floured surface, roll out half the dough into a 14 inch circle. Brush on half the margarine (2 tablespoons) then brush on half the lemon juice (¼ cup). Then sprinkle on the sugar mixture. 

4. Cut the dough like a pizza pie into 16 sections. Roll each piece starting from the wide end.

5. Place each piece at least one inch apart on the parchment lined baking sheet; cover with a towel and allow to rise for 20 minutes. Prepare the second half of the dough in the same way. 

6. Bake both trays at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Sugar Syrup:

1. In a small pot, mix the water with the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and boil until the sugars dissolve. Then remove from the heat. As soon as the rugelach come out of the oven, brush immediately with the sugar syrup and allow to cool.

Lemon Icing:

1. In a small bowl, mix  confectioner's sugar with lemon zest. 

2. Mix in cold water a little at a time until smooth. 

3. Once rugelach are cool, drizzle on the icing using a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip. You can also use a ziplock bag, cutting a small corner off.