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Authentic Polish Rugelach Recipe [Rogaliki Cookies]

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These yeast-based Polish crescent cookies filled with jam are as delicious as croissants or even more so. Try the rogaliki recipe yourself. It’s a really easy and tasty Polish dessert!

What Are Polish Rogaliki / Polish Crescent Cookies?

The Polish Rogaliki or Rugelach cookies are jam-filled crescent rolls that were invented in Poland by the Jewish diaspora. Looking like a cross between a croissant and a cookie. 

There are some legends that say the Polish crescent cookies are descended from Viennese pastries and others that say they were derived from the crescent-shaped kifle or kifli. 

Polish rogaliki cookie in a basket.
Polish rogaliki cookies are also called rugelach cookies

But the Polish rugelach recipe has been around since long before these other pastries and breads; possibly since the 16th or 17th centuries. 

Created by the Jews in Poland, the word used for these cookies – rugelach is Yiddish and derived from the word róg which means horn of an animal or a musical instrument.

There is another similar pastry called rogal świętomarciński or St. Martin’s croissant that’s made for St. Martin’s day on 11 November in Poznan, Poland. 

How To Make Polish Crescent Cookies?

Step I – Proof The Yeast

In a bowl, mix the yeast with sugar and sour cream and allow it to grow in a warm place for 15-20 minutes.

Yeast is proofing in a bowl.
Yeast is proofing in a bowl

If you are using instant yeast, go to step 2.

Step II – Prepare The Dough

Mix all the ingredients together and knead them into a dough. You can use a food processor if you wish.

Place the dough in a bowl and wait for 30-45 minutes for it to grow.

Step III – Make The Polish Rogaliki Cookies

Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C).

Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll out into circles, before cutting each circle into 8 triangles.


Add jam to the middle of each triangle. Starting at the wider end, roll each triangle completely and place them on pre-lined baking trays. See the video for how to do it.

Brush the Polish crescent cookies with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and bake for 30-35 minutes. Or you can bake them as is, and decorate them with sugar glaze or icing sugar once they have baked and cooled down.

Tips For Making This Polish Rogaliki Recipe

  • You can cut the crescent cookies into 8 or 6 triangles. 
  • Always remember to start rolling from the widest side of the triangle.
  • If you can’t make the rugelach cookies crescent-shaped, you can leave them straight or turn them into triangles. 
  • If you don’t have the time to make crescent-shaped rolls, you can make logs and cut them into 1.5″ thick slices. 
  • The less you knead the dough, the flakier the pastry gets. 
  • If sprinkling with powdered sugar, do it after they have cooled down or the sugar will melt. 
  • You can replace the jam filling with any other filling of your choice. 
Rugelach cookies.
Tip: Serve the Rugelach cookies with tea

FAQs About The Jam-filled Crescent Rolls – Polish Rugelach Recipe

I Don’t Have Fresh Yeast. Can I Make It Without Yeast?

If you don’t have fresh yeast, you can simply knead a shortbread dough and use that instead. Use these ingredients:

  • 3½ cups of flour
  • 1 cup of butter
  • ⅓ cup of sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp of sour cream
  • a pinch of salt

What Fillings Can I Use For The Rugelach Cookies?

You can use any of these fillings for the rugelach cookies:

  • jam or marmalade – cranberry, plum, orange, raspberry, blueberry
  • fruit preserve
  • plum butter
  • peanut butter
  • chocolate spread or Nutella
  • apples
  • raisins
  • walnuts
  • a mix of honey, raisins, and walnuts
  • ground walnuts and orange jam
  • cinnamon
  • chocolate
  • marzipan
  • poppy seeds

You can also use icing sugar, sugar glaze, or chocolate glaze to decorate the rogaliki.

Which Other Cultures Make These Crescent Shaped Cookies?

Rugelach cookies are popularly made in Israel and in Russia, in Hungary, Ukraine, and in many Eastern European cultures. 

Can I Make The Cookies In Advance?

You can make the rugelach cookie dough three to four days in advance. Wrap it with saran wrap or cling wrap and store in the refrigerator till you’re ready to assemble and bake the rogaliki cookies.

How Long Can You Store The Rugelach Cookies?

You can store the rugelach cookies for a few days at room temperature, up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer. 

Authentic Polish Rugelach Recipe [Rogaliki Cookies]

Yield: 24

Authentic Polish Rugelach Recipe (Rogaliki Cookies)

Three Polish crescents on a blue plate.

These yeast-based Polish crescent cookies filled with jam are as delicious as croissants or even more so. The rogaliki recipe is easy to make at home for a tasty Polish dessert!

Yeast Proofing Time 15 minutes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 4 cups (500g) of all-purpose flour
  • 1.4oz (40g) of fresh yeast or 4 tsps of instant yeast
  • 2 tbsps of sugar
  • 2 tbsps of sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (230g) of butter
  • a pinch of salt
  • jam/plum butter/ chocolate spread/ apples for the filling
  • icing sugar/sugar glaze/chocolate glaze to decorate rogaliki


  1. Mix yeast with sugar and sour cream in a bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen cloth. Leave it in a warm place and wait for 15-20 minutes for the mixture to grow. Yeast is proofing in a bowl.
  3. After 15-20 minutes, mix the flour with eggs, butter, and salt, then add the yeast mixture. Ingredients for the rogaliki dough.
  4. Knead using your hand or food processor until the dough is not sticky anymore.
  5. Place the dough into a bowl and wait for about 30-45 minutes for it to grow.
  6. Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C).
  7. Divide the dough into 4 pieces.
  8. Roll out each part of the dough to the shape of the circle. Cut the dough into slices.
  9. Cut each circle into 8 triangles.
  10. Using a teaspoon, put the jam filling in the middle of each triangle. A pie with raspberries on it on a counter, accompanied by some polish crescent cookies.
  11. Starting at the bigger end, roll up each triangle and place on prepared baking sheets. Roll the crescent rolls.
  12. You may brush your rogaliki with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Alternatively, you may sprinkle them with icing sugar, sugar glaze, or chocolate glaze after they are baked.
  13. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Rugelach cookies baking in the oven.
  14. Cool off and decorate with icing sugar, sugar glaze, or chocolate glaze.


If you don't have fresh yeast, you can simply make a shortbread dough using 3½ cups of flour, 1 cup of butter, ⅓ cup of sugar, 2 egg yolks, 1 tbsp of sour cream, and a pinch of salt. This will work well too.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 143Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 22mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 3g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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