Honey Soaked Apple Butter Rugelach with Date-Raisin Filling

  • Cooking and Prep: 2 h
  • Serves: 16
  • Contains:

Of course when one thinks Rosh Hashanah pastry the first thought that comes to mind is RUGELACH! Well, if you lived in my house and grew up inheriting the “dreaded honey cake” syndrome, you too would understand my immediate tastebuds preserving word association. Instead, I chose to redefine “Rosh Hashanah Honey Dessert” for my daughter and have introduced her to the indulgent joys that are these honey liquor soaked, apple butter shmeared date and golden raisin stuffed rugelachs. Believe me when I say, one bite of these and you will be making these little gems year round.


Check out our complete collection of Rosh Hashanah recipes for mains, sides, soups, desserts, and more inspiration for the holiday.


Yields 32 rugelach

Ingredients (16)




Garnish (optional)

Start Cooking

Prepare the Dough

  1. In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, and salt for a few seconds until mixed. Add margarine, cream cheese, and sour cream to the flour and process until the dough comes together (about 30 seconds). Turn the mixture over onto a slightly floured counter (the dough might be slightly sticky so knead the flour that is on the counter into the dough, adding small tablespoons needed).

  2. Press and roll the dough into a six-inch long log. Cut into four equal parts.

  3. Press each piece of dough down into a small dessert-plate-size disk. Place each disk between two sheets of plastic wrap (make sure the plastic wrap is larger than the disk) and using a rolling pin, roll each one out into an eight-inch circle. Stack dough circles onto a plate and freeze for 20 to 30 minutes.


At this point you can freeze these dough circles for up to a month until you are ready to fill and bake fresh.

Prepare the Filling

  1. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

  2. Using your food processor, process dates for about two to three minutes, until they are well chopped and almost a thick paste consistency.


  1. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with Gefen Easy Baking Parchment Paper.

  2. Working with one round at a time, remove dough from freezer and plastic wrap, and place onto a slightly floured counter. Spread about two to three tablespoons apple butter all over the dough. Generously sprinkle sugar cinnamon mixture over apple butter. Add a generous amount of chopped dates and golden raisins (press them down).

  3. Cut the dough round into eight wedges. Starting from the large side, roll each wedge into a crescent shape and place onto the prepared parchment-lined sheet pans. Freeze crescents for 15 minutes.

Prepare the Glaze

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine maple syrup, honey, and orange liqueur.


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Remove rugelach from the freezer and, using a pastry brush, generously coat all sides of the crescents with the glaze. Optionally, garnish with the raw sugar and/or bee pollen.

  3. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until slightly golden brown (rotate pan halfway through baking). Remove from oven and sprinkle some more raw sugar. Let cool on wire rack for about 20 minutes and then glaze again with the pastry brush.

  4. Serve and enjoy the SWEET honey drenched New Year!


This recipe was adapted from my “secret” dairy rugelach recipe. Feel free to make them dairy for a flakier, more intense “melt-in-your-mouth” rugelach experience. These can be stored in a parchment-lined tupperware container at room temperature for up to four days. Or they can be frozen for up to one month.


The key to making this a very easy recipe is to make sure to keep all your ingredients and dough super cold and to not skip the in-between refrigeration steps.


Photography and Styling by Esti Photography

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