Pumpkin Spice Rugelach

This Pumpkin Spice Rugelach includes real pumpkin in addition to your favorite Fall spices…it’s the perfect sweet treat on a chilly day!

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This Pumpkin Spice Rugelach includes real pumpkin in addition to your favorite Fall spices...it's the perfect sweet treat on a chilly day!“I did it, Daddy!  I dug in the garden!”  If you’ve been reading Spiced for a while, then you know that planting a garden is one of our favorite things to do every summer.  We always plant the standards (bell peppers, couple types of tomatoes, zucchini and jalapenos), and then we take a corner of the garden to try something different.  We stubbornly stuck with strawberries for a couple of years, but finally admitted defeat to the chipmunks.  Since then we’ve tried Brussels, okra, beans, carrots…you name it, we’ve probably tried it.

This Pumpkin Spice Rugelach includes real pumpkin in addition to your favorite Fall spices...it's the perfect sweet treat on a chilly day!This year, we mixed it up a little bit and let Robbie take over that ‘experimental’ corner of our garden.  We helped him pick out some plants at the nursery, and then we taught him how to dig in the garden and plant his crops.  I’m pretty sure more dirt ended up outside of the beds than in, but that’s ok.  He had a blast planting his garden!  We even grabbed an 8-ft sunflower so he could watch it grow.  Too bad the rabbits ate the sunflower on the first night.  Don’t be surprised if you see a rabbit stew recipe coming up soon!  Haha.  I’m kidding…sorta.

Robbie also chose to grow some mini-ornamental pumpkins in his garden this year.  And they worked!  Vining crops like pumpkins, watermelons and cantaloupes can be a bit of a pain since they spread out all over the place, but I diligently kept the vines trained along the fence-line.  Robbie has loved watching the pumpkins grow, and it’s become somewhat of an after-preschool ritual to march (yes, march) to the garden to check out the status of the pumpkins.  I think the little guy has a green thumb as we’ve got several mini-pumpkins ready to come inside to decorate the table for the season.

This Pumpkin Spice Rugelach includes real pumpkin in addition to your favorite Fall spices...it's the perfect sweet treat on a chilly day!Speaking of the season, one of my favorite parts about Fall is pumpkin spice.  And, no, I’m not referring to the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte.  I might have 1 or 2 of those, and I’m all set for the year.  I’m referring to using pumpkin spice flavors in other recipes…namely desserts.  These Pumpkin Spice Rugelach are a recent creation, and they turned out very well!  These Pumpkin Spice Rugelach are the perfect 2-bite size, and I couldn’t keep myself from stopping by the kitchen counter to grab another one whenever I walked by.

This Pumpkin Spice Rugelach includes real pumpkin in addition to your favorite Fall spices...it's the perfect sweet treat on a chilly day!Pumpkin Spice Rugelach

Have you ever made rugelach?  Rugelach are Isreali in origin, and they remind me a lot of pie dough both in how they’re made as well as taste.  But the unique thing about rugelach is the addition of cream cheese to the dough.  The interwebs tells me that cream cheese is a relatively new addition to rugelach.  I’ve gotta say that I like the cream cheese addition.  The dough is quite tender, and it’s perfect for all sorts of fillings.  Since we’re in Pumpkin Spice Everything season right now, I decided to create Pumpkin Spice Rugelach.  I even went all in and included pumpkin in these rugelach.  If it’s gonna say pumpkin spice, it should at least include pumpkin, right?!

This Pumpkin Spice Rugelach includes real pumpkin in addition to your favorite Fall spices...it's the perfect sweet treat on a chilly day!Robbie’s garden pumpkins are way too small to cook with, so I just used canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling…just pumpkin).  Mix in some seasonings and an egg, and you’re all set!  These Pumpkin Spice Rugelach are fun to make as you roll the dough into a circle and slice it into triangles first.  Those triangles get rolled up (like a croissant) before going into the oven.  Sure, this is a bit more labor intensive than say a rolled cookie dough, but it’s honestly not that bad.  And the result is worth it!  Trust me.  I think I polished off an entire batch of rugelach in record time.  Robbie might have helped a little bit, too.  I hope you enjoy these Pumpkin Spice Rugelach as much as we did!  Enjoy Fall baking season, friends!

This Pumpkin Spice Rugelach includes real pumpkin in addition to your favorite Fall spices...it's the perfect sweet treat on a chilly day!

Pumpkin Spice Rugelach

This Pumpkin Spice Rugelach includes real pumpkin in addition to your favorite Fall spices...it's the perfect sweet treat on a chilly day!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 32 pieces
Calories: 147kcal


For the Dough

For the Filling


For the Dough

  • Using a large bowl, add flour and salt; stir until well combined.
  • Cut the diced butter and cream cheese into the flour mixture until both are the size of small peas. (Tip: Alternatively, you can freeze the butter and cream cheese and use a coarse grater to grate into the flour mixture.)
  • Add egg yolks; stir until well combined.
  • Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into an 8” disc and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.

For the Filling

  • Using a medium bowl, add sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and pumpkin puree; stir until well combined.

For the Rugelach

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper and spray each with nonstick baking spray; set pans aside.
  • Working on a well-floured surface, roll one piece of dough into a 12-13” circle.
  • Spread half of the filling mixture evenly over the top of the dough.
  • Sprinkle half of chopped pecans evenly on top of filling.
  • Cut dough into 16 wedges. Starting with the outside (wider) edge, roll each wedge tightly and bend slightly to create a crescent. Place rugelach on prepared baking sheet.
  • Repeat with remaining dough, filling and pecans.
  • Brush the tops of the unbaked rugelach with the lightly beaten egg.
  • {Optional} Sprinkle sanding sugar on top of rugelach.
  • Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until golden brown.


Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s recipe for savory pumpkin rugelach.

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  1. So sweet! Love that you guys are teaching Robbie about growing his own food. And I bet those ornamental pumpkins are so cute – I just picked up some the other day myself. Though, I didn’t grow them like you guys 😉 This rugelach look dangerously good, David. I’ve never made or tried them before but by the looks of your pics, they’d be gone in .5 seconds flat, lol. Like you, love pumpkin spice. Just broke out the stuff this weekend for a latte. I probably enjoy more than one or two a season, but it’s usually homemade by hubby so now super sweet like the ones you get in the coffee shop. Happy Monday, my friend 🙂

    1. We’ve had so much fun growing stuff in the garden this summer. In fact, it’s not unusual for Robbie to play outside on the porch while we get dinner ready. And it’s not unusual for us to look out and see him running off to the garden to check things out for himself! Of course, now we just need to get him to eat everything he picks in the garden…haha!

      I’m sitting here sipping on a pumpkin spice coffee as we speak, Dawn. I just wish I had some more rugelach to go with it! 🙂

  2. OMG you guys are such fun parents! I wasn’t even allowed to help my dad pull weeds as a kid because he was afraid I’d pull out flowers instead and he takes his garden very seriously. I adore rugelach AND pumpkin so these have my name written all over them! Have a great week!

    1. Well….I like to think we are fun parents, but we totally go to bed at 8:30 or 9. Lame! You would’ve laughed at us yesterday, Kelsie. Laura and I were dancing to one of Robbie’s toddler tunes, and he was totally ignoring us. There we were. 2 idiots dancing away to Old MacDonald while Robbie played with his toys. Haha!

  3. I so love this post, David! What a sweet image you have painted of little Robbie “marching” to his spot in the yard to check out his crops! And dang, that chap sure has a green thumb – I think I need him to give me tips on growing stuff on my shady deck as the only thing that seems to grow there is lantana.
    And Hahahah – I couldn’t help chuckling at “Don’t be surprised if you see a rabbit stew recipe coming up soon! Haha. I’m kidding…sorta” hey…survival of the fittest eh?! Seriously I’m kidding!
    But, getting back to this rugelach – I’ve never ever made my own, but Lil S’s dad was Jewish and his mom and aunts were fantastic cooks and also knew some of the best bakeries so I had my fill of homemade and bakery-bought rugelach and swoon central! However, I dunno if the rugelach I had had the cream cheese in the dough. What you have done with that filling though, wow! I am a huge fan of all things pumpkin and pumpkin spice and this is such a wonderful pumpkin spice treat! Happy Monday my friend!

    1. Hey, lantana is pretty! We have flowers growing on the backporch, and Robbie has taken to picking them off and bringing them to us as a “gift.” Haha! I can’t imagine what he’d think about a whole pot of lantana!

      I’m gonna guess that their version of rugelach didn’t include cream cheese. In my random readings and wanderings, it seems like cream cheese is a new addition to rugelach, and rugelach purists would keel over dead at the thought. But I’m not a rugelach purist. I just like tasty cookies! And the cream cheese totally added a softness to the dough. You should try your hand at rugelach, Shashi! They’re a fun (and different) cookie!

  4. Hi David! This is one I am definitely going to have to make for my son (and myself)! Anything made with pumpkin or blueberries and he is one happy guy! I use the freeze and grate method often for pastries, it is just so much easier.

    1. I hear ya on the freeze and grate method! I often do that myself, too, but sometimes I just forget to pop the butter in the freezer first. I need to do a better job thinking ahead…but then again, we have a 2-year-old, so I’m pretty happy if I remember to put my pants on in the morning. Hah! 🙂

  5. I don’t know why but I’ve just remembered Karlsson-on-the-Roof (the book character which I’ve mentioned a few times). Once he had a peach stone planted in a pot, and he would remove the pit from the soil every night to check out how it was growing 🙂 Anyway, I want to say THANK YOU. For what? For incorporating real pumpkin in the recipe. You know how I feel about deceiving names like pumpkin spice (without pumpkin) or a coffee cake hah. This looks and sounds awesome!

    1. Ah, yes, I do remember you mentioning Karlsson-on-the-Roof in previous posts. To be honest, I’m a little surprised Robbie didn’t copy Karlsson and dig up the plants to check on them. Haha! Also, I hear ya on pumpkin spice. If it’s a drink, then I can omit the pumpkin. But if it’s a baked good (dessert or savory), then I want that pumpkin in there! Thanks so much, my friend. 🙂

    1. Hey Nettie! Thank you so much for the comment. You “knew” Robbie before he was a Robbie. Hopefully we can find a reason to get together again so you can meet him! Back to Smuggs perhaps?? 🙂 Thanks so much, my friend!

  6. We love rugelach but, I must confess, I’ve never made them. We usually wait for rugelach season (is that a thing?) at the local bakery and then descend on them en masse. So, Kansas here, tell Robbie to plant cayenne (or other hot) peppers to naturally fence them off — rabbits hate hot peppers. But you have to make sure and plant them first so there’s something above ground to hate :). And then you have peppers too!

    1. Ah! Then I have found something you need to make, Bill. Rugelach. I have no idea when rugelach season is…perhaps winter? The cream cheese is a more modern addition to rugelach, but I’ve gotta say that I’m a fan.

      Also, good tips about the peppers. We do often grow jalapenos, but we didn’t this year because we still have chopped jalapenos in the freezer from last year’s bumper crop. I know rabbits hate jalapenos, but I didn’t realize the plants themselves would deter the rabbits from eating other nearby plants. Excellent tips! You should totally share a post on your gardening tips sometime. 🙂

  7. I love Robbie stories and I love that he has planted his own little pumpkins! Great job!!! These rugelach are just the thing for fall. You are in a baking mode right now, and nailing each recipe perfectly! I haven’t started any fall baking yet, but you are definitely inspiring me!

    1. Robbie had such a hard time understanding why we were putting those seeds in the ground back in the Spring…but now he loves his pumpkin vine! I am definitely in full-on baking mode right now, Kathy. Haha! I’m sure I’ll wear out at some point here, but right now it’s a return to my favorite time of the year! 🙂

  8. David – Robbie is one lucky boy to have such engaged parents! I love that you are teaching him gardening and letting him choose his plants! A great story to tell! I also love these rugelach. I’ve never made them, for some reason I always thought they were much more difficult than this. So I’m inspired! and now that it’s pumping spice (not latte) season, these are on my list – thanks for the recipe!

    1. Why thank you very much, Laura! I appreciate the complement, but I see “engaged” as more “how do we entertain Robbie today”. 🙂 Rugelach really aren’t very hard to make at all! The cream cheese is a rather modern twist to this age-old recipe, but I like it. The dough is so smooth and, well, creamy. Give it a shot sometime!

    1. Those memories of growing up helping Mom in the garden have stuck with me…and I suspect that’s why I enjoy planting a garden of my own now. Hopefully Robbie catches the same feelings here as I do! 🙂 I appreciate your comment, my friend!

  9. Hi David! Hello Pumpkin Spice Rugelach. I’ve never had a rugelach before but now I have to try them. Robbie is gradening now??? Man I’ve been gone way to long. I love those cute little mini-ornamental pumpkins that pop up around November.

    1. Mary! How the heck are you, my friend? I hope all is well out there in Cali. Yup, we’re still trucking along here on the East Coast. Robbie planted his pumpkin seeds back in May, and we’ve got a legit 4-5 mini-pumpkins growing on the vine right now. He loves watching them grow, and I love watching him watch the pumpkins. 🙂 I should’ve grabbed a photo of that for this post. Next time!

  10. I love that you’re teaching your little one to garden. That’s adorable! I’m sure it’s fun to watch him garden and get excited about things growing.

    I also adore pumpkin spice in everything I bake in the fall. I can’t get enough! These goodies look so cute and yummy!

    1. Well, to be more accurate, teaching Robbie to garden was more like an excuse for him to play in the dirt. Haha! But he does love watching those pumpkins grow. 🙂 I’m with ya on the pumpkin spice and baking season…I’ve been waiting all summer for this time! Hope you’re doing well, my friend!

  11. A lot of cultures have their version of the rugelach. I can’t get enough of them, regardless of the particular provenance. By the way, I recently discovered that rugelach dough makes an interesting pie crust.

    1. Rugelach dough as pie crust? Interesting! I could see how that would work well, but I must admit that I would never have thought about it. I mean both recipes have similar styles. I need to try this, Jeff. Like ASAP! Can you imagine a pecan pie made with rugelach dough??

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