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Romanian Rugelach(Cornulete cu gem)

Romanian Rugelach(Cornulete cu gem)– is an old Romanian recipe for crescent cookies filled with jam, walnuts, or Turkish delight.

Romanian Rugelach(Cornulete cu gem)

Romanian Rugelach(Cornulete cu gem)

I always loved these delicious crescent pastries, popular in many Eastern European countries. I already have on my blog another version of them, made with a different type of dough.

There are many recipes out there, and I have to say that most of them are great. The dough on the first version of these cookies on my blog is made with farmer’s cheese(or ricotta).

It is a very old recipe that is used to make a lot of pastries.

It uses the same amounts of flour, butter, and farmer cheese, and the result is a flaky cookie that is delicious.

I genuinely recommend you try it at least once because you can make anything with it, from these crescent cookies to pie crusts to pastries.

A famous Jewish pastry, rugelach, is called in Hungary kifli and dates back to the Hungarian kifli, Austrian kipfel, and Polish rogal.

Romanian Rugelach(Cornulete cu gem)

Anyway, in the recipe I will share with you today, the dough is made with yeast and sour cream, which is a little bit different but still delicious.

The cookies have a softer texture, and they are not very sweet.

This is an old-school recipe inherited from both of my grandmothers. Each country in Eastern Europe has a recipe for rugelach that is made with yeast.

The recipe traveled to America, and over time, the yeast dough was replaced with an easier version made with cream cheese. (like my recipe I was telling you about, only that mine is made with farmer’s cheese or ricotta)

Rugelach became, over time, one of the most popular recipes in America, and it is a cookie that you see everywhere around Christmas time.

Romanian Rugelach(Cornulete cu gem) on a baking tray

The dough is enough to make about 50 crescent cookies, so this recipe is great for the holidays if you like to bake for a crowd.

Use any jam you like, strawberries, raspberries, plums, apples, apricots, or peaches. The sky is the limit! Enjoy!

Romanian Rugelach(Cornulete cu gem)- on a blue and white plate

More recipes to love:

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

Christmas Cookies And Bars From Around The World

Authentic Traditional Turkish Coffee

Romanian Fruit Coffee Cake

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Jam Crescent PastriesCornulete cu gem

Romanian Rugelach(Cornulete cu gem)

Romanian rugelach(Cornulete cu gem)- is an old Eastern European popular recipe for crescent cookies filled with jam, walnuts, or Turkish delight.
4.63 from 8 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Romanian
Keyword: cornulete cu gem, easy rugelach cookies, jam crescent pastries, Romanian rugelach, rugelach with jam
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 2 minutes
Servings: 50 cookies
Calories: 72kcal


Yeast starter:

  • 3 tablespoons whole milk warm at 110F
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast OR fresh yeast-25 g
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick plus 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cubed
  • 6 ½ tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar for decor


Yeast starter:

  • Mix the warm milk(110F) with yeast and add the sugar. Stir well with a spoon and set aside for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.

How to make the dough:

  • In the bowl of a standing mixer, add the cold cubed butter. Using the mixer paddle, start to mix until the combination of flour and butter looks like wet bread crumbs.
  • Remove the mixer’s paddle and replace it with the dough hook.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients: the mixture of milk and yeast, the sour cream, the egg yolks, the vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
  • Continue to mix until a dough is formed. Stop the mixer and remove the dough from the bowl.
  • Place the dough on the table and shape it into a ball without adding more flour.
  • Place the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • After 30 minutes, place the dough on the table and cut it in two. Shape one half into a ball, then roll it on the table using a little bit of flour.
  • When the dough is well spread, put a round medium plate on top and cut the dough around the plate. Remove the excess and keep it for later use.
  • Cut the round into 8 equal slices, like a pizza.
  • At the base of every slice(triangle), add a dollop of jam and roll the dough to form a crescent.
  • Place the crescent on a cookie tray covered with parchment paper.
  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  • Continue to fill and roll all the crescent cookies and place them on the cookie tray.
  • Bake them for 10-12 minutes or until they are golden light on top.
  • When done, leave the cookies to cool down for 5-10 minutes, then roll them in the powdered sugar.
  • Note: The cookies must be a little bit warm so that the sugar will stick.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 72kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 89IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating

Tatiana Popescu

Wednesday 27th of July 2022

Oh dear! This is so tempting! Your recipes are so yummy. I just did your cozonac recipe and I am very pleased! I don’t have a big robot for mixing so I used a handheld one and then I kneaded the dough by hand for about 10 min. Everything came out v tasty but the dough did not double in size. The yeast I had was expiring now in July so it might not have been v potent though it bubbled when I put it to dissolve like described in step 1. I have now the experience of doing it so I can practice and improve. My regards!


Tuesday 26th of July 2022

If this is labeled as a Romanian recipe, we don’t have anything called rugelach. Not sure what would be a good translation for “cornulete”. Maybe rolled pastries filled with gem - a long name but rugelach is not it!

Tatiana Popescu

Wednesday 27th of July 2022

@The Bossy Kitchen. Wow so well documented! Thank you! I did not know that and as a Romanian I am not familiar with the name rugelach. Kind regards!

The Bossy Kitchen

Wednesday 27th of July 2022

Tatiana, According to the dictionary and also Wikipedia, traditional rugelach cookies are made in the form of a crescent by rolling a triangle of dough around a filling. The recipes come from the European Jewish community and spread all over Europe and also the United States. As Romania, historically, had a very big community of Jewish people, clearly this recipe was also adopted by the Romanians. They are also very popular in the US. As I am writing for the US market, the term "rugelach" is what I need to use, as this is how people know these cookies. We call them cornulete, but we are the only ones to call them this way. I am sure you can find more information on Google about the term.

Kelly Smith

Friday 18th of December 2020

Do you think I can make this recipe without a stand mixer?