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Pistachio Cranberry Rugelach

Add this recipe for pistachio cranberry rugelach to your holiday baking this year. The soft cream cheese dough is wrapped around a citrus, pistachio and cranberry filling.

Pistachio Cranberry Rugelach on a baking rack on top of a baking tray

What is rugelach?

Rugelach is a cookie which here is made with a soft cream cheese dough that is wrapped around a filling of nuts and dried fruit.

Picture a croissant in that the dough begins as a triangle. The filling is then added and you roll the dough from the large end of the triangle towards the point of the triangle.

What type of filling is used in rugelach?

  • nuts
  • dried fruit
  • spices such as cinnamon
  • chocolate
  • get creative and use fillings like Nutella or jam

Can you send rugelach through the mail?

Yes, rugelach makes an excellent baked good to package and send through the mail to family and friends.

Read here to learn how I best package cookies to send in the mail. Take the time to make sure your beautiful baked goods arrive in one piece!

I am sharing pistachio cranberry rugelach. I baked a batch of traditional rugelach a few years ago to send to my dear Aunt Ruth. On the day I baked this updated version with a pistachio, cranberry and citrus filling, Aunt Ruth celebrated her 96th birthday! My aunt lives in California so I was not able to share these with her this time but I know she would have enjoyed them.

I started with this pistachio-citrus rugelach recipe from Whole Foods then added dried cranberries to get into the Christmas spirit with a red and green filling. In fact my only addition was the one half cup of dried cranberries and the zest of an orange which you can add to the filling.

You’ll see from this photo that the rugelach are not my most photogenic food of the year! Some of the edges were overcooked and the egg wash was inconsistent which created a lack of uniformity in the appearance of these goodies, but do not let that stop you from baking this recipe yourself!

I have gobbled up the rugelach with their crisp edges and all without a complaint. The tender cream cheese based dough gently wraps around the filling of pistachios and cranberries in such a way that you will not stop with just one. My apologies to your waist-line but you can save your New Year’s resolutions of eating healthy until January 1st!

What kitchen items do I need to bake cookies?

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Yield: 32

Pistachio Cranberry Rugelach

Pistachio Cranberry Rugelach

Pistachio cranberry rugelach can be made with any filling you'd like. Roll up the dough into little bundles to make these festive rugelach.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Cook Time 28 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 48 minutes


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese,, chilled
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • zest of one orange


Use a food processor to make the dough. Add the butter and cream cheese and blend until combined. Add the 1/2 cup sugar, zest, seeds and salt and process until well mixed.

Add the flour and pulse until the dough just barely comes together. Don't over-process the dough or it will become tough. Make two balls of dough and flatten them. Place each in a zip loc bag and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F while you work on forming the rugelach.

Work with one disc of dough at a time. Roll out on a floured surface until the dough is just less than 1/4 inch thick.

Brush the dough with egg and then add 1 tablespoon of sugar and half of the pistachios and dried cranberries.

Use a pizza cutter wheel to cut the dough into 16 pieces. Start at the wide edge and roll towards the middle. Place the rolled up rugelach on the parchment paper.

Repeat with the second disc of dough and remaining filling.

Brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar if desired.

Bake until the rugelach is golden, 25 to 28 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.


Mix up the fillings to suit your taste. Other nuts and dried fruits would make good combinations.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

This data is provided by Nutritionix and is an estimate only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Abbe@This is How I Cook

Sunday 8th of January 2017

There is no such thing as a bad rugelach and these look very good. I try to always have some in the freezer as they go perfect with a hot cup of tea! What a great list of cookies! New Year's resolutions can wait!

Holly F

Monday 9th of January 2017

Making extra and freezing these would be a good idea. I'll do that next time!

Anabel Arias

Wednesday 21st of December 2016

Those crisp edges are sometimes the best part! I'm sure I too would have ate them right up with no complaints!


Tuesday 20th of December 2016

I love the way you describe this group. We ARE friends! Your rugelach is gorgeous, and your choices of flavors are perfect. Need to make these!!

Linda @ 2 Cookin' Mamas

Tuesday 20th of December 2016

OK, you convinced me! I'm saving my diet until the new year. These just look too good to pass up. Love the addition of the cranberries and orange zest.


Tuesday 20th of December 2016

I love love love Rugelach. And you have made one with my favorite toppings. I am just getting hungry thinking about these, Holly. Happy Holidays.

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