Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel

Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel #jewish #holiday #recipe

You can never have too many kugel recipes. I love the seasonal flavor of this sweet and grown-up Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel. The rum idea came from a reader named Nancy (yes, I do read every single one of your comments!) who wrote that she often plumps her raisins in rum before adding them to her kugel. I thought the idea was inspired. She soaks hers overnight in rum, but I didn’t have the time or patience for that, so I simmered both raisins and dried cranberries in hot rum on the stovetop. The alcohol is mostly cooked out, but the essence of the rum remains, giving this kugel a rich flavor and a wonderful seasonal quality. I also added chopped walnuts, brown sugar and autumn spices for texture and to “warm up” the flavor. It turned out scrumptious!

This Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel would be great for breaking the fast on Yom Kippur, as part of a Sukkot meal, or for Hanukkah (and Thanksgiving, since both start on the same day this year!). You could even bring it to a Christmas potluck if that’s the holiday you celebrate. This kugel definitely has an autumn/winter holiday vibe. Kugels are easy to make, easy to transport, and always a crowd pleaser. Or, make it just because. It’s carb heaven, the ultimate comfort food!

This kugel appeared on Daily Candy the week before Rosh Hashanah (yay!). In case you don’t know about it, Daily Candy is a really fun site; they email you a new surprise each day based on where you live. Sometimes it’s an introduction to a brand, or an event, or a website you might love. My kugel recipe was emailed to the Los Angeles area, because that’s where I live. Definitely worth checking out and subscribing!

What’s your favorite way to make kugel?

Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel


  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 12 oz. wide egg noodles
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups sour cream (use lowfat if desired)
  • 1 cup ricotta (use lowfat if desired)
  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened (use lowfat if desired)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cups chopped walnuts (optional- leave out for nut allergies)
  • Nonstick cooking oil spray
  • Cinnamon and sugar for dusting, or the topping of your choice
Total Time: 90 - 100 Minutes
Servings: 15
Kosher Key: Dairy
  • Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. On the stovetop, place the raisins and cranberries in a small pot and cover with rum.
  • Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel #jewish #holiday #recipeSimmer the mixture over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, until the fruit has plumped and all the liquid is absorbed. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn. Remove from heat and reserve.
  • Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel #jewish #holiday #recipeMeanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the noodles to the pot, bring back to a boil, and let the noodles cook till tender (not overly soft) for about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse briefly with cold water, and return to the pot.
  • Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel #jewish #holiday #recipeIn a food processor or blender, mix together the eggs, sour cream, ricotta, cream cheese, sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla, spices, and salt.
  • Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel #jewish #holiday #recipePour the blended egg mixture over the cooked noodles in the pot and stir until well combined. Add the rum raisins, cranberries, and walnuts, and stir into the noodles.
  • Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel #jewish #holiday #recipeSpray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the noodle mixture into the dish. Top the kugel by sprinkling generously with sugar and lightly with cinnamon. Alternatively, use your favorite kugel topping (streusel, crushed graham crackers, cornflakes, etc.). I like this kugel with a graham cracker topping, but many prefer the crunchy texture that forms when the noodles bake and brown on top. Either way works!
  • Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel #jewish #holiday #recipeBake about 60 minutes, turning once halfway through, until the center is set and the tips of the noodles turn golden brown. Remove from the oven. Let rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing. For a cleaner slice, let the kugel cool to room temperature before cutting.
  • Serve warm or cold. If not serving the same day, keep refrigerated. Note: to reduce fat you can use lowfat dairy, but do not sub nonfat dairy. The flavor will suffer. I prefer full fat ingredients, which have less fillers in them-- plus they taste better!
  • Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel #jewish #holiday #recipe

Comments (104)Post a Comment

  1. I have a recipe handed down from my favorite aunt. It uses cream cheese and apricot nectar for a sweet and creamy combination. I will be making three trays this week to take for break fast, send back to college with two if my kids to share with roommates and a third to share with friends who have come to like it as much as we do.

  2. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I love the weekly newsletter with all the great recipes. They are so good and healthy.
    One question Do you have any recipes for ‘spelt berries’ ? And could you use them in recipes calling for bulgar wheat?
    Thank you

  3. I am going to test drive this on my 24 yo son. If he likes it, I’ll bring it to my department’s end of the semester potluck. Thank you for this recipe.

  4. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    We made it for our break fast meal on Yom Kippur. It was a great hit with everyone and we will make again. Only change we made was using Greek yogurt for sour cream to accommodate those on cardiac dietary guidelines. Thank you for this terrific addition to our holiday recipes!

  5. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    My Mother made a delicious lokshun kugel with cottage cheese, cream cheese, eggs, apple and cinnamon, etc. and a cornflakes crunch topping served with diary. Can’t wait to make yours with the rum, raisins and cranberry for dinner — as a side to a Salmon (oven roasted at 500 degrees) with lots of lemon, panko & asiago cheese, and capers.
    Your recipes are fantastic — your Stuffed Cabbage is the best.
    Especially enjoy all the info on The History of Cooking.
    I am a ‘senior’ lady who has been cooking and baking for a long time –also known as “The Brisket Queen”.
    Thank your for all the excellent information — The History of Cooking is so interesting and your recipes are the best.
    Hope the New Year brings you good healthy and happiness.

  6. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    My sister-in-law’s late mother, Ruth Diamond of Montreal used to make a delicious cheese kugel (one without noodles).

    Cheese Kugel: Fits a 9” round pie plate. Can be doubled and baked in a 9 x 13 pan.

    Filling: 1 lb farmer cheese, 1 egg, 4 Tblsp milk, 3-1/2 Tblsp sugar, pinch salt Mix all ingredients in order given.

    Dough: 1/4 lb butter or margarine, 1/4 cup sugar, 4 Tblsp milk, pinch salt, 1 cup flour, 1-1/2 heaping tsp baking powder
    Mix butter or margarine, sugar, egg and milk. In separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix thoroughly. Set aside for one half hour. Press half the dough in pie plate (or baking pan if doubling). Layer the cheese mixture. Drop remaining dough by spoonfuls over cheese. It won’t cover the entire mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until lightly browned. Serve with sour cream. Yum!

  7. Just noticed I made a typo in the kugel recipe. In the directions for the dough, I said to mix in the baking soda – it should have said baking powder.

    1. Yes, but the kugel might hold together slightly looser and not slice quite as cleanly. It will still be delicious and it will probably slice fine at room temperature, but sour cream is more liquid and less thick than sour cream so the texture won’t be identical.

  8. I do not have the size Bundt pan you use for your honey cake recipe. Can I substitute anything else for that amount of ingredients (the recipe that includes 4 Granny Goose apples)??

    1. Do you mean can you substitute another kind of pan? If yes you can make cupcakes using 2 standard cupcake pans, it will make around 24 honey apple cupcakes. :)

  9. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Tori, this looks wonderful! I’m a huge fan of both rum and cranberries. However, every time I’ve made a noodle kugel, it ends up with dry, crispy, unchewable noodles on top, like an overcooked lasagna. :( Will the graham cracker topping solve this problem, or should I bake it with foil, or what? My family usually ends up pulling off the dried noodles and decorating the edge of their plates with them…

    1. Rivkah, your comment made me smile! My husband LOVES those crunchy noodles on top. I am the opposite, like you… I don’t love the noodle crunch. A graham cracker or cornflake topping will definitely help you out here! The topping should cover the noodles completely in a thin layer. It will keep the kugel below moist and will eliminate the crunchy noodle issue. Let me know if you have a chance to try it!

  10. Definitely can’t have too many Kugel recipes. My daughter sent a link to your blog and wow. Thanks for an awesome recipe and lots of photos to show what we should be seeing when we make it. Can’t wait to try it.

  11. want to try this so bad but i need to make it without dairy. do you think it would wildly alter the taste if i used tofutti cream cheese and skipped the ricotta altogether?

    1. Hi Sherri– I’m not sure how it will taste. I tend to avoid making substitutions in dairy dishes like this. That said, kugel is pretty forgiving, so it might be worth a try. If you decide to experiment please let us know how it worked out for you.

  12. i will let you know if i try it pareve. have you ever used tofutti cream cheese and tofutti sour cream as a replacement for dairy in any recipe? also since there is a whole cup of ricotta, i think i might need to add something to replace that as well…ideas?

    1. Hi Sherri– no, I have not because my family doesn’t worry about mixing milk/meat, so I rarely have the need to convert a recipe to non-dairy (also I tend to avoid soy products because they mess with my hormones). However I have heard that people have good luck with both subs, especially in forgiving dishes like kugel. For the ricotta, you could try increasing the cream cheese and sour cream each by 1/2 cup (to compensate for the 1 cup of ricotta), though I’m not sure if it will slice as cleanly because the ricotta is slightly thicker. The flavor should be fine, though. :)

  13. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    It’s always a personal choice. Most of the time we remember our mom’s with nostalgia. You’re subscribers have given me wonderful choices, and you are so good. I always go to your site for truly down to earth Jewish recipes. Thank you, thank you!!

  14. Hi Tori – I would like to make this recipe for appetizers for Thanksgivukkah. I plan to bake them in muffin or mini-muffin pans. About how long should they bake? I assume that they can be frozen and then reheated that day. Can I use the microwave to reheat them? 1 oven and a gas grill for heating up things makes this holiday a challenge! Happy holidays!!

    1. Hi Carol, sorry I didn’t get back to you before the holiday. For future reference, you can definitely prepare this kugel in advance. I have not made this kugel in a muffin tin, but I would start with 20 minutes and increase the cook time as necessary. They’ll be finished once a skewer inserted into the center come out clean. To freeze them, bake them till they’re about 80% done, then let them cool to room temp. Freeze. Reheat them in the oven till browned and cooked through. I don’t suggest using a microwave to reheat.

  15. Sounds so delish and planning to make for Thanksgivukah. Can the kugel be prepared the day before and then baked on the day of serving or would you recommend doing all of it on the same day? Thanks!

  16. Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

    Wait a minute.

    Why not make a Rum Raisin Cranberry Bread Pudding?

    A white-bread, Gentile Dish!

    I thought of that when I looked at your photo of a piece of Kugel above.

    I think Rum Raisin Cranberry Bread Pudding would taste much better than Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel.

    Have a Dovely.

    Sincerely yours,
    Caleb Boone.

    1. I get it, you never tasted kugel, otherwise you wouldn’t say a “white” bread pudding is superior. I do suggest if you do make the bread pudding please DO NOT use white bread – instead use
      Challah (a Jewish eggbread) and that would be as delicious as
      kugel. (sort of)
      An Old Kugel Maker who also likes Bread Pudding (any flavor)

  17. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    This is great dish. My motherinlaw starting teaching me how-to do Jewish dishes in the 70′s. This sweet-kugel has always been my favorite. Delish.

  18. I’ve been making my kugel with raisins and pineapple for years and when I found this recipe I had to try it. Made it for Christmas dinner tonight (we’re 1/2 Jewish and always have a kugel on the Christmas table). WOW!!!! SHEER PERFECTION. The BEST kugel I have ever made. I followed the recipe to a T. Did not add walnuts, though. For the topping I used crushed Corn Flakes and sprinkled sugar & brown sugar on top with a touch of cinnamon. This will be my go-to kugel from now on. Period. Thank you!!!

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