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Schnecken - crop.jpg
Alternative namesSchnecke, rugelach
TypeSweet bun
Place of originOriginally Germany, after the Holocaust mainly Israel and the United States
Created byGerman Jews
Main ingredientsSugar, shortening, cinnamon, salt, yeast, eggs, vanilla, sour cream, milk, flour, raisins, nuts

Schnecken are a type of sweet bun of German Jewish origin that was a traditional Shabbat morning treat at the beginning of the 20th century prior to the Holocaust.

Today schnecken can be commonly found in Israel, and the United States, among Jewish immigrant communities in the United States especially in (Philadelphia and Baltimore).


The name schnecken means snails in German and refers to the shape of the pastry. The bun is still common in Germany, where the name is Schnecke (which is the German singular of schnecken), and in other parts of northern Europe.


Schnecken are commonly confused with rugelach, a bun of Polish Jewish origin that is different in two respects:

(1) Schnecken dough is made with sour cream, while rugelach is made with cream cheese.

(2) Schnecken are rolled into a cylinder and sliced, becoming a flat spiral, whereas rugelach are formed from individual triangles of dough and rolled into a croissant shape.

Other names[edit]

Because the vast majority of American Jews are descendants of immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, it's more common to see these pastries labeled as rugelach rather than schnecken in delis and bakeries.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, "The Whole Spiel: Funny essays about digital nudniks, seder selfies and chicken soup memories," Incompra Press, 2016; p. 126-127. ISBN 978-0-69272625-9

External links[edit]