Sweet Lokshen Kugel

Yes folks, it’s official… I’ve got dairy on the brain! Shavuot begins on the evening of May 26, a Jewish holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. On Shavuot we eat dairy foods. There could be a number of reasons for this tradition. There is a verse in the Song of Solomon (4:11) which says that the Torah is like “milk and honey under your tongue,” which might indicate a connection between the Torah-centric holiday and dairy foods. Some believe that on the first Shavuot, because the Israelites had not yet received the kosher laws, their foods did not follow kashrut. When they received the Torah, they read the new laws of kashrut and realized their meat dishes were not kosher, so they opted to eat dairy dishes only. Still others say that Shavuot occurs during the fertile spring period, when animal mothers produce lots of fresh milk.

Whatever the reason, I love dairy foods, so this is my kind of holiday! As I was flipping through my recipe archives, I suddenly realized that I’ve never shared my basic recipe for a Sweet Lokshen Kugel. Gasp! How did that happen??

Kugel is a Jewish dish similar to a casserole or pudding. The dish originated over 800 years ago in southern Germany and became a staple with Jewish families throughout Eastern Europe. Jewish immigrants brought the kugel with them to the United States, where it continues to be a popular holiday dish today. There are many kinds of kugel, all made with three basic ingredients: eggs, fat, and starch. The starch used to make kugel varies; I’ve seen kugels made with matzo, matzo farfel, noodles, bread, or rice. They’re all yummy in their own way, but my favorite is noodle kugel.

The word lokshen is Yiddish for noodle. A lokshen kugel is a kugel made with noodles. There are endless variations on the noodle kugel theme; they can be made savory or sweet, topped or untopped, with dried fruit or nuts or seasonings. Sweet lokshen kugels tend to be the most popular in the U.S., with good reason! They are simple and affordable to throw together with just a few ingredients. They can be easily transported, making kugel a good choice for potlucks or family get-togethers. Most importantly, they are delicious.

This is a great basic dairy kugel recipe– moist and creamy, with a nice crunchy noodle topping. My family likes it exactly as written. You can feel free to adapt it to suit your taste, kugel is very forgiving. Raisins can be substituted with another dried fruit, like cherries or chopped dried apricots. Nuts and spices can be mixed in before baking. Add a topping if you’d like. The kugel will taste best when made with full fat ingredients, but if you’re watching your figure you can use lowfat dairy. It will still taste great.

Enough chit-chatting, time for a slice of kugel. Shabbat Shalom!

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

Organic Raisins

Food Processor

Baking Dish

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Sweet Lokshen Kugel

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 12 oz wide egg noodles
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 lb sour cream (2 cups)
  • 8 oz cottage cheese (1 cup)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened (1 cup)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Cinnamon and sugar for dusting
  • Nonstick cooking oil spray

You will also need

  • large pot, food processor or blender, 9x13 baking dish
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 60 Minutes
Total Time: 75 Minutes
Servings: 15
Kosher Key: Dairy
  • Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Cover the raisins with hot water and let them soak to plump while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles to the pot, bring back to a boil, and let them cook till tender (not overly soft), about 5 minutes. Drain and return the cooked noodles to the pot.
  • In a food processor or blender, mix together the eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sugar, melted butter, and salt.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the cooked noodles in the pot and stir till well combined.
  • Drain the raisins and pat dry. Stir them into the noodles.
  • Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking oil. Pour the noodle mixture into the dish.
  • Top the kugel by sprinkling generously with sugar and lightly with cinnamon. Alternatively, you can use your favorite kugel topping (streusel, crushed graham crackers, cornflakes, etc.).
  • Bake the kugel for about 60 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking, till the center of the kugel is set and the tips of the noodles turn golden brown. Remove from the oven.
  • Let the kugel rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing. Kugel can be served warm or cold.
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Category: Baked Goods and Brunch Fare, Dairy, Desserts, Hanukkah, In the Kitchen, Nut Free, Purim, Recipes, Rosh Hashanah, Shavuot, Side Dishes, Slide Show, Sukkot, Thanksgivukah, Tomato Free, Vegetarian, Yom Kippur Break Fast

Comments (111)Post a Comment

  1. Gladys Kaplan says:

    Hi Robin, I too am diabetic & use pineapple in it’s own juices,” no sugar added”, this year I found pineapple with splenda, it’s called Skinny Fruits by Libby. I will try it & hopes it tastes the same

  2. Robin says:

    Found your recipe yesterday and of course I had to stop at the grocery store to get the few items I knew I didn’t have and I got up this morning and made this dish for the first time. Not only does it taste delicious, but my house smells AMAZING. I can’t wait to tweak the recipe with some of the different ideas others have mentioned in the comments.

  3. Just had my first taste of kuchel today
    and
    am
    hooked!
    Can’t wait to bake it for my family.

  4. Erica says:

    I have this in the oven to bring to friends for Break Fast tomorrow. My apartment smells amazing.

  5. Alison says:

    This was such a big hit yesterday! I used apricots instead of raisins (which I can’t stand) and it was truly delicious. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  6. Uly says:

    This would make too much for us. If I wanted to cut the recipe to 1/3, what size baking dish would I use, do you know?

    • Uly says:

      To answer my own question, 1/3 the recipe fits nicely in an 8 inch pie tin (my cake pan is inexplicably hidden in the freezer and filled with suet? What the?) and took about 45 minutes to bake to completion in a convection oven.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Thanks for reporting back Uly! This will be helpful for other readers. :)

  7. Bunny joseph says:

    I love noodle pudding,and I read all the remarks. I use farmer cheese instead of cream cheese and cottage cheese and a drained can of apricots,otherwise it is the same. the farmer cheese is creamy,and delicious,I was surprised nobody mentioned it.

  8. Cj says:

    I have not cooked the noodles and had kugel turn out perfectly – mix custard with dry noodles and bake – also I use maple syrup instead of sugar and coconut milk instead of sourcream

  9. newazwriter says:

    Just got done making 2 big pans (and snuck out enough for a small pan) , it tastes as good or better then I remember. Thank you for posting, my family loves it. It will now be a brought back tradition. P.s. I used craisins instead.

  10. Cindy says:

    I have many Jewish friends who have made this dish for me, I was so happy to find your page and this recipe. I made it for my family for Thanksgiving yesterday to honor Hanukkah, it was a hit. I just love it so much myself, can’t wait to make it again!

  11. Kimberly says:

    I love kugel, and this one looks especially delicious! I like to chop up an apple and sauté it with some cinnamon and sugar before adding it to the kugel. It’s delicious!

  12. Sally Grech says:

    I made this again tonight and was looking for something else to add to it. I found some passion fruit nectar (unsweetened) in the fridge that I’d been using in my smoothies. I added about 1/2 a cup and wow, was it tasty! Yet another alternative or additive for this recipe, which is delicious just as is, having made it several times!

  13. Van&Rayna says:

    Okay, I was craving this as I had something like this 20 years ago from my last mother in laws friend.

    My daughter and I had prepared and since it’s just her and I we decided to 1/2 the recipe as it’s just us, we’ll let me tell you my 17 year old loved it!! Definite keeper!! Thank you thank you for sharing this!!

  14. Melanie says:

    When you say turn half way through do you mean just turn the pan around or do you mean stir it up halfway through.

  15. Angela says:

    This tasted good and just like my Granny’s bread pudding (just with noodles).

  16. Joni Vineberg says:

    Please subscribe me to your recipes.

  17. Bruce says:

    Thanks for this great recipe. I remember the first time I made Kugel. I was cooking at a retirement community where the majority of the residents were Jewish and made this dish for Shabbat dinner. One of the residents, Seymour, came up to me after dinner and said: “Bruce, that a the best Kugel I have ever had.” My response, which was met with much laughter from the residents, was: “Well, we will have to call it Goyische Kugel.” I will have to make this again!

  18. Jolene says:

    What do you mean when you say turn it after about 30 mi turn the pan are Star it so the center cooks sorry I don’t under stand thank you so much

    • Tori Avey says:

      Jolene, I mean turn the baking dish 180 degrees halfway through the cooking time to ensure that both sides cook evenly. Some ovens cook with uneven heat throughout (hotter in some areas than others), turning the dish helps to make sure everything cooks evenly.

  19. Marissa says:

    Hi there! Can I use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream? I forgot to grab sour cream while grocery shopping :-/ Thx looking forward to making this and your savory braised brisket!!!

  20. Jonathan Sills says:

    Delicious, classic Kugel just like mom’s :)

    I used low-fat sour cream and cottage cheese, eliminated the butter and added 4 eggs instead of 6. If I make again I’d reduce the quantity of sugar to 3/4 of a cup (or perhaps a bit less). With these adjustments it was delicious and not overly heavy.

    Still had a great texture; original recipe is a bit too much.

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