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Sweet Noodle Kugel Muffins with Brown Sugar Syrup

A muffin twist on an iconic Jewish dessert served with maple-like brown sugar syrup and pecans.  This noodle kugel recipe is super easy; just throw ingredients in a pan, heat up, pour into muffin pan, bake.  That’s it!  The syrup and pecans makes this kugel recipe extra fancy.

Three Kugel muffins

What is the BEST thing about muffins?

They are the ultimate take-and-go food.

Kugel muffins?  Your new favorite take-and-go dessert, I promise.  OK, maybe second to donuts, just because.

What is Kugel?

A kugel is a Jewish traditional casserole or pudding dish made with noodles, potatoes or matzah (an unleavened cracker).  The original kugels from more than 800 years ago were made with bread and flour.  German cooks replaced the bread and flour with noodles or potatoes.

There are many variations of this iconic dish which is traditionally served during the Sabbath and Jewish holidays.

The noodle Kugel is usually baked in a casserole dish and is often dressed up as a dessert with the addition of sugar, cinnamon and raisins.  It can be made savory though.

I went into a kugel deep dive and was impressed with the variety of recipes and techniques used to make this dish.  Somehow, the kugel batter ended up in my muffin pan.  Funny how that happens.  I added a syrup made from butter and brown sugar and sprinkled some chopped pecans.  The result was pretty darn good.  My family loved it and darling daughter noticed the different texture from the vermicelli.  We had a good laugh.  I have never cooked or baked with vermicelli so this was new to both of us.

When is Noodle Kugel served?

Noodle Kugel is served almost anytime.  It is popular during Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) and holidays.

Noodle Kugel is not usually served during Passover.  Only unleavened bread are kosher for Passover.  There is a potato noodle that is made within the strict kosher guidelines and that noodle is OK for Passover.  If you can find it then yes, you can eat Noodle Kugel for passover.

One kugel on a white dish.

How to Store Kugel

You may store sweet kugels overnight, wrapped in plastic on the kitchen counter.  The sugar acts like a preservative.  For longer term storage, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and either refrigerate up to one week or place the wrapped kugel in a freezer bag, squeeze the air out and freeze up to 6 months.  Simply thaw and microwave to warm up.

Vermicelli noodles in a measuring cup.
Vermicelli and milk in a pot.
Stirring milk and vermicelli.
Kugel ingredients in a pot.
Vermicelli cooking with milk in a pot.
Kugel batter poured into muffin cups.
Muffin pan with cooked Kugel muffins.

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Three Kugel muffins

Sweet Noodle Kugel Muffins with Brown Sugar Syrup

Yield: 10 muffins
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

A muffin twist on an iconic Jewish dessert served with maple-like brown sugar syrup and pecans.  This kugel recipe is super easy; just throw ingredients in a pan, heat up, pour into muffin pan, bake.  That's it!  The syrup and pecans makes this kugel recipe extra fancy.



  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup vermicelli noodles
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 tbs vanilla


  • chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Heat milk and vermicelli in medium sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  3. When milk comes to a simmer, turn off heat and add remaining muffin ingredients, stir well.
  4. Add muffin cups to muffin pan and pour batter into each cup until 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and place muffins on a cooling rack.
  7. While muffins are cooling, place brown sugar sauce ingredients into a small pan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until brown sugar is completely dissolved.  Remove from heat.
  8. Brush or pour brown sugar sauce on muffins and sprinkle with chopped pecans.


  • Have fun with this, especially the garnishes.  I can imagine sliced toasted almonds and sweetened coconut on this.  How about apple pie filling?
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 muffin
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 425Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 141mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 32gProtein: 8g

Did you make this recipe?

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The types of kugel can be quite inventive.  There are vegan, vegetable and noodle kugels (lokshen).  One creative recipe uses zoodles and another one uses corn flakes as a topping.  Explore more of these creative recipes from The Spruce Eats Essential Kugel Recipe Collection.

Vegetables I have seen in kugels:

  • sweet potato
  • starchy potato
  • brocolli
  • leeks
  • zoodles
  • carrot
  • butternut squash
  • spinach
  • onion
  • asparagus
  • celery
  • mushroom
  • beets

As you can see, kugels take on many forms.  For it to be a traditional kugel, it must be kosher.  So for instance if you are going to make a kugel with milk or cheese, you can’t serve it with meat.  Milk and cheese aren’t served with meat.  Milk and cheese-free recipes are noted as ‘parve’.

You can make a parve kugel and serve it with meat however.

A Kugel by any other name…

kugel – Germany and Russia, means sphere or ball

kigel – Poland and Ukraine


Sunday 1st of July 2018

Well I have to say I would never have thought to put noodles in a muffin!! But I can see how this would definitely work, especially with the addition of the brown sugar and the pecans - very creative and delicious!


Monday 25th of June 2018

I"ve never had a traditional kugel dish, but always wanted to try one. I love how the batter just happened to end up in your muffin tray - whenever I make something, I think, "hmm, can this become a muffin somehow!" so I totally get how that happens!


Monday 25th of June 2018

Isn't that funny? I like the portability of 'muffins'. Have fun with this, it's so easy.


Monday 25th of June 2018

I love the combination of brown sugar and pecans! It always reminds me of butter tarts or pecan pie. And the use of vermicelli here is so so smart. I just love all of these textures and flavors.


Monday 25th of June 2018

Thanks Dana, everything is better with brown sugar and pecans. Just saying:)

Marisa Franca

Monday 25th of June 2018

I've heard of kugel but never tasted it before. And the ingredients in it sound more Italian than any other cuisine. Noodles as a dessert fascinates me. I've got to try out your recipe!!


Monday 25th of June 2018

Kugels are strange inventions. A noodle dish that is dressed up like a dessert. In South Africa, 'kugel' is slang for a common person trying to be fancier than they are. A person who is a 'Kugel' isn't a nice thing. Fun facts!


Monday 25th of June 2018

I love noodle kugel! I haven't made it with vermicelli, what a great idea. It looks like the thinner noodle gives it such a nice texture, and I love how these are individually portioned as little kugel muffins. That brown sugar sauce sounds phenomenal with them. What a perfect finish with the pecans. Will definitely be making these soon!

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