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Better than Mom’s: Sweet Noodle Kugel

Noodle Kugel or noodle pudding is a common Jewish dish made from egg noodles, eggs, cottage cheese and sour cream. From there it just depends on the cook. I love this semi-sweet noodle kugel  made to go with a dairy dinner.


 Most noodle kugel recipes can be savory or sweet.

I prefer a sweet noodle kugel and this is the noodle kugel recipe I prefer! 

Kugels  can be served for dessert, or with the main course, and some eat it for breakfast.

My mom always made a savory kugel. It was a dairy kugel, which she always served with chicken.

I know. BUT! We didn’t keep kosher.

Savory kugels are made without sugar. They can contain everything from onion soup mix to mushrooms, to caramelized onions, to zucchini.

Savory kugels are good.


Another but! I like mine better. I like them a little sweet.

Hers contained no sugar. As a child I really didn’t like it. She loved it!

Well, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I discovered this version of a sweeter noodle kugel.

sweet noodle kugel square

Remember, Kankakee was not exactly the mecca (LOL) of the Jewish world.

With only about 100 Jews in our little town, I never really had the opportunity to try many Jewish dishes.

It was when I inherited my grandmother’s Hadassah, ORT and sisterhood cookbooks, that I realized what I was missing out on.

I experimented with a few different recipes and this is what I came up with.

I love this noodle kugel recipe and it is comfort food to me, but my mother is still in shock that I didn’t like hers.

Sorry, Mom!

And though I would never serve a kugel for dessert, I do like them as a side dish with a meal.

They are great served with fish and I love reheating a slice for breakfast in the microwave, and then dolloping on raspberry or apricot jam.

Mmmmm. Jewish comfort food at its finest.individual noodle kugel

So, who doesn’t know what a Noodle kugel is?

 A kugel can be called a noodle pudding but it is really just a casserole made from noodles. Unless it is made from potatoes.

In which case, it is a potato kugel recipe!

Ah, you see, that is the first question to ask when making a kugel.

If one keeps kosher than a noodle kugel, which is made from dairy products, can’t be served with meat, where as a potato kugel which is made from potatoes, eggs and oil could.  

Unless it is my Omi’s potato kugel which does not contain eggs and is not for Passover.

Do you see the mishegas (craziness in Yiddish),  when it comes to explaining kugels?

To make this a bit shorter- a noodle kugel is basically noodles mixed with an egg custard, and then baked.

Sometime last week the kugel popped up on my Facebook. Someone didn’t know what it was.

A day later, the daughter asked for my kugel recipe. Shocker, that she would.

After all, she never liked kugel as a child.

I used to always tell my children that just a taste would do, so they would taste, that is.

I also told them that tastes can change and so it was always important to taste, to see if in fact, their tastes did change.

This was viewed with skeptical eyes, but apparently tastes can change, as evidenced by this request.

Noodle Kugel on plate with blue napkin


Often one finds sweet kugels with every variety of fruit.

This year I saw a recipe for a caramel apple kugel.

And my friend posted a pineapple kugel very similar to my recipe, except with crushed pineapple.

One year I made a Jerusalem kugel, which is a caramelized sugar and black pepper kugel, that is unique and outstanding.

But this isn’t what I often do. I make a semisweet kugel and serve it with dinner.

In this case, a roast chicken. Not kosher, I know!

Kugel is comfort food in a Jewish home. Well, at least it was in my home.

Their are a zillion ways to make it and they are all good.

It is the perfect company dish because it makes a lot.

Since there are just two of us, I did freeze quite a bit for future meals.

You can Google kugel and find recipes out the yin yang.

They are simple and quick to make.

They are kind of like a Jewish mac and cheese, which my friend Shulie so aptly compared them too.

And in my opinion, so much better than mac and cheese, because I don’t happen to be a mac and cheese lover!

Noodle Kugel on plate with casserole dish of kugel behind

A Few Tips on Making Noodle Kugel:

I use Manischewitz wide egg noodles, though any kind should work. Only cook them al dente, because they will continue to cook while baking.

Feel free to adjust the sugar to your liking. You could even use brown sugar if you prefer.

Don’t like raisins? Any dried fruit will do, but you can also skip this ingredient if you want.

Forget the dotting with butter thing. Mix the crushed cornflakes with the melted butter and spread on the top of the kugel evenly.

This makes for a crisper topping and a great crunch which contrasts well with the creamy, soft interior of the kugel.

I’ve been known to serve kugel with this salad for a simple meal.

Some serve kugel as dessert, but for me it has always been a side dish.

Noodle Kugel in white souffle dish on china plate

When do you eat noodle kugel?

Well, Saturday which was was the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, our day of atonement, is the perfect day.

A serious day, spent sitting in temple atoning for our sins and hoping we will be written in the Good Book for another year.

Remember, I told you about Rosh Hashanah? Well, 10 days later is Yom Kippur.

We fast from sun down to sun down, so it is common when breaking the fast, to serve breakfast type foods.

Every year we get together with friends and eat lox and bagels, my frozen cheese souffle, tuna fish, fruit and plenty of dessert.

One could also serve a simple blintz casserole or a noodle kugel. Yes, we have brinner!

Noodle kugel is also traditionally served for Shabbat on Friday night with fish as the main course.

It would be a great casserole to introduce to your family.

Easy as boiling noodles and then mixing with butter, eggs, cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese, well, this kugel is made for anyone that loves noodles. 

So there you have it. Noodle Kugel in a nutshell.

Anyway you cut it, this is Jewish comfort food, at its best!

noodle kugel sweet

More Kugels?

Zucchini Kugel

Zucchini Noodle Kugel

Omi’s No Egg Potato Kugel

Potato Kugel

Onion and Garlic Potato Kugel with Duck Fat

Potato Kugel in Skillet

Light Onion-y Potato Kugel

Passover potato kugel

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sweet noodle kugel square

Better Than Mom’s Noodle Kugel

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 Minutes
  • Total Time: 80 Minutes
  • Yield: 8 - 12 Servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baking/Boiling
  • Cuisine: Jewish


Sweet Noodle Kugel is our family’s favorite! Made with an egg custard of eggs, sour cream, cream cheese and cottage cheese, it sure beats my mom’s!


Units Scale

12 oz bag wide egg noodles
1 t salt for boiling water
6 T butter (divided) plus 2 teaspoons melted butter for the topping if you do not have enough to mix with the cornflakes
4 oz cream cheese
1/3 to 1/2 c sugar
3 eggs
1 c sour cream
1 lb small curd cottage cheese
1 t vanilla
1/2 c raisins or other dried fruit, plumped in 1 c of hot water if fruit is dry (optional)
1/2 c to 1 c cereal, like cornflakes to crush for topping


Boil noodles in salted water for no more than 7 minutes, because you will be baking this and do not want them overcooked. Drain and return to pot and toss with 3 T of the butter. This should melt!

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, by hand or with mixer, combine cream cheese, 3 T melted butter and sugar. Beat until somewhat smooth.

Add eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, vanilla and dried fruit if using. Stir well, until all is combined. Add noodles and mix well.

Generously butter a 13 x 9 pan. You could also bake this in a smaller pan and have a thicker kugel.  You can also bake this in individual 8 oz souffle dishes or baking muffin paper cups, in which case, this is ready in about 20 minutes.

Scoop noodle mixture into prepared pan. Smooth top.

Crush cereal between hands or place in a plastic bag and use a mallet to crush the cornflakes. Mix those withthe residual butter left in the measuring cup OR melt 2 t of additional butter to mix with the cornflakes and mix until all are coated. Spread evenly over the top of the kugel.

Bake for about an hour or until kugel looks firm but still has a creamy center, with the outside edges beginning to turn golden. A thicker kugel may take a few more minutes and a smaller kugel, less.


Feel free to follow some other suggestions in the above post.

Keep in mind a dry noodle kugel is no good, so don’t overbake. The interior of the kugel should be creamy.

I melt my butter in a large measuring cup. After combining this butter with the sugar and cheese mixture, I do not rinse out the cup. I put my crushed cornflakes into the measuring cup and combine it with the residual butter that is left. If you are worried they are not coated enough, feel free to melt up to two more teaspoons of butter to mix with the cornflakes. (This is not meant to be confusing! LOL)



Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


Sunday 27th of August 2023

For decades, I’ve had very close Jewish friends and the first time I had noodle kugel, I loved it. I pick some up at the Jewish Deli, every time I go there. I substitute dried cherry for the raisins though. Love the recipe!


Sunday 27th of August 2023

Unfortunately, I don't live near any Jewish delis nor did I growing up. Cherries sound fabulous!


Monday 13th of October 2014

Tastes definitely do change - I never ate any vegetables other than carrots and cucumbers growing up - I hated cooked veggies. Fast forward to my early 30's - I was dating my boyfriend (now husband) and we went to a steak house that had all the vegetables a la carte. He ordered the asparagus, offered it to me and I was like "no way." He begged me to try it, I finally did and was shocked - I liked it! Well, it turns out that my Mom overcooked all her vegetables and that's why I didn't like them - now I love all the vegetables! :D Well, except onions - some things never change!

Carol at Wild Goose Tea

Saturday 11th of October 2014

I knew it was a Jewish noodle dish, but now I find it can be a potato dish. Plus it can be sweet or savory. Its a dish you see in books, you hear it in conversation and then with the posting of your recipe, I realize I have tasted it. I didn't have a clue what was in it besides noodles. Gosh maybe this old dog can learn new tricks. Ha. Seriously thanx for the education. Good advice to your kids about changing taste buds. Who would have thought I would ever voluntarily eat beets. Mom told me I wouldn't even eat them as a baby. But here I am eating beets in salad anyway. Hey Mom---do you see me now?

SavoringTime in the Kitchen

Saturday 11th of October 2014

There's only one kugel recipe I've ever made and it has caramelized onions - so delicious! I'd love to try a sweet one sometime and if I do, I'll know where to find a great recipe.


Saturday 11th of October 2014

Looks, delicious and comforting noodle kugel for starting a day!!!sure gonna try this recipe....