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Sweet and Crunchy Kugel

March 22, 2021
Photo: Justin CovingtonPhoto: Justin Covington

When the Kellogg Company introduced Frosted Flakes in 1952, the breakfast cereal soon replaced the already popular corn flake as a topping for the quickly emerging Americanized version of noodle kugel. (Philadelphia cream cheese and sour cream had already been added, replacing the simple cottage cheese of Europe.) The popular synagogue cookbooks of the ’50s and ’60s are full of noodle kugel recipes topped with a crunch, including sugary Frosted Flakes.

Kugel, coming from the German word for ball, is very much part of Ashkenazi cuisine, originally used as a side dish for the Sabbath. For many years, I had a prejudice against sweet kugels in general. But during the monthly Shabbat potlucks we had with friends when our children were growing up, the version made from my friend Diane’s Aunt Lorraine’s recipe, topped with Frosted Flakes, was by far the most popular dish. And I came to love it, too. Try it for your next event with many guests (recipe here) and you will see what I mean. But perhaps, given its sweetness, it should be considered less of a traditional side dish and instead rightly take its place as a regal dessert.

Featured in: A Sweet Treat for the Holidays

Great for: Rosh Hashanah


  • Two 8-ounce packages low-fat cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese, softened
  • 8tablespoons (1 stick) lightly salted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾to 1 cup sugar
  • 8large eggs
  • 4cups nonfat milk
  • cup low-fat sour cream plus sour cream for serving
  • cup cottage cheese
  • 2teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12ounces medium or wide (dried) egg noodles
  • About 2 cups frosted flakes cereal, such as Kellogg’s
Yield: 12 to 16 servings


  • Step 1

    Lightly grease an 11-by-16-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese, butter, and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer, blending on medium speed for a few minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Reduce the speed to low, add the milk, sour cream, cottage cheese, cinnamon and vanilla extract; the mixture will be very wet.

  • Step 2

    Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the uncooked noodles and simmer, uncovered for about 5 minutes. Drain, run under cold water, drain again and incorporate into the wet mixture. Pour the cream cheese mixture and noodle mixture into the baking pan, using a slotted spoon to lift some of the noodles so that the liquid is well distributed. The noodles should be just about covered with the mixture; cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.

  • Step 3

    When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and uncover the kugel. Bake for 40 minutes then pull the kugel out of the oven and lightly crush handfuls of cereal over the top, spreading the cereal evenly. Return to the oven and bake 20 minutes more, or until light to medium brown around the edges and no longer liquidy inside. Shake the pan to see if the kugel seems solid. Cut into squares and serve warm.