Alternative names Schnecke
Type Sweet bun
Main ingredients Sugar, shortening, cinnamon, salt, yeast, eggs, vanilla, sour cream, milk, flour, raisins, nuts
Cookbook: Schnecken  Media: Schnecken

Schnecken are a type of sweet bun that was a traditional Saturday morning treat in German homes at the beginning of the 20th century and that was commonly found in Jewish immigrant communities in the United States (Philadelphia and Baltimore) or German immigrant communities in Southern Brazil (where they're spelled chineque).

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, an eastern European (Poland, Russia, Ukraine) Jewish bun 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.

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

See also


  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
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