jerusalem kugel jerusalem kugel Israeli Kitchen Jerusalem-style kugel, or noodle pudding, uses spaghetti noodles instead of flat egg noodles. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Jerusalem-style caramelized noodle pudding

A do-it-yourself version of Jerusalem’s traditional kugel.

  • Yield: Serves 8
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes

Any honest cook knows that if you want the authentic version of this Jerusalem noodle pudding, the one and only place you’ll get that is in Jerusalem on a Saturday morning in a back-alley kitchen where two hefty guys are lifting up a massive pot, turning it upside down, and then slicing at the mammoth shiny brown mass that slides out of it. Slices of this delicacy are then served on small plates accompanied by a pickle wedge.

But alas, not all of us can get to Israel to experience that, so here’s a recipe that’s perhaps a close second. You’ve got the caramelized sugar, noodles and a generous dash of black pepper to give it a nice kick. But in my version, you’ve also got whole-wheat noodles (shhh, don’t tell… it’s an easy way to achieve that darker caramelized look even if your sugar doesn’t quite get browned, plus there’s more fiber). And with this pan size, even the smallest cooks can handle slicing and serving. Pickles are optional. 


  • 1 pound thin whole-wheat spaghetti, cut into shorter strands
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion, optional


Preheat oven to 350. Spray two 6-inch round pans with nonstick spray and set aside.

Cook pasta until just al dente, drain.

Mix sugar and water and bring to a boil, mixing every few minutes. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add cream of tartar mixed with a drop of water to the pot, stir well, and bring back up to a boil. Allow to caramelize (best not to stir, just watch the pot for possible burning), then remove from heat. (detailed instructions for caramelizing sugar here)

Mix drained pasta with eggs, oil, salt, pepper and dried onion. Add caramelized sugar and mix well using two forks.

Pour into prepared pans, and bake 40-50 minutes or until tops are set and browned.

Related Topics: Mediterranean

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