This pastry was a total hit.
I used a shortcut puff pastry recipe here and it still involves chilling, folding and rolling, but not as much. You can still see all the layers on this pastry. It’s DIVINE!
You can use store bought puff pastry here to make your life easier! If that’s the case then this will only take roughly about 45 minutes or so to make.
If you like this recipe, make sure to also check out my Breakfast Danish Pastries! You’ll love those too.
For the assembly, this is a guide on how you should roll the dough, cut the slits, and fill. You may add berries if you wish!
Cream Cheese Pastry Braid
Yields: 4 slices
For the puff pastry:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/2 sticks cold butter
- 1/2 cup cold water
For the Cream Cheese Filling:
- 1 egg (for egg wash) + 1 egg yolk room temperature (for filling)
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons sugar (can substitute honey)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the puff pastry:
- Combine the flour, salt and mix. Add the cold butter cut into cubes and distribute throughout the flour mixture. You don’t need to mix it too much.
- Add the cold water then mix everything just until you form your dough. It might be a little sticky.
- Grab a large sheet of plastic wrap and pour the dough mixture on top and press the dough with the plastic wrap to fold it into a tight square.
- Wrap it well then let it chill at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- Unwrap it and put the dough on a floured surface, then roll it out into a rectangle with a floured rolling pin. Fold it like a newspaper, turn it clock wise then roll it out again. Repeat this process 3-4 times. This allows you to really get those buttery flakey layers.
- Wrap the dough with a large sheet of plastic wrap again and chill it in the refrigerator another 2-4 hours or overnight for the best results.
For the cream cheese filling:
- Combine your egg yolk, softened cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add the sugar, and vanilla extract and mix.
- Set the filling in the refrigerator tightly covered until you’re ready to assemble!
For the assembly:
- As pictured in the diagram above, you will want to roll the dough into a triangle, then cut the slits as evenly as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
- Fill your dough with the cream cheese filling, then fold everything over as if you’re making a braid.
- Place the pastry back in the fridge (or even better- the freezer) to chill at least another 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Take it out of the fridge/freezer and brush with egg wash. Pop it in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and flakey. If you add fresh berries this might take longer since berries tend to release a lot of liquid. Make sure the bottom is also nice and brown.
- Let it cool, then dust with powdered sugar if desired or serve it as is. It’s delicious 🙂
** You want to chill the pastry right before baking because we want to make sure the dough is as cold as possible and goes into a very hot oven. This will create those flakey layers**