This Cranberry Cream Cheese Braid recipe and video post is sponsored by the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA).
You guuyyyysss.. I am like so excited to share this little gem of a recipe (and video!) with you today. This Cranberry Cream Cheese Braid brings back all the feels for me because it’s my grandmother’s old southern recipe and one that my mama would make for us during the holiday season growing up. Squeee!
I ever so slightly made some adjustments to her Cranberry Cream Cheese Braid recipe because that’s how I roll…I like to keep things fresh and up-to-date, but every single bite is savor-worthy, just like old times. So grab your cup of coffee and your most comfiest sweatpants, and cozy up to a slice of this Cranberry Cream Cheese Braid. Ahhhh.
Mama was over helping with Parker, when I was testing out this recipe, and I was picking her brain with lots of questions… Is this how the dough is supposed to look?… Am I doing this right?…
How do I make it look all pretty and braided? I know it seems intimidating looking at the recipe and that beautiful braid, but I promise… YOU CAN SO DO THIS!
In an effort to keep it real and make it even easier, I created a video just for you… because we all know videos are better than reading directions. No one needs to be stressed out reading directions for this Cranberry Cream Cheese Braid recipe over the holidays, so Cranberry Cream Cheese Braid video it is.
The flavors in this Cranberry Cream Cheese Braid are spot on and bursting with holiday freshness. I’m like YIPPEEE! It’s the most wonderful time of the year. As soon as Halloween is over, I’m over here saying BRING. ON. THE. CRANBERRIES!!! (Well, maybe I started a little early this year… but whatevs) Christmas lights and bells and pine cone smells… let’s do this thang.
My mama always decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving weekend so that we could enjoy the season even longer… and so we wouldn’t feel like we had to “get to work” with decorating as soon as Thanksgiving was over. And if we are being honest, decorating early allows us to watch the Iron Bowl (Auburn vs. Alabama) errrr… go Black Friday shopping in peace!
When Mama makes anything with cream cheese (which in the South, we use A LOT), she swears by Philadelphia Cream Cheese. She says you can taste the difference, and I agree. So that’s what I used in this recipe too. And the Cape Cod Select Cranberries I used are frozen at their peak and bursting with flavor!
Can you see how excited I am about all of this Christmas spirit?! Who’s in for a slice of this Cranberry Cream Cheese Braid? Get some!
The flavors in this Cranberry Cream Cheese Braid are spot on and bursting with holiday freshness. Cranberries, cream cheese, and pillowy pastry dough…I’m like YIPPEEE! It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
- Cranberry Braid
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup water
- 1 (¼ ounce) package fast acting instant yeast
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cup Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries
- Cream Cheese Filling
- 8 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
- ¼ cup 100% pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- Egg Wash
- 1 egg, whisked
- Vanilla Glaze
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- In a small sauce pot, heat butter over medium until melted. Whisk in sugar and salt until dissolved. Stir in sour cream and heat just until bubbling. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm temperature.
- Warm ¼ cup water over stove top or in microwave safe bowl and sprinkle yeast in and stir. Allow to soak for 5 minutes.
- Whisk sour cream mixture into yeasty water until combined. Continue whisking while adding egg. Add flour slowly and stir in just to combined (don’t overmix), dough will be very sticky. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours.
- Mix up the Cream Cheese Filling: Add cream cheese, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and an egg to a mixing bowl. Whip with a mixer until cream cheese is smooth. Sprinkle in flour and continue whipping to thicken cream cheese filling.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and roll out the dough: Heavily flour a clean and cool surface. Remove dough from bowl and place on surface, dusting with extra flour. Knead the dough a few times, and place on parchment paper before rolling for easy transfer to baking sheet. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a long rectangle.
- Spread cream cheese on inner ⅓ of dough leaving room on ends and sides to braid. Top cream cheese filling with ¾ cup frozen cranberries.
- Using kitchen shears, cut sides of dough into 1 inch thick pieces, aiming to keep slices even on both sides. Braid the dough (see video for example!), by folding up the ends and alternating sides to stretch the dough in a crisscross manner. Once dough is braided, use a pastry brush to apply the egg wash (this gives it a golden color).
- Transfer Cranberry Cream Cheese Braid with parchment paper to a baking sheet, and bake in 375 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes until golden in color.
- Allow to cool slightly on baking sheet; meanwhile prepare the Vanilla Glaze: Whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. Drizzle glaze onto Cranberry Cream Cheese Braid; slice when ready to serve. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.
MORE Cranberry Recipes!
Hi I’m Kristina LaRue, RD (registered dietitian nutritionist), Peloton addict and mama to two active and hungry boys. On Love & Zest, you’ll find healthy-ish recipes that fuel the whole family. I’m all about veggie-filled breakfast, meal prep recipes, healthier sweets, and easy weeknight dinners made in the Instant Pot or sheet pan.
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