apple butter danish braid
There’s nothing better than a cozy fall breakfast, and apple butter Danish braid makes the perfect centerpiece! Flaky and light, this Danish braid is a cross between a pastry and sweet yeasted bread. Filled with sweetened cream cheese and apple butter, you’ll love this braid for weekend brunch!
Danish Braid Baking Schedule
If you’re feeling ambitious, this braid can be made from start to finish in a single day. You can also break down the recipe over two or three days to make the process more manageable.
2 Day Schedule – Make the apple butter and caramel on Day 1, shape and bake Danish braid on Day 2
3 Day Schedule – Make the apple butter and caramel on Day 1, shape the Danish braid on Day 2, and bake the braid on Day 3
Check out my Instagram video to see how I fill and shape the braid. Serve warm with your morning coffee and enjoy! 🙂
- 6 Tbsp (90 g) low fat milk
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 package (7 g) Red Star PLATINUM Yeast
- 2 Tbsp (17 g) flour
- 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
- 4 oz (113 g) reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- 3 Tbsp (42 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups (315 g) flour, divided
- 3 oz (85 g) reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- 3 Tbsp (38 g) sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (230 g) apple butter
- 2/3 cup salted caramel sauce
- For the sponge, heat milk in a microwave-safe measuring cup for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until very warm (120-130°F). Whisk together warm milk, sugar, yeast, and flour in a medium bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand 15 minutes.
- For the dough, combine sugar, cream cheese, butter, salt, vanilla, egg, and sponge in a large mixer bowl; beat at medium speed for 1 minute until combined. Add 2 cups (280 g) flour and mix in at low speed until a soft dough forms, about 2 to 3 minutes. Switch out the flat beater for a dough hook, and knead dough for 3 to 4 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding remaining 1/4 cup (35 g) of flour 1 tablespoon at a time (if necessary) to prevent dough from sticking. The dough is ready when it feels tacky but doesn’t stick to your fingers.
- Place dough in a large bowl coated with nonstick spray and cover with plastic. Let the dough rise in a warm place until puffy, about 50 to 60 minutes. To check if dough is ready, lightly flour two fingers and press them down into center of dough. If indentations remain, dough has risen enough.
- While the dough rises, prepare the filling. Combine cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a food processor and process until smooth.
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and dust lightly with flour. Gently punch down dough and roll out into a 12 x 15-inch rectangle on prepared baking sheet. Use an offset spatula to spread cream cheese mixture down the center of the dough, leaving a 4-inch border on each side and a 1-inch border at the top and bottom. Spread apple butter over the cream cheese layer. Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to cut 15 1-inch strips on both sides of dough (be careful not to cut parchment paper).
- Remove the four corner strips and fold top border down over filling. Work from top to bottom and fold strips over filling, alternating strips diagonally (begin by folding over the top left strip, then fold the top right strip, then a left strip, and so on). When all the strips are folded over filling, fold up the bottom border and press to seal. Cover braid loosely with plastic and let rise 25 minutes. (Prepare ahead: After braid rests, cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking).
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake braid until golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Drizzle salted caramel sauce over braid before serving.
Keywords: Apple Butter, Apple, Danish Braid, Salted Caramel