This tasty Apple Puff Pastry Braid is somewhere between a Danish and a strudel. It’s light, buttery, flaky, and filled with a delicious filling of seasonal apples and cream cheese. The combination is fabulous, and it’s one of my favorite fall dessert recipes. Easy to make and always impressive, this apple dessert is a must-try!

baked Apple Puff Pastry Braid

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Puff pastry desserts are among my favorites! Puff pastry is so easy to work with and it bakes up buttery and flaky and oh-so good.

This Apple Puff Pastry Braid is no exception! Don’t be intimidated by how fancy it looks – I’ll walk you through how to make this amazing dessert.

Apple Puff Pastry Braid

You can even make the filling beforehand, so all you need to do is assemble the braid and pop it into the oven. It smells so good baking! I love having this baking while we’re eating dinner so that it’s hot and ready to serve when we’re ready for dessert. 

apple and crescent rolls baked

When my kids were little, I loved making braids because they were quick and easy! I learned how to make braids in my “pampered chef” days when I was a consultant. I hosted over 100 parties and loved showing people how to whip up quick, easy desserts and dinners. This breakfast braid and pizza taco braid are two of my favorites.  You can use crescent rolls or puff pastry for braids.

Why I love this recipe

  • Working with puff pastry is so easy, and it always turns out fabulously!
  • This Apple Puff Pastry Braid is a great fall dessert that goes nicely with a cup of afternoon tea.
  • You can use just about any kind of apple; the other ingredients are also inexpensive and easy to find.

ingredients to make Apple Puff Pastry Braid

Gather these ingredients

  • Puff pastry – 1 sheet; thawed.
  • Egg white 
  • Granulated white sugar
  • Apples – About 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced.
  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Cream cheese – Softened.
  • Ground cardamom
  • Vanilla extract – Pure or artificial vanilla is fine.
  • Powdered sugar – Also called confectioners or icing sugar.
  • Milk – Just a few tablespoons for the glaze.

how to make an Apple Puff Pastry Braid

How to make an amazing Apple Puff Pastry Braid

A cross between apple strudel and an apple Danish, this pastry is sweet, savory, and all kinds of good!

Make the filling

  1. Add the diced apples, 3 tablespoons of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt to a medium-sized skillet or saucepan. 
  2. Turn the heat to medium-high, and when the mixture boils, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook until the apples are tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Combine the softened cream cheese, ⅓ cup of white sugar, ground cardamom, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Set this aside.

folding crescent rolls over on braid

Prepare the braid

  1. Preheat your oven to 400-F.
  2. Unroll the thawed puff pastry sheet and place it on top of a sheet of parchment paper.
  3. Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll out the puff pastry until it is ¼-inch thick.
  4. Pick up the parchment paper with the rolled puff pastry and transfer it to a baking sheet.
  5. Add the cream cheese mixture in a line down the center of the puff pastry.
  6. Arrange the cooled apple filling on top of the cream cheese filling.
  7. Slice diagonal strips down both sides of the puff pastry with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Be careful to leave a ½-inch border around the cream cheese and apple filling. Aim for 8-10 strips.
  8. Fold the strips up and over the apples, starting at one end of the puff pastry and alternating sides to create a braid across the top of the filling.
  9. Continue to fold the dough strips until the filling is covered. Tuck the end strips under the braid.
  10. Beat the egg white in a bowl with a fork, then brush the egg white over the top of the puff pastry and sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of sugar over the top.
  11. Bake in a preheated 400-F oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

making frosting for pastry

Make the glaze

  1. Make the glaze by melting 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until it gives off a nutty smell and has turned into brown butter.
  2. Transfer to a bowl to cool slightly, then stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until smooth, adding 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until the glaze is thin but not too runny.
  3. Drizzle the cooked and slightly cooled apple braid with the glaze, then slice and serve!

drizzling frosting on Apple Puff Pastry Braid

Tips & substitutions

  • Keep the puff pastry cold in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Puff pastry won’t puff properly if it gets too warm.
  • You can make the apple and cheese fillings up to a day in advance and store them in the fridge until ready to use. You may need to add 1-2 minutes of baking time to account for the cold filling.
  • If your braid starts getting too brown, add a piece of foil over the top.
  • If you want to cut calories, use a small amount of the glaze. 

Serving suggestions

A slice of this Apple Puff Pastry Braid is perfect as a dessert or with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee. I have also served it along with a leftover Thanksgiving board and my famous brunch boards. It’s terrific served for dessert after homey casseroles, but it’s fancy enough to be a show-stopping dessert after dinner parties.

a serving of puff pastry apple braids

Storage

This puff pastry dessert is best eaten fresh. If you have leftovers, pop them into an airtight container and store them in the fridge for 2-3 days. The puff pastry will lose its flakiness, but it’ll still be delicious! 

an apple braid

Check out these awesome apple dessert recipes while you’re here

baked Apple Puff Pastry Braid
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Apple Puff Pastry Braid

Flaky and delicious, Apple Puff Pastry Braid is a tasty twist on a classic! Easy to make and loaded with flavor, it’s a great fall dessert!   
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 9
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Ingredients
 

For the Pastry:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry; defrosted
  • 1 egg white beaten to use on top of the pastry braid.
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons white sugar to sprinkle on top of the pastry braid before baking.

For the Apple Filling:

  • 2 large apples; peeled cored and chopped, about 2 1/2 cups
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese; softened
  • cup white sugar
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • cup confectioners' sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons milk

Instructions
 

Make the filling:

  • Place the chopped apples and 3 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the apples are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, 1/3 cup white sugar, cardamom, and vanilla.  Set aside and prepare the puff pastry.

Prepare the braid:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Carefully unfold the sheet of puff pastry and place on top of a sheet of parchment paper. Lightly roll with a floured rolling pin until it is ¼ inch thick.  Transfer the puff pastry (including the parchment paper) to a baking tray.
  • Down the center of the puff pastry, add the cream cheese mixture.
  • Arrange the cooled apple filling on top of the cream cheese mixture.
  • Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, begin slicing diagonal strips down both sides of the puff pastry, being careful to leave a ½ inch border around the cream cheese and apple slices.
  • There should be around 8 to 10 strips depending on the length of the pastry braid.
  • Starting at one end, begin folding the strips up and over the apples, alternating sides to form a braid with the dough.
  • Continue to fold the dough strips until the apples are covered.  Tuck the end strips under.
  • In a small bowl, beat with a fork one egg white.
  • Brush the pastry braid with the egg white and sprinkle the top with 1 to 2 tablespoons white sugar.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.Allow to cool slightly before drizzling with glaze.

Make the glaze:

  • To make the glaze, heat the 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until it gives off a nutty fragrance, about 5 minutes, to make a “brown butter.” Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool slightly. Stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix in the milk a teaspoon at a time until the glaze is thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle the apple braid with the glaze; slice and serve!
  • Meanwhile, make the filling. Place the chopped apples and 3 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well; add the mixture to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the apples are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the filling to cool.
  • To make the glaze, heat the 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the pan occasionally and cook until the milk solids turn brown and give off a nutty fragrance, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool slightly. Stir in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Mix in the milk a teaspoon at a time until the glaze is thin enough to drizzle. Decorate the Danish braid with the glaze.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Calories: 401kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 272mg, Potassium: 123mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 559IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 1mg
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apple braid with glaze