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Lemon Cream Cheese Puff Pastry Braid (step-by-step photos)

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Lemon cream cheese puff pastry braid is a delicious, lemony, buttery treat perfect with your morning coffee or afternoon tea. Made with ready-made puff pastry and a luxurious lemon cream cheese filling.

(Love baking lemony treats? Make a jar of lemon sugar. It will make your lemon baked goods that much better!)

Lemon Cream Cheese Puff Pastry

I love coffeeshop puff pastries with cream cheese filling. Cream cheese with cherries, cream cheese with blueberries, or just plain cream cheese.

Lemon cream cheese is my favourite. So I taught myself how to make it at home. And it couldn’t be easier.

I use ready-made all-butter puff pastry which I then fill with the most delicious lemon curd cream cheese. 

A quick 30 minutes in the oven is all I need for a delicious, lemony puff pastry that tastes better than what I can buy from my local coffeeshop! It’s less expensive to make it myself too.

Ingredients to make lemon cream cheese puff pastry

Lemon Cream Cheese Puff Pastry

The ingredient list is short and simple. All you need are:

  • Cream cheese
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemon curd — you can use your favourite store-bought brand but I like to make my own lemon curd with lemon juice, lemon zest and butter
  • Salt
  • Frozen all-butter puff pastry — puff pastry usually comes with 2 sheets in a box but this recipe is enough for 3 sheets
  • Egg and water for the egg wash

Tools you need to make lemon puff pastry

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You don’t really need any special tools to make braided lemon cream cheese puff pastry. Just an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer) to beat the cream cheese, a baking sheet and a small sharp knife to cut the pastry.

Other things that would be helpful include:

  • Pastry brush
  • Spatulas
  • Measuring cups and spoons

How to make lemon curd cream cheese puff pastry

For the detailed recipe, scroll to the bottom of the page for a printer-friendly recipe card.

Making your own braided puff pastry is quick and easy. Before starting though, remember to thaw your frozen puff pastry according to package instructions.

1. PREP BAKING SHEET. Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. I use a big baking sheet that fits all 3 puff pastry braids. If you don’t have one that’s big enough, you can use 2 regular baking sheets and just position them in the middle rack of your oven, or you can bake the lemon pastry one at a time keeping the others in the fridge while the first one is baking. 

2. PREPARE LEMON CREAM CHEESE FILLING. Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon curd and salt until smooth.

3. PREP PUFF PASTRY BRAID. Gently unfold thawed puff pastry on baking sheet and cut strips on top, the bottom, and the sides (see photos, below). Try to keep each strip equal in size.

Lemon Curd Cream Cheese Puff Pastry

4. TRANSFER FILLING. Place lemon curd cream cheese filling in the middle of your puff pastry and smoothen the top. For this recipe, there might be some overflow at the sides of the braid because there might be gaps in there like you see in the photos; I don’t make perfect pastry braids and that’s okay. What you don’t want is to place too much filling in your pastry that it overflows everywhere which would result to a soggy not a crispy pastry.

5. BRAID PASTRY. Fold puff pastry over the filling, overlapping each strip (see photos). Refrigerate while you work on the next puff pastry. 

6. BAKE. Once you’ve done all 3 lemon cream cheese puff pastries, brush them with egg wash and bake for 30 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Best served immediately.

Lemon Curd Cream Cheese Puff Pastry

You can also make an optional glaze for this braided puff pastry recipe. Just stir confectioner’s sugar with milk until the sugar dissolves and you get a runny, pourable consistency. Drizzle while the pastries are still warm.

Tips for working with puff pastry

Lemon Cream Cheese Puff Pastry

I always have a box of store-bought puff pastry stashed in our freezer. I once looked to see how to make homemade puff pastry and when I saw it had 100 steps (ok, maybe just 80), I gave up.

I’ve always been very happy with ready-made puff pastry anyhow. They are so versatile and easy to work with. Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Splurge on all-butter puff pastry. When you’re out buying puff pastry, pay attention to the ingredients. Always spring for the ones that are 100% butter. Some are made with shortening and you can always taste the difference.
  • Thaw puff pastry properly. Store-bought puff pastry needs to be thawed before you can use them. You can bring them down from freezer to fridge the night before or if you’re pressed for time, leave them out on your counter while you’re prepping. 
  • Keep puff pastry cool. If you’re working with several sheets of puff pastry, it’s best to work with one sheet at a time. Keep the rest in the fridge and only bring out when you’re ready for it. You don’t want them at room temperature.
  • Roll puff pastry at the right time. The most important thing to remember is not to roll puff pastry out too early (e.g. the sheet is still partially frozen), because it will tear. Or too late (e.g. the sheet feels warm) because this means the butter has melted and your pastry will not rise properly. The right moment is when the dough is flexible enough to be shaped and rolled but still feels cool to the touch. 
  • Eat immediately! Puff pastries are best fresh out of the oven. But if you need to bake it ahead of time, let the pastries cool completely before storing in an airtight container. You can leave them on your counter for a few hours until you’re ready to serve. To bring back some it its crispiness, pop them back in the oven for a minutes before serving.

Recipes that use puff pastry

I love baking with puff pastry and this lemon cream cheese puff pastry braid has become one of my favourite puff pastry treats to make. Here are other recipes you can try.

These puff pastry cherry hand pies are so easy to make and so delicious you’d want to have a stash all the time. Perfect for picnics, afternoon snacking and breakfast-on-the-go.

Puff Pastry Cherry Hand Pies

A buttery, flaky crust envelope plump, juicy, sweet cherries in this quick and easy but exceptionally delectable mini cherry galette recipe.

Mini Cherry Galette
Lemon Cream Cheese Puff Pastry

Lemon Cream Cheese Puff Pastry Braid

Author: Jolina
Lemon cream cheese puff pastry braid is a delicious, lemony, buttery treat made with ready-made puff pastry and a luxurious lemon cream cheese filling.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine North American
Servings 18 slices
Calories 273 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 8-oz block cream cheese room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 7 oz lemon curd almost a cup
  • pinch salt
  • 3 sheets frozen puff pastry thawed according to package instructions
  • 1 pc medium egg whisked with a tablespoon of water to make an egg wash

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside (see notes).
  • Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat block of cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 7-oz lemon curd and pinch salt until smooth. Remember to scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl.
    Lemon Curd Cream Cheese Puff Pastry
  • Take 1 puff pastry sheet and gently unfold on baking sheet. Cut strips on top, the bottom, and the sides (see photo). Try to keep each strip equal in size.
    Lemon Curd Cream Cheese Puff Pastry
  • Place lemon curd cream cheese filling in the middle of your puff pastry and smoothen the top (see notes). 
    Lemon Curd Cream Cheese Puff Pastry
  • Fold puff pastry over the filling, overlapping each strip (see complete step-by-step photos in post). Refrigerate while you work on the next puff pastry. 
    Lemon Curd Cream Cheese Puff Pastry
  • Once you’ve done all 3 lemon cream cheese puff pastries, brush them with egg wash and bake for 30 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Best served immediately.
    Lemon Curd Cream Cheese Puff Pastry
  • OPTIONAL: To make an optional glaze for this braided puff pastry recipe, just stir about 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar with 1 tbsp milk until the sugar dissolves and you get a runny, pourable consistency. Drizzle while the pastries are still warm.

Video

Notes

  1. Frozen puff pastry is usually sold here in boxes of 2, each sheet roughly 10×10 inches when first rolled out. If you get them in a significantly different size, adjust accordingly.
  2. I use a big baking sheet that fits all 3 puff pastry braids. If you don’t have one that’s big enough, you can use 2 baking sheets and just position them in the middle rack of your oven, or you can bake the lemon pastry one at a time keeping the others in the fridge while the first one is baking.
  3. For this recipe, there might be some overflow at the sides of the braid because there might be gaps in there like you see in the photos (see post); I don’t make perfect pastry braids and that’s okay. What you don’t want is to place too much filling in your pastry that it overflows everywhere which would result to a soggy not a crispy pastry.
  4. This recipe yields 18 horizontal slices (like a biscotti) but can differ depending on you how you slice your pastry.
  5. See the post for the complete step-by-step photos and tips on working with puff pastry.

Nutrition

Calories: 273kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 3gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 135mgPotassium: 25mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gCalcium: 4mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information are estimates only.

Keyword Afternoon Tea, Easy, Mother’s Day, Spring, Summer
Tried this recipe?Tag @iamtheunlikelybaker I’d love to see your creations!

Happy baking!

Did you make lemon curd cream cheese puff pastry? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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