Homemade butter braids that turn out soft and tender. They are loaded with a yummy cinnamon and brown sugar filling. Forget about those frozen ones you can buy from the fundraisers around town. This butter braid recipe is so much better and won’t cost a fortune. This recipe makes FOUR 12-inch braids but feel free to reduce the recipe to make as many as you need.
Why I Love Butter Braids
These cinnamon butter braids were everything I had hoped they would be when I created the recipe! I am quite particular when it comes to breakfast sweet bread because most of them are really dry and quite bland. Not the case at all with this champion! She (yes, bread is female) is tender, moist, buttery, and overflowing with a thick cinnamon filling. No way would I allow any skimping when it comes to the best part.
The brioche dough for this butter braid recipe was perfect. When I created the filling, I decided to double the amount just to be safe. Again, there is no such thing as too much filling! I think I might just stencil those words on the walls of my kitchen and turn it into the best mural ever.
The Story Behind the Recipe
I know others like to count the number of days until Christmas, but to me, the much more relevant number is the number of weekends until Christmas. The weekend is when all the “stuff” gets done. Just to freak you out a bit, that number is only EIGHT! (I know you don’t believe me, so go ahead and pull up your calendar right now to count for yourself…..I told you!)
With “The Holidays” already knocking on my stress levels, I’ve begun trying out a few new recipes to see if they are good enough to make the cut for either our Thanksgiving or Christmas Day feasts. Yes, the food for these two events is so important that I will take recipes for a test drive to see if they are worthy. Up first was an attempt to create homemade butter braids.
For holiday breakfasts, we often love our favorite cinnamon rolls along with our sausage and egg casserole. However, this year the kids asked if we could mix it up a bit and I’m always up for a culinary adventure!
What Are Butter Braids
Butter braids are a sweet breakfast pastry that has many different fillings. They use a rich brioche dough for the bread portion and are filled with flavors like apples, peaches, cherries, cinnamon sugar, and chocolate. The dough is braided over the filling to make them look beautiful, and to allow the filling to ooze out while baking. Once finished, a drizzle of powdered sugar frosting is added over the top creating breakfast perfection.
Butter Braids Ingredients
Like all amazing sweet breakfast pastries, butter braids include all the best baking ingredients so they turn out tender and rich.
- All purpose flour
- Large eggs
- Sour cream
- Salted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Active dry yeast
- Kosher salt
How to Make Butter Braids
If you can make a simple yeast dough, you can make butter braids. Just because they are “fancy” looking doesn’t mean they are hard to make.
Time needed: 10 hours.
How to Make Butter Braids
- Prepare the brioche dough
This is done most easily using a stand mixer but can certainly be done by hand.
- Chill the dough for 8 hours
While it is tempting to skip this step, this rest and chill in the fridge allows the gluten strands that were formed in step one to relax. It also allows the butter particles to firm up in the dough, which will help create a light, airy pastry once it bakes.
- Prepare the cinnamon brown sugar filling
Feel free to use other fillings such a chocolate, Nutella, or canned pie filing.
- Form the braids
Roll the dough into an 8” x 12” rectangle. Add the filling down the center. Cut 12 slices along each side of the filling and criss-cross those slices over the top of the filling.
- Let the butter braid rise
They should be covered so they don’t dry out and left in a warm place. This step will take about 60 to 90 minutes.
- Bake the butter braids
Be sure the oven is preheated to 375 degrees before they go in. If it oven is too cool, the butter won’t perform as it should and the finished pastry will be denser.
- Drizzle on the glaze
Let the braids cool for about 5-10 minutes before adding the glaze or it will just run off the top and onto the pan.
Butter Braids FAQs
Once the butter braid has been baked, as long as you keep it wrapped in plastic wrap or sealed in an airtight container, the pastry will last for 3-5 days at room temperature. If you want to reheat the leftovers, do so with individual slices in the microwave for a few seconds. Other methods will cause the butter braid to dry out.
If you like sweet bread and pastries, you will love butter braids. The dough is made from rich brioche dough and the filling adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the bread. Plus, once you add the drizzle of powdered sugar frosting over the top, you’ve hit breakfast perfection.
Can you freeze butter braids?
Yes, you can freeze butter braids at two different stages. First, you can freeze them after you assemble them and before they rise. Freeze them directly on a baking sheet until they are solid. Then wrap them first in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil before storing them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To bake them, allow them to thaw at room temperature and rise before baking them as directed in the recipe.
You can also prepare and bake the butter braids as the recipe directs but stop the baking about 5 minutes before they are completely done. Allow the pastries to fully cool. Wrap them well in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil then store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To use the bread, allow them to thaw at room temperature then pop them into the oven for about 5 minutes to get hot and finish browning.
Can butter braids be made ahead of time?
Yes, you can make butter braids ahead of time. Prepare the butter braids as the recipe directs, but stop the baking about 5 minutes before they are completely done. Allow the pastries to fully cool on the baking sheets. Wrap them well in plastic wrap and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days. To use the bread, bring them to room temperature then pop them into the oven for about 5 minutes to get hot and finish browning.
Butter Braid Recipe Flavor Variations
Being a home cook provides endless opportunities to experiment with recipes, personalizing them to your tastes and creativity. Any of the following variations would be great spin-offs of this zucchini bake recipe.
- Add dried fruit to the brown sugar mixture. You can use raisins, dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries, or apricots.
- Add fresh fruit either in place of the brown sugar mixture or in place of it. You could also use a canned pie filling in this setting.
- Use chocolate in place of the cinnamon brown sugar mixture. You can simply use either semi-sweet chocolate chips or a chocolate bar. I would use darker chocolate instead of milk chocolate but either would work.
- Use Nutella as a substitute for the cinnamon brown sugar mixture. The amount will depend on your own preference but this is definitely something you measure with your heart instead of a measuring cup 🙂
Looking For More Amazing Breakfast Recipes?
If this recipe for butter braids was exactly what you love about breakfast recipes, you’ll love each and every one of these recipes as well! Grab them now so you don’t miss out.
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Cinnamon Butter Braids
This sweet and gorgeous breakfast bread is perfect for your favorite holiday breakfast or just a way to celebrate a weekend!
- Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 – 12” braids 1x
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 1/2 C sugar
- 1/2 C butter
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 packages yeast
- 1/2 C warm water
- 2 large eggs
- 4 C flour
- 3/4 C butter, melted
- 3/4 C sugar
- 3/4 C brown sugar
- 9 Tb flour
- 2 Tb cinnamon
- 2 C powdered sugar
- 1 Tb milk
- pinch of kosher salt
- In a glass bowl, add the sour cream, sugar, butter, and salt. Microwave on high until the butter melts, about 45 seconds, and mix together.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the water and yeast, then let sit for 5 minutes. Add the sour cream mixture, along with the remainder of the dough ingredients, and mix well until a soft dough forms. Cover and chill for 8 hours.
- While the dough chills, mix together the filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Divide dough into four equal pieces and roll each portion into about the size of a sheet of paper (8.5 x 11″). Down the center of each piece, spread 1/4th of the filling mixture. Cut about 12 slices down each side of the filling mixture, then starting at the top, criss-cross the pieces over each other. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet, cover, and allow to rise for about an hour.
- Bake in a preheated 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until browned.
- Mix together the glaze in a small bowl. Drizzle warm braids with powdered sugar glaze and serve.
- Canned pie filling
- Add dried fruit to the cinnamon brown sugar mixture
- Prep Time: 8 hours
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/6th braid
- Calories: 306
- Sugar: 28g
- Sodium: 116mg
- Fat: 12g
- Saturated Fat: 8g
- Unsaturated Fat: 3g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 47g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 4g
- Cholesterol: 41mg
Keywords: Butter braids
is the tb 9 Tb flour Tablespoon?
Hi- this looks incredible! Question for the butter in the dough. Should it start cold or room temp? Does it matter since we microwave it?
Also- what type flour is needed? Thanks!
I used standard all purpose flour. Hope you enjoy it!
Hey Sydney! Since you are going to melt it, it makes no difference
Just wondering, do these braids freeze well?
Could you freeze before baking and then let rise overnight like the ones purchased for fundraisers?
The recipe looks fabulous!
Hey there Sheryl! I’ve never had experience freezing them but it should work. I would let them rise about half way after you braid them before freezing them. Good luck!
Would I be able to make the dough at 8:30 at night and then bake it in the morning around 8 am? Would that work?
Thanks! Looks so delicious looking forward to making it!
Hey Cecelia! Yes, that would work but you will need to reduce the amount of yeast by 1/3 and cover the braids really well in the fridge overnight. I would let them rest a bit at room temperature in the morning for about 30-40 minutes before baking them. Good luck!
Brittany B says
I’m am looking forward to making this next weekend ❤
Just a quick question, if we were to create the braid, wrap it in plastic wrap, and freeze it, how long do you think it would last for until it goes bad? And if we freeze it would you recommend cutting the icing ingredients to 1/4 (unless we want extra icing of course!) So when it comes time to bake the frozen ones we canapé fresh icing?
Hi Brittany! I’m assuming you mean to freeze the uncooked braids. If you do this, I would let them raise almost all the way, then stick them into a freezer on baking pan, let them freeze until rock solid, then wrap them in plastic wrap. It would easily let 3-4 months this way. To prepare them, let them thaw and finish rising first. I wouldn’t make the icing until after you have baked them.
Can you put the dough in the freezer and cut the rising time in half, or would you recommend something else to speed up the rising time?
If you are going to freeze these Allie, I would freeze them after they are completely assembled and have risen about half way. When you go to bake them, you would first have to let them thaw in the fridge and finish raising, which would take about 24-36 hours.
I’m giving this 5 stars for the dough. It’s delicious & very easy. The cinnamon filling was too sweet & too pasty. I would have to figure out some other cinnamon filling. But I did use fruit spread for the other coffeecakes. Apricot & raspberry were delicious. I am going to try using this dough to make individual sweet rolls.
Thanks so much Mary for coming back and letting us know how it went! Glad you enjoyed the dough and that you will continue to use the recipe!
Hello(: wanted to make these for the next couple days of breakfast and sweet cravings, but I do not have any sour cream:( I could go get some yes- but I would rather see if I have any substitute options first so I can save another grocery trip and save the money. Any ideas? Thank you!!! Can’t wait to have this again.
Hi Jill! The only substitution I would recommend would be plain yogurt.
I can’t believe this wonderful recipe has been out for 4 years and I’m just finding it! Although my waste-line will now be making up for lost time :). Thanks for posting, you rock!
Always happy to help out a friend’s waist line 🙂
Love the dough, I would like to make a bavarian filling, any suggestions on how to make it?
Sorry, but I’ve never made that type of filling!
I would like to make a fruit filing such as cherry or apple. Have you added fruit to your braid? What changes would you make if you used fruit?
Hi Kimberly! No, I have never used a fruit filling but I know it would be amazing. If you are making the fruit filling fresh, I would pre-cook it on the stove to soften the fruit and then add it to the braid and bake it according to the directions.
This looks delicious! Have you ever frozen them after baking? I’m wondering if you could bake, freeze, and thaw on the counter overnight to serve for breakfast? It would be great to get ahead like that for Christmas.
Hi Marcy! If I was going to do that, I would par-bake them, freeze, and then finish baking them in the oven before serving. Take them about 90% of the way to finished in the oven, let them cool completely, then freeze.