Cherry Cream Cheese Braid ~ #TwelveLoaves August 2012

by Kate on August 21, 2012

Post image for Cherry Cream Cheese Braid ~ #TwelveLoaves August 2012

Recently Amy called me the “Queen of Blog Challenges.” I chuckled at that but the more I take on, the more I realize that title isn’t bestowed lightly. I really have my hands in everything! BakeTogether, Improv Challenge, Daring Bakers, Monthly Miettes, MacTweets, Muffin Monday, Secret Recipe Club and not to be forgotten, I run my own blog challenge monthly too with First On The First. Yikes! Quite the workload on top of all the things I do just cause the mood strikes. But I love each and every challenge I’m involved in for their unique niche and the creativity that they spark in me.

So when Barb mentioned that there was a new challenge in town how could I resist? When she mentioned the theme of the group was bread baking I was sold. Bread has been my nemesis for many moons now. Rather, I should say that yeast has been my nemesis. I’ve had my issues with it the past yet I keep revisiting breads pursing success which I’ve had on numerous occasions now. In fact, I recently had yeasted success with that Parmesan Sun Dried Tomato Bread. I want to be able to make many breads though and not be scared of the process.

With that in mind, I joined Twelve Loaves. This group was created by Lora of Cake Duchess to inspire people to bake more bread in their kitchens. Each month Lora along with her hostesses (Barb, LisaJamie & Lizzie) will create themed loaves of bread and all of us will follow that theme each month to create our own lovely loaves. The idea is that everyone will discover new flavors, new textures and learn new techniques. Lora wants to spark a bread baking passion across the nation and the world around. Since she knows it’s not an easy task and Lora and her hostesses are there to help along the way. Thank goodness, cause I’m going to need some help!

This month we were to make a yeast or quick bread, loaf or individual, filled, stuffed, studded or topped with our favorite fresh summer fruit or berries. Because of my fear of yeast, I knew I would need some guidance. I went and peeked at all the hostesses recipes to get some inspiration. After drooling over each one of them, I decided I would try my hand at Lora’s cream cheese braid. Through her detailed instructions and beautiful pictures I was able to create a gorgeous braided bread of my own!

I made two changes to Lora’s braid, one on purpose and one on the spot. First, as I made my dough I was measuring out my flour and quickly came to realize that I was running low. So low in fact, that I would not have enough to make the bread! Frantically, at 9am I called my neighbor to see if I could (literally) borrow a cup of flour. Sadly, she didn’t answer. Probably cause she was sleeping! So I stood in the kitchen contemplating what to do. Mike wasn’t home and my only other option was to pile this whole crew into the car and run to the store. That is not an easy task so scratch that idea. Luckily I happened to have a small bag of whole wheat flour in the cabinet that I remembered mere moments before declaring defeat. So to my dough, I replaced one cup of flour with whole wheat flour. Next, filled mine with a fresh cherry cream cheese filling that was very well received by all my taste testers at work. Nearly the entire loaf was gone in a mere 15 minutes. I was thrilled that it was enjoyed by all and even more elated that I was able to create successful bread once more despite a small bump in the road. From here, I fully intend to create a variety of interesting breads monthly.



Cherry Cream Cheese Bread

Prep Time: 60 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves

Cherry Cream Cheese Bread

A braided loaf of bread filled with fresh cherry and cream cheese filling.


  • 1 recipe dough
  • 1 recipe cream cheese filling
  • For the cherry filling:
  • 1 pound cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract


    Cherry Filling Directions:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk a tablespoon of water with the cornstarch and set it aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until the cherries soften and mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cornstarch mixture and almond extract to the cherries, stirring constantly. Simmer 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature until set. If making the day before, leave in the refrigerator until the next day when ready to assemble the braid.
  4. For Bread, Cream Cheese Filling & Assembly Instructions:
  5. Cake Duchess


Time includes making bread and both fillings. Time does not include first 30 minute rise time and second 1 1/2-2 hour rise time.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennie @themessybakerblog August 21, 2012 at 8:51 am

This is one beautiful loaf of bread, and I love the cherry cream cheese filling. You would never by looking at this loaf that bread was your nemesis.


Kate August 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Thanks Jennie 🙂 I am definitely getting better at baking bread as I learn more. Now, I’ll be doing it every month so I’ll be a pro in no time!


Olga @ MangoTomato August 21, 2012 at 9:33 am

It looks GORGEOUS! Would not mind having it for breakfast or an afternoon snack 😉


Kate August 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Thanks so much, Olga! I did just that 😉


Christine August 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Good deal on the wheat flour, now I know if I run low, I can do that too!


Kate August 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Yes! And the nice thing was, it wasn’t dry or tough at all (like whole wheat breads sometimes can be.) Perhaps because it wasn’t all whole wheat flour. Either way, this is a loaf to love.


Barbara | Creative Culinary August 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Of course you know I’m delighted you’ll be baking along with us; I think bread can be a challenge no matter your experience level and if nothing else we will all find new and inspired recipes. I want to do this one too…it’s so reminiscent of what we had every Sunday for breakfast growing up; now the idea of making my own (with a LOT of filling) is calling to me. Great job and welcome aboard!


Kate August 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome to Twelve Loaves! I’m so excited to be challenged and learn as I bake bread each month.


Lora @cakeduchess August 21, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Fantastic baking, Kate!I like that you did also whole wheat and I will do that next time with my braid. Cherries and cream cheese sound magical and I’d love to have some of yours for breakfast:)we are all thrilled you baked with us for #TwelveLoaves:)


Kate August 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Thanks Lora! I’m so happy to be a part of Twelve Loaves and I’m really looking forward to baking with you all each month.


Lisa August 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I’m so glad you baked with us, Kate! That braid looks so professional and doubt it tastes amazing too! I’m definitely trying Lora’s braid when my baking juices start flowing again! I’ll probably do something crazy with it LOL Beautiful job..and I hope you keep baking with us xoxo!


Kate August 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I bet you would get really creative with this braid. Your creations are always so wonderful! Thanks for your kind words about mine 🙂 I’m so happy to be baking with you all! Can’t wait for next month.


Jamie August 22, 2012 at 11:52 am

15 minutes! Wow! But I can tell how good it is! And cherries…. mmmmmm perfect. I love cherry cheese Danish so I’ll bet this was out of this world good! And it is gorgeous. And, hey, one can really never bake enough, right? Thanks for baking this marvelous loaf for Twelve Loaves!


Kate August 22, 2012 at 5:47 pm

I agree! One can never bake enough! I’m so glad to be a part of this fabulous group and I can’t wait to learn from you all. And yes, 15 minutes!! It went fast.


Jenna@LittleKitchenBigFlavors August 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I love braided breads. They always look so elegant and rustic…especially when they are stuffed with a delicious filling! No olive oil for dipping required! Great recipe 🙂


Kate August 23, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Thanks so much Jenna! I’m so glad you like it.


RavieNomNoms August 23, 2012 at 10:07 am

Oh wow, that looks amazing! Seems easy and quick. Love that. I don’t think I would be able to stop eating this though!


Kate August 23, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Thanks so much! And it is hard to stop eating… thus the reason I had to take it to work 😉


Jenni August 27, 2012 at 9:14 am

Great job! Your braid looks very beautiful! I love the cream cheese filling in there, too! 🙂 And I often replace a tiny bit of regular flour with whole wheat! Good thinking without admiting defeat!


Kate August 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Thanks so much Jenni! It got hairy there for a few minutes and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. So glad I had the whole wheat flour! It saved me.


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