Lemon Cheesecake Braid
Lemon Cheesecake Braid

5 from 1 reviews
Lemon Cheesecake Braid
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This gorgeous, tangy, sweet pastry braid is the perfect breakfast or dessert. It looks super fancy and will impress guests, but it's shockingly easy to make. If you're a lemon fan, you must make this!
Serves: 6
Dough Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water for egg wash
Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • zest of 1 lemon (reserve some for topping)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 egg, room temperature
Icing Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  1. Make the filling: Cream the softened cream cheese in a medium bowl until fluffy before adding lemon zest, sugar, lemon juice, and the egg. Mix together until well combined. Set aside on the counter while you prepare the rest of the braid.
  2. Make the pastry braid: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In the bowl of a food processor, mix the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the cream cheese and butter into the flour mixture and pulse to cut the fat into the flour (about 6 pulses). Add the milk and almond extract and blend until it’s just starting to come together into a loose dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a big sheet of lightly-floured parchment paper and knead each very lightly for just 4-5 strokes (be careful not to overwork the dough or it’ll be tough! Don’t worry about getting it smooth — just knead for these few strokes and let it stay a little rough.)
  4. Very lightly flour the top of the dough and place another sheet of parchment paper on top. Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll the dough to an 10- by 12-inch rectangle (I lift the paper off every now and then and flip the dough and repeat on the other side, to ensure the dough isn’t sticking). Remove the top sheet of parchment and discard. Measure and mark the dough lengthwise into thirds. Pour the melted butter onto the middle third, spreading it around with the back of a spoon. Dollop the cream cheese mixture on top of the butter and spread it out (I use the back of two spoons to spread it around). Things will get oozy and you will worry that you're messing the braid up. Take a deep breath and soldier through, because it's gonna come out amazing!
  5. Continue assembling the braid: (Remember, there are photos below to help visualize this step!) Make diagonal cuts at 1-inch intervals on each the long sides. Do not cut into the center filling area. Fold strips, first one from one side and then one from the other side in an alternating fashion, over the filling. It will now resemble a braid. Use the sheet of parchment to carefully transfer your braid to a baking sheet. At this point you can cover and refrigerate the braid overnight, or you can continue to the next step.
  6. Bake and glaze the braid: Brush the pastry braid with the egg wash mixture. Bake in the 425 degree oven for 20-22 minutes, until the dough is really golden on top and the filling is set. After allowing the braid to cool for around 30 minutes, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon and vanilla extracts, and milk in a small measuring cup with a pour spout. Drizzle over the top of the braid. Top with lemon zest and serve!


Example of how to cut and assemble braid.

21 Comments on You Need To Make This Lemon Cheesecake Braid

  1. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    January 5, 2015 at 2:33 am (7 years ago)

    Oh wow!! Yes you’re right… I definitely need to make this. Two of my favourite things – lemon and cheesecake! Yum!!! Thanks for the recipe xx

  2. nabila
    January 5, 2015 at 4:39 am (7 years ago)

    thank you

  3. Aimee @ ShugarySweets
    January 5, 2015 at 8:46 am (7 years ago)

    I love that you admit you need to be posting healthy. Nope, no rules in my book! I love all things lemon 🙂

  4. Stephanie @ Back for Seconds
    January 5, 2015 at 9:05 am (7 years ago)

    How awful 🙁 Will say a prayer for them for sure.
    This braid looks incredible – I pinned it and will definitely be making it soon!

  5. Alyssa
    January 5, 2015 at 10:47 am (7 years ago)

    That is sad about the kids you babysat for. I will be thinking about them and their family. This cheesecake braid looks amazing!

  6. Michelle ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen
    January 5, 2015 at 12:02 pm (7 years ago)

    You do have a way with words. I was drawn in by your journal entry. How sweet that you have those memories. I’m sure Elise and Elias would love to read these words about them from that age. So sorry for their father’s passing. So difficult.
    Love your idea of brightening up winter with some lemon. I think I’ll do that soon!

  7. Kare @ Kitchen Treaty
    January 5, 2015 at 12:12 pm (7 years ago)

    That is so heartbreaking about the family you know. 🙁 Sending love that way.

    This bread looks absolutely perfect. I need to remember it for Easter!

  8. Jameson Fink
    January 5, 2015 at 12:13 pm (7 years ago)

    This is beautiful and I love the addition of lemon zest on top

  9. Marye
    January 5, 2015 at 12:26 pm (7 years ago)

    Oh my!!! This does look delicious!

  10. Erica Lea | Buttered Side Up
    January 5, 2015 at 3:29 pm (7 years ago)

    Ummmm, this looks incredible. My husband loves cream cheese and lemon. Sounds like a winning combo!

  11. Thalia @ butter and brioche
    January 5, 2015 at 9:44 pm (7 years ago)

    I am seriously loving everything about this recipe.. I love pastry braids, especially when they contain delicious fillings like this lemon cheesecake version!

  12. Foodiewife
    January 5, 2015 at 10:16 pm (7 years ago)

    Gah! I’ve had this type of breaded pastry on my radar for years, and have procrastinated making one. I’m trying to eat healthier. At least for one more. You’re killin’ me!

  13. Karen
    January 7, 2015 at 2:05 am (7 years ago)

    You’re right – I need to make this lemon cheesecake braid! It would be the perfect thing to forget the cold outside for a while.

  14. Erin M.
    January 7, 2015 at 3:34 pm (7 years ago)

    Yum! This looks so good! And I’m not a huge lemon fan

  15. Medha @ Whisk & Shout
    January 9, 2015 at 2:30 pm (7 years ago)

    Lemon recipes are my favorites! This is so creative and looks amazing… cannot wait to check out the buns, too 🙂

  16. theresaf
    January 10, 2015 at 11:48 am (7 years ago)

    Your story and recipe are both memorable and my thoughts and prayers are with those two children.
    On a happy note I think this is a light recipe because it only serves 6 so even if you eat too much – ie the whole thing – still only 6 servings. Portion control is a baby steps challenge!
    Thank you

  17. Rebecca
    January 17, 2015 at 12:38 am (7 years ago)

    Love that pictures!! Such a glorious lemon cheesecake braid

  18. Carol
    May 15, 2015 at 8:21 am (7 years ago)

    This is such a beautiful recipe. I am a huge lemon lover, so I can hardly wait to make it.My husband on the other hand, does not like lemon, so guess what? Yeah! More for me- oh yes, I will eat it up!


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