Almond Coconut Pastry Braid Recipe from Willow Bird Baking
Almond Coconut Pastry Braid

5 from 1 reviews
Almond Coconut Pastry Braid
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This braid is absolutely delicious and even though it looks fancy, it's super simple to prepare! If you're afraid of dough, this is the perfect recipe to start with. The dough couldn't be simpler to work with! To toast coconut for the topping, just bake shredded coconut at 350 degrees F for 4-6 minutes, tossing often.
Serves: 6-8
Dough Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup 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:
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3 1/2 ounces almond paste, frozen until firm and then grated with hand grater
Icing Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1-2 tablespoon milk (to thin to drizzling consistency)
  • toasted coconut for topping
  1. Make the filling: Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale yellow. Mix in the salt and coconut extract. Fold in the sweetened coconut and almond paste flakes.
  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 a few 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.) Very lightly flour the top of the dough and roll it out to a 10- by 12-inch rectangle. Measure and mark the dough lengthwise into thirds. Spread the butter mixture over the middle third of the dough.
  4. 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, brushing any excess flour off as you go. It will now resemble a braid. Use the sheet of parchment to carefully transfer your braid to a baking sheet.
  5. Bake and glaze the braid: Brush the pastry braid with the egg wash mixture and sprinkle with a little extra sugar. 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, almond and coconut extracts, and milk in a small measuring cup with a pour spout. Drizzle over the top of the braid. Top with toasted coconut and serve!


Example of how to cut and assemble braid.

18 Comments on Almond Coconut Pastry Braid

  1. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
    January 12, 2015 at 7:56 am (6 years ago)

    You don’t like fries?!! HOW??
    But, really, I would much rather stuff my face with this gorgeous braid! The almond coconut combo is perfect! Pinned 🙂

    • Julie Ruble
      January 12, 2015 at 8:11 am (6 years ago)

      Ohhhh girl I totally love fries now. What can I say — I had weird middle school taste back then. I didn’t like coconut either, so I was basically nuts.

  2. Nutmeg Nanny
    January 12, 2015 at 9:04 am (6 years ago)

    I guess I can be lucky I went to a really small middle/high school We only had one option and that was that. However, everyone (except me) was obsessed with Ranch dressing. Every time they poured it over their pizza I cried a little. Who could eat that? Ugh. Gross. BUT you know whats not gross? This braid! Almonds and coconut go so well together I wish I could eat the whole thing for breakfast.

  3. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    January 12, 2015 at 9:36 am (6 years ago)

    I can totallllly relate to this! Middle school is like the peak of all the weird things happening in life, right? I tutored at a middle school a few years ago and I remember thinking ‘Oy kids, it really does get better!’ This is one gorgeous pastry!

  4. Aimee @ ShugarySweets
    January 12, 2015 at 9:50 am (6 years ago)

    This pastry is gorgeous. I’m obsessed with coconut this time of year!!

  5. heather @french press
    January 12, 2015 at 11:04 am (6 years ago)

    I am LOVING this braid, but fries, how can you NOT love them. I think I lived on fries in middle school, the rest of our choices were horrid

  6. Patricia @ Grab a Plate
    January 12, 2015 at 5:48 pm (6 years ago)

    Did you have something called Pic-a-Snack in Middle School lunch? I loved it, but not really sure what it was! Some type of burrito 😉

    I’m in love with this recipe! Looks gorgeous and sounds amazing!

  7. Laura
    January 12, 2015 at 7:49 pm (6 years ago)

    This is absolutely delicious looking. And a creative way to use coconut.

    You didn’t like fries lol!?!?!?!?

  8. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
    January 13, 2015 at 11:01 am (6 years ago)

    I have a middle schooler. Thank you for the reminder about the default level of embarrassment! Sometimes I forget.

  9. Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire
    January 13, 2015 at 11:41 am (6 years ago)

    Growing up is just embarrassing in general for most kids. I know I can definitely relate! Would it be okay if I just take this braid and eat it in my room? Not just because I want to eat the entire thing in one sitting or anything like that… not at all…!

  10. Jilly B
    January 13, 2015 at 2:53 pm (6 years ago)

    This looks delicious and the combination of almond and coconut sounds soooooo good!

  11. Linda
    January 13, 2015 at 8:18 pm (6 years ago)

    This looks absolutely wonderful! The pictures make me want to make this tomorrow! I love your coconut recipes! Thanks for the pictures that make this look easy.

  12. Medha @ Whisk & Shout
    January 14, 2015 at 7:11 pm (6 years ago)

    Such stunning presentation and photos! And love your writing… you’re so right about middle school. A seriously rough time.

  13. Joanna
    January 16, 2015 at 4:29 pm (6 years ago)

    I love your writing and your pictures and your recipes! And since we live in the South Pacific with lots of coconuts, any time you post a recipe that uses coconuts, I’m especially happy 🙂

  14. Janet
    January 17, 2015 at 7:44 am (6 years ago)

    School, I do not miss it one bit. Ackward and embarrassing heck ya. Been there done that but no longer. I am who I am.
    My staple meal was bagel with butter and frozen lemonade.
    Beautiful pictures.
    Happy weekend!!

  15. Deb
    February 5, 2015 at 8:20 am (6 years ago)

    just began the process but got confused- you said to add in the egg when making the filling but I don’t see one listed in the ingredients. Don’t want to screw this up. Add it or not (inquiring minds want to know…)

    • Julie Ruble
      February 5, 2015 at 8:22 am (6 years ago)

      Oops, no egg, Deb! That’s left over from another recipe. Thanks for catching it.


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