Pumpkin and Pecan Pie Pastry Braid
I’ve partnered with ALDI to try out their grocery stores and develop holiday recipes like this Pumpkin and Pecan Pie Pastry Braid. ALDI’s has compensated me for my time and recipe development, but all my opinions are my own.

Pumpkin and Pecan Pie Pastry Braid

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking
Yield: 2 braids, or about 18-20 servings

Looking for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert (or even, let’s be real, breakfast)? Forget choosing between pumpkin pie and pecan pie, because I just combined them in this pastry braid! You’re welcome.

You can even prepare this braid in advance: just complete all steps to assemble the braid, cover it with plastic wrap on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate overnight. Set it out on the counter in the morning as the oven preheats, egg wash it, and then bake as usual. I included some photos below that show the process of marking and assembling a Raspberry Almond Braid to show the process of assembly. It’s super easy to do, but a little fiddly to explain in just words.

Braid Ingredients:
4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
6 ounces cream cheese, cold and cut into cubes
1 cup milk, minus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon of water for egg wash

Pumpkin Pie Filling Ingredients:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
pinch salt

Pecan Pie Filling Ingredients:
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaping cup coarsely chopped pecans

Glaze Ingredients:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon maple flavoring (to taste)
sprinkling of cinnamon (optional)

Make the pumpkin pie filling: Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until fluffy. Add the pumpkin, melted butter, and heavy cream and mix to combine. Add the sugar and beat to combine. Add the egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger and beat to combine. Set this in the fridge to firm up a bit.

Make the pecan pie filling: whisk together maple syrup, brown sugar, egg, sugar, melted butter, flour, and vanilla extract. Fold in nuts. Set this in the fridge.

Make pastry braids: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In the bowl of a food processor, mix the flour, 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.

Divide the dough evenly between two big sheets 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.) Set one half of the dough aside while you make your first braid with the other half.

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. Spread your pumpkin pie filling down the middle third of the dough — try to keep your filling about 1/4 inch from the mark on both sides, but realistically, it’ll ooze a little no matter what. Don’t worry too much. Gently dollop pecan pie filling on top of the pumpkin pie filling, trying to get equal parts nuts and goop.

Continue assembling the braids: (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. Repeat this process with your other batch of dough. At this point you can cover and refrigerate the braids overnight, or you can continue to the next step.

Bake the braids: Brush the pastry braids with the egg wash mixture. Bake in the 425 degree oven for 14-18 minutes, until the dough is cooked through, the filling is set, and the top is very lightly browned. Let the braid cool slightly while you make your glaze.

Glaze the braids: Whisk together glaze ingredients and drizzle over the braid. You’ll use all the glaze on the two braids. Top with a sprinkling of cinnamon and serve immediately.

Example of how to cut and assemble braid.

Other pastry braids you’ll love:
“Magic” Chocolate, Coconut, and Pecan Pastry Braid
Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Breakfast Braid
Raspberry Almond Breakfast Braid
Blueberry Cream Cheese Almond Breakfast Braid

18 Comments on Pumpkin and Pecan Pie Pastry Braid

  1. Aimee @ ShugarySweets
    November 3, 2014 at 8:15 am (8 years ago)

    Oh my word, I just need to get my coffee and I’ll be over for a big slice of this braid!!

  2. Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files
    November 3, 2014 at 9:13 am (8 years ago)

    Pretty blown away by the creativity hear! I love danish because of the flakiness but not how dry they can be but the filling in this would solve my problem. YUM!

  3. heather @french press
    November 3, 2014 at 11:24 am (8 years ago)

    oh what I wouldn’t give for a slice or two with my coffee right now

  4. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    November 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm (8 years ago)

    We’ve had our Thanksgiving already, but I am still into pumpkin like whoa. LOVE this!

  5. Samantha
    November 3, 2014 at 2:36 pm (8 years ago)

    In the UK they have these maple pecan danishes which are super popular. It’s danish pastry braided over a maple filling with roasted pecans on top and then drizzled in icing. They’re amazing and definitely my favourite danish of all time.
    Unfortunately I haven’t seen one in New Zealand so I’m going to have to make your pumpkin pie version to keep me happy. And I have a feeling this will keep me plenty happy!

  6. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life
    November 3, 2014 at 4:03 pm (8 years ago)

    I love that you used pumpkin and pecan together too! We are totally on the same wave length today!! This braid is amazing looking and I totally want a slice with coffee too!

  7. Erin {Delightful E Made}
    November 3, 2014 at 4:59 pm (8 years ago)

    This look so completely wonderful! I would love a big slice with my morning coffee. Fantastic!

  8. Mirta Porley
    November 3, 2014 at 7:48 pm (8 years ago)

    Se ve delicioso,voy a intentar cocinar esta receta.

    • Julie Ruble
      November 3, 2014 at 8:59 pm (8 years ago)

      Gracias, Mirta!

  9. Joshua Hampton
    November 3, 2014 at 11:58 pm (8 years ago)

    This pastry braid looks gorgeous. Perfect for when you can’t decide between pecan pie and pumpkin pie. And oh, this would be awesome with morning coffee too!

  10. Jan K
    November 4, 2014 at 11:02 am (8 years ago)

    YUM!!! This looks so good! Can’t wait to try this, especially the crust as it is a new one to me.

    • Julie Ruble
      November 4, 2014 at 12:28 pm (8 years ago)

      You’re gonna LOVE this dough, Jan! It’s so nice to work with!! Thanks 🙂

  11. Kathy
    November 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm (8 years ago)

    When you are in Chicago, you should visit Breadsmith and try their European style fresh baked breads…

  12. Becky
    November 4, 2014 at 8:58 pm (8 years ago)

    SOOOOO jealous that you get to go to Chicago! I went 4 years ago and LOVED every minute of it. Yes on the Bean, yes on deep dish pizza. Also go to Sears Tower and Lincoln Park Zoo. If you have time, either the Field Museum or the Museum of Science and Industry.

  13. nimrodiel
    November 5, 2014 at 11:23 pm (8 years ago)

    What do you wear in our weather? lots of layers. Especially since we’ve been fluctuating between cold enough for snow flurries/freezing rain and 60 degrees in the last 7 days. a long sleeve shirt under a cardigan paired with a fleece hoodie works if you don’t have a cooler weather jacket.

    I would say walk around Navy Pier, but I’m not sure what’s open after last Friday’s storm. Although the SOFA Art and Design expo is going on on Navy Pier this weekend. http://www.sofaexpo.com/

    If you are a David Bowie fan there is a fantastic “David Bowie Is…” exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art right now that is the only stop here in the United States. It’s pricey, but is defiantly worth the admission. http://www2.mcachicago.org/exhibition/david-bowie-is/

    The Art Institute is always worth a visit. http://www.artic.edu/

    If you can’t tell I’m all about art and music over here 🙂

    Have a great visit

  14. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom
    November 5, 2014 at 11:37 pm (8 years ago)

    This pumpkin pecan pie pastry braid is a beauty!! and you’re going to love Chicago. . I’m in Madison, just a hop, skip and a jump away . . I just hope we get to see some of the city amidst everything else! 🙂 See you tomorrow!

  15. Amy | Club Narwhal
    November 6, 2014 at 1:36 pm (8 years ago)

    This is so, so beautiful! It has all the good things about Thanksgiving in one awesome braid 🙂 Have so much fun in Chicago–I hope your coat is warm enough, it is getting chilly in the Midwest!

  16. Melissa
    November 11, 2014 at 5:04 pm (8 years ago)

    I used to make pastry braids all the time, but never with this filling combo! Two of my favorite types of pies baked into one delectable dessert! Can’t wait to try it!


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