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

5 from 1 reviews
Buttery Almond Pastry Braid
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If you love almond -- almond pastries, almond croissants -- this simple Buttery Almond Pastry Braid is perfect for you! Eat it for breakfast or dessert!
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
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 7 ounces almond paste, frozen until firm and then grated with hand grater
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, divided
Icing Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • sliced almonds for topping
  1. Make the filling: Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale yellow. Mix in the salt and almond extract. Beat in the egg until just combined. Stir in the almond paste flakes and about 1 cup of the slivered almonds.
  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: (There are photos and a video 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.
  5. 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, almond extract, and milk in a small measuring cup with a pour spout. Drizzle over the top of the braid. Top with sliced almonds and serve!


Example of how to cut and assemble braid.

Video of preparation and assembly of a braid.

94 Comments on Buttery Almond Pastry Braid (and How I Managed to Have a Crazy Cheap Wedding for under $1,000)

  1. Liren
    January 26, 2015 at 1:26 am (9 years ago)

    I still remember when I first saw pictures from your wedding and what shone through the most was your genuine happiness – your smile, Julie, said it all! And that is what means the most, at the end of it all. I remember planning my wedding, and while it had the usual conventions, what was most important to me was being surrounded by the people we loved most! I skimped on the dress and the rings and the ditched the video – 13 years later, and I have no regrets 🙂

    Love this gorgeous braid — I want this with my morning coffee tomorrow!

    • Tom ~ Raise Your Garden
      January 27, 2015 at 7:27 am (9 years ago)

      Well, we saved a ton of $$ by having an outdoor wedding on Lake Ontario. That summer, it rained every single day, except the day of our wedding which was summer and 75 degrees! Everybody was crazy, almost rooting against us, ,like, it’s gonna rain guys, so you’re not even going to save any money and be miserable. But it worked for us.

  2. Rachel Cooks
    January 26, 2015 at 7:01 am (9 years ago)

    This almond braid is of course total perfection, but your wedding is the real story here!!! I love how you did your own thing and made it perfect for YOU and your husband. And that picture of your dad hugging you?! What a perfect moment. Love it.

  3. Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet
    January 26, 2015 at 8:23 am (9 years ago)

    This braid looks perfect like right from a bakery! Yum! Love all the wedding tips and pics too! Makes me want to get married all over again. 🙂

  4. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    January 26, 2015 at 8:26 am (9 years ago)

    Oof, I wish my wedding was $1000!! I tried to keep the price low (and succeeded!) but even with a small guest list things were still expensive. Thanks for sharing yours! You looked gorgeous 🙂

  5. Nutmeg Nanny
    January 26, 2015 at 9:15 am (9 years ago)

    I will never tire of delicious looking pastry like this! I’m floored by your wedding budget…go you! I wanted something small but as always it ended up being big and while i wouldn’t change my wedding I do wish I had sometimes kept it small. I love the intimacy of the whole affair.

  6. heather @french press
    January 26, 2015 at 10:52 am (9 years ago)

    I just LOVE your wedding story! we kept ours small and intimate as well, but your budget blow mine out of the water – go you!!

  7. Mary
    January 26, 2015 at 10:53 am (9 years ago)

    I love your wedding and how it was just about you two! Most girl’s get caught up in the whole huge spend a ton of money thing. Your was sweet, personal and intimate! I love that. Your pastry reminds me of the vacations my family would spend in Solvang! YUM!

  8. Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    January 26, 2015 at 12:22 pm (9 years ago)

    I just love this post, Julie! People get so caught up in planning a wedding that they forget what it’s all about. What you did was so perfect for you and Mike and that’s what matters! You both look so gorgeous and happy in the photos so clearly this WAS the way to do it.

  9. Kirsten
    January 26, 2015 at 11:06 pm (9 years ago)

    Lovely wedding story and pictures. I have friends coming for dinner this week so I’m going to attempt a pastry braid.

    We kept our wedding inexpensive too. We had our reception at an art gallery/garden and served hors d’oeuvres. And friends generously donated photography skills, etc. It wasn’t fancy but it was perfect.

  10. Susan@LunaaCafe
    January 27, 2015 at 12:15 am (9 years ago)

    How awesome. We did our wedding ourselves too. I did all the food. My parents had a lake house with beautiful gardens, so we have a “garden party” theme. Only our closest family was invited to the church for the private ceremony and then the reception for everyone was immediately after. So much fun and perfect for us. My only regret is that we didn’t have this almond braid. 🙂

  11. Kim
    January 27, 2015 at 4:47 am (9 years ago)

    I think it’s wonderful that you forged ahead with what you WANTED, rather than what was EXPECTED. Both my kids had small, intimate weddings too, with only immediate family (for the most part). Our son and his wife chose to get married on the beach in Florida at sunrise. My husband gave the “message” but he couldn’t actually perform the ceremony; that’s where a dear first cousin came in, because he lived in Florida and was already ordained. Our son and his wife had their best friends stand up with them, and his best friend’s brother (a budding photographer) did the photos. Afterward we all trooped over to a restaurant where they had a breakfast buffet. We did have a room to ourselves, but got our food from the main buffet. We had a small very non-traditional but absolutely delicious wedding cake, just perfect for the 21 people in attendance.
    Our daughter got married in northern Indiana in the winter. She was working for a college that had recently bought and renovated an old hotel to serve as an offsite dorm for seniors. The lobby was the perfect size for a small wedding party (and the wedding was over winter break so no fear of any student disruptions). There were two pastors who shared responsibilities at the wedding: one from the church in Michigan where our daughter grew up, and the other from the church she was attending at that point. No attendants, but my daughter did want her best friend there, so she asked him to take the photos (same young man who had taken our son’s wedding photos was by then a full-fledged wedding photographer). He did, as a gift! Like you said, HUGE blessing! Our daughter had worked her way through college by waitressing at an up-scale restaurant in the same town, and that’s where we had the wedding dinner, in their private room that was perfect for our group of 26. My SIL made the cake, an amazingly delicious confection with thin layers of white chocolate she made and wrapped around the cake (which you can see here: http://kimfromthesouth.blogspot.com.ar/2010/12/project-365-week-51-wedding.html). I’m not sure either managed to keep it below $1,000 but they didn’t spend a huge amount and nothing near what most people do today on a traditional wedding. Most importantly, both had a wedding that was perfect for them.

  12. Sandi
    January 27, 2015 at 8:58 am (9 years ago)

    Unfortunately too many families feel they have to do their wedding up BIG when they really don’t. Weddings are for family and close friends not the neighbour you haven’t seen in ten years.

    My husband and I were married in 1999 at Niagara-on-the-Lake. We learned early that when making room reservations, DO NOT mention the “W”edding word or the pudding hits the fan.

    We had a very small wedding in a off-site suite at the Queen’s Landing. From Windsor we brought up a beautiful two tier wedding cake, wedding clothes, bouquet and coursages (dried, of course) lace, candles, home made wine, a large tray of petite fours, even some garland with lights to put along the fireplace mantle. My husband laughed at the contraption I made out of a newly purchase laundry basket to keep the wedding cake tiers safe. I don’t think we could have fit another shoe in the camaro if we tried.

    I had a dear uncle and his wife for our witnesses, they made a detour from New York back to their home in California so that they could attend. We hired a great photographer out of Niagara Falls and kind of quirky little minister. We were married right in the living room of our suite with Pachebel’s Canon playing in bedroom just beyong the sitting room.

    Afterwards we had dinner at the restaurant of the main building with champagne and rose petals and they went back to our room for wedding cake and coffee.

    It was a perfect rainy autumn wedding day and my husband still says we had the best wedding anyone could have.

  13. Jen and Emily @ Layers of Happiness
    January 27, 2015 at 11:55 am (9 years ago)

    You go girl! That decision is something you will never regret because the decisions we make for ourselves and only for ourselves are always the best decisions! On a side note, making this braid is a decision that I will make for myself and I probably won’t regret it either. 🙂

  14. Janet
    January 28, 2015 at 12:30 pm (9 years ago)

    Great tips for an affordable wedding. Our daughter got married in October and we kept it somewhat inexpensive as they knew we could not afford much as two of our boys are in college 🙂 We used lots of local businesses and friends who made the day special. The food was are main focus as well and it was delicious! We had about 100 people and my daughter ordered her cakes from Shop-Rite and they got rave reviews especially the carrot cake. The decorating was simple but it included burlap, vintage bottles, mums, pumpkins, candles and flowers. It was beautiful! The reception was held outside at our local fire department’s pavillion and that saved us a bunch. The fall colors on the leaves were so very beautiful as well. My daughter looked gorgeous and the church ceremony although not long was perfect for them. Her vows were filled with a bit of humor and everyone had a good laugh as both of their personalities and likes were spread throughout the day and made for a very comfortable and beautiful day for everyone!!

    Have a beautiful day!!

  15. Theresa Sea
    January 28, 2015 at 6:15 pm (9 years ago)

    I felt the same way about our wedding when the hubs and I got married-I was so anti-bride! I didn’t want a veil, I wore black shoes (gasp!), and we were also married before dinner on the “dancefloor.” We had a larger guest list, but I *so* can identify with how freeing it was to lose the “supposed to”s and just do what you want to do. Congrats!

  16. Erin
    January 28, 2015 at 9:15 pm (9 years ago)

    Whoa! I am impressed. And I love the idea of a Mama Ricotta’s wedding!

  17. Elle
    January 31, 2015 at 10:25 pm (9 years ago)

    Congrats on your wedding! I adore this post so much – while I am nowhere thinking about marriage, plenty of my friends are and they are spending loads on wedding stuff – which is fine, that’s their choice, but I think I’d like a simple, inexpensive wedding when it comes to mine! Your tips and advice are so practical and down to earth, I’m bookmarking this page for future reference! Thanks and congrats again 😀

  18. Foodiewife
    February 17, 2015 at 4:19 pm (9 years ago)

    Hurray for you, Julie! I just loved reading about your wedding. When Craig and I set about planning our wedding, we felt very similar to you and Mike. Why in the world would we want to go into debt for a wedding? Granted, I had been married before, but Craig had not. So, we picked a venue at a local restaurant that had a private room (no extra charge). We invited only family and very close friends. We didn’t expect wedding presents… in fact, we told our guests it wasn’t necessary (and I didn’t register for gifts). Bottom line, we had a lovely ceremony. My BFF did my hair and MAC did my makeup for free (I just bought all the makeup). My dress was bought at Macy’s, on sale for about $100.00. So many similarities to your wedding. We had a beautiful and memorable day. We splurged to take a cruise. I can understand why brides want that dream wedding– but the cost is just crazy! Oh yeah, about the recipe. Lemon. Swoon. Love.

    • Julie Ruble
      February 17, 2015 at 4:58 pm (9 years ago)

      How funny, we’re wedding twins!!

  19. Joelle
    February 22, 2015 at 9:16 am (9 years ago)

    Wow. Well, a lot of it came down to doing it ourselves, or enlisting good friends who were willing to take on various parts of the preparation as their wedding gift to us. My mother and I made a special day of selecting a dress pattern and buying fabric and notions, then turned it over to a good friend who sewed to have it made. (I’m a big gal; nothing off the rack in my price range, typically, except these godawful tent dresses.) I got married in a clean-lined, princess-seamed dress of platinum satin with a high sparkle-net neckline, decorated not with lace or beads but with satin roses and leaves that I made myself under our friend’s instruction. Rather than armloads of high-priced flowers, we decorated with rented potted ficus trees strung with little, twinkling fairy lights, making a sort of ‘magic forest’. Amateur photography from family, a cake baked by another friend, and we were able to use our own church as the venue. I did my own hair and makeup. To avoid asking my (often also financially strapped) friends to shell out for bridesmaid gowns they’d probably never wear again, I asked them all to wear whatever they had in a long black dress, then worked with my seamstress friend to make. . . tabards, basically. Open-sided over-gowns in a sheer, lavender-and-silver shimmery fabric, to wear over the black dress. I paid for the fabric, my awesome friend Raven helped me make them, and it provided a unified look to the wedding party without sinking a lot of cash into a one-off.

    • Julie Ruble
      February 22, 2015 at 3:44 pm (9 years ago)

      Great ideas here, Joelle! It sounds lovely!

  20. BonnieM
    February 24, 2015 at 4:27 pm (9 years ago)

    This looks amazing! Do you think I could freeze it, then defrost and bake?

    • Julie Ruble
      February 24, 2015 at 6:59 pm (9 years ago)

      Yes, I think this is perfect for that! You could probably even bake from frozen and just bake a few more minutes, but it might be safer to thaw in the fridge overnight before baking in the morning just so you know for sure about how long it’ll take (assuming you want it for breakfast, because doesn’t everyone? LOL.)

    • Amy
      January 7, 2017 at 9:35 am (8 years ago)

      I think the pastry would come incredibly beautiful and flaky baked from frozen!! I make a banket (an almond filled Dutch pastry treat!) that I make batches and batches of and freeze and bake directly from frozen and i think they are almost better than baking from fresh!! I love this almond braid recipe as a quick(er) treat when my banket stash is gone. The banket aren’t difficult to make, but its a time consuming process.

      • Julie Ruble
        January 12, 2017 at 5:05 pm (8 years ago)

        I love banket — I made one the first time a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it! Thanks for weighing in on freezing!

  21. Elizabeth
    April 8, 2015 at 10:30 am (9 years ago)

    I have made this 3 times and it is fabulous! I have to be honest though my dough always comes out sticky and is a little hard to “braid”.

    Thanks for sharing your scrumptious recipe

    • Julie Ruble
      April 9, 2015 at 1:14 am (9 years ago)

      Thanks Elizabeth! My dough is never sticky but it’s not unusual to have that kind of variation, since even the humidity outside/in your home can change the texture! You might try sticking the dough in the fridge for a bit before rolling it out, and don’t be afraid to use a touch more flour (you brush it off as you braid, anyway.) So glad you enjoy it!

  22. Carmen
    May 25, 2015 at 6:55 pm (9 years ago)

    love the pastry, but really love your wedding story! It’s so rare to hear of these days. Especially the ladies want it all – the spendy dress, jewelry, huge wedding party, and to feed their closest 500 friends and family some decent food. It’s unrealistic and stress-inducing and terribly fiscally irresponsible, starting off a marriage in the hole (or expecting family to foot the bill). I would’ve been happ with the super-intimate judge-officiated ceremony by the fireplace of our tiny little studio, but my MIL wanted a more formal do-over with friends and family. It still ended up costing us around $1000, and only because we were really lucky to get a deal on the restaurant (where my husband worked) and food, and my MIL insisted on paying for the flowers, decoration, and treats. I always think people are nuts to go into debt over one day. Kudos to you, and a lifetime of happiness!

  23. Chris
    July 3, 2015 at 12:42 pm (9 years ago)

    First things first: this almond braid is RIDICULOUSLY fantastic! Love love love!
    Secondly, I was so happy to read your wedding day story! My Dad was an ordained minister, so he too officiated at our ceremony (31 years ago this August!). What worries me these days is that the actual wedding is only one day, and while many couples often spend tens of thousands of dollars on a big show wedding, they often don’t understand what the actual marriage is all about. You guys have that notion down cold.

  24. Alma
    July 5, 2015 at 8:53 am (9 years ago)

    Cant wait to try this recipe! I don’t normally comment on blogs but I have to say that your wedding sounds a lot like MINE!!! We did 30 people at a great resto in Ottawa on Valentines day with family only. Its been 1.5 years now and I can say I do not regret having a small wedding the way some people said I might..ours cost a total of 10k that is with the food, the rings, and our 7 night honeymoon! WE got legally married at the City Hall but then my husbands dad did the same thing your dad did! A mini officiating in the resto!

  25. Juniper May
    September 13, 2015 at 4:24 pm (9 years ago)

    Made this today and it’s as delicious as it sounds. Like Elizabeth, my dough was too sticky to roll out. I put in in the freezer for about 10 minutes before rolling it out and then again for about 5 minutes before trying to braid.

  26. Dorene
    September 24, 2015 at 6:02 pm (9 years ago)

    Love your wedding! When my husband and I decided to get married (it was both our second marriage) we wanted to include all of our children and my parents. I’ve always wanted to be married on a beach and we looked at many different areas and wanted it to be somewhere where neither have been. That was the hard part. I have traveled many places and the only place I never been before was Hawaii. So we picked kauai. 11 of us all flew together. We rented a house where all 11 could stay. It was perfect. I purchased my dress online for $165. Flowers, pastor and the wedding planner cost $400. Beach was free. A friend that lives there took the pictures for free. Reception was an luau. Which we would of went to anyways. Our vacation was expensive but it was a one in a lifetime event for our college age children. Our actual wedding was only $565.

  27. Nikky
    January 7, 2016 at 5:29 pm (9 years ago)

    If I don’t have a food processor, what would be the alternate method for that part of the recipe? Thanks in advance … looking forward to making this lovely pastry.

    • Julie Ruble
      January 7, 2016 at 6:20 pm (9 years ago)

      Hi Nikky! There are many ways to cut fat into flour without a food processor. I like using two knives or a pastry cutter. This article gives you a great overview of the different methods! http://ourbestbites.com/2008/05/cutting-in-butter/ Then you can just add the water and combine until you have a dough formed, being careful not to overwork it.

      • marilynne
        February 5, 2024 at 11:51 am (6 months ago)

        im puzzled why the filling is so dark..im obviously missing something

        • Julie Ruble
          February 5, 2024 at 12:08 pm (6 months ago)

          Do you mean in the pictures? You might be seeing the slivered almonds?

  28. Loretta Roe
    January 11, 2016 at 9:51 pm (9 years ago)

    When we got marred we only hade family and close friends (total 60)we didn’t want a cake so we made home made cookies. We made my wives mothers chocolate chip, her favorite, and sugar cookie hearts frosted with our wedding colors, then just for fun we made colored rice crispy hearts. It was “US”

  29. Jamie churchill
    January 22, 2016 at 10:39 am (9 years ago)

    I am so excited to make this. I have family coming this weekend and can’t wait to try it. Question: does the cream cheese to to be at room temperature?

    • Julie Ruble
      January 22, 2016 at 11:13 am (9 years ago)

      I hope they all love it!! Nope, the cream cheese and butter should be ice cold for this recipe. Enjoy!

  30. Jamie churchill
    January 29, 2016 at 7:08 pm (8 years ago)

    This was a complete hit!! Great recipe. My dough turned out fabulous. Thank you!!

    • Julie Ruble
      January 29, 2016 at 9:36 pm (8 years ago)

      Hooray!! That is great to hear, Jamie!! Thanks for letting me know!

  31. Gabreilla
    February 20, 2016 at 4:26 pm (8 years ago)

    I just made your wonderful bread! It’s simply lovely; pure flaky, buttery, almondy delishness. (I’m not sure if almondy is a word, but it is now! 😉 )Thank you for the delectable recipe 🙂

  32. Ann
    March 2, 2016 at 7:04 pm (8 years ago)

    I enjoyed reading about your wedding, I was wondering if you could use almond filling such as Solo? If not is almond paste found in the baking section? Can’t wait to try this, love anything almond. Thank You!

    • Julie Ruble
      March 3, 2016 at 7:39 am (8 years ago)

      Hi Ann! I’ve never heard of Solo, but if it’s almond paste, it’s perfect! I think that might be a brand of almond paste. I usually find my almond paste in the baking section near the nuts / baking powder / baking soda, etc. I hope you enjoy!!

  33. Jackie
    March 31, 2016 at 6:07 pm (8 years ago)

    Hey! This looks delicious!! Can’t wait to try it!

    Just wondering if I need to freeze the almond paste? Would it make a difference if I just mix the room temp paste into the butter mixture, especially since it gets baked (thus melting it) anyway?

    Have you ever used frozen pastry crusts to save on time? If so, should the baking time be adjusted?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Julie Ruble
      March 31, 2016 at 7:51 pm (8 years ago)

      Hi Jackie,

      Thanks! Freezing the almond paste just makes it easier to grate. It’s a little soft for safe grating otherwise. I’ve never tried this with frozen pastry but I imagine cook time and temperature would be adjusted to whatever is on the pastry packaging for best results. Hope you enjoy!

  34. Dawn
    July 7, 2016 at 11:23 am (8 years ago)

    We did our wedding ourselves. My dress was $100 with a lace top and chiffon bottom. We were married Christmas Eve at my parents house in front of a tree and roaring fire by a friend who was a minister. Another friend player the guitar. My stepdad walked me across the room. My parents made an Italian sit-down dinner – shrimp scampi, spaghetti and meatballs, chicken piccata, garlic bread, caesar salad. We ordered a cake from my favorite local bakery – 3 tiers with Christmas ornaments on top that we still use on our Christmas tree. We had only two bouquets and a few flowers for the tables. It was still under $1000 even when I paid for my sister’s cobalt blue bridesmaid dress and we rented white tuxes for the groom and his best man. We were blissfully married for almost 20 years before he passed away. I would not have done anything differently.

  35. Sam
    July 16, 2016 at 10:51 pm (8 years ago)

    I’m in the middle of making this recipe and am using reduced almond paste. I find it almost impossible to grate the frozen paste s I’m thinking about simply crumbling it in small piece ms into the filling. Do you think that would turn out okay?

    • Julie Ruble
      July 17, 2016 at 1:40 am (8 years ago)

      Yes, that will work just fine!

  36. Tina
    October 11, 2016 at 5:03 pm (8 years ago)

    How well does this freeze? Have you tried freezing a loaf? Curious as to how well and how long you can keep it frozen.



    • Julie Ruble
      October 11, 2016 at 7:29 pm (8 years ago)

      I haven’t tried, but I suspect it will freeze well, baked or unbaked. I actually might prefer to freeze it unbaked, and once solid, pop it out and double-wrap it. I wouldn’t keep it longer than a week for flavor’s sake before popping it back in the pan, thawing overnight in the fridge, doing a last proof covered on top of the oven, and baking.

  37. Barbara Marrin
    November 7, 2016 at 8:42 am (8 years ago)

    Your wedding story is romantic and full of what a wedding should be, simple, romantic and personal. Your almond pastry braid is 5 star fantastic! I tried it, was impressed by how easy the pastry dough came together and it’s flakiness! LOTS of almond filling (I even had 1/2 cup left over that wouldn’t fit!). The almond paste is very expensive and since I did have leftovers, next time I’m going to make just 1/2 the filling recipe. I also omitted the almonds from the filling recipe, wanting more crunchy almonds on top. The recipe was a major WOW! at our house, so it’s a keeper.

  38. Alin
    November 13, 2016 at 11:51 pm (8 years ago)

    Lovely post, beautiful photos!
    About the recipe, when i tried it the first time as an experiment it turned out very nice, full of flavor, firm…
    But over the weekend i made 2 attempts and both were kind of a disaster, i followed all the steps and ingredients exactly, but as soon as i put it in the oven all the filling started coming out of it. What do you think might be the problem?
    Im guessing the first time I might have use a different almond filling.
    Oooor could it be because of the almond meal I used to make the Almond paste??

    • Julie Ruble
      November 14, 2016 at 4:35 pm (8 years ago)

      Hi Alin,

      Thanks for your kind words! I’m so sorry to hear about your last couple of attempts! Is it possible you accidentally left out the egg? If not, it could be a difference with the almond filling — I usually use Odense Almond Paste (this is an affiliate link, which means I get a commission if you buy from that link) and it has a very firm texture.

      It could also be that your filling gets too warm — I wonder if you make the pastry and fill it, and then freeze for 15 minutes or so before baking, if it might help. Here’s hoping one of these tips helps!

  39. Tamar
    November 14, 2016 at 4:21 pm (8 years ago)

    Very nice! My husband and I will be celebrating 40 years in April 2017. We had a cheap wedding as well. I hand wrote my invitations on nice lazer cut stationary. I borrowed my dress. My sis and I each carried a single long stemmed rose. No rented suits, just new ones. We had a pitch in for food, a small 3 tiered cake that cost $35. I even borrowed my shoes! It was nice not having a bill hang over our heads or be bothered by the fact that our folks had a big bill to pay. If more people would put as much effort into their marriages as they do their expensive weddings I think there would be a lot less divorce. I wish you and your special man a life time of happiness. And oh, yes, I like the sounds of this pastry. Yum.

    • Tamar
      November 14, 2016 at 4:25 pm (8 years ago)

      I forgot this: My dad also officiated at our wedding as he did at all of my siblings weddings except 2 out of 7.

  40. Mary Ann Spinelli
    December 23, 2016 at 4:41 pm (8 years ago)

    I just made this…however I modified it by adding 1 cup of candied fruit to the dough. It was delicious!!! The dough is perfect. And we love the almond extract flavoring. Great recipe ! Thanks for sharing. And Merry Christmas.

    • Julie Ruble
      December 23, 2016 at 7:48 pm (8 years ago)

      That sounds like a delicious variation, Mary Anne! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Merry Christmas!

  41. Margaret
    March 17, 2017 at 1:17 pm (7 years ago)

    You and your husband are to be praised. I’ve said for years, a wedding isn’t about all the trappings but eh intimacy of two people sharing with their closest family and friends. And the recipe for an almond pastry….thank you for sharing.!!!

  42. robyn
    March 20, 2017 at 9:29 am (7 years ago)

    Thanks Julie!
    Going to try this buttery almond braid recipe for my parents anniversary

  43. Susan
    April 4, 2017 at 8:24 pm (7 years ago)

    Your wedding was beautiful and so intimate. My wedding was also small, just family. We were married in the state capitol which was designed similar to the one in D.C. by a Supreme Court Justice … the grounds were beautiful with spring flowers blooming all over so we had a friend take photos there. Inside of the capitol building is all different marble with a gorgeous center rotunda. I went cheap on flowers and just wore a nice white suit that had a jacket, skirt and camesole. Since the capitol building is in the center of the city, we all just walked over to a restaurant and celebrated afterward …. no band, DJ, dancing, or decorations … just a lot of laughing and love.

    • Emma
      December 11, 2017 at 2:34 pm (7 years ago)

      Susan – are you in WV? Asking because our Capitol building is quite similar, and there are restaurants within walking distance. We almost got married there (we’d had lots of memories working there while dating), but the coordinator at the time wasn’t responsive. I’ve always thought Capitol weddings were so gorgeous!

  44. Sherry
    April 16, 2017 at 12:05 pm (7 years ago)

    There is no way this recipe can come out looking like the picture. I knew 8 T. of butter in the filling would not work but I trusted you and those who claimed they made it following your recipe. It splits apart and is a big puddle mess (as I expected). What a waste of good ingredients. Please check your ingredient list and fix your errors because people are still finding this and trying the recipe.

    • Julie Ruble
      April 16, 2017 at 2:11 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Sherry! As you mentioned, this recipe has been tested repeatedly and the photos are, indeed, the exact recipe pictured. I made it and took them myself. I would love it if you could have posted this comment without the accusations.

      I am nevertheless so sorry to hear that it didn’t work for you, perhaps right before you were planning on serving it Easter. I’m happy to help you troubleshoot what went wrong if you’ll give me a better idea of what happened. What I’m gathering is that some of the butter ran out, which is normal — it soaks the inside creating the same tender, gooey almond filling you might find inside an almond croissant, but some will inevitably run out onto the pan. The pastry should still be crisp on the outside and delicious.

      I’m not sure what you mean with you say it “splits apart” — my braids often bake such that the tabs open a bit (see this one: http://willowbirdbaking.com/2016/06/24/blueberry-goat-cheese-pastry-braid/) and I think they look lovely, but perhaps that’s what you mean? That’s just a function of making sure the tabs meet or overlap in the middle and are pinched closed if you want them to stay closed.

      I hope that’s helpful but I’m happy to offer any more thoughts if you’ll clarify. Kindly, please.

    • Carmel
      October 25, 2018 at 12:22 pm (6 years ago)

      I made this recipe exactly as written and it was awesome! A little oozed out of one end so next time I will pinch the end so that there is some pastry to keep the filling in. I wouldn’t change a thing. Delicious.

  45. Jennifer Loskota
    June 11, 2017 at 7:54 pm (7 years ago)

    The filling, to me seems like too much butter

    • Julie Ruble
      June 11, 2017 at 11:20 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Jennifer, did you make this recipe?

  46. Jan Davis
    June 29, 2017 at 11:47 am (7 years ago)

    OMgosh! Absolutely love the wedding ideas and your sweet attitude. Now that was a wonderful wedding and just like I would want mine or my family weddings to be…intimate, happy, reasonable and less stress. Eager to make the almond braid as well. Thank you so much for sharing!

  47. Sharanya
    August 19, 2017 at 12:04 pm (7 years ago)

    Such a great Recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  48. Emma
    December 11, 2017 at 2:39 pm (7 years ago)

    Came back to make this recipe again – it’s served us well for one Christmas morning breakfast, and I’m feeling a repeat this year. We’re big fans of Panera’s bear claws, and this tastes even better. Thanks for creating it!

    Also loved re-reading your wedding story. Food was top priority for us, too (then still photography). We skipped out on things like videographer, live music, etc and I still have zero regrets!

  49. Carmel
    October 25, 2018 at 12:18 pm (6 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I served this to our guests at Flag House Inn this morning and they raved about how delicious this pastry was. This recipe is definitely a keeper and will be added to the rotation of baked goods that we serve!

  50. Joan
    November 7, 2018 at 7:34 pm (6 years ago)

    Hi. I could just taste this braid as we speak! It looks absolutely delicious.

    But i’m a bit confused as to why the filling is dark when I don’t see anything in the ingredients that would make it dark. Almond paste is like the color of butter so I would think the filling would be light.

    • Julie Ruble
      November 8, 2018 at 12:33 am (6 years ago)

      Hi Joan, the filling is light. Not sure what you’re seeing that looks dark — maybe the skin of the sliced almonds inside! Hope you enjoy it!

    • Carey
      November 17, 2018 at 3:08 am (6 years ago)

      Joan may be looking at the pictures for “how to cut and assemble a braid,” which shows something like a blueberry filling. Joan, if I understand right, those pictures are not of this particular recipe, just included to help anyone who is unsure about how to cut & fill and piece together a pastry braid, so it is another braid recipe with a different filling, being used as an example. Higher up in the post, you’ll see pictures of the actual braid in this recipe, which is mostly light colored, with a few almond skins peaking through, like Julie said. .

      • Julie Ruble
        November 17, 2018 at 10:20 am (6 years ago)

        Oh yes I bet you’re right! I forgot those folding pictures were at the bottom of the post. Thanks for looking out!

  51. Mimi
    February 21, 2019 at 1:44 pm (5 years ago)

    Always wanted to make one of these, I did today & it turned out beautifully! My husband loved it! Instructions were great, I only did one thing different, I spooned small bits of raspberry jam over my filling before I braided it, and my husband liked the subtle raspberry taste with it. Thank you Julie, for one so young, you’re very talented! ????. Love, Mimi

    • Julie Ruble
      February 21, 2019 at 2:39 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Mimi! And raspberry jam sounds like a delicious addition!

  52. Debbie
    July 5, 2019 at 2:14 am (5 years ago)

    I’d like to try the braid but would like to try it with a cheese filling and maybe a jam filling also as I’m not sure how much I’d like the almond paste filling. How would you modify the recipe for those two versions? Thank you for any input

    • Julie Ruble
      July 5, 2019 at 5:06 am (5 years ago)

      Hi Debbie! I have two versions that use jam: a blueberry cheesecake version and a raspberry cheesecake version. I also have a more savory appetizer version that uses cheese: a cranberry brie version. Those versions will hopefully give you an idea about how to modify to create your own. With any version, some of the filling baking out is totally normal, so be prepared for that!

  53. Jan Mackenthun
    September 15, 2019 at 11:31 pm (5 years ago)

    I saved this recipe at least two years ago, but put off making it because it didn’t have yeast in it which I thought was a mistake. I made it this summer when I had plenty of time and was amazed at how well it turned out! The taste and texture of the pastry is much like a yeast pastry. I entered it in our local county fair and it was the grand prize winner in its class. People who saw it at the fair have contacted me asking for the recipe and the copy of the recipe that I submitted was taken by either the judge or a judging assistant. I am planning to incorporate this recipe into Christmas brunch and other special family occasions. Our family has Scandinavian roots and we all love almond pastries! Thanks for this outstanding recipe!

    • Julie Ruble
      September 15, 2019 at 11:42 pm (5 years ago)

      I’m so glad to hear that, Jan! Thank you for your kind words!

  54. Amy
    August 31, 2020 at 8:53 am (4 years ago)

    I have had this recipe up in my task bar for a few weeks. I made it last night! Today, we are celebrating my brother’s 51st birthday. However, he isn’t here to celebrate with us. He passed away in Oct, 2008 and it has been devastating for my mom and I…as he was TRULY my most favorite human ever. The kindest, most giving, patient, loving, funny person we’ve known. He was actually the ‘best man’ in my wedding…that’s how special he was. Anyway…he loved to come to my house because I would plan all new menus and create treats that he would love…he was the ‘king’ that weekend. We miss him…every day. BUT last night, I created your Almond Pastry Braid. IT IS GORGEOUS…not to mention delicious. My husband and I got up early, got a thermos full of coffee and headed to an open field to watch the sun rise…and it was 100% cloudy…but we got to sit, sip and chat. Today…I honor my brother for all the he was to ME, US and the world. He truly worked to make the world a better place. Thank you for sharing your recipe with us.

    • Julie Ruble
      August 31, 2020 at 11:12 am (4 years ago)

      This is so beautiful, Amy. I am honored to be a small part of your tribute to your precious brother. I’m so sorry for your loss but I know he was (and is!) with you at that sunrise. Sending you love!

  55. Karen M
    February 5, 2022 at 4:07 pm (2 years ago)

    Love this recipe! My husband loves bear claws. And this fits the bill. The almond filling is super almond tasting. You could use a little less filling because some of mine ran out but the over spill was delicious!😂. This will be my go to for a breakfast treat. Oh., and the dough was great to work with!

  56. Lida
    March 28, 2022 at 5:21 pm (2 years ago)

    This was SO delicious just divine!!! The only little issue I had was some of filling leaking out the sides and burning (just scraped it off) but wondering why that happened? Should I chill the assembled braid before baking ? Also wondering if the dough can be made ahead and frozen? Thank you !!

    • Julie Ruble
      April 13, 2022 at 10:31 am (2 years ago)

      You could try chilling it! I like how some of the filling leaks and gets caramelized, but it’d be worth a try if you’d rather it didn’t. If freezing, I’d say assemble the full braid and freeze instead of just the dough — not sure how freezing it before rolling, etc. would affect the texture. So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  57. Jenny
    April 4, 2022 at 10:30 am (2 years ago)

    Quick question, I noticed that when the almonds are mentioned, at one point they are described as slivered, and another sliced. Can you please explain as says cup divided. Thank you!! 🙂

    • Julie Ruble
      April 13, 2022 at 10:27 am (2 years ago)

      Oops, just a typo! I used sliced almonds.

  58. Beth Davis
    May 10, 2022 at 1:39 pm (2 years ago)

    Hello fellow Charlottean! What a perfectly reasonable way to enjoy a simple wedding. We did something similar, only we got married the week before by just doing the paperwork. Then at our wedding all we did was say our own written vows, no officiant needed. There were about 10 people here. I made dinner in advance and just put it all out on the table afterwards. Loads of fun and NO STRESS!

    • Julie Ruble
      May 10, 2022 at 2:54 pm (2 years ago)

      That sounds so simple and fun, Beth! I love it!

  59. Sharyn
    December 4, 2023 at 3:19 pm (8 months ago)

    You did the wedding right! My folks gave me an (almost) open end on flowers and a photographer, hubby’s folks paid for the food and that gave us more than we needed to keep it simple for the rest and have a honeymoon 6 months later (hubby was in the service and couldn’t get an entire week off until then. We went camping and fishing in northern Minnesota. My fav place!
    Now I need to make that almond braid!


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