Cranberry Brie Babka

by Carly Cerniglia

Twists and turns, nooks and crannies, this bread is bursting with a sweet and savory cranberry sauce and delicious bites of gooey brie. Perfect for a Thanksgiving appetizer, side dish, or to use for leftover sandwiches! This babka takes a little bit of elbow grease but makes a beautiful bread your dinner guests will love.



1 14 oz can whole cranberry sauce

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp onion powder

Heavy sprinkle black pepper

Dash of smoked paprika

1 tsp dark molasses

1 peel with a vegetable peeler of lemon zest, chopped

Pinch of cayenne

3 tsp cornstarch

½ wheel of brie


1 packet active dry yeast

¾ cup whole milk, room temperature

565 grams all-purpose flour*

1 tsp salt

8 T unsalted butter, room temperature

4 T sugar

2 eggs, room temperature 

+1 egg for egg wash



In a small food processor, blend all filling ingredients except the brie. Store in the fridge till ready to use. Chop brie into small pieces, rind and all.

In a glass measuring cup, mix milk, yeast, and 2 T sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes or until bubbly. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix flour, salt, and remaining 2 T sugar.

Once yeast mixture is frothy, add to the stand mixer and slowly mix in along with the eggs. Let mix on low for 5 minutes. Dough may be crumbly here. Continue mixing for another 10 minutes until dough comes together and becomes soft. (if dough does not come together, carefully add more milk bit by bit until dough combines and mix until it becomes soft and stretchy) Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area for 1.5 hours.  

Flour your work surface and roll out the dough to a 16 x 24 inch rectangle. Evenly spread cranberry filling and brie chunks over dough. Begin rolling from the 24 inch side, rolling, folding a bit over brie chunks, and pulling to get a nice tight roll filled with brie. Cut log in half and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 45 minutes.

While dough is chilling, grease 2 loaf pans and line with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When dough is chilled, slice one log in half lengthwise. Cross the two pieces of cut dough over each other and repeat one or two more times on each end creating a twist. Place twist in loaf pan and repeat with other log. Let dough rise for 45 minutes in a warm spot.

Brush loaves with egg wash and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Let cool and serve warm. Enjoy!

*this recipe uses flour in grams, invest in a food scale! They are much more accurate and very affordable. I originally tried this recipe with the unit conversion to 3 ¾ cups flour and ran into lots of moisture issues, noted in recipe