Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
4 loaves, 10 slices per loaf (serving size: 1 slice)

All the good stuff from a cream cheese Danish is rolled into this bread, which was a favorite in our Test Kitchens. The finished braids can be covered and refrigerated for a couple of days or frozen for up to a month. The extra loaves are great gifts; wrap in plastic and cinch with a bow. Feel free to substitute any kind of fruit preserves.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare dough, combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cool. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream mixture and 2 eggs. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Gradually stir flour into sour cream mixture (dough will be soft and sticky). Cover dough; chill 8 hours or overnight.

Step 2

To prepare filling, combine preserves and next 4 ingredients (preserves through 1 egg) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.

Step 3

Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Turn each portion out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 or 5 times. Roll each portion into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Spread one-fourth of filling over each portion, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Starting at a long side, carefully roll up each portion jelly roll fashion; pinch seam and ends to seal.

Step 4

Place 2 loaves on each of 2 baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Cut 4 (1/4-inch-deep) "X"s in top of each loaf with scissors. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 25 minutes or until doubled in size.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 6

Place 1 baking sheet in oven (cover remaining loaves to keep from drying). Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining loaves. Cool loaves slightly.

Step 7

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle warm loaves with glaze.

Ratings & Reviews

Nice and easy.

May 25, 2016
This one's a great and easy recipe. I found the dough a bit too sticky the first time I made it, but let the dough sit for a few more hours to allow the yeast to do its work and the problem was solved. I eliminated the egg from the filling and spreaded cream cheese on the rolled-out dough before pressing the preserves on.

Jadeskiss83's Review

September 12, 2011
My family really enjoyed this recipe. The dough was a bit hard to manage due to the soft and stickiness as the other readers but just added some extra flour while kneading, worked out just fine. Since the filling was a bitty runny as the others commented, just added a bit a flour to thickenit up. I also added some chopped dried apricots to the filling which gave it some more asthetic appeal as well as making it more more apricot-ish. Overall, I thought it was a pretty tasty recipe.

ginibeck's Review

January 13, 2010
Very good - tasty and tender. I have made several times and people always enjoy it. I make in two loaves (not four) and don't roll it as thinly as suggested. The filling wants to escape, so I may try thickening it up with a bit of flour next time. Yum!

Ddfaire's Review

June 16, 2009
so very would never know this desert came from a light cook book!!!

jodocent's Review

March 01, 2009
I read the other reviews and am astounded that the recipe could receive more than 2 stars. I am very experienced with yeast dough and the fact that the dough is delicate is okay, but the amount of filling recommended is about 4 times more than is possible to use and it is too thin so you cannot roll the dough up unless you use much less than recommended. Also it is not a braid. Why don't you correct the recipe? I will make it again with the necessary adjustments and recommentd that you do the same and republish it after it is corrected. I knew when I read it that there was a problem so baked a coffee cake as a bake-up. Good thing I did.

detailaddict's Review

February 17, 2009
This was delicious but I've made many yeast bread recipes and I think the dough needs to be much more substantial. I used whole-grain flour but the dough was still very soft and sticky even after the first rising. After rolling it out it was almost too thin to roll up (much less "braid"; clearly this is mis-named) and I had several tears in the loaves (rips that is, not from crying) by the time I transferred them to the baking sheet, which was no small feat in itself. I did not have preserves on hand so I increased the cheese (which was orange-lemon flavored anyway) by half, and the amount of filling was still almost too much. The result tasted good but was rather funny-looking, so I would need to tweak the recipe quite a bit - and maybe even bake it in a loaf pan - before taking this out in public.