This stuffed lemon braid recipe is one that you will reach for over and over because no one can resist this delicious lemony loaf. If you are looking for a tasty twist on traditional fruit pastries, you’ll want to make this braided lemon bread with a cream cheese lemon curd filling.
If you are a citrus fan like us, you will love this stuffed braided bread with lemon cream cheese filling. After all, the zippy taste of lemons and the bright yellow color remind everyone of sunshine and happiness.
With the ease of frozen dough, this simple, easy mock braid looks complicated enough to impress anyone. The center has a rich lemon curd and cream cheese filling wrapped in braided sweet bread.
Using Frozen Bread Dough for Lemon Stuffed Braided Bread
There are times when you need some time-saving helpers with baking. Especially when you want home-baked results with a little less effort. That is why I love baking with frozen bread dough.
Let’s face it, yeast bread can be unpredictable at times. If you knead too little, use expired yeast, or can’t find a warm place for your dough to rise, your baked goods will be flat and dense.
Thanks to this ready dough, you can be assured of perfect results every time, whether you are making this stuffed bread braid or a pizza.
Simplicity and ease are even more important on holidays and special occasions. No one wants to deal with a last-minute baking fail. And this braided bread with lemon curd and cream cheese filling is fool-proof and as easy as thawing ready-made dough, prepping, and baking.
You’ll find this amazing but easy lemon cream cheese bread braid on my table this Easter.
Ingredient Notes And Substitutions
- Frozen bread dough – I use Bridgford’s Ready-Dough for easy baking recipes like this.
- Cream cheese – This soft, tangy cheese adds creaminess and richness to the bread. For the creamiest cheese filling, use full fat cream cheese and sour cream.
Reduced fat cream cheeses and sour cream may have binders or fillers that provide inconsistent results when cooking and baking.
- Sugar – You can also use other substitutes like honey or maple syrup.
- Sour cream – Adds tang and moisture to the recipe. You can also use Greek yogurt if you don’t have sour cream in hand.
- Lemon juice – Adds a bright citrusy flavor. I highly recommend using fresh lemon juice over reconstituted. You just need ½ lemon to get enough juice for this recipe.
(Optional) You can add lemon zest for a more intense tangy lemon flavor.
- All-purpose flour – The most common flour used in baking.
- Lemon curd – The base for making the sweet and tangy filling. I used a jar of prepared lemon curd, but this is my favorite homemade Lemon Curd recipe. Using a jar of lemon curd will make this lemon bread recipe much quicker.
- Egg – Used to brush the bread for a shiny, golden brown finish. You can also use milk or olive oil, but take note this will affect the texture and flavor of the bread.
How to Make the Best Lemon Filled Bread Loaf
Follow the directions for how to easily thaw frozen dough. Thaw one loaf of the frozen dough (there are three in each package).
Prepare the filling by mixing the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and flour in a small bowl. Stir until smooth.
When the dough is at room temperature and pliable, roll it into a rectangle shape about 9” by 12.”
Using a bench scraper or ruler, make 2 equal indentations down the dough lengthwise in about 3” apart (see photo below).
The middle section is where you will evenly spread the cheese filling, leaving 1” spacing without cheese filling at the top and bottom.
Top cheese filling with the lemon curd, smoothing it level.
Using your ruler, bench scraper, or knife, make 1” indentation strips down the two sides next to the filling. Notch out the dough’s corners (as shown above and below) next to the first strip on all four sides.
Braid the Lemon Curd Loaf
To braid the lemon curd loaf, fold down the top flap up over the cream cheese filling. Then take the top right strip, and bring it over to the center of the filing at an angle and press down lightly.
Do the same with the left side in a crisscross manner, repeating the process until you get close to the bottom of the cream cheese bread braid.
Then, fold up the bottom tab, and cross the last strips under the stuffed bread braid loaf.
Lightly cover the sweet bread braid and let rise until puffy. This will take about 45 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix the egg with 2 teaspoons of water in a small bowl, then brush the egg wash on the cream cheese bread braid.
Bake the stuffed braided bread at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.
Let the cool for 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers of the lemon curd loaf will keep well for up to 3 days in the fridge if covered with plastic wrap or in a sealed container.
Lemon Stuffed Braided Bread
- Baking Sheet
- bench scraper or knife
- ruler (optional but helpful)
- 1 loaf Bridgford Ready Dough, thawed
Lemon Cream Cheese filling
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
- ¾ cup lemon curd (see notes for recipe, or use prepared)
- 1 egg, beaten lightly
- 2 teaspoons water
Prepare the braided bread with filling
- Prepare the filling by mixing the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and flour in a small bowl. Stir until smooth.
- Roll room temperature dough into a rectangle shape about 9” by 12.” Using a bench scraper or ruler, make 2 equal indentations down the dough lengthwise in about 3” apart (see photos). The middle section is where you will evenly spread the cheese filling, leaving 1” spacing without cheese filling at the top and bottom.
- Using your ruler and bench scraper or knife, make 1” indentation strips down the two sides next to the filling. Notch out the corners (as shown) above the first strip on all four sides. Top with the lemon curd, smoothing it level.
Braid the bread loaf
- To make the braids, fold down the top flap up over the filling. Then, take the top right strip, and bring it over to the center of the filing at an angle and lightly press down. Do the same with the left side in a crisscross, repeating the process until you get close to the bottom of the cream cheese bread braid. Fold up the bottom tab, and cross the last strips under the bread loaf.Fold up the bottom tab, and cross the last strips under the bread loaf.
- Lightly cover the sweet bread braid and let rise until puffy. This will take about 45 minutes.
Baking the loaf
- Preheat your oven to 375ºF. In a small bowl, mix the egg with 2 teaspoons of water, then brush egg wash on top of the bread braid. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
My tip: keep frozen dough in your freezer, so it is ready when you need it. Everyone loves freshly baked rolls or this stuffed braided bread, and it is so handy to pull out a few rolls out for dinner. Or when you need to make a showstopper bread twist or braid for a holiday event like Easter.