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Lemon Cheese Braid Bread

This recipe came form my mom, who is an excellent cook. It always gets rave reviews. Although fairly simple to make, when you finish you'll feel a sense of accomplishment because it tastes delicious and looks so impressive.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 25 min.
  • Makes
    12-14 servings


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 11 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ICING:
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons 2% milk


  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, butter, eggs, salt and 2 cups flour; beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough of remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat all the filling ingredients until fluffy; set aside.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 14x12-in. rectangle. Place on a greased baking sheet. Spread filling down center third of rectangle. On each long side, cut 1-in.-wide strips, 3-in. into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling. Seal end. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  • Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Combine confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve drizzling consistency; drizzle over warm bread.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 284 calories, 13g fat (7g saturated fat), 80mg cholesterol, 201mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • 2124arizona
    May 7, 2017

    Love this bread! The filling is phenomenal!! It's a keeper!

  • dodyanne
    Jul 4, 2016

    What is the correct amount of yeast to use in this recipe?do you use one envelop or 1/4 ounce?

  • lahnette
    Feb 24, 2014

    It probably didn't bake all the way through. If the braid wasn't long enough you may have had too dense of an area of filling. I often split the dough and make 2, 4, or even 6 minis. Totally worth the effort, give it another go. Also - the first couple of times I made this I didn't read the cream cheese quantity right it says 2 pkgs - but then in parenthesis it says an 8 oz and a 3 oz....confusing for me, it should have just said 11 oz of cream cheese.

  • lahnette
    Feb 24, 2014

    PHENOMENAL!! I have literally made this recipe 100+ times. The requests are endless, always gets rave reviews. I sometimes make 4-6 minis out of a recipe, those are fun too. A big thanks to the submitter. For me, the bake time and temp is a bit too much, usually I bake at 350 for 20 min...especially for the minis (closer to 18 min)

  • big tree
    Dec 2, 2012

    the filling was super runny. What was the problem I had?

  • kshea
    Jul 26, 2012

    This is a great bread recipe. I have been making it for a long time.

  • honestnicewoman
    Nov 14, 2011

    I have been making this recipe for years and it is a family & friend favorite. I get request for this wonderful pastry. I have added more sugar to the dough, but it is not necessary. I have used almond extract in the icing when I was out of vanilla --it is a nice flavor accompaniment too. I double the icing recipe. This will ALWAYS be a favorite recipe. I'm not sure how many times I have even made it --but many times!

  • NevadaRose
    Mar 4, 2011

    This was really great. Easy to make and wonderful flavor. Only issue I had was it spread out flatter than the picture. Still, well worth making time and time again. Was even wonderful heated the next morning.

  • aimeesoll
    Dec 30, 2010

    Both my daughter and I have made this and brought it to work and coworkers would not believe we made this as it is such a beautiful bread and the lemon cheese filling is just a wonderful creamy flavor

  • becky10705
    May 10, 2010

    This was really yummy!