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Cranberry + Brie Donuts (Cronuts!)

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Cranberry + Brie Donuts are a new twist (quite literally) on that classic holiday appetizer! Just a handful of easy ingredients and you’ve got a festive and delicious party nosh!

stack of four cranberry brie cronuts
This recipe is part of the cozy mystery cooking club series.

Baked Donuts with Cranberry Sauce and Melty Brie

Merriam-Webster says a donut is a small, usually ring-shaped piece of sweet fried dough. I’ve got small and ring-shaped…I think that’s close enough. 

Making a traditional donut for our ‘Deck the Donuts’ cooking club challenge just wasn’t going to happen. And, neither was baking from scratch. 

So, I decided to combine a classic holiday appetizer with the concept of a baked cronut, a la puff pastry, to create a festive dish to serve at parties. It’s a win, win as far as I’m concerned.

cranberry brie donuts arranged on tray

Ingredients + Substitutions for Cranberry + Brie Baked Donuts

This might be one of the shortest ingredient lists I’ve every made!

  • Puff pastry — An all-butter puff pastry will yield the best tasting results. They also tend to have fewer ingredients and ones you can pronounce. You can find the premium priced Dufour brand at Whole Foods. If you’re near a Trader Joe’s, they have an All Butter Puff Pastry (that’s what I use). Otherwise, go with whatever you have access to…unless you want to make it from scratch, in which case, I bow to your baking prowess!
  • Cranberry sauce — homemade (my choice) or store-bought is fine. Look for whole berry canned cranberry sauce, or around the holidays you’ll also find cranberry chutneys and relishes. All are great substitutions. If you’re not a fan of cranberry, select any flavor of jam or preserve you like! Or, make this easy Summer Berry + Moscato Jam with frozen berries in the winter or fresh berries in the summer!
  • Brie cheese — I happened to pick up a slicing brie from TJs, but any round or wedge will do. You’ll be cutting into little chunks, so the shape doesn’t really matter. A firmer, less ripened brie will still melt nicely when you bake and be easier to cut and handle.
  • Egg — brushing the puff pastry with egg wash helps to achieve a toasty, golden color.
  • Rosemary — The rosemary is just for garnish, but it’s oh so perfect for adding that wintery finish to your serving platter!
ingredients for cranberry brie donuts

How to Prepare Cranberry-Brie Cronuts

First, I have to give a shout out to Kelly at Just a Taste. When I was researching this recipe, I stumbled across her Chocolate Puff Pastry Twists and the light bulb went off! It inspired the pretty twist in this donut. 

You’ll be using both sheets of puff pastry, but work with one a time for ease.

Step 1: On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry sheet to approximately 10” by 14”. Cut the sheet into 8 equal rectangles. I love a pizza roller for this because it doesn’t tug and pull the pastry. If using a knife, cut straight down versus pulling the knife across. 

Step 2: Spread about 1/2 tablespoon of cranberry sauce down the center of each rectangle, then roll it into a cigar shape. You can pinch the long seam together to help it stay shut.

Step 3: Place each piece seam side down, then cut each lengthwise in half. (The pizza roller works like a charm.) Pinch them together at one end, then twist the two halves together. Curl it into a donut shape and pinch the ends to seal. If you have a small ring mold or cookie cutter, you can curl the pastry around that to achieve uniformly sized donuts.

TIP: The dough will be pliable enough at this point that you can stretch it ever so slightly when you curl it into the donut shape. This is helpful if you’re forming around a ring mold or to achieve a large enough hole to place the brie.

Step 4: Place the first 8 donuts evenly spaced on a parchment or Silpat lined sheet pan and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 400°F, then repeat steps 1 through 4 with the second sheet of puff pastry. You can bake the first tray as the second tray chills out in the fridge.

Step 5: Brush the donuts with an egg wash, then bake for 10 minutes. At that time, remove the tray from the oven and quickly plop a chunk of brie in the center of each donut. Bake for another 5 minutes.

Step 6: The brie will melt and create a little more room in the donut hole. After you remove the tray from the oven, feel free to add another little bit of brie to the centers. They will soften perfectly as the donuts rest for a couple minutes.

par baked donuts with brie stuffed in middle

Bake off the second tray of donuts, repeating steps 5 and 6. Arrange your donuts on a tray garnished with rosemary and serve with a little extra cranberry sauce on the side! They are best served warm!

a wreath of cranberry brie donuts

Common Questions About Using Puff Pastry for Donuts

Should I thaw frozen puff pastry in the fridge or at room temperature?

Thawing your puff in the fridge overnight is the best situation. It’ll maintain that perfect texture when you’re ready to work with it. If you’re thawing at room temperature (because of timing), there’s a sweet spot: if the dough is still too cold, it can crack. If it gets too warm, it can begin to melt. 

I’m afraid to roll it out, what if it breaks?

They key to rolling out puff pastry is to dust your work surface and the top of the pastry (or your rolling pin) with a small amount of flour and to roll gently. Apply very light pressure to the rolling pin. At most you’re increasing the size of the pastry sheet by maybe 1/2” in every direction. Rolling it can actually help heal any small tears and help achieve an even thickness across the pastry.

Why do you have to chill the donuts before you bake them?

Working with the puff warms it up and the butter within the laminated layers can begin to melt. If you bake from this stage, the butter will melt out and you’ll be left with limp pastries. Refrigerating the donuts first helps the butter to firm back up. As the donuts bake, the cold butter releases steam and helps make those flaky layers.

spoon of cranberry sauce and donuts

More Recipes That Use Puff Pastry…

stack of four cranberry brie donuts

Cranberry Brie Donuts (Cronuts!)

Sip + Sanity | Linda Feller
Cranberry + Brie Donuts are a new twist (quite literally) on that classic holiday appetizer! Just a handful of easy ingredients and you’ve got a festive and delicious party nosh!
Prep time.15 minutes
Cook time.15 minutes
Custom time.20 minutes
Total time.50 minutes
Course.Appetizer
Cuisine.American, French
Number of servings.16 donuts
Calories per serving.210 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets puff pastry, store-bought frozen , thawed in refrigerator overnight
  • ½ cup cranberry sauce, slightly warmed, plus more for serving
  • 4 ounce brie, cut into 16 small chunks
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp of water
  • sprigs of rosemary, for garnish

Instructions

  • Roll out one sheet of puff pastry to approximately 10" by 14". Cut it into 8 equal rectangles.
  • Spread about 1/2 tablespoon of cranberry sauce down the center of each rectangle. Starting with the long side, roll the pastry into a cigar shape. Pinch the seam to seal it shut.
    cranberry sauce spread on puff pastry
  • With the seam sides down, cut each one in half down its length, then twist the two parts together. Curl it into a donut shape and pinch the ends together. (If you want to have uniformly sized donuts, you can curl it around a small ring mold.)
    twisting pieces of pastry together
  • Place 8 donuts on a sheet pan lined with parchment or Silpat and place them in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Repeat the process with the remaining sheet of puff pastry. You'll bake one tray at a time.
  • Just before popping the tray in the oven, brush the donuts with an egg wash to achieve a nice golden brown color. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the tray and place a nugget of brie into the center of each donut. Return to the oven and bake an additional 5 minutes.
  • At the end of the baking time, remove the tray to a rack or trivet. If you'd like, you can add another small piece of brie to the center and allow it soften as the donuts cool for a minute or two. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with rosemary.

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 63IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords.cheese, holidays, oven, puff pastry, vegetarian
Did You Make This Recipe?Be sure to share a comment below!

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4 Comments

  1. Wow this is just amazing! Can’t wait to make this for our next brunch meet. I can see everyone asking for the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    These were SO good! We made them for brunch and had zero leftovers. Next time I’m going to try freezing half the dough for a later time!

  3. These were so delicious! I love cronuts and this was the first recipe I was able to find on how to make it! They came out so pretty too, my fiance was impressed.