Make a stunning baked brie puff pastry for your next holiday gathering! Gooey melted cheese is baked in a flaky crust and topped with cranberry sauce, herbs, and nuts—dip with crostini, crackers, or fruit.
Table of Contents
Baked brie wrapped in puff pastry is a stunning yet easy appetizer to prepare for the holidays. Baking creates a delightful and fun culinary experience for your guests when they break through the golden-brown crust to reveal a molten cheese center. I use cranberry sauce to add fall-inspired flavors, and freshly chopped herbs provide enticing taste and aromas.
The assembly is simple: place the wheel in the pastry sheet, top, wrap, brush, and bake! This dish is excellent for assembling ahead of time so that you can just heat it right before you’re ready to serve. I like to pair this with slices of crusty bread, crispy crackers, or fresh fruit to dip in the gooey cheese. It’s a crowd-pleasing recipe that disappears fast!
Brie has a mild buttery flavor, high-fat content, and soft, creamy texture that creates a molten-like consistency when heated. Much easier than trying to spread cold pieces onto crackers! It’s a soft-ripened cow’s milk cheese from France. The thin white molded rind that encases it is edible. It comes from Penicillium Candidum, which creates a bloomy white covering.
I like to keep the shell intact for stability and shape instead of oozing out of the pastry. I use an 8-ounce wheel of brie for the recipe. However, you can purchase various sizes to fit your needs, from mini 0.9 ounces round to 16 ounces. You’ll just have to adjust the topping amounts and bake time.
The difference between double cream and triple cream brie
The difference is in fat content and texture. Double cream brie is the typical method, and the cheese must have between 60 to 75% milkfat. For an even softer and richer texture, triple cream adds additional cream to the cheese and must be over 75% milkfat.
Since you are melting the cheese in this recipe, you could use either one and not see as much texture difference compared to spreading room-temperature products. Chefs choice!
Prepare the pastry
Unless you are making puff pastry from scratch, a handful of brands sell frozen sheets. Pepperidge Farms is easy to find at major grocery stores. You can also look for all-butter or even gluten-free puff pastry sheets depending on your preference. It’s easy to defrost at room temperature and ready to use in about 40 minutes for things like cheese straws. You can also defrost it in the refrigerator the night before if you want to prep ahead of time.
Once the sheet is still cool yet pliable, it’s ready to use. I roll it out onto a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch square. An 8-ounce wheel of brie is about 4 ½- inch in diameter and 1-inch thick, so this will cover the bottom, sides, and top. For larger sizes, roll it out to 12 inches, or enough to cover the cheese completely.
Add delicious toppings
Place the entire wheel of brie in the center of the puff pastry. You could keep it simple and just wrap and bake. However, I like to add a fruity jam, herbs, and a crunchy element. For convenience, open up a can or make my classic homemade cranberry sauce recipe. It’s effortless! You can also use fig or strawberry jam or even orange marmalade to switch things up.
The sweetness and a hint of acidity balance the buttery richness of the brie. Fresh rosemary and thyme go nicely together and add a fragrant aroma when baked. Chopped walnuts add a surprise texture when dipping. Pecans or pistachios are tasty substitutions. Drizzle some honey or pure maple syrup over the nuts to create a caramelized flavor as they bake.
Wrap the brie
The goal is to encase the cheese in the pastry completely. In culinary school, I learned a classic French technique called en croûte, or wrapped and baked in pastry. The process is very similar to making beef wellington.
Create a pleated design by bringing up the corners of the pastry sheet, overlapping and meeting in the middle. I like having the corners face up to give a prettier design. This way also allows more room for the dough layers to separate during baking for a light and flaky texture.
Apply egg wash
Make sure to use egg wash to brush the pastry when folding to help it stick together. I add one egg to 1 tablespoon of water just to slightly thin out the consistency when applying. Also, brush the top and sides right before baking. The egg proteins turn a deep golden brown color and the fat in the eggs leaves a glossy shine. It makes for a stunning presentation.
Score the surface
Use a sharp paring knife to add shallows scores on top of the puff pastry. This process creates little vents for steam to escape and prevents the layers from getting too high during baking.
Puff pastry needs to bake in a hot 400ºF (204ºC) oven. This temperature kickstarts steam production that will separate the layers of dough. In about 30 minutes, the pastry shell will turn golden in color, and the outside should feel very crisp and dry. The cheese in the center will be like a molten lava cake, so wait about 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
You don’t want any burnt taste buds! It will stay scoopable for about 45 minutes. The pastry acts as a little protective jacket to keep it warm longer.
Serve this with
No, the rind is mild in flavor and edible. It also encases the cheese so that it doesn’t leak out of the pastry as it bakes. If desired, you can slice off just the top area so that it mixes with the toppings.
Fresh fruit like pears, strawberries, blueberries, figs, and apple slices. Jam like cranberry, fig, or strawberry. Bread like crostini, crackers, or crisps. Dried fruit like cranberries or apricots. Mixed nuts, salted, unsalted, or candied like walnuts, almonds, or pecans.
It’s best to bake brie when still cold from the refrigerator. The cheese is high in fat content, so it becomes gooey and fluid rather quickly. Only leave it at room temperature if simply spreading it on bread or crackers.
They both are soft-ripened cheeses with similar creamy textures. Camembert has a more pungent earthy and fermented mushroom-like taste and aroma. Brie is milder, with a buttery, nutty, and fruity palate. Brie is denser with about 65% milkfat, and camembert is less dense with about 45% milkfat.
When baked in puff pastry, the cheese will stay warm for about 30 minutes. After that, it will come to room temperature and solidify. You can lightly cover with foil to retain the heat, but the pastry may not stay as crisp. If needed, rewarm in a 300-degree oven until the center is scoopable.
Working with puff pastry
Puff pastry is made of hundreds of layers of fat between the dough. When baked, the moisture in the ingredients steams and separates the dough layers. To ensure a light and flaky texture, make sure the dough is cold to ensure the pockets of fat are still intact and not melted into the next layer. When rolling out, use gentle pressure. Don’t push down too hard, or the layers meld together and become dense.
Pin this recipe to save for later
Set the oven rack to the middle position. Heat to 400ºF (190ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Remove the frozen pastry from its packaging and defrost it on a sheet tray on the countertop until it is cool but pliable, about 40 minutes. If not using right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water, set aside.
Place defrosted puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. If the pastry surface feels sticky, lightly dust it with flour. Use a rolling pin to gently roll out into an 11-inch square. Don’t press too hard or the puff pastry layers will fuse together.
Evenly spread the cranberry sauce on top. Sprinkle the rosemary and thyme, followed by the chopped walnuts. Drizzle some honey on top.
Bring one corner of the pastry up and over the brie, brush with egg wash. Continue to wrap the brie, creating a pleated design, pressing down the sides to remove any air, and brushing the pastry to help it stick. Gently press the edges and top to secure.
Brush the top and sides with the egg wash.
Make shallow scores on the surface, about ½-inch apart and about 1-inch long to create vents. This allows steam to escape so that the surface doesn’t get too puffy.
Bake until the surface is golden brown and crisp, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Cool on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm with crackers, baguettes, crostini, or fruit.
- Serving Size: ½ ounce of cheese
- Make-Ahead: Top and wrap the cheese in the puff pastry. Wait to brush the surface and sides with egg wash. Tightly wrap in plastic and store in a resealable bag or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Brush with egg wash and score before baking.
- Reheating: Place cheese on a foil or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Rewarm at 300ºF (149ºC) until the center melts.
- Cheese Selection: Camembert can be substituted for brie for a stronger taste.
- Larger Wheels: For cheeses between 12 to 16 ounces, roll out the pastry to about a 12-inch square. Double the amount of toppings. Add just enough to cover the surface. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Want to save this recipe?
Create an account easily save your favorite content, so you never forget a recipe again.
Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Vitamin A 88IU2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?
Tag @jessica_gavin on Instagram. I’d love to see how it turns out!