Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche Wreath

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche WreathBrown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche Wreath

“Every morning, I wake up and forget just for a second that it happened. But once my eyes open, it buries me like a landslide of sharp, sad rocks. Once my eyes open, I’m heavy, like there’s too much gravity on my heart.” – Sarah Ockler

I never really know how to answer when people ask me what my favourite thing to bake is. The question does come surprisingly a lot. Usually, I just answer with my most recent decadent and indulgent creation. Something that’s sure to impress. But when I really think about it, I do have a favourite thing to bake. And it’s a humble loaf of brioche.

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche Wreath

A good brioche will never disappoint. In my world, a rustic loaf out-shines a multi component dessert or finicky layer cake any day. There’s something about that uniquely rich buttery taste and aerated cloud-like texture that I can’t seem to get enough of. I love that it dissolves in a mouthful too. And dunked in milk? Heaven. 

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche WreathBrown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche Wreath

A few weeks ago, I whipped up this Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche Wreath after being inspired by an image for a braided sugared rose brioche in Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Baking Bible. Usually when I make brioche, I use my own much-loved recipe. Though this time I decided to try the basic dough recipe from The Baking Bible. And it’s become my new favourite.

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche Wreath

The recipe begins with a poolish starter, which is set out to combine for twenty-four hours. The dough is then made and allowed to rise a few times before resting for up to two days in the refrigerator so that it develops slowly in a temperature-controlled environment. The end result is really worth all the time-spent waiting – the brioche is intensely flavoured and unbelievably soft. 

I can’t rave about the recipe enough. And after making it, I do think my little recipe needs some adjustments. It’s quite an easy brioche recipe to follow too, despite the long list of instructions. Most of the process is just waiting for the dough to rise, and knocking it back every so often. I love that you can make it in advance as well as the dough can be stored for up to a few days in the refrigerator.

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche WreathBrown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche Wreath

Once baked though, this Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche Wreath is best served on the day it is made. The buttery and aerated brioche dough is loaded with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon, then braided, baked and glazed in a light drizzle of a cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Each flavour packed into this Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche Wreath is distinct yet independent at the same time. It is a terribly delicious brioche, filled with a spiced sweetness that makes for the most ideal of weekend breakfasts or mid-morning treats.

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche WreathBrown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche Wreath

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche Wreath
For the Dough Starter:
  • 2 tablespoons water, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon superfine (caster) sugar
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon instant dried yeast
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
For the Dough:
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons superfine (caster) sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon instant dried yeast
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
For the Wreath:
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature and lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup superfine (caster) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the Glaze:
  • 4 ounces / 115 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons whole milk
For the Dough Starter:
  1. In a small bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the water, sugar, flour, yeast and egg. Whisk by hand or beat on medium seed until very smooth and thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Whisk again to gently combine then set aside.
For the Dough:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the dough starter to form a blanket of flour. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it ferment for 1 ½ to 2 hours at room temperature, or 1 hour at room temperature and up to 24 hours refrigerated.
  2. Attach the dough hook to the body of a stand mixer. Add the eggs to the dough starter and flour mixture and beat on low speed for 1 minute, until the flour is moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Pause mixing, scrape down the sides of the bowl then continue beating for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, soft and sticky. Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time and continue beating for 3 minutes on high speed until all of the butter is incorporated and the dough is smooth and velvet in texture.
  3. Place the dough in a large and lightly greased dough bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, 1 ½ to 2 hours then refrigerate the dough for 1 hour to firm; this will prevent the butter solids from separating. Gently deflate the dough by stirring it with a silicone spatula then return it to the refrigerator for another hour so it will be less sticky to handle.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press down into a rectangle, flouring the surface and dough as needed to keep the dough from sticking. The exact size of the rectangle is not important. Give the dough a business letter turn (folded into thirds), brushing off any excess flour, and again press down to form a rectangle. Rotate it 90 degrees so the closed end is facing your left. Give it a second business letter turn and round the corners. Dust it lightly on all sides with flour then wrap lightly in plastic wrap and place it in a large sealable or plastic bag. Refrigerate for 6 hours or up to 2 days to let the dough ripen.
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and gently press down to deflate it then shape as specified.
For the Wreath:
  1. Grease and line a 10-inch / 25 cm spring form pan and set it aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and flour the top. Using your fingertips, press the dough down to flatten it evenly. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 20-inch / 50 cm circle, moving the dough and flouring it as necessary.
  4. Brush the entire surface of the dough with the beaten egg then evenly sift over the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  5. Starting from the top, use your fingers and the aid of a ruler to roll up the dough into a log shape. With each roll, dust off any flour from the surface, and press firmly along the dough roll to keep it tight. When you reach the bottom edge of the dough, pinch it firmly to make a tight seam. Pinch the ends of the dough firmly together, and then arrange the roll so that the seam is facing upwards.
  6. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough lengthwise into equal halves.
  7. Keep the cut sides up then cross each dough half over each other to form an X shape. Always keeping the cut sides facing up, lift up the bottom two ends of the dough and cross the upper one under the lower one. Continue twisting the strands until you reach the ends of the dough and then pinch them together. Repeat with the other two ends of the dough to form a long spiral.
  8. Unlock the spring-form pan and slide the pan bottom under the middle of the dough spiral. Gently coil the dough around itself, always being sure to keep the cut sides facing up. Tuck the remaining dough end underneath the coil.
  9. Reattach the sides of the pan. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1½ hours, or until doubled.
  10. minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 325 F / 160 C.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes then rotate the pan halfway around. Continue baking for a further 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until risen and golden.
  12. Release the brioche from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack before glazing.
For the Glaze:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, icing (confectioners’) sugar and light brown sugar until smooth. Add in the vanilla, cinnamon and milk. Continue to mix until thick but runny enough to drizzle over the brioche.
Brioche dough adapted from The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum



  • Reply Nagi@RecipeTinEats June 3, 2016 at 12:31 am

    The wreath is so gorgeous! I love coming to your blog because of your beautiful creations! Always beautiful!

  • Reply TOUCHOFGUCCI November 15, 2015 at 4:49 am

    This looks amazing!! x


  • Reply Friday Favorites | Lauren Conrad November 13, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    […] Favorite Sweet Treat (Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brioche Wreath via Butter and Brioche): […]

  • Reply FoodGeekGraze October 25, 2015 at 3:03 am

    all this baker goddess rose levy talk + your own endorsement has got me thinking i need to push cookie deliveries to the side this year; cinnamon brioche using poolish starter, here i come. fingers crossed a second time…

  • Reply Lindsey October 6, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Thalia, you’re so talented. This is beautiful!! I wish I could taste it right now. Also, Rose has taught me SO much. Her Pie and Pastry Bible is a huge favorite of mine.

  • Reply Katya September 25, 2015 at 1:42 am

    It is lovely. I finished baking it last night and did a happy dance because it worked out so well! Well worth the time and effort to make

  • Reply Shihoko September 23, 2015 at 7:35 am

    OMG, I love Brioche<3 Brioche is my favourite bread. I must try this. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  • Reply Sarah September 21, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Every time I come to your blog I end up wanting to drop everything and just bake! This is so beautiful, I’d almost feel bad eating it….almost!

  • Reply Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts September 19, 2015 at 6:59 am

    Oh my goodness, this looks amazing!!!
    I am in love with everything about it!!!!
    Pinning this

  • Reply Kelley @ Chef Savvy September 16, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    I love a good brioche and this looks fantastic! Especially with the brown sugar and cream cheese!

  • Reply Jackie September 14, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    This looks delicious and absolutely beautiful Thalia! Pinned!!
    p.s. one day I will find the courage to try it myself….

  • Reply sneha September 14, 2015 at 3:02 am

    heyya.,Wow, that looks absolutely amazing! I’ve never made a brioche, but am inspired to try 🙂

  • Reply Louise | Cygnet Kitchen September 13, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    This looks mouthwateringly beautiful, Thalia! I have never tried starting a brioche dough with a poolish, I can’t wait to try this recipe! <3 x

  • Reply lindsay September 13, 2015 at 11:23 am

    the waiting process is where all the magic happens, right? I’d wait for that. It looks beautiful! and you know i love cream cheese anything on top!

  • Reply Sarah September 12, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Oh wow doesn’t this look decadent! I am always so impressed by your photos- keep it up Thalia 🙂

  • Reply Lacey Baier September 12, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Wow, that looks absolutely amazing! I’ve never made a brioche, but am inspired to try 🙂

  • Reply amanda September 11, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    This is gorgeous!!

  • Reply Clara Bjorkman September 11, 2015 at 6:55 am

    All your photo’s are so beautiful, I could spend hours on your blog just feasting my eyes 🙂 love it!!

  • Reply Christine @ Cooking with Cakes September 10, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    absolutely stunning Thalia! brioche and challah are the best breads, and this braided, cinnamon-y wreath just makes me salivate with joy – beautiful!

  • Reply Persian Mama September 10, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Thalia this looks amazing, the braided look is stunning and I know it tastes fantastic. Great creation, as usual, thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Iron Chef Shellie September 10, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    ohhhhh it’s gorgeous <3

  • Reply Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry September 10, 2015 at 5:33 am

    I think if I made this recipe, my family would fall out of their chairs. I don’t have good luck with homemade bread. But the gorgeousness of this brioche is making me want to try my hand again.

  • Reply Katie @ Butterlust September 10, 2015 at 3:09 am

    Such a beautiful brioche, Thalia! I really, really need to try my hand at break making (I have an irrational fear of yeast), though it’s hard to imagine being able to make something this gorgeous! You’re one talented lady!

  • Reply marcie September 10, 2015 at 2:20 am

    Is brioche humble? Maybe so, but this version is elegant and just gorgeous! Beautiful job, Thalia. 🙂

  • Reply Danielle September 10, 2015 at 12:38 am

    This brioche is so gorgeous, Thalia! That cream cheese glaze is such a wonderful touch too!

  • Reply Beverley @ sweaty&fit September 9, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    It seems appropriate that your favorite thing to bake is also the same as your website name! looks absolutely delicious

  • Reply Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron September 9, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    This is simply stunning! What an absolutely gorgeous brioche wreath!!

  • Reply Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet September 9, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Wow Thalia! These are beautiful. Pinning!

  • Reply Hannah September 9, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Oh, wow! Such a stunning creation can hardly be called a simple loaf of bread. You passion shines through clearly in every delicate ribbon of yeast and cinnamon.

  • Reply Hotly Spiced September 9, 2015 at 3:11 am

    What beautiful photographs. The brioche looks stunning and I think the brown sugar, cinnamon and cream cheese makes this very special xx

  • Reply Olivia @ Olivia's Cuisine September 9, 2015 at 2:45 am

    I love coming to your blog to gaze at your beautiful creations. This brioche would be so yummy with some butter and a cup of coffee! yum!

  • Reply Angela - Patisserie Makes Perfect September 8, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    This has me salivating! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a prettier wreath! Well done Thalia this is impressive. x

  • Reply Sarah September 8, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    This looks gorgeous and super decadent!

  • Reply Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen September 8, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    This brioche wreath is gorgeous Thalia! A piece of this with a nice hot cup of tea just spells comfort to me! On my list!

  • Reply Sarah C September 8, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Wow! I can’t eat this because of the gluten, but it looks AMAZING!

  • Reply Meagan @ The F&B Department September 8, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    I love it. Freshly baked brioche is so perfect in every way—especially when topped off with cinnamon cream cheese!

  • Reply flavoursofworld September 8, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    When I’m watching this pictures I’m getting hungry 🙂 extra recipe..I have to check it out :))

  • Reply Jessica September 8, 2015 at 12:48 am

    Beautiful! I was so disappointed with a storebought cinnamon swirl brioche this weekend.. you can bet I am saving this recipe – thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Sophie | The Green Life September 8, 2015 at 12:15 am

    This brioche is SO pretty! It looks like a piece of art. <3

  • Reply Rebecca@Figs and Pigs September 7, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Sounds and looks like heaven to me.

  • Reply Mike@TheIronYou September 7, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    I need a slice of that beauty stat! Do you deliver by any chance?

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar September 7, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    This wreath is truly lovely! It’s gorgeous!!

  • Reply Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes) September 7, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Girlfriend this is absolutely gorgeous!!! I’m in love!

  • Reply mymansbelly September 7, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    This is so pretty and with brown sugar and cinnamon so delicious too! I’ll probably make this for my parents when they come to visit. It’s the perfect treat for breakfast.

  • Reply Tasbih @ Cleobuttera September 7, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    What a beauty?! Anything with brown sugar and cinnamon is right up my alley! I just recently bought The Baking Bible and am completely in love with it. I’ve actually bookmarked Rose’s brioche recipe but you’ve just encouraged me to jump in and make it asap.

  • Reply Andreea September 7, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Wow! This simply stunning! What an amazing styling, just what this delicious recipe needed! I loveeeeeeeeee it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply Caroline @ Shrinking Single September 7, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Just gorgeous Thalia. Love how you have managed to give it such a sense of movement and warmth with the braiding. Plus I will eat just about anything that has cream cheese in it.

  • Reply Noha @Matters of the Belly September 7, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Holy gorgeousness! You know what? My mother just told me that she is buying me a kitchenaid stand mixer for my birthday (finally!), and so this is going on the must make asap list!! I just LOVE recipes that take time to develop (althought simple!), and build anticipation and excitement as you go. You wrote the instructions so clearly, i have it all mapped in my head now! All i need now is the mixer 😉 thank you Thalia for another amazing post! Xx

  • Reply Sam Taylor September 7, 2015 at 6:01 am

    I love how you say you “whipped” this up like it is nothing. Brioche is quite the commitment. I really love how you have twirled the dough, it looks so gorgeous. I wish I could see how you did that – a tutorial topic perhaps?

  • Reply Sues September 7, 2015 at 3:59 am

    How beautiful is this bread?? And I’m sure it’s absolutely delicious, too!!

  • Reply Claudia | The Brick Kitchen September 7, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Love this! Bread in interesting shapes is the best, especially when it is sweet. It is certainly fitting that brioche is your favourite thing to make. Your description of the wreath is beautiful too – love the phrase ‘terribly delicious’ – so true! X

  • Reply Sabrina September 7, 2015 at 1:04 am

    I really love this recipe! It comes out so beautiful and your instructions are worded very clearly!

  • Reply Cecily @ Burnt Butter Bakery September 7, 2015 at 12:24 am

    Wow! I’ve never heard of brioche being made with a poolish before, and now I can’t wait to give it a try!

  • Reply Medha @ Whisk & Shout September 6, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    This is stunning and the cinnamon just seems so warming- love the way it’s braided 🙂 Pinning!

  • Reply Adam J. Holland September 6, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    OK. So this is a work of art. But more importantly, I can actually taste this … Well, I could if you’d send one my way. Want my address? Because, I’ll so give it to you! 😉

  • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four September 6, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Wow, your brioche wreath is gorgeous, Thalia! And I 100% agree with you on what my favorites are to bake…I would pick a slightly sweet brioche like this too because it would combine bread and sweets…the best of both worlds! This is the kind of food I just can’t stop picking at, and your version looks absolutely mouthwatering!!!

  • Reply Hearty Thought September 6, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    It’s really beautiful! Like a delicate flower…

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