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Cranberry Danish Twist

Cranberry Danish Twist

  • Author: Isabelle Boucher
  • Prep Time: 2.5 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 51 minute
  • Yield: 2 loaves 1x


Transform your leftover cranberry sauce from your turkey dinner into a showstopper brunch for the morning after. Don't let it's fancy looks fool you, either... it's easier to make than you might think!



Brioche Dough:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups flour

Cranberry Swirl Filling:

  • 1 cup cranberry sauce
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract


Make the Dough:

  1. In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, warm the milk until wisps of steam start to rise from the surface and the milk feels warm to the touch, around 110F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the warm milk with yeast and 1 tbsp sugar. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, or until frothy. (If the mixture doesn't look foamy after 10 minutes, your yeast is past its prime. You'll need to get a fresh container of yeast and start again.)
  3. Add the rest of the sugar, along with the eggs, butter, vanilla and salt. Add the flour and beat on low speed until the dough starts to come together, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl into a smooth ball. The dough should be soft, but not overly sticky.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, around 60-90 minutes.

Shape the Loaves:

  1. Generously butter two 9-inch springform pans. If your cranberry sauce is very chunky, use an immersion blender or food processor to partially puree - you want it to be mostly smooth, with a few visible berries still remaining.
  2. Punch down the dough, then transfer to a lightly floured work surface, punch it down to release the air. Divide the dough into two pieces and roll into balls.
  3. Working with one ball at a time, roll out into a 9x13-inch rectangle. Leaving a 1-inch border on either side, brush the dough with half of the melted butter, then sprinkle with half of the sugar. Spread half of the cranberry sauce over top. Starting from one of the shorter sides, roll up like a jelly roll.
  4. Using a sharp knife, slice through the roll lengthwise through the seam. With the cut sides facing up, criss-cross the two halves to make an X. Twist the top and bottom parts of the X, then twist to form a spiral. Carefully transfer to one of the prepared springform pans.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the remaining dough and filling ingredients.
  6. Cover the pans with plastic wrap or a clean dishtowel, and set aside to rise for 45 minutes. The twists will not be doubled in size, but should look slightly puffed.

Bake and Frost the Bread:

  1. While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown all over. (If the top is browning too quickly, you can loosely cover with aluminum foil.) Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the outer ring of the springform pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. While the bread is cooling, prepare the icing by whisking together the icing sugar, milk and almond extract until smooth. The icing should be thick but pourable - if it's too runny, add a spoonful of icing sugar, and if it's too thick, add a few more drops of milk.
  4. Drizzle the cooled bread with icing. Let stand for about 10 minutes to allow the icing to set before slicing and serving.


Storage: For best results, you want to eat this bread on the same day it's baked, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.

Make Ahead: The brioche dough can be made in advance - prepare through to the end of the first rise, then punch down and transfer to a freezer-safe zip-top bag, and store in the fridge for up to 2 days in the fridge. For longer storage, you can freeze the dough up to 3 months, then thaw overnight in the freezer before continuing on to the assembly.

  • Category: Breads
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Canadian