Guava Cream Cheese Pastry Braid – Puff pastry dough is filled with whipped cream cheese and guava jelly and then braided to give this traditional Latin pastry an upgrade.
Guava was always present in our home growing up. I loved spreading it on toast with a little butter, just as my dad did in the mornings. But it wasn’t until I had guava with cream cheese that I really appreciated this tropical fruit.
I think I first had this duo together when I ordered a guava cream cheese pastry from a Latin bakery in Florida. Man, what a flavor combination! The cream cheese perfectly balances out the tangy guava jelly and makes the filling ultra creamy. Wrap it all up in a flaky puff pastry and you’ve got a killer treat.
But this isn’t just any puff pastry – it’s folded into a braid to make it look extra gorgeous. Check out my Guava Cream Cheese Braid below!
How to make this recipe
I know this braid looks fancy and complicated, but it’s actually super simple. If you have the right directions and guidance, you can easily achieve this for yourself. And that’s where this recipe comes in! But before we get to the process, let’s talk about the ingredients.
There are only a few ingredients for this recipe: puff pastry, guava jelly, cream cheese, egg, and coarse sugar. The puff pastry can be found in the frozen dessert section of the grocery store. The night before you plan to use it, simply place it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
For the filling, there are just two ingredients: guava jelly and whipped cream cheese. Guava jelly is sold pretty regularly here in Georgia. However, if that’s not the case where you live, you can substitute guava paste or any other fruit preserves you have available. I used whipped cream cheese in this recipe to help it spread easily over the pastry dough. But you can use regular cream cheese – just make sure it’s room temperature so it’s easier to spread.
For the topping, egg wash is brushed over the top to make the pastry beautifully golden brown as it bakes. Then, coarse sugar is sprinkled over the top to give the pastry a yummy crunch on top. I used Turbinado sugar, which is just raw cane sugar.
When I first saw a pastry braid, I was so impressed by how intricate the dough was weaved. It looked so professional and thus, felt almost unattainable without tons of practice. I am here to tell you that is most certainly not the case. It’s actually quite simple of a process.
First, you roll out one sheet of dough and make little cuts along the sides to make the pieces that will be braided.
Then, you add the filing down the center.
Finally, you just overlap the side pieces to make a braid and voila! The braid is formed!
Repeat the process with the other sheet of dough and transfer the braids to a prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and then bake until perfectly golden brown.
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few more tips to help you get this recipe exactly right:
- The key to a flaky pastry is make sure it’s super cold before baking. This causes steam to form when the butter in the pastry hits the hot oven and flake the pastry. If the butter is too warm, then it won’t steam and the pastry won’t flake. So make sure to chill the pastry before baking!
- Make sure to bake the pastry until it’s deep golden brown on the outside. This will ensure a flaky, crispy pastry that is cooked completely. The last thing you want is a soggy pastry.
Guava Cream Cheese Pastry Braid
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry thawed
- ⅔ cup whipped cream cheese divided
- ½ cup guava jelly divided
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons course sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.
- Lightly flour a rolling pin and your working surface. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry. Using a dull knife, lightly make indentations into the dough to separate it into three equal sections. The middle section will hold the filling and the outer two sections will be braided. Using a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom corners off at a diagonal. The, cut slits down the left side at the same angle as the corner cuts, about 1 inch thick, stopping right when you reach the center. Cut the same number of slits down the right side.
- Spread ⅓ cup of cream cheese down the center panel with the back of a spoon. Top with ¼ cup of guava jelly and spread it over the cream cheese. Starting at the top of the pastry, fold over the slits of dough, alternating between the left and right sides to create a braid.
- Once you've made one braid, repeat steps 2 and 3 with the second sheet of puff pastry.
- Whisk egg and teaspoon of water together to make an egg wash. Brush the top of the braids with the egg wash. Cover braids in coarse sugar. Using a spatula, carefully lift braids and place braids onto baking sheet, at least 4 inches apart. Bake the braids in preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove braids from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
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