Bready or Not: Apple Cream Cheese Brioche Tart

Posted by on May 3, 2023 in apples, Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake, cheese galore, yeast bread | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Apple Cream Cheese Brioche Tart

This Apple Cream Cheese Brioche Tart isn’t a beginner’s recipe, I’ll say that straight up. There are gobs of steps, multiple rise times, lots of dirty dishes. But the result? Wow.

Bready or Not: Apple Cream Cheese Brioche Tart

This is really a show-stopper kind of bread for a dessert, breakfast, or brunch. You have an enriched bread with a creamy, rich filling topped with spiced apples.

Bready or Not: Apple Cream Cheese Brioche Tart

We had to test the best ways to eat the leftovers, too. The tart is fantastic fresh. Because of the creamed cheese, it needs to be stored in the fridge–but it’s thick and cloggy if eaten cold.

Bready or Not: Apple Cream Cheese Brioche Tart

However, heating it in the toaster oven doesn’t work–the cream cheese will melt off! Like Goldilocks, we eventually found the “just right.” It was a quick zap in the microwave, maybe 15-20 seconds depending on your machine. Enough to take the chill off without making it hot.

The things we bakers must do for science and the good of the people…

Bready or Not: Apple Cream Cheese Brioche Tart

There’s no denying that this is a complicated, time-consuming recipe, but the results are delicious and beautiful to behold. Modified from Red Star Yeast, and uses their Platinum Yeast.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: apple, cheese, cream cheese, yeast bread
Author: Beth Cato


  • rimmed baking sheet
  • 9-inch springform pan
  • parchment paper
  • stand mixer with paddle and dough hook
  • nonstick spray with flour
  • pastry brush
  • uneven spatula
  • instant read thermometer



  • 2 cups apples peeled then sliced to 1/4-inch, about 1 1/2 medium apples (Honeycrisp recommended)
  • 1 Tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons light brown sugar packed
  • 1 0.25oz package Platinum Yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup milk or half & half, warmed to 120-F to 130-F
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened


  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 3 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour


  • 1 large egg for egg wash
  • 1 Tablespoon water for egg wash
  • Swedish pearl sugar for sprinkling


  • Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Prepare the sliced apples by using a large bowl to stir them with sugar, lemon juice, and pie spice. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread apple mixture in an even layer on prepared pan.
  • Bake the apples until they are fork-tender and have released significant moisture, 12 to 16 minutes. Rotate the pan and stir halfway through. The apples should reduce in size slightly but retain their shape. Let the apples cool while continuing with other stages. Also, turn off the oven, as it won’t be needed for a while.
  • Begin the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1/2 cup flour, white sugar, brown sugar, yeast, and salt at medium-low speed. Add the warm milk, eggs, and vanilla, beating everything on medium about 2 minutes until it’s combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of bowl a few times. Gradually add the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour.
  • Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until dough is smooth and elastic. It should start to pull away from sides of bowl. This will be around 6 to 9 minutes.
  • Add the softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. This will take 6 to 8 minutes total. Scrape the sides of bowl and dough hook as needed. If the dough looks slightly broken during this stage, that's okay–keeping beating it and it'll come back together.
  • Increase mixer speed to medium-low and beat until a smooth, elastic dough forms, about 6 minutes.
  • Turn out dough onto a clean surface and knead 4 to 5 times. Shape into a smooth round. Place dough in a large ungreased bowl. (At this stage, the dough could be covered and placed in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.) Cover it and place it in a warm spot until it doubles in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Cut a piece of parchment to fit in the base of a springform pan. Apply nonstick spray with flour in pan. Add cut paper. Spray again to coat paper and sides.
  • Punch down dough, then cover it and let it rest for about 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 11-inch circle. Use the bottom of the springform pan to poke a 9-inch circle in the middle of the dough. Fold and press outside edges inward to create a crimped edge. Lift the dough to place it in the prepared pan. Press dough to make sure it fills the bottom. Crimp and secure the edges again if needed. Cover and let rise again in a warm place for 25 minutes. Dough should be puffed and hold an indentation when it’s poked.
  • Preheat oven to 325-degrees.
  • Now make the filling. In the clean bowl of the stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and pie spice at medium speed. Gradually add the cream cheese, beating until smooth. Add egg, beating until combined, then add the flour. Scrape the bowl to make sure everything is mixed.
  • Use your fingertips to dimple center of dough back down, leaving outside crust higher and puffed. Crimp and secure edges if necessary, and press out any air bubbles if you see them.
  • Spoon and spread cream cheese mixture in an even layer in center of dough. Arrange the sliced apples slightly overlapping in two concentric circles. (You may have leftover slices. Eat’em on their own!)
  • In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Brush outer edge of dough with egg wash. Sprinkle pearl sugar along the crust.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate pan. If the crust is browning, cover it with foil. Bake for another 25 to 28 minutes. When the tart is done, the crust will be golden brown. The filling should be set around outside edges and slightly jiggly in center. An instant-read thermometer inserted in center should register at least 175-degrees.
  • Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using a small offset spatula, loosen edges of bread. Remove sides of springform pan. Let cool completely on pan base on a wire rack.
  • The tart can be enjoyed fresh after it cools. Leftovers should be stored in the fridge, but will be cloggy if eaten chilled. It’s best warmed with a short zap in the microwave, about 15-20 seconds; if it’s made too hot, the cream cheese melts! Leftovers can also be individually wrapped and frozen for later. Thaw in fridge.