Christmas Wreath Pastry

This pastry can be a decadent addition to your Christmas morning tradition.

Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 20 mins

This pastry can be a decadent addition to your Christmas morning tradition, but in all honesty, it's hard to make it for only the holiday once you've tried it. Altogether, this ring of sweet almond-y and yeasty goodness harmonizes some of our favorite holiday flavors in an at-home recipe that looks like it's from the bakery. Simply rolling the dough like you would a cinnamon roll, cutting it in half, and braiding the two pieces makes an intertwined strand of dough that looks elegant when shaped into a circular wreath. Of the handful of secret ingredients in this recipe, the almond paste is by far the most crucial—it's an ingredient found in most baking aisles, and it's made for the purpose of filling a pastry ready to be baked. By using this ingredient, you don't have to fuss with ground almonds. Dried cherries that have been rehydrated with orange liqueur is the other secret to this recipe. Once soaked, the cherries soften and take in the flavor of the liqueur, translating into juicy tart bites that contrast the rich sweetness of the pastry and almond filling. Bejeweled with these decadent cherries and brightened with the winter flavors of almond, orange, and lemon, the pastry is finished with a simple milk-and-powdered sugar glaze and a sprinkling of sliced almonds. Of all the things to wake up to on Christmas morning, this pastry might just become the new favorite.

Christmas Wreath Pastry

Southern Living



  • 3/4 cup dried cherries

  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau)

  • 10 ounces almond paste

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 tablespoons all purpose flour

  • Zest of 1 lemon


  • 4 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

  • 1 1/3 cups warm whole milk (110°F-115°F)

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 3 1/3 cups all purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil


  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk

  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds


  1. In a bowl, combine dried cherries with orange liqueur. Add water until cherries are just covered and soak for 1 hour.

  2. Make Dough: In a large bowl, whisk together yeast, warm milk, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Set aside for 10 minutes until frothy. Add flour, salt, and vegetable oil; stir together until a shaggy dough forms. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead until dough no longer sticks to the surface, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow to rest at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  3. Make Filling: In a stand mixer, cream together almond paste and butter on medium until smooth. Add flour and lemon zest, and mix until well combined. Drain cherries from soaking liquid. Add drained cherries to filling, gently folding in the cherries with a spatula.

  4. Generously flour a work surface. Punch down dough to remove excess gas and transfer to floured work surface. Flour the dough and use a rolling pin to roll dough into a 9- x- 32-inch rectangle. Sprinkle almond filling evenly over rectangle and use a spatula or your hands to evenly spread the filling over the dough. Starting at the long edge nearest yourself, tightly begin to roll the dough and filling to the other long side of the rectangle, making a tight and even rolled rope. Generously flour your surface again and using a large knife, cut the rope in half longwise, exposing the inside of the roll all the way down and creating two long pieces.

  5. Take each long piece of dough and wrap them around each other by lifting one piece over and then under the other until the two ropes are entirely intertwined. Work so that the exposed layers are facing up and the smooth layer of dough is facing down. Bring the two ends of the braided pieces together and tuck one under the other creating a seamless ring. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rest until puffy, about 1 hour.

  6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove plastic wrap from pastry, brush entire surface of pastry with egg wash, and transfer to preheated oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown and baked through. Allow to cool completely before glazing.

  7. Make Glaze: Combine powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon milk. Add more milk 1 teaspoonful at a time until a desired pourable consistency is reached. Drizzle glaze over wreath and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

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