These Sweet Brioche Buns are filled in the center with a sweet cream cheese and then topped with a zesty lemon curd after baking, making them a delicious treat for breakfast or dessert.
Have you ever had a Brioche Bun with your burgers? Aren't they just the perfect buns to go along with your delicious burger? Ok, so hear me out here: they are also perfect as a sweet or breakfast treat! These Sweet Brioche Buns are soft, pillowy, and have a hint of sweetness, and pair perfectly with the sweet cream cheese and zesty lemon curd.
The idea came because I started off by making a lemon curd and really wanted something to go with that. Originally I thought to fill some cupcakes, then changed my mind and thought to make cookies filled with lemon curd. Then I thought maybe some lemon bars? But all those things had been done so many times before and I really wanted something a little more unique.
This dessert is inspired by a Skolebrod, a Norwegian pastry made of a Brioche-like dough and filled with custards and jams. I came across a video quite a few months ago and fell in love with the idea, and ever since I just really wanted to make it. My Fluffy Brioche Bun version is a bit different because instead of custards and jams, I use a sweet cream cheese and a lemon curd.
What are Brioche Buns?
Sweet Brioche Buns or Brioche Buns are made with an enriched dough and have an added sweetness factor to them than regular dough. Enriched doughs contain milk, eggs and butter. Basically, a lot more fat than a regular dough would have. Brioche dough typically contains more sugar than you would find in a normal dough, as well as a lot more butter.
Sweet Brioche Buns Dough Recipe
The dough is pretty simple, but can be a little time-consuming because of the kneading and the two proofs it needs.
Ingredients for Brioche Buns Recipe
- Bread flour
- Egg Yolk
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Sweet Brioche Dough
First, add the yeast ingredients to a small bowl and set aside to activate and foam. Should take about 5 minutes.
Next, in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, add the dry ingredients, the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract, then add the yeast mixture and let it knead for at least 10 minutes until the dough forms a sort of ball and pulls away from the bowl.
Then, add in the softened butter until combined and let knead until the the butter is incorporated in the dough and it becomes smooth, silky, and satiny and pulls away from the bowl. Could take anywhere from 10-15 minutes, but don't skimp out on the time because this is very important. Transfer to an oiled bowl and let proof/rise for at least an hour.
I absolutely love anything with lemon. Lemon cookies, lemon cake, lemon bars, or anything with that lemony zing to it! However, as much as I love lemon curd, I have had quite a few problems in the past with making it. I would follow every single bit of instructions and it would come out perfect, but it would end up tasting like pure metal. Have you ever tasted lemon curd that tasted like metal? I do not recommend! So I steered clear for years and years!
Until now. I finally gave it another try, and I'm so glad I did, because these Lemon Curd Buns are absolutely delicious with this small batch lemon curd recipe.
Tips for Making Lemon Curd Recipe
- Make sure your lemons are fresh. Don't use old lemon or store-bought lemon juice. It just won't work.
- Don't over zest your lemons. You don't want the bitterness of the white part of the lemon.
- Stir or whisk continuously until the mixture thickens.
- If you want a smooth lemon curd, strain before storing.
- Use a double boiler to avoid overcooking your eggs if you're worried that your pan will be too hot.
- Let cool completely before using. As it cools, the lemon curd thickens.
Sweet Cream Cheese
The sweet cream cheese filling is incredibly easy to put together. All you need is softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Add them to a bowl and mix until completely combined. Set it aside until you're ready to fill the buns.
How to Shape Brioche Buns
Once dough has risen, remove from bowl and divide into 8 equal pieces using a kitchen scale. Roll each piece into a ball, then using your fingers press into the center of each Brioche bun ball, forming a center indent (see image), which creates a soft of disc that has a hole where we will fill them with the sweet cream cheese. Let them proof on a baking sheet for 30-45 minutes until puffy and doubled in size.
After the Second Proof
Once the Brioche Buns have doubled in size, take a cup or a small bowl (make sure it's floured so it doesn't stick) and create an even larger indent in the center (I used a ¼ cup initially, but found that a ⅓ cup was better).
Fill each indent with the sweet cream cheese
Bake them in a 350 degree preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until they're golden brown and the cream cheese is starting to form a slight color.
If you have a large baking sheet, I highly recommend it to avoid the fluffy Brioche buns from touching. This will help the buns spread in the oven and bake evenly. Basically, don't do what I did. 🙂
Once out of the oven, let them cool for several minutes before removing from the pan. Top with lemon curd and powdered sugar and enjoy warm.
Tips to Make the Best Sweet and Fluffy Brioche Buns Recipe
- The best way to measure your ingredients is using a kitchen scale because it's the most accurate. If you don't have a kitchen scale, use the spoon and level method of measuring your flour.
- First, fluff the flour with a spoon, then spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level off with a butter knife. This will prevent you from adding more flour than necessary.
- Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes before adding the softened butter. This will ensure the dough forms and pulls away from the bowl. Then once you add the butter, knead for another 10-15 minutes until the butter is completely incorporated the dough has pulled away from the bowl again.
- This dough will be tacky, but shouldn't stick to your hands. It will also be very silky (this due to all the butter added). If while kneading, the dough doesn't come together after 15 minutes, you can add one tablespoon of flour at a time. But be patient before adding the flour. You don't want a dry dough.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why is Brioche Buns Recipe different?
Brioche Buns recipe or Brioche bread recipes are different than regular dough recipes because of the amount of fat it contains. A regular bread recipe typically contains flour, yeast, water, salt. A brioche bread recipe is an enriched recipe that contains milk, eggs, and butter. My Brioche Buns recipe contain 1/24cup of sugar to give it an extra hint of sweetness, which is not typical in a regular bread recipe.
Can I use this Brioche Buns Recipe for Other Recipes?
Absolutely! This Brioche Buns Recipe can be a base for so many bread recipes. You can top it with whatever you desire, sweet or savory. You can even make them into Burger Buns! Stay turned because this will be a base for many great recipes to come.
What Sweet Brioche Fillings Can I use?
If you're not a fan of sweet cream cheese or lemon curd but you really want to try this recipe, here are some sweet brioche filling suggestions:
- Jams or preserves of any kind
- Vanilla custard
- Sweet ricotta or mascarpone
- Chocolate or nutella
Are there Store-Bought Alternatives to Brioche Buns?
Unfortunately, you can't really substitute Brioche Buns with anything you'd fund at the store pre-made because the doughs you typically find are pizza doughs which are not enriched doughs. If you really don't want to make a dough but want to try these fillings, you can use puff pastry. It won't be the same texture or taste, but you'll still get a delicious treat.
How Can I Store These Brioche Buns?
Once completely cooled, store the Sweet Brioche Buns in an airtight container or a ziploc bag and keep it at room temperature. You can eat them at room temperature or warm them slightly in the microwave or oven.
Can I Freeze Brioche Buns?
Yes! Once they're completely cooled, store them in a freezer ziploc bag and they should keep for several months.
If you try this recipe, leave a review and let me know! If you enjoy lemon desserts, try my Lemon Bundt Cake recipe!
Sweet Brioche Buns with Cream Cheese and Lemon Curd
- 1 Large baking sheet
Sweet Brioche Dough
- 1 cup warm milk 110°
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3 cups (360g) bread flour
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter softened
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter cubed, cold or room temperature
- pinch of salt
Sweet Cream Cheese
- 6 oz. cream cheese room temperature
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Sweet Brioche Dough
- In a small bowl, combine the warm milk, packet of yeast and a teaspoon of sugar and let sit and foam for about 5 minutes.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, add flour, sugar, salt, 2 egg yolks, vanilla extract, and the activated yeast mixture and let knead for at least 10 minutes until the dough comes away from the bowl and forms a sort of ball.
- Start adding the softened butter slowly until all is incorporated and knead for an additional 12-15 minutes until the dough forms a smooth ball and does not stick to the sides of the bowl. When touching with your finger, the dough should not stick at all. The dough will be tacky and a lot smoother/silkier than a regular dough.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover and let rise for at least an hour.
- In a small sauce pan, add the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon zest and mix using a whisk until completely combined.
- Place the sauce pan on low heat and while whisking, add in the lemon juice and continue whisking until the egg yolks and lemon thicken. This could take anywhere from 10-15 minutes.
- When it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat and whisk in the butter and a pinch of salt.
- Strain the lemon curd to remove any large bits of zest, then transfer to a glass container and cover with saran wrap, making sure the saran wrap touches the surface of the lemon curd.
- Let cool completely before using.
Sweet Cream Cheese
- In a bowl, combine softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt and mix until completely smooth.
Shaping the Sweet Brioche Buns
- Prepare a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Once dough has risen, remove from bowl and divide into 8 equal pieces using a kitchen scale. Roll each piece into a ball, then using your fingers press into the center of each ball, forming a center indent, which creates a soft of disc that has a hole where we will fill them with the sweet cream cheese.
- Once all have been formed, transfer them to a baking sheet, cover with saran wrap and let rise for 30-45 minutes. Try to make sure there is enough space between them so that they aren't touching when rising.
- Preheat oven to 350°
- After 30-45 minutes, the buns should now be doubled in side. Take a cup or a small bowl (make sure it's floured so it doesn't stick) and create an even larger indent in the center (I used a ¼ cup initially, but found that a ⅓ cup was better).
- Add the sweet cream cheese to the each bun.
- (optional) brush the sides of each bun with egg wash. This will create a deeper color. Otherwise, it's not necessary.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the buns become golden brown and the cream cheese starts to form a bit of a color on top.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes, then top with lemon curd and powdered sugar.
- These Sweet Brioche Buns are delicious warm, but taste great at room temperature as well.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container.
- If you are worried you will overcook the eggs, use the double boiler method instead of a sauce pan.
- Creating a double boiler: use a sauce pan and boil water, then place a glass bowl on top making sure the bowl does NOT touch the water at all. Using this method helps when you don't want to overcook.