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Elegant Brie en Croute Recipe for Holidays

Elegant Brie en Croute: A Showstopping Recipe for Thanksgiving

Brie en croute is the ultimate elegant appetizer for the holidays. 

This classic French dish features creamy brie cheese wrapped in flaky puff pastry and baked to golden brown perfection. 

The contrasting textures and decadent flavors make this baked brie the perfect addition to any holiday table.

This article will cover everything you need to know to make this impressive yet easy-baked brie at home.

You’ll find a step-by-step recipe, tips for choosing ingredients, assembling and baking, serving suggestions, adaptations, variations, and the history and origins of brie en croute. Let’s get started!

Brie in puff pastry, Brie en croute

All About Brie En Croute

Brie en croute, which translates to Brie in crust, is composed of two main elements:

  • Brie Cheese – This soft cheese has a white, bloomy rind and a smooth, creamy interior. It has a rich, buttery flavor that pairs perfectly with the crisp, flaky pastry. A wheel of brie is ideal, as the rind helps contain the oozing center when baked.
  • Puff Pastry – Light and flaky puff pastry provides the crisp, golden crust. The distinct layers are created by repetitively folding butter into the dough. When baked, the water in the butter evaporates and causes the dough to puff up.

Part of the appeal of brie en croute is the contrast of textures. 

The warm, gooey cheese and buttery crisp pastry is an indulgent combination. 

The dish also has an elegant presentation, making it ideal for serving at parties and special occasions.

Brie in puff pastry, Brie en croute

Ingredients you will need

  • 1 (8-ounce) wheel of brie cheese
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons fig jam, apricot jam, or preserves
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped toasted nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Selecting the Best Ingredients

Great ingredients are key for any recipe, and brie en croute is no exception. Here are some tips for choosing optimal brie and puff pastry:

Brie Cheese

  • Wheel rather than wedge – A wheel contains the molten center better than a wedge.
  • Higher fat content – Triple creme brie (75% fat) is ideal, compared to double creme (60% fat) or regular brie (45% fat). More fat equals a creamier melt.
  • Artisanal or imported – High quality brie from small producers or imported French brie provides superior flavor.
  • Soft ripeness – Choose a soft and creamy brie that still holds its shape when you gently press the top and sides. If it’s too firm, it won’t melt enough. Overly runny brie will make a big mess.

Puff Pastry

  • All butter – The best puff pastries are made with pure butter rather than shortening. Butter provides superior flavor and flakiness.
  • Fresh – Use puff pastry within 1-2 days of thawing for optimal rise and flakiness.
  • No cracks or thawing – Select pastry that is free of cracks and thaw according to package directions so the layers remain intact.

Why It's Perfect for Thanksgiving

Beyond just being delicious, brie en croute offers much to appreciate at a Thanksgiving gathering:

  • Dramatic Tablescape – Present the puffed, golden wheel as a centerpiece.
  • Fall Flavors – Infuse the brie with pecans, apple, thyme and other autumn ingredients.
  • Gets Party Started – A rich cheese course enhances the occasion.
  • Easy Elegance – Looks gourmet but is simple to assemble.
  • Kid-Friendly – Little helpers can lend a hand with prep.

Give thanks this Turkey Day by serving this sensational baked brie! Check out more top Thanksgiving appetizer recipes to kick off your meal.

Choosing Seasonal Ingredients

One of the joys of preparing brie en croute for Thanksgiving is selecting autumnal ingredients that reflect the flavors of the holiday:

  • Pears – Fresh sliced pears or pear butter
  • Cranberries – Fresh berries, dried cranberries, cranberry sauce
  • Pecans – Toasted chopped pecans
  • Apples – Sliced apples or apple butter
  • Pumpkin – Puréed or pumpkin pie spice blend
  • Persimmons – Sliced persimmons or persimmon jam
  • Pomegranate – Seeds or pomegranate spread
  • Hazelnuts – Toasted chopped hazelnuts
  • Cinnamon – Ground or sticks for garnish
  • Thyme – Fresh thyme leaves or lemon thyme

The possibilities for seasonal flavor combinations are endless. Allow the fillings and toppings to shine through with delicious choices that evoke autumn.

Brie en croute

Servings, Prep / Cook Time and Calories

Here are the details for servings, prep and cook time, and calories per serving for the brie en croute recipe:

  • Servings: This recipe makes 8 servings

  • Prep time: 10 minutes to assemble ingredients and prepare puff pastry

  • Cook time: 20 minutes to bake the brie en croute

  • Total time: 30 minutes

  • Calories per serving:

Based on 8 servings, using a 8 oz wheel of brie and a full sheet of puff pastry, the calories break down as:

  • Brie cheese: 400 calories
  • Puff pastry: 320 calories
  • Cranberry compote: 60 calories
  • Pecans: 180 calories
  • Total Calories: 960
  • Calories per serving: 120

So for the complete brie en croute recipe with a 8 oz wheel of brie cheese wrapped in puff pastry, cranberries, and pecans, each of the 8 servings contains approximately 120 calories.

Serving Suggestions

Brie en croute is fantastic on its own but can also be served with a variety of accompaniments:

  • Bread – Sliced baguette, french bread, sourdough, pancakes
  • Crackers – Flaky butter crackers, water crackers, wheat crackers
  • Fruit – Sliced pears, apples, grapes, figs, strawberries
  • Nuts – Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts
  • Jams – Fig jam, cranberry sauce, pepper jelly
  • Veggies – Celery, apple slices, roasted potatoes
  • Meat – Prosciutto, smoked salmon, turkey

Serve an assortment of these items in a basket alongside the brie and let guests assemble their own crackers. 

Offer spreading knives so the brie is easy to top crackers or bread.

For parties, consider serving alongside a charcuterie or cheese board. The baked brie makes a nice centerpiece!

Adapting the Recipe

While a classic brie en croute is perfect, the recipe is also very adaptable:

  • Switch up the cheese – Try camembert, goat cheese or gouda.
  • Use ready-made dough – Phyllo, pie crust or pizza dough can sub for puff.
  • Make mini portions – Cut small rounds of brie and dough for single servings.
  • Individual triangles – Cut the wheel into triangles before wrapping in pastry.
  • Savory additions – Layer prosciutto, roasted garlic or caramelized onions between the brie and dough.
  • Sweet flavors – Coat brie in fig preserves, honey, brown sugar or chopped fruit before wrapping.
  • Herb coatings – Roll coated herbs like parsley, rosemary or thyme into the outer dough layers before baking for pretty speckled pastry.

Feel free to get creative with the flavors and shapes! No matter what, the hot melted brie and crisp pastry will be a winning combination.

Brie en croute

Is Brie En Croute Difficult to Make?

Many people are intimidated by making brie en croute, but it’s actually quite easy! Here is a look at the level of difficulty:

Ingredient Prep – EASY

  • Thaw puff pastry according to package
  • Allow brie to come to room temperature
  • Prepare any fillings

Assembly – EASY to MODERATE

  • Folding the pastry neatly does take some practice
  • Work slowly and carefully seal seams
  • Watch videos to learn techniques

Baking – EASY

  • Simply bake until pastry is browned and puffed
  • No complicated culinary techniques needed

Serving – EASY

  • Cool briefly before transferring to serving platter
  • Provide knives for spreading melted brie

With store-bought puff pastry, assembly really is straightforward. And any imperfections in wrapping are hidden once baked! 

It may take a try or two to master the process, but you’ll soon be making brie en croute for parties with ease.


Brie in puff pastry, Brie en croute

Troubleshooting Common Brie En Croute Problems

Even easy recipes can have mishaps. Here are some common brie en croute problems and how to prevent them:

Pastry won’t puff – Be sure to keep the pastry cold while working to prevent premature puffing. Allow to thaw thoroughly or the butter won’t melt properly. And don’t overwork the dough.

Brie leaks out – Choose a wheel with rind intact to contain it. Allow brie to come to room temp before baking so it doesn’t crack. Don’t overbake.

Pastry oozes butter – Too warm dough causes butter leaks. Keep it chilled until ready to bake. Or the oven may be too hot, lower 25 degrees.

Underdone pastry – Bake until deep golden brown, up to 20 minutes. Cover with foil if browning too fast. Make sure oven is preheated.

Burnt bottom – Use parchment paper, not just greased foil, for insulation from the pan. Tent foil over top if needed.

Bland flavor – Choose high quality cheese and pastry for the best flavor. Add herbs, spices, fruit or nuts for a flavor boost.

With a few simple precautions, your brie en croute will turn out perfectly on the first try!

Elegant Holiday Presentation Tips

One reason brie en croute shines at the holidays is the elegant presentation. Here are some tips for serving it with flair:

  • Keep it whole initially for dramatic effect, then slice at the table.
  • Garnish the platter with fresh rosemary, thyme, cranberries or ornament picks.
  • Serve on a decorative cutting board or marble slab for rustic flair.
  • Provide delicate knives for spreading the brie onto breads and crackers.
  • Pair with fine wines, like sparkling, white burgundy, or dessert wine.
  • Arrange fruit or crackers around the brie. Group in threes or fives for visual appeal.
  • Clean lines look modern – wrap brie in parchment then foil for smooth sides.
  • Add a pop of color with the filling, like raspberry jam and mint leaves.

With its golden crust and jewel-tone drizzle, brie en croute really shines as a centerpiece. Follow these tips to make it the star of your holiday table!

Looking for more French-inspired recipes? Check out our selections of the best Thanksgiving appetizers, classic Thanksgiving desserts, and traditional Turkey holiday recipes.

Brie in puff pastry, Brie en croute

History and Origins

The luxurious combination of French cheese and pastry in brie en croute has made it an iconic appetizer. But where exactly did it originate?

Ancient Roman Inspiration – Savory pastries and pies filled with cheese have roots in ancient Roman cooking. Early versions of buttery-enriched doughs and cheese fillings influenced medieval European bakers.

French Brie & Puff Pastry – Both brie and puff pastry were developed in France, so the two ingredients were naturally paired. Brie dates back to the 8th century in the Brie region. The art of folding butter into pastry for puff pastry arose in the 16th century.

19th Century Popularity – As high-quality dairy and wheat production increased in France in the 1800s, rich baked goods like brie en croute became more accessible. The dish was likely perfected in French kitchens during this time.

French Culinary Influence – Haute French cuisine and techniques became popular worldwide in the early 20th century, spreading brie en croute abroad. It became a fixture on restaurant menus and elegant home dinner parties.

Modern Convenience – The rise of frozen puff pastry in grocery stores starting in the 1970s made preparing brie en croute fast and easy, even for home cooks. Its popularity at parties grew.

Today, brie en croute remains a French classic but is beloved worldwide as an easy yet impressive appetizer for special occasions. 

The formula of wrapping brie in puff pastry produces decadent results no matter where you enjoy it!

Brie in puff pastry, Brie en croute

Make It for Your Next Holiday Feast!

Brie en croute not only tastes amazing but adds beauty and elegance to holiday celebrations:

  • Visually Stunning – The puffed, golden crust makes a dramatic centerpiece.
  • Decadent Indulgence – The combo of creamy cheese and crispy pastry provides rich satisfaction.
  • Adaptable Flavors – Fill with choices to please all palates.
  • Perfect for Sharing – The large round feeds a Thanksgiving crowd.
  • Easy Elegance – Looks gourmet but is simple to assemble with store-bought ingredients.
  • Makes Great Gifts – Wrap up extras as edible favors for guests.

This baked brie starter ensures your holiday feast begins and ends on a high note!

Brie en croute


Serve brie en croute this Thanksgiving for an elegant appetizer with autumnal flair. 

The contrast of flaky pastry and creamy brie makes a decadent impression, while seasonal fruits and nuts add holiday spirit. 

Follow our step-by-step recipe for assembling this dramatic centerpiece. With incredible flavor, delightful textures, and harvest-inspired ingredients, brie en croute is sure to have your guests giving thanks!

Want more recipes to make your Thanksgiving meal memorable? Check out our full guides to Thanksgiving appetizers, side dishes, desserts, and more!

Elegant Brie en Croute Recipe for Holidays

Recipe by Chris Cooper
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: AppetizersCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time



This elegant brie en croute is the perfect centerpiece for your next holiday gathering. The flaky puff pastry crust is filled with creamy brie cheese and topped with fresh herbs. It's easy to make and sure to impress your guests.


  • 1 8oz 1 wheel of brie cheese

  • 1 sheet 1 frozen puff pastry, thawed

  • 1 1 egg, beaten

  • 2 tbsp 2 fig jam, apricot jam, or preserves

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 chopped toasted nuts (pecans, walnuts, or almonds)

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 fresh thyme leaves


  • Prepare puff pastry: Thaw puff pastry sheet according to package instructions. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Prepare brie wheel: Unwrap the brie, keeping the rind intact. Place brie on the prepared baking sheet. Spread jam over the top of the brie.
  • Wrap brie: Place the brie wheel in the center of the puff pastry sheet. Bring up pastry corners and pinch them together to seal the brie inside. Trim any excess dough.
  • Decorate pastry: Brush the top and sides of the pastry with beaten egg. Sprinkle with nuts and thyme leaves, gently pressing so they adhere.
  • Bake: Bake for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is deep golden brown and puffed. If needed, cover brie with foil after 15 minutes to prevent over-browning.
  • Cool slightly: Allow brie en croute to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Carefully transfer to a serving platter or board.
  • Serve: Serve warm alongside crackers, bread, apples or pears. Provide a knife for spreading the melted brie.
  • That's all it takes to make this impressive baked brie! The preparation is easy, while the presentation looks like you fussed all day. With tangy preserves and crunchy pecans, this brie is ready to wow as part of your Top Thanksgiving Recipes.


  • Step-By-Step Assembly Instructions
  • Assembling the brie en croute ingredients into a neatly wrapped package can seem tricky for first-timers. Follow these step-by-step instructions for a perfect presentation:
  • Cut pastry 1-2 inches larger than the brie round on all sides so you have enough to fold over the top.
  • Place the brie wheel in the center of the pastry, leaving a border on all sides.
  • Brush egg wash on the border of the pastry to help seal the seams.
  • Fold up the sides, pressing gently into the cheese to adhere. Leave the top open.
  • Gently fold and pinch the corners, pressing to seal. Make diagonal cuts if needed to help fold.
  • Trim excess pastry with a paring knife for clean seam lines.
  • Spread filling and sprinkle topping over exposed brie.
  • Brush egg wash over top pastry border and decorate before baking.
  • It may take a try or two to master the pocket fold. If gaps open while baking, use a fork to press and reseal. The flavor will still be amazing!

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