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Blueberry Cream Cheese Challah

Blueberries and cream cheese add an extra bit of color and sweetness to this classic braided loaf. Perfect for breakfast or brunch.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Challah
Yield 3 braided loaves



  • 1 tablespoon Platinum Yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 cups warm water (110-120˚F)
  • 9-10 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (more if needed)


  • Egg wash: 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water (whisked together)
  • Course sugar for sprinkling over loaves
  • Sliced almonds for sprinkling over loaves (if desired)


  • Line three baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats; set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whisk together yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar and warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Add 3 cups of flour to yeast mixture, and mix on low-med speed until the flour is incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, canola oil, salt, and remaining sugar. Add to the flour-yeast mixture and mix until combined.
  • Switch to dough hook attachment. Slowly add in enough remaining flour until the dough comes together as a sticky ball. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for several minutes unit the dough forms into a nice round shape.
  • Butter or oil a large bowl and place dough ball inside, turning to coat all sides. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  • Make cream cheese filling: Combine cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl. Mix until smooth. Set aside.
  • Punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Then divide each part into 3 equal pieces. You will have 9 pieces total.
  • Roll each piece into a long rectangular shape, about14x5-inches.
  • Spread about 1-2 tablespoons cream cheese filling over each rectangle, leaving an inch border. Line the blueberries down the middle of each rope. (See photos below.)
  • Starting with the long edge, roll each piece up jelly roll style. Tuck the blueberries in as you go. Pinch all along the seam and on each end to seal completely.
  • Line up 3 filled and sealed ropes vertically and pinch them together at the top. Braid the three pieces starting tightly at the top so there isn’t a big gap. Tuck bottom and top edges under the loaf.
  • Gently place braided loaf on prepared baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.
  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Make egg wash: Whisk together 1 egg and 1 teaspoon water. Liberally and gently brush over braided loaves. Generously sprinkle turbinado sugar over loaves. (Or use less, depending on preference.) Sprinkle almonds on top, if desired.
  • Bake each loaf, one at a time, for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the loaf is a deep golden brown. Let loaves sit on the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Slice and serve with cream cheese or butter.
  • Wrap any leftovers (completely cooled) in wax paper and foil. Freeze each loaf for up to a month.