Chocolate Cherry Almond Brioche Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting

Layers of silky brioche dough are filled with cocoa, cherries and almonds, then topped with cream cheese frosting. Chocolate Cherry Almond Brioche Buns are indulgent, but they’re totally worth the work and calories

chocolate cherry almond brioche bunsI knew I wanted to do a sweet bread based on a brioche dough, but had a bit of a time finding my way to making Chocolate Cherry Almond Brioche buns.

My first thought was to make chocolate brioche studded with dried cherries. I don’t mean a brioche filled with chocolate, but a brioche with cocoa in the mix to create a chocolate dough.

My attempts were not bad, in fact the bread tasted good. The bread had a striking chocolate-brown color and great texture, but the flavor was deep, dark and a bit bitter. It was quite a nice bread, but didn’t fit in with the “sweetened” theme.

I tried adding more sugar but it just was not working out as I had it in my head. I’ll revisit that idea another time because I’m still intrigued, but not for today.

How to make Chocolate Brioche Buns:

I kept the chocolate element, but instead made a cocoa sugar that I rolled into the dough along with chopped dried cherries and chopped cocoa covered almonds. These Chocolate Cherry Almond Brioche Buns are a chocolatized version of cinnamon buns. How could that be a bad thing?

If you’ve never made brioche before here are a few pointers for success:

  •  Knead for a full 10-15 minutes – kneading for a good 10 minutes before the butter is added allows the gluten to develop. Fat inhibits gluten formation, so you want a nice stretchy dough before adding the butter. Good gluten formation is key for a light texture. A strong gluten network allows the bread to rise fully and hold it’s shape without collapsing under it’s own weight.
  • Soften the butter to match the texture of the dough – Having the butter the same texture as the dough allows it to emulsify into the dough. This helps create the beautiful brioche texture.
  • Rest the dough before shaping – Giving the dough several hours in the refrigerator relaxes the dough and firms up the butter, making the dough easier to shape.

Scroll through the process photos to see detailed steps for making Chocolate Cherry Almond Brioche Buns. 

chocolate cherry brioche bun dough starter
Cover the starter with flour and set aside
softening butter for brioche dough
Soften the butter so it’s the same texture as the dough
dotting butter over dough to create flaky layers
Dot the butter over the dough to create flaky layers
brioche bun dough, first fold
Fold the dough over the butter in 3rds
brioche bun dough after folding
Fold the dough into 3rds again to create more layers
Cut the buns and arrange in a buttered pan. The buns will rise to fill the pan
The baked buns completely fill the pan
chocolate cherry almond brioche buns
Layers of silky brioche dough with chocolate, almond and dried cherries.
chocolate cherry almond brioche buns
Folding butter into the dough creates flaky layers

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

Print Recipe
4.67 from 3 reviews

Chocolate Cherry Almond Brioche Buns

Layers of silky brioche dough are filled with cocoa, cherries and almonds, then topped with cream cheese frosting. Chocolate Cherry Almond Brioche Buns are indulgent, but they’re totally worth the work and calories
Prep Time12 hours
Bake Time25 minutes
Total Time12 hours 25 minutes
12 large buns
Save Recipe



  • 5 oz whole milk (⅔ cup scalded and cooled to 100 °F)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon dry yeast
  • 16 ¼ oz all purpose flour (3 ¼ cups, see note)


  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ¾ oz granulated sugar (⅓ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 4 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)


  • 4 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 ¾ oz granulated sugar (⅓ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 6 oz dried cherries (1 cup chopped (see note))
  • 1 cup cocoa covered almonds (chopped)
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 2 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 3 oz Confectioner’s sugar (¾ cup)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract



  • Combine 5 oz whole milk, 1 large egg, 2 ¼ teaspoon dry yeast and 1 cup flour in a mixer bowl to form a batter. Sprinkle the another cup of flour over the starter and set aside for about 30 minutes. You'll see the flour on the surface cracking when the starter is active.


  • Put the bowl on the mixer with the paddle on medium low to mix in the flour. Add 3 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 ¾ oz granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon table salt. Add 1 cup of flour. Switch to the dough hook and continue mixing on low. Add the remaining flour.
  • Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough for 10-15 minutes until the dough gathers on the hook, becomes smooth and silky and slaps the sides of the bowl. You can add a little more flour if the dough is still too sticky after 7-8 minutes of kneading.
  • While the dough is kneading turn 4 oz unsalted butter out onto the work surface and knead it with a bench scraper so that it's soft and pliable and has a similar texture to the dough. You want it pliable but not melted
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the butter to the dough, a tablespoon at a time. The dough will break apart, keep adding the butter. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough comes back together, gathers on the hook and again slaps the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. The dough should be quite soft and silky but hold its shape.
  • Transfer to the dough to a buttered bowl, cover and set aside for about an hour until it doubles in volume. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface . Knead the the dough to form a ball and return to the bowl. Cover and refrigerate 4-6 hours.

Shape the buns

  • While the dough rests. Place the dried cherries in a small bowl and cover them with very hot tap water. Set them aside to plump.
  • Take the chilled dough from the refrigerator and turn it out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough to a ¼" thick rectangle about 16"x18" . Break the remaining 4 oz unsalted butter into ½" bits and scatter them evenly over the surface of the rectangle. Use your fingers to smear the butter onto the dough. Fold the rectangle in thirds from the short side then fold in thirds again. Wrap and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
  • Drain and roughly chop the cherries. Discard the soaking liquid.
  • Roll the chilled dough to a ¼" thick rectangle, about 16"x18". Brush the entire surface of the dough with egg wash. Combine the 2 ¾ oz granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and sprinkle the cocoa sugar over the dough. Sprinkle the chopped cherries and chopped cocoa almonds over the sugar.
  • Roll tightly from the long side of the rectange to form a log. Wrap and refrigerate the log for 30 minutes (see note). Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Generously butter a 13"x9" baking pan (or 12 large muffin tins if you like crispy sides).
  • Unwrap the log and cut into 12 equal portions. Arrange the buns in the pan. (If you want to work the night before at this point the pan can be wrapped and refrigerated overnight)
  • Allow the buns to rise for 1½-2 hours until they've grown to fill the pan. Bake about 30-35 minutes until golden brown and the buns in the middle are fully baked.

Make the Icing

  • Combine 2 oz cream cheese and 2 oz unsalted butter in a mixing bowl and cream until well combined. With the mixer running add 3 oz Confectioner’s sugar and whip until well aerated. Add ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • While the buns are still warm remove them from the pan to a serving plate. Spread cream cheese icing generously over the buns and indulge.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.


If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.
Pour 1 cup of very hot water over the dried cherries. Allow them to plump for about 20 minutes, then drain and chop to 1/4″ pieces.
At this point the wrapped logs can be frozen for several weeks. Defrost at room temperature, then cut the buns and proceed with the recipe.


Serving: 1bun | Calories: 528kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 246mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 1275IU | Vitamin C: 0.002mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 3mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

You might also like:

apricot pistachio buns 13a
Apricot Pistachio Buns
Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns
4 Grain English Muffins
4 Grain English Muffins
rhubarb fritters
Rhubarb Fritters
pumpkin coffee cake with walnut streusel
Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Sounds lovely! I love the idea of adding the folds, and especially making them individuals. but can you please verify which measurement is correct for the milk at the start? 1/3c or 2/3c? (5oz/160ml is more like 2/3c). Thanks!

    1. Hi Laura, thanks for the heads up. That was a typo and it should be 2/3 cup milk. The entire recipe and post needed updating so I did that too. The slider with the process photos was broken so you can now see the process photos too.

  2. Hello Eileen, your buns look absolutely fabulous. The texture is beautiful – so light and flaky. Cherry Almond chocolate filling sounds heavenly!

  3. These sound delicious, and thanks for the tips on the butter temperature. Sometimes I have to remove the dough from the mixer and add it back in pieces to incorporate the butter, probably because it is too warm.

    1. Yes, depending on the time of year it can get too warm. Right now my kitchen stays pretty cool so it’s not a problem.