These Almond Cream Brioche Buns are a cross between a classic almond croissant and another French pastry called Bostock which is traditionally made with slices of stale brioche. My version is buttery, soft, and fluffy, full of almond flavor, and they require a bit less time and effort than croissants!
They start with a simple brioche dough that is layered with an almond cream filling. It’s not quite a laminated dough like croissant dough but folding the almond cream filling into the dough mimics this method to give the buns more layers of almond cream and buttery goodness.
What is Brioche?
Brioche is a French bread made with eggs and butter which gives it a rich, fluffy, and tender crumb. It works well in sweet recipes like french toast or bread pudding but it’s also often made into buns for hotdogs, hamburgers, or sandwiches. It comes in many forms from loaf to bun to pastry. It’s buttery, soft, and, perfectly compliments the almond cream filling in this recipe.
Ingredients for Almond Cream Brioche Buns
For the Brioche Dough
- Whole milk
- Instant Yeast
- All-purpose flour
For the Almond Cream Filling
- Almond Meal: I like this one
- All-purpose flour
- Almond Extract
- Egg wash
- Sliced Almonds
- Powdered Sugar
- Simple Syrup
How to Make Almond Cream Brioche Buns
- Make the brioche dough. This dough comes together in about 5 minutes in a stand mixer. Then the dough needs to rest for about an hour until it’s doubled in size.
- Make the almond cream. You’ll start the filling by combining the butter and sugar and then add the remaining ingredients. You can do this in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. Make this while the dough is resting then leave it at room temperature so it’s easy to spread.
- Shape the buns. After the dough has rested, you’ll roll it out into a large rectangle and spread the almond cream filling on ⅔ of the dough, leaving ⅓ without filling. Then fold the plain ⅓ onto the center ⅓ then fold the remaining bottom ⅓ on top of that.
Roll your new rectangle out slightly width-wise, then trim the edges and cut lengthwise into 8 equal strips. You’ll roll each strip up tightly like a cinnamon roll, tuck the end under, then place them on your sheet pans and allow the buns to rest again before baking.
- Bake the buns. Once the buns have rested and are doubled in size, you’ll brush them with egg wash, and sprinkle with sliced almonds, then bake the buns at 350°F for about 20 minutes until they’re nice and golden brown.
- Finish the almond cream brioche buns. Once the buns come out of the oven, allow them to cool slightly then brush on some simple syrup. This gives them a nice shiny coat and adds a touch more sweetness. Finish with a dusting of powdered sugar and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Almond Cream Brioche Buns
- Use a kitchen scale. Weighing your ingredients when baking is crucial for the most accurate and successful results. Bread recipes can be especially finicky so I always recommend investing in a kitchen scale. They’re pretty inexpensive and such a game-changer to get great results. You’ll notice that I include gram measurements in all my baking recipes! I use this one.
- Don’t over-mix the dough. Overmixing will leave you with a tough, chewy dough and that’s definitely not what you want here. I’ve found that 5 minutes on medium speed is the sweet spot for my mixer, once all the ingredients have come together. You should have a soft and smooth dough that has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
- Enjoy the same day. While I can attest that these almond cream brioche buns are still delicious the next day, they are going to be the softest and freshest the day they are baked, as with most pastries. If you are eating them the next day, 10-20 seconds in the microwave does wonders or can even give them a little refresh in the oven.
These Almond Cream Brioche Buns are the perfect lazy weekend project to make for family, guests, or just a treat for yourself. Happy Brioche Baking!
Almond Cream Brioche Buns
For the Brioche Dough
- ¾ cup (175g) whole milk
- 3 Tablespoons (40g) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 teaspoons (9g) instant yeast
- 3 cups (390g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (58g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
For the Almond Cream Filling
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup (105g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (105g) almond meal or almond flour
- 1 Tablespoon (9g) all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
For the Topping
- egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water)
- sliced almonds
- powdered sugar for dusting, optional
For the Simple Syrup
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 3 Tablespoons water
- Brioche Dough: In a small saucepan, add the milk and butter and heat on low until the mixture reaches 90°F. Add the milk and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Add the yeast to the bowl and give it a quick stir.
- Add the flour, sugar, salt, then eggs to the bowl. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue mixing for about 5 minutes, or until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl and is very smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl a couple of times during the process.
- Form the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl greased with cooking spray or oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 – 1 ½ hours.
- Almond Cream Filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Add the almond flour, all-purpose flour, eggs, and almond extract and mix until fully combined. Set aside.
- Assembly: Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Once the dough is ready, remove it from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Gently press out any air bubbles.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle measuring approximately 15” x 20”. With the shorter end of the rectangle facing you, spread the almond filling onto the lower two-thirds of the dough, leaving one-third without filling.
- Fold the shorter ends of the dough into thirds like a letter. First, fold the ⅓ clean part of the dough onto the center ⅓ of the dough then fold the remaining ⅓ end over that. Lightly roll out the dough again, until it measures about 8” wide (across the shorter side). If the dough becomes too soft to work with, you can pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Using a pizza cutter or large knife, trim the 4 sides of the dough as needed to create clean, even edges. Cut the dough in half lengthwise then cut each of those pieces in fourths, to create 8 long strips. Starting at one end, roll up each strip into a tight bun, tucking the end underneath. Transfer the buns to the prepared pans. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the buns with egg wash and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Simple Syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and lightly brush over the cooled buns.
- Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, and enjoy!
- These almond brioche buns are best enjoyed the same day but can be refreshed the next day by warming in the oven or microwave.
- You can make the dough the day before and allow it to rest the first time in the fridge overnight (step 3). Then roll out the dough the next day and follow the remaining steps.