PostHeaderIcon Butter Braids Recipe

Before I jump into the recipe, let me first tell you a story. I know I’m probably among the minority here, but I’m just sick to death of the fundraising companies taking advantage of the schools. The last fundraiser our PTO did was for butter braids, despite my protest they were charging WAY too much. The butter braids were being sold for $12, and the company was giving only $5 of that to the school (IF we sold over a certain amount, which I don’t believe we did, so ended up with LESS). Yes, the company’s profit from those simple breads was at least $7 per, while the school got only $5.

I thought these prices were just beyond insane, and my ranting only increased when I saw very similar butter braids at the local grocery store for $4.50. My jaw dropped, and I was even more disgusted.

So I went on a quest to find an even cheaper way to do these tasty treats. I’m just going to make my own! Now I will warn you though – you need a bread machine to mix the dough. I’m sure you could do it by hand, but it’s SO much easier to have a bread machine. (Again, if you don’t have one, see our post on why you need a bread machine)

First you’ll need my awesome cinnamon roll recipe (and by “my” I mean I’ve claimed this, not invented it. This recipe was given to me awhile back). Here’s the dough for the base of the bread:

Butter Braid Bread Base

3/4 c water
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla
3 c flour
6 Tbs sugar
1/4 c butter (softened)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs dry milk
1 1/2 tsp yeast

Add to bread machine and set on “dough” cycle. Cut dough in half to make two breads. Roll each out into a rectangle. Add your fillings (see below for options) in the center of each dough, leaving space on the edges. Cut 1 inch strips on the sides from edge to center. Fold in and tuck under strips to give a braided appearance (see this picture of butter braids, although I tuck mine under a little more than what’s pictured).

Let rise for 45 minutes. Bake at 375 for 15- 20 minutes or until light brown. Add frosting or glaze (see options below).
Now for all the options. You can use any combination of the following, but to make them just like the butter braids you see in stores, I’ve tried to organize them a bit.

Option 1

Filling Options for Cream Cheese Frosting:

– Apple Pie Filling
– Cherry Pie Filling
– Blueberry Pie Filling
– Peach Pie Filling

Basically any type of pie fillings will do, and those listed above are best with the cream cheese frosting on the top.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4oz Cream Cheese
2 Tbs Butter
3 Tbs Powdered Sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt cream cheese and butter together. Add vanilla and powdered sugar.

Option 2

Fillings for Glaze:

– Cinnamon (1/4 c melted butter, 1/3 c brown sugar,1 tsp cinnamon)
– Jam or Jelly

Glaze Recipe

1 c powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
3-4 Tbs milk

Mix together, adding milk as needed.
That’s it! The fun part of this recipe is trying out different fillings and toppings for the bread and coming up with completely different breads each time.

Idea Queen

Author Kara Kelso, also known as "The Idea Queen", draws inspiration from her eccentric family. Raising a high-spirited girl, an Autism spectrum pre-teen boy, and a few random extras showing up for the food.

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19 Responses to “Butter Braids Recipe”

  • janet says:

    Thank you for the recipe. I love the braids but used my last one last week. Yes, they are expensive from fundraisers. I would like to try to make my own. I like the cinnamon, cream cheese filling and there is a vanilla almost pudding flavor with chocolate frosting. I saw the recipe for the cream cheese frosting but will this work baked in the braid itself? thanks

  • Idea Queen says:

    Good question! I’m a trial and error cook half the time, so would need to check it out. Cream cheese in the bread itself would be really yummy. I think I would be most concerned with it spilling out, so maybe it would need to be “thickened up” a bit don’t you think?

  • name says:

    so what if I don’t have a ‘bread machine’ but I have a stand mixer? i’ve used my mixer to make a similar type of braided bread, so I’m assuming it will work for this recipe as well?…

  • Anna says:

    Looks like a delish recipe – but it is not the same as the butter braid – The Butter Braid is a danish pastry, or laminated dough. You create many layers by folding the dough with butter layers. You have to stop and chill the dough between layers….it isn’t as simple as tossing it in the bread machine. Danish pastry is very time consuming – but well worth the work.

    I also don’t think the company makes $7/profit on each loaf – they use quality ingredients and real butter. They also employ workers in a small town in Iowa – it isn’t some huge corporation.

    Butter Braids used to be sold in stores, but are strickly for fundraising now. I have bought the other brand that is sold in stores and it is more of a regular sweet bread, like your recipe. Even though the Butter Braids are expensive – I do look forward to getting a few every year.

    • cindy says:

      what about using phylo dough and buttering each layer until you have enough layers to make the braid thick enough, then cutting the sides and then filling. That may be more like a pastry.

  • Arlene McMillin says:

    Do you use bread flour or regular flour?

  • Tiffany says:

    Great recipes! Do you know if you have to use dry milk or can I use liquid milk? I have a severe food allergy kiddo and I am always adapting recipes so she can enjoy the same foods the rest of the family does and I have yet to find a dry milk she can eat. Thanks and can’t wait to give the recipe a try!

  • Niki says:

    AMEN! Someone out there understands my feelings about these flippin’ fundraisers. I want to thank you for this receipe! I am going to make a bunch and put into my freezer. My husband and my children all have their own flavors for the filling. I was frustrated when I found out I cannot buy this wonderful pastry anywhere else but threw the fundraising crap. So out of insanity of vatious family members (HUSBAND) whinning that he wanted more, I googles Butter braid receipe and it landed me here. Thank YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Idea Queen says:

      Thank you so much for the comments! I’m glad to hear that we aren’t alone in the disgust for the fundraisers!

      • Ruth says:

        I hate paying $10 – $12 dollars for a breakfast braid! Even with hip problems, I intend to hobble into the kitchen and make my own darn braids. With guests of 10 to 16 people during the holidays, you can imagine the expense of buying from fundraisers. THANKS FOR THE RECIPE!

  • Amy says:

    Can’t wait to try this. I am down to one and my school doesn’t sell them until spring. Glad to have the recipe, but also still plan to buy them since it goes to a good source. Our school sells them to pay for the anatomys annual autopsy trip, since our district does not pay for field trips.

  • Val says:

    I tried some of these at our school, but was very disappointed in the taste. They were very drippy. The Bavarian Creme is not made with any cream, and it says ‘quality ingredients’ which include high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring (why??) and many, many preservatives and things I can’t pronounce. The apple one has a filling whose first ingredient is not apples! It’s made with sulfur dioxide preserved evaporated apples as the third ingredient. I understand it’s not health food, but as a school fundraiser where we give the company $7 per butterbraid I would hope there would be more natural and real ingredients that would be worth the cost. Even Entenmann’s apple strudel uses apples and sugar… for $4.50.
    I’d much rather just give the school $5 cash and know exactly what they will use that money for!

    • Idea Queen says:

      You are getting off lucky with $7! They were trying to charge $12 for ours a few years back, when the grocery store had them for $5. I know I’d much prefer to give the school cash, although that has it’s own set of issues for us right now. :(

  • Robin says:

    Kara – Have you ever tried a real ButterBraid?

    • Idea Queen says:

      Yes. While part of the PTO, they did give us samples as part of their sales pitch. I wasn’t impressed enough to spend what they wanted for them, especially when the school wasn’t even getting half the money.

  • Vickie says:

    This is the same receipe I use.

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