Cheesy, sweet, and tart, this cranberry apple baked brie recipe is an easy holiday appetizer recipe! In just a few minutes, you can make an elegant and delicious baked brie everyone will love.
A beautiful baked brie makes any occasion – even a night in – feel instantly decadent. There’s just something about oozy, melty, fragrant cheese that’s special.
That’s what I love about this cranberry apple baked brie recipe. It’s simple to assemble, looks beautiful, and has the perfect mix of texture, color, and flavor. Even baked brie newbies will get perfect results.
What is baked brie?
This is a way of preparing soft rind cheeses for serving. You don’t always need to use brie cheese. Camembert is a fabulous alternative. The flavors are pretty similar.
Brie cheese has a soft rind and is sold in wheels of different sizes or wedges. Either works for this recipe, but presentation is neater with the wheel. The rind helps keep the center of the cheese from melting all over the platter.
One of the most popular ways to serve it is as a baked brie. The cheese is topped with fruit, nuts, or herbs. Then, bake until heated through – but not melted – and very easy to cut or scoop. The result is a sweet and savory appetizer to share!
Well, you can share it with a bigger wheel. If you find little bitty petite wheels of brie and make one for yourself, I support it.
Sometimes, the brie is wrapped in puff pastry and baked that way. But I prefer to skip the puff pastry step for two reasons. First, that’s an extra prep step. Second, that’s one more layer to break through to get to the cheese. The absolute last thing I want to do is create a barrier to cheese!
Cranberry apple baked brie recipe notes…
This recipe is pretty straight forward, but there are a few questions that come up I’d like to address.
Plus, I have one major tip on how to cut even more prep time if you’re pressed for time!
First, you absolutely don’t need a special brie-baking dish. I used my mini cast-iron skillet. It looked cute and the smaller wheel of brie fit perfectly. But that’s not my usual. I usually bake on an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet then carefully transfer to my serving platter.
If you have an oven-safe dish that fits your wheel of brie and a heat-resistant platter to place it on, use it! If not, stick to the foil lined pan. Give it a spritz of nonstick spray first though.
Presentation Tip: Don’t worry if your brie doesn’t transfer perfectly! Take the picture from the other side and add extra crackers or something to the plate. The flavor is what’s most important! My fresh cranberry baked brie wasn’t perfect and it’s a fan-favorite on the site!
Second, a serrated knife is best to slice the brie in half horizontally. Do this right when you take the cheese out of the refrigerator and it’s even easier! Slice the brie to get even distribution of fruit and cheese.
Finally, here’s my super easy time-saving tip if you’re making this last minute.
Technically, the recipe has you cooking the fruit and nut topping a bit to soften and toast the nuts. I totally recommend doing this! But, if you are last-minute prepping the baked brie, here’s how to skip that step…
Melt the butter in the microwave, toss it with toasted pecans and fruit. Assemble your brie and bake. You may also use walnuts, or almonds, cashews, or skip the nuts altogether.
I hope you love this recipe, darlings!
- 8-ounce wheel of Brie cheese
- 1 medium tart apple, peeled and diced
- 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon butter (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apple, sugar, pecans, and fresh cranberries. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the apples soften a bit and the pecans are lightly toasted.
- Cut the wheel of brie in half horizontally.
- Place the bottom half of the brie on your baking dish (see notes for pointers), top with half of the apple-cranberry mixture. Top with the remaining half of the brie. Spoon the remaining apple-cranberry mixture over the cheese.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the brie has warmed through and melted slightly.
- Serve the baked brie immediately with your preferred accompaniments. Good options are sliced baguette, crackers, crunchy apple slices, or cut celery.
- If you are using unsalted butter instead of salted butter, add a pinch of salt to the apple-cranberry topping mixture. It really amps up the savory/ sweet combo.
- If your apple isn't tart and is on the sweeter side, you can reduce the sugar to 2 teaspoons. A firm apple that keeps some texture when cooked is ideal. Any kind of apple you'd use for baking is perfect!
- An 8-ounce wheel of brie cheese fits perfectly in a small 6.5-inch skillet! It's such a convenient way to serve as cast iron goes from oven to table easily. A similarly-sized dish would work perfectly. If you don't have a small round, rimmed dish, bake the brie on a lined baking sheet. Transfer carefully to your serving platter after baking.
- To make a larger wheel of cheese, you may want to add a bit more fruit and nuts to the recipe. Double for a wheel that is over 10-inches in diameter to maintain the lush look.
- Baked brie is best served just after baking, but if you'd like to do a little preparation in advance, you can make the compote the day before. The cranberries might add a little pink tint to the apples, but not many will notice once they taste it!
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