Chocolate Cherry Brioche

Looking to impress your family? Then bake up a batch of Chocolate Cherry Brioche and take advantage of the fresh cherry season! 

Chocolate Cherry Brioche from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

Let’s chat about French food today, shall we? 

The food of romance, great cheese, buttery pastries and the best bread you’ll ever eat. 

A cuisine in my opinion is never really as good unless you eat it there yourself.  There is just something about stopping by the boulangerie for crusty loaf of bread and the fromagerie for a little cheese to put together the simplest and best lunch. 

I don’t know if it’s the water, the air or the training the french pastry chefs receive but I’ve yet to find bread as good as I’ve had in France. 

Speaking of France did you know that next week is Bastille Day or rather La Fête Nationale? Why should we care about the day the French revolution began?

Well, I’ll tell you why.  It’s an excuse to make good food.   Plus it is seems these days we all enjoy a reason to celebrate and America being the melting pot that it is, the French brought their holiday here.  

Chocolate Cherry Brioche from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen


Since my Holiday Food Party blog friends and I wanted to celebrate a holiday this July that included the Americans and Canadians in our group, we figured Bastille Day was the best choice!   Whether you are French or have a distant French relative use July 14th as a reason to cook up something delicious and yes, perhaps suffer through a little time with the oven on!

As I was going through my mind of my favorite French foods, the bread kept leaping forward.  Realizing I’d never be able to create that perfect crispy and chewy French baguette at home, the answer was the next best thing. 


Chocolate Cherry Brioche from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen


Let’s talk about brioche making for a hot second.  In my mind, I thought it would be similar to making challah but with the added step of a lot of butter. 

It’s what makes brioche so hard to resist. 

What I didn’t expect was panic in the middle of making the bread, the giant buttery mess and eventual resolve to beautiful smooth and elastic dough to become this delicious loaf of bread. 

Basically I’m telling is you don’t be afraid when you make this.  You’ll think something has gone wrong when you’ve added the butter to your mixer. You’ll wonder how can this ever incorporate into the dough without being greasy and a little gross.  By the magic of bread making and a lot of kneading time it does.  I also don’t recommend this unless you have a bread maker or stand mixer because you’ll be kneading away for a long time!

Chocolate Cherry Brioche
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  • 4 cups (1lb 2oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 packets (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature plus 1 egg + yolk for the egg wash
  • 1/2 whole milk
  • 8oz (1 cup) unsalted european style butter, slightly softened, cut into 16 pieces
  • 1 cup bing cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate baking wafers, such as Guittard


  1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment mix the flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
  2. Add the 4 eggs and milk and mix on low speed. Once the dough begins to clump together, switch out the paddle for the dough hook.
  3. Mix for 2 minutes, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another 2 minutes. The dough should be firm and elastic but slightly sticky.
  4. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add in half the butter, a few pieces at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and knead the dough by hand a few times.
  5. Replace the bowl and back on medium-low speed add the remaining butter in pieces. Increase to medium and mix for 4 minutes. Repeat the scrape and kneading.
  6. Replace the bowl, mix again on medium for another 4 minutes. You know the dough is ready when it slaps the side of the bowl.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface. Knead by hand a few times and fold the dough in a 12,3,6,9 clock pattern. Flip over and tighten the dough into a ball.
  8. Transfer to a large bowl, smooth side up and let rise for 1 hour covered loosely with plastic wrap.
  9. After the dough has risen for an hour or doubled in size, turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Fold the dough again in the 12,3,6,9 pattern and form into a ball. Replace back in the bowl and either refrigerate over night or sit until doubled in size about 1 hour.
  10. If refrigerating, let sit at room temperature for 2 hours the next day before proceeding with the final rise.
  11. Butter 2 brioche pans or 2 loaf pans. Divide the dough in half about 1 pound 3oz each and then divide each half into 8 pieces - 16 total.
  12. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, flatten slightly and place a small amount of chocolate and chopped cherries in the center. Fold the dough over the chocolate and cherries to seal and form into a ball. Place in the center of your pan. Repeat with remaining pieces - 8 dough balls total to each pan.
  13. Cover each pan loosely with plastic wrap and rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.
  14. Brush the tops with the egg wash and heat your oven to 375 degrees. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 195 degrees. If the bread is turning too dark before it finishes cooking, tent lightly with foil.
  15. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before turning out and serving. Best served warm.
  16. You can freeze the second loaf for 3 months.
Recipe Type: Bread


Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking

You can alternatively halve the amount of cherries and chocolate and make one loaf of brioche plain.

Bastille Day Collage

  1. Apple Tarte Tatin from Hungry Couple
  2. Chaussons aux Pêches from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
  3. Dark Chocolate Lavender Sables from gotta get baked
  4. Chocolate Cherry Brioche from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
  5. Gougères (Herbed Cheese Puffs) from Crumb
  6. Mendiant from Cravings of a Lunatic 
  7. Lemon Raspberry Madeleines from Kelly Bakes 
  8. Chocolate Orange Torte from What Smells So Good? 
  9. Cherry Clafoutis from Pineapple and Coconut 
  10. Meyer Lemon Fingerling Potato Salad from Magnolia Days 

Chocolate Cherry Brioche from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop

39 thoughts on “Chocolate Cherry Brioche

  1. Pingback: Mendiant | Cravings of a Lunatic

  2. Renee

    Oh my goodness! I want that bread and the pan right now. Thanks to you I’ve added yet another item to my to-make and to-buy list.

  3. Lexy

    There goes my carb free diet 🙂 Must ask though, if you make eight balls per pan, why are there only 7 lumpy rounds at the top of the pan? Are there two balls pushed together to make the large round in the middle? I hope you can understand what I’m trying to ask. Whatever, the bread looks scrumdillylicious!

    1. Susan Palmer

      Well if you have a carb free diet, you are better than me to begin with. 🙂 To answer your question, the first ball goes in the center on the bottom and the rest build around it. Hope that makes sense!

      1. Lexy

        Thanks for your very fast answer. I should have been more accurate regarding carb free diet and I should have said “my plans to start a carb free diet 🙂

        Anyway, I understand your answer but still am confused because the picture shows 7 balls at the top of the pan and the directions are to cut 8 balls… I’m wondering what happened to the eighth ball? Sorry to be so persnickety. Thanks again.

        1. Susan Palmer

          Still plans to start one are better than nothing! Also sorry perhaps I should have been a little more clear with how you build the loaf in the brioche pans. You start with the first dough ball in the center and that’s the base of the bread, 6 dough balls go around the outside of the ball in the middle – they won’t touch in the bottom of the pan and then the 8th ball gets plopped on the top in the center again. That’s why there are only 7 humps. The 8th dough ball is the bottom.

          1. Lexy

            Thank you for that information. Should we call this The Case of the Missing Hump Solved.

            Thanks…keep all you great recipes and pictures coming. Love them.

  4. christine

    Oh yum. I’ve never attempted to make brioche but I’ve been dabbling in other breads. This looks like a must try. I’m loving all those cherries!

  5. Anita at Hungry Couple

    Un triomphe! Seriously. And now I’m picturing sitting in a French cafe in spring, nibbling on this bread and sipping something appropriate. But I’ll settle for chowing down on this American style while sitting in the air conditioning!

    1. Susan Palmer

      It was a triumph! Also I’m not making this again in the summer! The too soft butter in a hot kitchen was definitely to blame for that buttery mess!

  6. Liz

    Your loaf is stunning, Susan! And adding sweet, juicy cherries and chocolate make my favorite loaf even more enticing!

  7. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Skweeeeeeeeee! <– that's my excited squeal. Your brioche looks amazing, Susan! The texture of the bread is perfection, and all that melty chocolate and soft cooked cherries are making my mouth water. Love love love everything about this.

    1. Susan Palmer

      I actually found the pan in a thrift store in the Snoqualmie Valley in Washington! Total find! However most restaurant supply stores will sell it (i.e. Sur la Table) but they can be on the pricier side than what I paid for. 🙂

  8. Kim (Feed Me, Seymour)

    I am the only person in my family that can speak French and the only person who hasn’t been to France! I’m insanely jealous that you have been and that you’ve experienced this fantastic food first hand. I can at least make do by trying this brioche. it looks wonderful!

  9. Isabelle @ Crumb

    Oh mon dieu! Your brioche is simply magnifique, Susan. I’m already a sucker for all things brioche, what with that buttery rich dough and all, but the addition of chocolate and cherry is sheer perfection. Can’t wait to try this one out for myself!

  10. Angela {Mind Over Batter}

    Lifestyle change… Out the window. Thanks to this brioche! I don’t know whether to hug you or be mad at you. OK, since you added chocolate and cherries, taking it to a whole ‘nother level… I’m going to hug you.

  11. Kim Beaulieu

    Susan you are a genius. I am so in love with this bread. I hear brioche travels well and makes a great snack in places like, say, oh, Orlando.

    Happy Bastille Day. (I always feel like I’m spelling it wrong.)

  12. Kelly @ Kelly Bakes

    I love love love brioche! It’s so buttery and delightful… and now that you’ve gone and added cherries and chocolate, well, it’s just the best thing since sliced bread… oh wait it IS sliced bread 😉 [see what happens when I comment before I’ve had coffee?]


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