This baked Brie recipe with cranberry sauce and bourbon candied pecans will be your new favorite recipe for entertaining. It’s easy to make and absolutely irresistible!
Why you’ll love it: It looks really impressive and tastes as good as it looks.
How long it takes: 20 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper, oven
Imagine me, rushing around on a busy morning, needing to get approximately a million things done before I leave for recess duty at noon. This seems to be my life lately, always rushing to get something done before I have to leave to go somewhere.
I realize that this struggle is not unique to me, but this was the case for me the day I was photographing this cranberry baked Brie. Running up and down the stairs, setting up the scene in my studio, putting the finishing touches on the recipe, music loud on Alexa, trying to get it all done.
But now imagine me, sitting on the floor of my studio, eating “just one more bite” of this baked Brie recipe. IT IS SO GOOD. I may have even had a sip of the champagne I used to style the photo. Only one, though, I pinky swear!
By the way, I did make it to school in time (showered, too!), and every single bite of this Brie was worth the rush that ensued afterwards.
Since then, I’ve made baked Brie time and time again for guests and it’s always a hit. It’s holiday perfection and looks so fancy but it’s ridiculously easy to make. Those are my favorite kind of recipes, the ones that look fancy but are deceptively easy to make.
About this Recipe
Okay guys, seriously. We need to talk about how good this is. The creamy, rich Brie, the sweet syrupy cranberry sauce, and then the BOURBON GLAZED PECANS! Oops, sorry for yelling but I get a little carried away when something is so good.
Thinking about the holidays? Cranberries and Thanksgiving dinner go hand in hand. The sprigs of frosty green rosemary and bright red berries are just right for Christmas too.
I’ll get you started with the recipe here and give you a few extra pointers.
As always, look for the printable recipe card near the end of the post with complete directions and nutrition information.
What You’ll Need
- 8 oz. Round of Brie Cheese: If you’re not familiar with this type of cheese, look for it in the deli section of the grocery store. It’s a soft cow’s milk cheese with an edible rind that often comes in a little round wooden box. A common brand in the U.S. is Président Cheese.
- Canned Whole Cranberry Sauce: We’re looking for whole cranberries here so don’t buy the jellied cranberry sauce which will turn into a syrupy mess.
- Pecans: Chop most of the pecans but if you like, leave a few of them whole. They look a little more impressive that way.
- Dark Brown Sugar: Dark brown sugar has more flavor than light brown sugar but don’t worry if light brown is all that you have. It will work fine.
- Pure Maple Syrup: No substitutions with this ingredient! Do NOT use pancake syrup which isn’t really maple syrup at all.
- Bourbon: You only need one tablespoon which provides plenty of flavor. Is the alcohol burned off? Sorry, no. For more information, check out this post from Idaho State University.
- Nutmeg and Cinnamon: These warm spices add lots of flavor. Try grating your own nutmeg, it’s so much better tasting!
- Crackers or Crostini: Even though you’ll want to eat the cheese by the spoonful, crackers or crostini provide a nice crispy platform. Learn how to make crostini –it’s so easy and much more economical.
- Sugared Cranberries and Fresh Rosemary, for optional garnish: It’s easy to make sugared cranberries too. And don’t they look really cool? They add so much flair to a cheese board.
How To Make This Recipe
It’s really easy! Turn the oven on, let’s get started.
Find a small baking pan and line it with parchment paper. You don’t want a pan to wash, right? Unwrap the round of cheese and place it on the parchment paper.
Spoon the cranberry sauce on top of the cheese — not the whole can, just a half cup!
In a small bowl, mix together the pecans, brown sugar, maple syrup, bourbon, nutmeg and cinnamon. Doesn’t that smell good?
Spoon the nut mixture over the cranberries.
Good so far? You should have kind of a layered thing going: cheese, cranberries, nuts. Pop the cheese with toppings into the oven and bake it for about ten to fifteen minutes. The cheese should feel soft and squishy in the middle.
Take the pan out of the oven and wait about five minutes before serving it. You don’t want anyone to scorch the inside of their mouth.
Although it’s perfectly okay to leave it in the pan, you may use a large spatula to carefully transfer the round of cheese with the toppings onto a platter. Surround it with crackers or crostini and garnish with sugared (candied) cranberries and a sprig or two of fresh rosemary. Voilà!
Nope, that’s not necessary and would be rather difficult to accomplish. The rind, which is soft and tender, is totally edible and adds an earthy flavor that’s subtle but so good!
Other than with cranberries and pecans, baked Brie is great with just a drizzle of honey. Try topping it with jam or preserves, chopped nuts of any kind (try spiced pecans), or caramelized onions.
Use your imagination and come up with combinations of fruit preserves, fresh herbs, citrus zest, and chopped nuts or fruit. Some toppings can be baked with the Brie and others should be added after it’s baked. Brie is super versatile and almost anything goes with it.
Brie is delicious served either way. If you’re serving it “cold”, make sure you take it out of the refrigerator at least an hour before serving it. It should never be served ice cold.
Make It Your Own
Take a look at the FAQ section for ideas. Here’s a few more thoughts from the cook.
- Looking for an alcohol-free appetizer? Omit the bourbon. Really, that’s okay! Add an extra tablespoon of maple syrup to the pecan mixture. After you take the cheese out of the oven, a sprinkle of finely grated orange zest will easily make up for the loss of the bourbon.
- Double the recipe. Make two 8 oz. rounds of Brie on the same baking sheet and double all the topping ingredients, dividing the topping evenly between each round.
This easy appetizer really only takes about five minutes to prep. The most time-consuming part is the pecan mixture. This can be prepped ahead in a small bowl and covered until you’re ready to bake the brie. If you want, open the can of cranberries and measure out the amount you need and cover the measuring cup until you’re ready.
If you’re planning on making your own crostini, you can do that up to two days in advance. Once they’ve cooled completely, put them into an airtight container.
Sugared cranberries can be made ahead, too, and stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Storage & Reheating
Um, there won’t be any leftovers. Trust me on that one. If there are, you can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheat in the microwave, but this is best eaten fresh.
More Easy Appetizers
I’m always on the lookout for quick and easy appetizers, aren’t you? While a cheese board is always a good option, here’s a few more ideas to try:
- Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Baked Goat Cheese Dip with Lemon and Thyme
- Pickled Asparagus Recipe – 10 minutes hands-on!
- Pickle Roll Ups with Ham (Pinwheels)
- Candied Bacon Recipe
- Butternut Squash Crostini with Ricotta
- Beet Bruschetta with Orange Tarragon Goat Cheese
- Bacon Wrapped Dates
- Olive Oil Roasted Almonds
- 8 oz. round of Brie
- ½ cup whole berry cranberry sauce
- ⅓ cup roughly chopped pecans (leave a few whole if desired)
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated is best!)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs, optional garnish
- Crackers and toasted baguette slices for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place Brie on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet.
- Spoon cranberry sauce on top.
- In a small bowl, mix pecans with brown sugar, maple syrup, bourbon, nutmeg, cinnamon. Stir to combine and pour over cranberry sauce.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is soft and liquids are syrupy and bubbling. Let cool five minutes before serving.
- Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and sugared cranberries, if desired. Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices (crostini).
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.