Four pastries on a wooden board that spell out XOXO with white frosting on them and oranges and raspberries garnishing the board.

XOXO, Raspberry Citrus Twists

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I was trying to think outside the box for another Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day pastry that isn’t a heart shape and I decided to give an XOXO pastry a try! The Os were pretty easy, but the X shapes were harder than I thought. I had originally planned to make them with two lines and weave them together in the center, but that didn’t work. I ended up making the X shape with one longer line and then two shorter ones on each side. I have detailed instructions with photos below that will hopefully help with this.

If you tried my Raspberry Citrus Pull-Apart Wreath from the holidays, this is nearly identical, just a different shape! It has orange and lemon zest in the dough which makes it taste and smell amazing! And I used raspberry jam as the filling because it compliments the citrus flavors so well. I used a seedless raspberry jam this time because I wanted to try it and I found it harder to spread than a regular raspberry jam, but the end result was delicious, so it didn’t matter much.

This keeps nicely when wrapped or placed in an airtight container. I usually refrigerate leftovers because of the cream cheese frosting. You can pop it into the oven for just a few minutes to reheat leftovers. You can also freeze leftovers in an airtight container. When you’re ready to enjoy it, just allow it to thaw on the counter and then you can reheat for a bit before serving.

If you’re looking for a shortcut to make this, you can try it with puff pastry. You’ll need two sheets and I would choose the refrigerated puff pastry over the frozen kind for this. Since each individual letter does take time, I would take out one sheet, cut it in half vertically, place half back into the fridge and work with one section at a time while the rest stays in the fridge. You can follow the same twisting methods that I did with puff pastry. Just remember that puff pastry needs to still be cold when it gets into the oven in order for it to puff up and flake. You may even consider baking them individually after completing each letter, Puff pastry typically bakes at 400 degrees F for about 20 mins.

I hope that you enjoy this one! If you’re wanting to try this flavor combination, but don’t want to do the XOXO shape, you can always follow the instructions for the heart or wreath linked above. The volume of ingredients is the same, so any shape will work.

As seen on instagram here.

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XOXO, Raspberry Citrus Twists

Recipe by Sarah
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: Dessert, BrunchCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium


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These delicious pastries with raspberry filling have orange and lemon zest in the dough which makes them next level delicious!

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  • Dough:
  • 3/4 c warm milk (about 110 degrees)

  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

  • 1/4 c granulated sugar

  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk (room temp)

  • 1/4 c melted butter (I prefer salted for the dough)

  • 3 c bread flour

  • 3/4 tsp fine pink Himalayan salt (see notes)

  • zest of 1/2 lemon

  • zest of 1/2 orange

  • Filling:
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter (softened)

  • 6 tbsp raspberry jam

  • Other:
  • 1 egg beaten for egg wash

  • 1 tsp powdered (confectioners) sugar for dusting (optional)

  • Frosting:
  • 3 tbsp softened butter (unsalted)

  • 4 oz cream cheese (room temp)

  • 3/4 c powdered (confectioners) sugar

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 pinch fine pink Himalayan salt


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add warm milk and the yeast and stir.
  • Add sugar, egg + egg yolk and melted butter. Mix well.
  • Add in flour and salt and stir until a dough starts to form.
  • Add your citrus zest and then mix with a dough hook on low for 8 mins.  You should have a nice, cohesive dough that isn’t sticking to the sides or bottom of the bowl and easily comes away from the dough hook. It should be tacky to the touch, but not sticky.
  • Push dough to the side, add in a few drops of olive oil, roll the dough in the oil, cover and let it rise for 2 hours. I find that putting citrus zest in the dough makes it take longer to rise. I recommend a minimum of 2 hours to rise here. It could even rise for 2 1/2-3. You want the dough to double in size,
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly flour a pastry board or work surface and weigh your dough with a kitchen scale if you have one. You want to cut the dough into four equal sections. Mine were about 7 oz each. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, just eyeball it!
  • You’re going to work one section of dough at a time, so keep your other dough sections in your covered bowl until you’re ready to use them. Take your first dough section and roll it out into a rectangle. It doesn’t have to be perfect, a rough rectangle is what you’re going for.Citrus dough rolled out into a rectangle on a wooden pastry board.
  • Take about 1/4 of the softened butter for the filling and spread a thin layer over your dough.Citrus dough with a thin layer of softened butter spread over it on a wooden pastry board.
  • Next, spread a thin layer of raspberry jam over the dough. I used about 1 1/2 tbsp of raspberry jam on each dough section. The jam should be pretty this so it doesn’t squeeze out too much when you’re shaping the dough.Raspbeery jam spread on top of citrus dough on a wooden pastry board.
  • Fold the rectangle in half the long way.Filled citrus dough, folded in half, on a wooden pastry board.
  • Using a sharp knife, make one long cut down the center of the dough vertically, leaving the top inch or so uncut.Citrus dough folded in half and then cut down the middle, on a wooden pastry board.
  • Twist each section. I twisted the right section clockwise and the left section counterclockwise.Citrus dough with raspberry filling, cut into two long sections and twisted, on a wooden pastry board.
  • Now twist the sections around each other so you have one long twisted rope.Citrus dough with raspberry jam filling, twisted together, on a wooden pastry board.
  • Bring the ends together to form a circle and press the ends to try and seal them as well as you can. Set your first O aside and cover it while you make the rest of the letters.Twisted citrus dough shaped like an O on a wooden pastry board.
  • Repeat steps 7-14 to make your second O, set it aside and cover it while you make the rest.
  • Now to make the Xs. Repeat steps 7-10 so you have a folded section of dough. You’re going to cut that folded section of dough in half horizontally.Citrus dough filled with raspberry jam, folded in half vertically and then cut in half horizontally, on a wooden pastry board.
  • Now cut them both vertically down the center. Bot on one of the sections, leave the top inch or so uncut.Four sections of citrus dough laid flat and ready to be shaped into an X. On a wooden pastry board.
  • For the section of dough that’s still intact at the top, twist it just like you did in step 12. For the other two small strips, just twist them individually. Trust the process, it will become an X.Twisted citrus cough filled with raspberry jam on a wooden pastry board.
  • For the dough that’s still attached at the top, follow the instructions in step 13 to make it into one twisted rope. This will be one of the lines of your X. I forgot to take a photo,
  • For the small pieces of twisted dough, you’re going to fold each of them in half and pinch them together at both ends. Then use these small pieces to form the other line of the X. You just need to stick it to your one long X line and press it in so that it doesn’t separate while baking. The raspberry jam seemed to leak out more on the X shapes, but it’s fine. Set this X aside and cover it.Citrus dough filled with raspberry jam, twisted and shaped into an X, on a wooden pastry board.
  • Repeat steps 7-10 and 16-20 to make your second X. Phew, we made it! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and set a rack in the middle.
  • Lay all of your pastries on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. You don’t want them to touch and they will rise a bit while baking.XOXO pastries on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  • Beat an egg for egg wash. You really only use about 1/4 or so of an egg for egg wash, so you can definitely pour some out and make eggs later, I don’t know, I don’t like to waste and will sometimes add that to the egg white that I didn’t use for the dough. Once you have your egg wash ready, lightly brush it onto your pastries with a pastry brush. This will help it get a nice golden brown color when baked.
  • Place the pastries into the preheated oven and bake for about 25 mins. I checked mine at 20 mins and rotated my baking sheet. At 25 mins, I thought it could use a bit more time and actually gave it another 2 mins for a total cook time of 27 mins.
  • While your pastry is baking, make the frosting. Beat your butter and cream cheese until well combined, then add powdered sugar, vanilla and the tiniest pinch of salt. Continue to mix on medium-high until your frosting is smooth.
  • Once the pastry is golden brown and done, allow it to cool for at least 5 mins before frosting it, or else the frosting will melt.XOXO pastry golden brown from the oven, ready for frosting. They are laid on a wooden board with brown parchment paper. There is a Valentine's Day tea towel in the background.
  • Lightly frost your pastry. I usually use about half the frosting and serve some extra on the side for dipping. After I frost it, I like to add a light dusting of powdered sugar. Serve warm and enjoy!Close up of the XOXO Raspberry Citrus pastries with cream cheese frosting, on a wooden board with sliced oranges and raspberries garnishing the board.


Recipe Video


  • I prefer to use fine pink Himalayan salt for baking, but any fine salt will work if you don’t have the pink salt.

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