Dukkah Crusted Baked Brie

Baked brie is crusted in Dukkah then topped with chopped nuts and dried fruit.

Dukkah Crusted Baked Brie, baked brie

It’s December and, ready or not, I’m taking a deep breath and diving head-first into all things holiday.

There will be decorations, gifts, cards and of course food.  The party nibbles, the wintry soul-warming dinners, the sweets and treats and steaming cups of cocoa.  But first there’s this baked brie to talk about.

This familiar, comforting appetizer is lifted up from the expected with an exotic spice and nut mixture.

Dukkah Crusted Baked Brie

A whole round of brie is baked to molten perfection and topped with a colorful handful of chopped nuts and dried fruit, but it’s the Dukkah crust that gets me excited. It’s like your favorite comfort food took a trip to the Middle East and returned a little spicier and more complex.

Travel to Eygpt and you’ll find the origins of Dukkah, a spice and nut blend that is pounded together after being toasted.  Traditionally eaten by dipping bread into olive oil and then into the spice mixture.  It goes quite well, it turns out, with a good goat milk brie cheese. (I tend to prefer goat milk brie for this recipe because it can be easier to digest than cow’s milk).

brie and honey

The toasted nuts, seeds and spices have a lovely warmth to them that marries well with the creamy cheese, the crumbly texture adding a welcome crunch in contrast to the softness of the melted cheese.  It’s a hit of flavor that makes your taste buds sing.

Spices have effect — they make your mouth tingle — and while an integral part of cooking and baking all year round, they really shine during the holidays.

cherries, pistachios, cinnamon

With their bold flavors and hot-sweet nuances, spices certainly help to make meals memorable and no one knows this better than spice giant McCormick.  Every year for over a decade McCormick has released their Flavor Forecast which showcases top culinary trends to watch over the coming years.

This year’s round up of global proportions aims to predict the flavor trends that will dominate what we eat when we dine out and at home for the next three to five years, according to McCormick’s Chef Kevan Vetter.  The report takes a full year and a tremendous culinary team to compile and I had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the findings for 2013 and chat with Chef Vetter about the trends for the New Year.  According to him this next year will be all about: sumptuous flavors that escape the everyday, handcrafted and homemade touches, explosive flavors for empowered eating, exploring underutilized ingredients with a “waste nothing” mentality, and non-traditional, adventuresome uses of ethnic spices.

Dukkah Crusted Baked Brie

What do you think of the flavor trends for 2013?

Serves Serves 8

Dukkah Crusted Baked Brie

A whole round of brie is crusted with Dukkah and baked to molten perfection and then topped with a colorful handful of chopped nuts and dried fruit.

30 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

Save Recipe


    For the Baked Brie
  • 1 large 8 oz or two small 4 oz ripe Goat Milk Brie (The cheese should give slightly to pressure in the center)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons wildflower honey (plus extra for serving)
  • ½ Dukkah spice mix blend (recipe follows)
  • 2 Tablespoons dried unsweetened cherries
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped pistachios
  • 1 Tablespoons of brandy for soaking dried cherries (or use water or juice instead)
  • Gluten free crackers and apple slices for serving
  • Dukkah Spice Mix
  • 28 grams / 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 28 grams / 1/4 cup shelled roasted pistachios (unsalted)
  • 1 Tablespoon McCormick® Sesame Seed
  • 1 Tablespoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Coriander Seed
  • 1 Tablespoon McCormick® Cumin Seed
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Roasted Saigon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt


    Make Dukkah Spice Blend:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Spread the hazelnuts over a baking tray and bake for 3-5 minutes or until toasted. Rub the hazelnuts in between a tea towel to remove as much of the skins as possible.
  3. Place the toasted hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor along with the pistachios and process until very coarsely chopped. Set aside.
  4. Place the sesame seeds and all the spices in frying pan over medium heat, and cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool completely.
  5. Pulse the toasted spices in the food processor with the chopped nuts and pulse until finely ground and crumbly. (Do not allow mixture to become a paste.)
  6. Store in an airtight jar in a cool, dry place until needed.
  7. Make Baked Brie:
  8. Raise oven to 375°
  9. Rehydrate the dried cherries in the brandy or warm water until soft (at least 20 minutes).
  10. In the meantime prepare the cheese.
  11. Trim rind from top of Brie, leaving a small border around.
  12. Brush the cheese on all sides with honey.
  13. Spread dukkah spice mix evenly on the bottom of a shallow dish or pie plate. Place cheese top side down into the spice mix and press firmly. Flip and press gently to the bottom and sides as well.
  14. Place in a shallow ramekin or oven proof serving dish and bake until warm (about 10 minutes).
  15. Top with the drained soaked cherries and chopped pistachios, drizzle with extra honey and serve warm with crackers and sliced apples. (Toss apple slices in lemon juice to prevent browning)
  16. Refrigerate leftovers; reheat before serving.


Gluten free, Grain free, Vegetarian


Disclaimer: I was invited by McCormick to interview Chef Vetter and share the 2013 Flavor Forecast.



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  1. says

    I had never heard of dukkah until today. Love the info behind it. I’m trying to imagine to flavor that it imparts on top of melting goat brie. Goodness, it must be delicious.

  2. says

    I have to chuckle a bit…seems I’m super trendy. Not on purpose but out of necessity; during 2 decades of single parenting and the often financial stress of that role, almost everything I did was handcrafted and homemade with a ‘waste nothing’ mentality that saw me use a lot of ethnic spices in order to bring explosive flavors to our sometimes limited budget…seems I hit most of them huh? 🙂

    Beyond that? I love baked Brie and even more I love it topped with something wonderful. I’ve never had goat cheese Brie though and I’m off to find out about it. I just made my first batch of Chevre from local goat milk…now I’m on a mission!

  3. says

    I’ve never heard of Dukkah before. It sounds so wonderful though!

    I think the list for 2013 is spot on and also crosses over into other areas such as fashion and crafting. People are more and more about a homemade touch and being green. Makes the world a better place!

  4. says

    Reading this post leaves me waxing nostalgic for Christmases past when it was cold and snow crunched under my feet. We ate dishes that were warm and comforting.

    Now it’s hotter than I care to describe, stays light until late, Santa wears shorts and drinks beer and cookies and there are few fireplaces for him to crawl down.

    So I’ve learned to embrace cold salads, seafood and chilled desserts for Christmas — but it’s just not quite the same. 🙂

  5. says

    I love cheeses baked like this and the honey and dried fruits and nuts are perfect… I have long planned on doing one myself but have never taken the time. The holidays are the perfect time to do this. I never thought about using Dukkah but I actually brought some home from South Africa! I’ll try this now! Stunning photos!

  6. says

    I’ve never heard abt dukkah…sounds great. Anything with brie is my fav.Will give this a try. As always stunning photographs Sylvie…just love your blog:)