This Easy Cheese Danish is sweet, creamy, and so flaky. It's not just easy to make, but also a great way to start your morning with a cup of coffee or tea. Or as an after-dinner dessert.


Cheese Danish Misconception

Cheese danishes always look so pretty in the display cases of the bakeries, but a lot of people assume that you need expertise skill to make them. But trust me, they are a lot easier than you think. They make a wonderful dessert, breakfast, or even a light snack. The flakey puff pastry, the smooth cream cheese filling, and a sweet icing drizzled on top - a recipe for heaven.

You can also create mini cheese danishes, or add a whole new filling. But the bottom line is, this cheese danish is super easy with by step-by-step pictures. You can tweak it, try different variations, and make it your own.


Filling Variations

With any cheese danish recipe, you can try literally any filling you may like. Yes, even savory. Here are a few of my favorite suggestions.

  • Blueberry and Cream Cheese
  • Raspberry Jam and Cream Cheese
  • Strawberry Jam and Cream Cheese
  • Chocolate Cream Cheese
  • Nutella
  • Bacon, Maple Syrup, and Cream Cheese
  • Bacon, Ham, and Cream Cheese
  • Ham and Cheese
  • Spinach and Cream Cheese


What's In The Cheese Danish

  • Puff Pastry. I buy mine at Walmart. It makes the process of making the cheese danish to much faster and quicker. You can, of course, make your own!
  • Cream Cheese. If you're dairy free, I have also tried using dairy free cream cheese, and it worked fabulously! But regular cream cheese is just as tasty.
  • Monk Fruit. My family doesn't consume white sugar, we do try to avoid it if possible by using monk fruit sugar, this can also be found in the baking isle, near the sugar. But you can also use regular white sugar too.
  • Egg Yolk. Helps bring the filling together, and acts as a "glue" for the dough.
  • Vanilla Extract. The secret ingredient!
  • Fresh Lemon Zest. If you can help it, try not to skip the lemon zest, it will add a little tang to the filling and danish!
  • Strawberry Jam. You can also use any other jam you have on hand! My other favorite is raspberry jam.
  • Powdered Sugar. No need to explain here:)
  • Heavy Cream. Again, if you're dairy intolerant, I do recommend using a dairy free creamer, or almond milk to make the icing.


How To Make A Braided Cheese Danish

1. In a large bowl, mix 8 oz of softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and lemon zest. Mix until smooth and combined.

2. Roll out your thawed puff pastry lengthwise, about two inches. So that the dough will measure 9"x11". Cut off the top 2 corners of the puff pastry. Set them aside. You can bake them later. Using kitchen shears or a pizza cutter, begin cutting slits into the dough along both sides. About 9-10 slits per side. Once you get to the last strip, you'll be left with 2 flaps, just cut them off and set them aside for baking.

3. Split the cream cheese filling among both danishes, keeping the filling contained in the middle of the puff pastry dough. Spoon 1/4 cup of jam onto you pastry. Reserving the other 1/4 for the second puff pastry.

4. Fold over the top flat and begin crossing over the strips for the braid. Once you get to the last two strips, fold the bottom flap up and cross the last 2 strips over.

5. Gently transfer the danishes to prepared baking sheets. Combine 1 egg and that extra egg white to create an egg wash. Gently brush over your danishes using a pastry brush.

6. Bake at 400F. for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and allow them to cool off completely to room temperature. Then make the icing. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 2 tbsp heavy cream. Drizzle on top of the cool down pastries. Enjoy.


Tips For The Perfect Danish

  • Thawed Puff Pastry. If you're buying pastry dough from the store, make sure the puff pastry is thoroughly thawed. This will make it easier to fold.
  • Plan The Strips. I would plan out the strips so they'll be even in width and length. And so you'll have the same amount on each side.
  • Kitchen Shears or Pizza Cutter. For cleaner and smoother cuts, I recommend using either kitchen shears or a pizza cutter.
  • Roll Out The Dough Carefully. By using a light touch with the puff pastry, to get it just enough shape and length, and to get rid of the excess bumps from the packaging. Otherwise, you risk loosing those flaky layers.
  • Don't Let The Dough Sit Out For Too Long. When you're thawing the dough, it's important not to leave it out for too long at room temperature. It needs to be thawed enough so that you can handle it without it cracking as you unfold, or braid the dough. The reason being, is that you risk the butter inside the dough to melt, making you loose the flakiness in the danish. Your best bet is to leave it overnight in the fridge to thaw, that way, you can use it first thing in the morning.


Storing and Serving

The best way to keep the danish fresh is by wrapping it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keeping it in the refrigerator. This will keep it fresh and from drying out.

To reheat, you can reheat in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds, or plop it in the mini oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cheese danishes typically last for up to 7 days in the fridge. If you keep them wrapped at room temperature, they will only stay fresh for 1-2 days.



More Desserts To Try

Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
20 minutes
Chill time:
Total time:
40 minutes
Yield:
8 Servings
Cuisine:

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Puff Pastry, two sheets
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Monk Fruit, or regular sugar
  • 1 large Egg Yolk
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Strawberry Jam
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Lemon Zest, Or Lime Zest

Icing

  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Heavy Cream

Directions

Cream Cheese Filling

  1. If you're using store bought puff pastry, allow it to sit out for 15-20 minutes to defrost.
  2. In a large bowl, mix 8 oz of softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and lemon zest. Mix until smooth and combined.

Puff Pastry Strips

  1. Roll out your thawed puff pastry lengthwise, about two inches. So that the dough will measure 9"x11".
  2. Cut off the top 2 corners of the puff pastry. Set them aside. You can bake them later.
  3. Using kitchen shears or a pizza cutter, begin cutting slits into the dough along both sides. About 9-10 slits per side.
  4. Once you get to the last strip, you'll be left with 2 flaps, just cut them off and set them aside for baking.

Puff Pastry Danish Assembly

  1. Split the cream cheese filling among both danishes, keeping the filling contained in the middle of the puff pastry dough. Spoon 1/4 cup of jam onto you pastry. Reserving the other 1/4 for the second puff pastry.
  2. Fold over the top flat and begin crossing over the strips for the braid. Once you get to the last two strips, fold the bottom flap up and cross the last 2 strips over.
  3. Gently transfer the danishes to prepared baking sheets.
  4. Combine 1 egg and that extra egg white to create an egg wash. Gently brush over your danishes using a pastry brush.
  5. Bake at 400F. for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and allow them to cool off completely to room temperature.

Make The Icing

  1. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 2 tbsp heavy cream.
  2. Drizzle on top of the cool down pastries.
  3. Enjoy.

Recipe notes

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