Homemade Cream Cheese Danish

There’s something truly special about homemade pastries, and a cream cheese Danish is no exception. The buttery, flaky layers filled with a sweet cream cheese filling make for a delightful treat that’s perfect for breakfast, brunch, or anytime you’re craving a delicious pastry. While it might seem intimidating to make these from scratch, with a little patience and the right guidance, you can create mouthwatering cream cheese Danish pastries in your own kitchen. In this blog post, we’ll take you through the process step by step, so you can savor the joy of baking and enjoy the fruits of your labor.


Danish Pastry Dough:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed to 110°F
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon (optional)

For the Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Activate the yeast: In a small bowl, combine the warm milk and a pinch of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk, stir gently, and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. Prepare the dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the softened butter, sour cream, egg, and the yeast mixture. Stir until a dough forms. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic.
  3. First rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1-1.5 hours or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Make the cream cheese filling: In a separate bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and lemon zest until smooth. Set it aside.
  5. Shape the Danish: Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down to release the air. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 12×18-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 6 equal rectangles.
  6. Add the filling: Place a generous spoonful of the cream cheese filling in the center of each rectangle. Fold the dough over the filling, creating a triangular shape. Press the edges to seal.
  7. Second rise: Transfer the filled pastries to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover them with a clean towel and let them rise for another 20-30 minutes.
  8. Bake: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake the Danish pastries for 15-18 minutes or until they are golden brown and puffed up.
  9. Prepare the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  10. Finish and enjoy: Once the pastries have cooled slightly, drizzle the glaze over the top. Let it set for a few minutes, and then dig in!

Tips and Variations:

  1. Customize the filling: While cream cheese is a classic choice, feel free to get creative with your filling. You can add fruit preserves, chocolate chips, or even a layer of almond paste for extra flavor.
  2. Shape variations: Danish pastries come in various shapes, from braids to pinwheels. Experiment with different shapes to add a touch of elegance to your pastries.
  3. Glaze options: The simple powdered sugar glaze is just one option. You can also use a chocolate drizzle, lemon glaze, or a dusting of powdered sugar for a different finishing touch.
  4. Make-ahead: Danish pastries can be partially prepared the night before. After shaping the pastries, cover them tightly and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, let them come to room temperature and rise for about 20-30 minutes before baking.
  5. Freezing: If you have leftover pastries, they can be frozen. Just make sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container. To enjoy them later, simply reheat in a preheated oven until warmed through.
  6. Fresh fruit: Consider adding fresh fruit like sliced strawberries or blueberries to the cream cheese filling for a burst of freshness and flavor.
  7. Nutty twist: Sprinkle chopped nuts such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts on top of the cream cheese filling before folding the pastry over.

Sharing the Love:

One of the great joys of making cream cheese Danish pastries from scratch is the ability to share them with friends and family. These delectable treats make for wonderful gifts on special occasions or just as a way to brighten someone’s day. Consider packaging them in a pretty box or wrapping them with a ribbon for a thoughtful and homemade present.

Pairing Suggestions:

Cream cheese Danish pastries are incredibly versatile and can be paired with a variety of beverages and sides. Here are a few pairing ideas:

  • Coffee: The classic choice! The rich, buttery layers of the pastry complement the bold flavors of coffee perfectly.
  • Tea: Whether you prefer black tea, green tea, or herbal infusions, a warm cup of tea is a soothing companion to your Danish pastry.
  • Fruit Salad: Balance the sweetness of the pastry with a refreshing fruit salad. The natural sweetness of fruits like berries, oranges, and kiwi pairs wonderfully with the cream cheese filling.
  • Yogurt: For a healthier twist, serve your cream cheese Danish with a side of yogurt. The creaminess of the yogurt complements the flakiness of the pastry.
  • Champagne or Prosecco: If you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want to elevate your brunch, a glass of sparkling wine pairs beautifully with the indulgent pastry.

The Joy of Baking:

One of the most satisfying aspects of baking from scratch is the sense of accomplishment and the joy it brings. Baking is a creative and meditative process that allows you to express yourself through food. It’s a wonderful way to unwind, destress, and create something beautiful and delicious.

Cream Cheese Danish Recipes

Recipe NameIngredientsPreparation Time (min)Baking Time (min)Difficulty Level
Classic DanishPastry dough, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, egg2025Moderate
Raspberry DanishPastry dough, cream cheese, raspberry jam1520Easy
Blueberry DanishPastry dough, cream cheese, blueberries2030Moderate
Almond DanishPastry dough, cream cheese, almond paste1525Easy
Lemon DanishPastry dough, cream cheese, lemon curd2030Moderate
Chocolate DanishPastry dough, cream cheese, chocolate chips1520Easy
Apple DanishPastry dough, cream cheese, apples, cinnamon2535Moderate
Cherry DanishPastry dough, cream cheese, cherries2030Easy
Nutella DanishPastry dough, cream cheese, Nutella1520Easy
Pumpkin DanishPastry dough, cream cheese, pumpkin puree2540Moderate

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Recipe NameCaloriesFat (g)Carbs (g)Protein (g)Sugar (g)
Classic Danish280182358
Raspberry Danish2401520310
Blueberry Danish260172149
Almond Danish290202257
Lemon Danish2701724411
Chocolate Danish3102225612
Apple Danish3201928414
Cherry Danish2801626312
Nutella Danish3302326515
Pumpkin Danish2901830410

Serving Suggestions

Recipe NameServe withGarnish withBeverage PairingOccasion
Classic DanishFresh berriesPowdered sugarCoffee, teaBreakfast
Raspberry DanishWhipped creamFresh raspberriesIced tea, champagneBrunch
Blueberry DanishLemon glazeLemon zestMilk, hot chocolateSnack/Dessert
Almond DanishSliced almondsAlmond flakesAlmond milk, latteBreakfast
Lemon DanishLemon icingLemon zestIced tea, mimosaBrunch
Chocolate DanishChocolate drizzleChocolate shavingsEspresso, milkDessert
Apple DanishCaramel sauceCinnamonApple cider, teaBreakfast
Cherry DanishCherry glazeMaraschino cherriesCherry soda, coffeeSnack/Dessert
Nutella DanishHazelnut crumbsChocolate curlsHazelnut coffee, milkDessert
Pumpkin DanishCream cheese glazePumpkin seedsPumpkin spice latte, teaFall Treat

Tips and Notes

Recipe NameTip 1Tip 2Tip 3Note
Classic DanishUse cold cream cheese for a flakier pastryAdd a sprinkle of cinnamon sugarExperiment with different fruit fillings.Danish can be frozen and reheated in the oven.
Raspberry DanishSeal edges tightly to prevent leaksMake mini versions for a partyDust with powdered sugar just before serving.Great for picnics and as a sweet on-the-go snack.
Blueberry DanishToss blueberries in flour to prevent sinkingBrush with egg wash for shineDrizzle lemon glaze for extra flavor.Perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast.
Almond DanishToast almond flakes for added crunchShape into twists for varietyDrizzle with almond icing if desired.A delightful treat with a cup of coffee.
Lemon DanishZest the lemon before juicing for bothAdd lemon zest to the cream cheeseCustomize sweetness to your liking.A tangy and refreshing option for brunch.
Chocolate DanishUse high-quality chocolate for best tasteSwap chocolate chips for chunksTop with chopped nuts for texture.A decadent dessert for chocolate lovers.
Apple DanishSaute apples with butter and cinnamonDrizzle caramel sauce generouslySprinkle with powdered sugar for elegance.A warm and comforting fall breakfast.
Cherry DanishUse fresh or frozen cherriesGlaze should be thick, not runnyTry almond extract for a twist of flavor.A delightful treat for cherry enthusiasts.
Nutella DanishWarm Nutella for easy drizzlingSprinkle hazelnuts while warmDrizzle white chocolate for a contrasting flavor.A crowd-pleaser for chocolate hazelnut lovers.
Pumpkin DanishSpice up the pumpkin puree with cinnamonAdd a cream cheese swirlSprinkle pumpkin seeds for a rustic look.Ideal for celebrating the autumn season.


Recipe NameSavory VersionMini DanishGluten-Free OptionVegan OptionQuick Danish
Classic DanishHam and cheeseMini cream cheese DanishGluten-free pastry doughVegan cream cheese fillingPuff pastry Danish
Raspberry DanishSpinach and fetaRaspberry pastry bitesAlmond flour pastryDairy-free cream cheese30-minute cream cheese Danish
Blueberry DanishBacon and cheddarMini blueberry pastriesAlmond flour pastryVegan cream cheese fillingCrescent roll Danish
Almond DanishSausage and GruyereAlmond pastry bitesGluten-free pastry doughAlmond or cashew cream cheeseDanish braid
Lemon DanishSmoked salmon and cream cheeseLemon pastry bitesAlmond flour pastryVegan lemon cashew cream cheeseSemi-homemade Danish
Chocolate DanishCheddar and jalapenoMini chocolate pastriesGluten-free pastry doughVegan chocolate spreadQuick crescent roll Danish
Apple DanishBacon and cheddarMini apple pastriesAlmond flour pastryVegan cream cheese fillingCinnamon roll Danish
Cherry DanishHam and SwissCherry pastry bitesGluten-free pastry doughDairy-free cream cheeseDanish pinwheels
Nutella DanishSpinach and artichokeNutella pastry bitesAlmond flour pastryVegan chocolate spreadPuff pastry pinwheels
Pumpkin DanishBacon and GoudaMini pumpkin pastriesGluten-free pastry doughVegan pumpkin spreadQuick crescent roll Danish


In conclusion, making cream cheese Danish pastries from scratch is a delightful culinary adventure that’s worth every moment spent in the kitchen. With a handful of simple ingredients and a bit of patience, you can create these delectable pastries that are sure to impress both your taste buds and those lucky enough to share in your creation.

From kneading and shaping the dough to crafting the perfect cream cheese filling and adding the finishing glaze, each step in the process is a labor of love that culminates in a mouthwatering treat. Whether enjoyed for a special occasion, shared with friends and family, or savored as a personal indulgence, homemade cream cheese Danish pastries offer a taste of comfort and sophistication that is truly unforgettable.

So, roll up your sleeves, preheat that oven, and embark on this baking journey. As you master the art of making cream cheese Danish pastries from scratch, you’ll not only satisfy your cravings for something sweet and flaky but also discover the immense satisfaction that comes from creating delectable pastries right in your own kitchen. Happy baking and bon appétit!



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