Easy Cheese Danish
There’s no need to miss the cheese Danishes from your favorite bakery. It’s so easy to make them at home and you’ll get to enjoy them hot out of the oven! Plus, your whole house will smell incredible!
What You’ll Need
To make a cheese Danish, you’ll need a frozen puff pastry – be sure to defrost it the night before you plan to bake. You’ll also need cream cheese that’s been out of the fridge for a couple of hours. If the cream cheese isn’t at room temperature, it won’t mix well into the other ingredients.
Lastly, you’ll need sugar, a couple of eggs, and vanilla and/or almond extract. If you are trying to conserve ingredients, you could get away with just one egg. The second egg is used as an egg wash to make the puff pastry look shiny, but it doesn’t really affect the flavor.
If you want to get even fancier, mix jam into the filling (about 3 tablespoons). I love doing this with my cranberry jam.
You can also layer nuts or chocolate chips on top of the filling.
Prepping the Puff Pastry
There are many different ways to prep the puff pastry. The easiest (yet still very attractive) way is to create a crossed-over look.
Roll out the puff pastry, removing any fold lines from the packaging by gently rolling over them with a rolling pin.
Next, divide the pastry vertically in thirds by drawing lines not quite all the way through the dough using a knife or pizza cutter.
Cut out the bottom two corners of the dough diagonally up to the center lines, as shown below.
Then, cut diagonal lines all the way up the dough on both sides going in to the center lines. You can make as many or a few as you like. I like the look of many thin lines, you can also do big chunky lines if you want to work quickly. Remove the corners when you get to the end.
After cutting all of the diagonal lines, you’ll then spread the cream cheese filling over the top of the dough. Fold the dough strips over the cream cheese, alternating sides. The strips should cross over each other in the center of the pastry.
Trim off any excess pastry that goes past the top and bottom edge of the rectangle.
Brush with an egg and bake until golden.
It’s best to serve your Danish within a couple of days of making it- otherwise it will lose its crispiness.
You can drizzle it with a simple glaze made with powdered sugar and milk or lemon juice (see my raspberry scones for any example of how this glaze looks).
Or, you can simply serve it as is!
For single serving cheese danishes, try cutting squares of puff pastry, placing filling inside them, pressing them closed and baking inside of a muffin tin.
The photo below shows how this looks with my mini cranberry cheese Danishes.
You can also use two sheets of puff pastry dough with the filling in the middle to make cheese Danish squares. It’s a very easy option and also makes for a great presentation.
More With Puff Pastry
If you want to get really ambitious, try making this same recipe with homemade chocolate puff pastry. That is such a special treat!
- 1 large egg yolk
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry defrosted
- 1 large egg beaten
- 2 tablespoons sanding sugar optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Beat egg yolk, cream cheese, sugar, almond extract, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Roll out the puff pastry, removing any fold lines from the packaging by gently rolling over them with a rolling pin.
- Using a knife or pizza cutter, divide the pastry vertically in thirds by drawing guide lines not quite all the way through the dough.
- Remove the bottom two corners of the dough diagonally up to the center lines.
- Cut diagonal lines all the way up the dough on both sides going in to the guide lines. You can make as many or a few as you like. Remove the corners when you get to the end.
- Spread the cream cheese filling over the top of the dough.
- Fold the bottom tab of pastry over the cream cheese filling.
- Starting at the top of the pastry, fold the diagonal pastry strips over the cream cheese, alternating sides. The strips should cross over each other in the center of the pastry.
- Trim off any excess pastry that goes past the top and bottom edges of the rectangle.
- Beat the egg and generously brush the puff pastry.
- Sprinkle with sanding sugar.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
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