Breakfast

Scratch-Made Cheese Danish

4.85 from 26 votes
Cheese Danishes are a staple for breakfast when you're out and about — but they're even better when you make my Cheese Danish recipe at home.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Cheese danishes are a fan favorite at everyone’s local bakery or coffee shop and always a good choice when you want something sweet in the morning but not too sweet that you end up crashing before noon. But my homemade cheese danishes? They are out of this world tasty!!

This is a cheese danish from scratch — including the dough. Many recipes online will have you using store-bought puff pastry or crescent rolls from a tube (and there is nothing wrong with that!), but taking your time to make this danish dough really pays off. It gets perfectly crispy on the outside and warm, flaky, but still chewy on the inside.

Yes, it may take more time than popping open a tube of dough, but most of that time is spent resting in the refrigerator — the dough, not you. (You can use this dough for lots of other pastries too! Like my Morning Buns.)

The cream cheese inside of these danishes is perfectly lightly sweetened and so creamy and soft. If you want to make a sweeter pastry, you can always top them with some jam (strawberry, fig, whatever is your favorite!) before baking, or with a lovely glaze.

A lovely baked Cheese Danish. 

What Are Cheese Danishes?

Cheese danishes are a pastry made with a yeasted “viennoiserie” dough. That means the dough has added ingredients, like sugar, milk, and eggs. It is also folded in a way not unlike a croissant, so you have a lot of lovely layers once you bit into it. 

The dough is then filled with a lightly sweetened cream cheese and baked. 

What Type Of Cheese Is In A Cheese Danish?

I use plain cream cheese (you can also use homemade, which is a lot easier than you think!) that I combine with confectioner’s sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Cream cheese is great with desserts because of its soft texture and mild flavor. 

According to their website, if you want to make a copycat version of Starbucks’ cheese danish, they use Neufchâtel cheese. 

What You Need To Make Cheese Danish

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Baking sheet
  • Piping bag (a Ziploc bag with one corner cut will also work!)
  • Plastic wrap

How To Make Cheese Danish

Ready to feel like a professional baker?! Here is how you make cheese danish (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. First, make your danish dough. Follow the steps from this recipe up to 11. There’s also a helpful video!
  2. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12 x 12 inch (30x30cm) square. Cut the dough into 9 squares.
  3. Place the 9 squares of dough onto a baking sheet and fold the corner of each toward the center. Be sure not to bring them all the way into the center, as you want space for your filling. Press your finger into the center to create a dent. 
  4. In a bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract until it is well blended. Place it in a piping bag.
  5. Pipe about 2 tablespoons of the filling into the dent of each square.
  6. Cover the danishes with plastic wrap and place them in a warm place to let them proof until puffed, usually around 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 
  7. Once proofed, heat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  8. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the dough of each danish with the egg wash and bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Reduce the temperature to 375°F (190°C) and rotate the pan. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes more, until the danishes are golden brown. Allow cooling on a wire rack.

A cheese danish with a bite taken out of it, to show texture.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Cheese Danish

  • When you fold the pastries in, be sure you don’t bring the corners all the way to the center; otherwise, you’ll have no space for your filling. 
  • The danish dough takes at least 6 hours to make — but you can make it a few days in advance to save time on the day of baking. You can also keep the dough in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • Make a quick glaze for a sweeter pastry. Whisk 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Drizzle it on top of the pastries once they have cooled.
  • Make a danish braid instead of individual pastries. After you roll the dough, spread the cream cheese filling in a 3-inch strip down the center of the dough square. Cut the edges of the dough into 10 strips all the way to the cream cheese strip. Lay the strips of dough in an alternating pattern over the filling. Proof and bake as you would the individual pastries. 

How Do I Store Cheese Danishes?

Danishes are best when they are enjoyed the day they are made, but you can store leftover danishes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Re-crisp them in a 300°F (150°C) oven for about 10 minutes.

Make More Breakfast!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Scratch-Made Cheese Danish Recipe

4.85 from 26 votes
Cheese Danishes are a staple for breakfast when you're out and about — but they're even better when you make my Cheese Danish recipe at home.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 9 danish
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Cheese Danishes are a staple for breakfast when you're out and about — but they're even better when you make my Cheese Danish recipe at home.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 9 danish

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe danish dough
  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) cream cheese
  • ¼ cup (1oz/28g) confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Egg wash

Instructions

  • Make one recipe of danish dough from my Morning Buns recipe. Complete the dough to step 11. I recommend watching the Morning buns video for a step by step instruction.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the danish dough to a 12 x 12 inch (30x30cm) square and cut the dough into 9 squares.
  • Place the squares of dough onto the baking sheet and fold the corner of each square in towards the center. Press your finger into the center of the square to create a dent.
  • In a bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla extract until well blended. Place in a piping bag.
  • Pipe about 2 tablespoons of filling into the dent at the center of each square.
  • Cover the danishes with plastic wrap and let proof in a warm place until puffed, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  • When the dough is proofed, heat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Remove the plastic, brush the dough with the egg wash, and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C), rotate the pan, and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the danishes are golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.
  • These danishes are best the day they are made, but any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Re-crisp in a 300°F (150°C) oven for about 10 minutes.

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11 months ago

Damnit Gemma!! That’s what we lovingly say in our household when BBB posts another recipe we HAVE to try! ❤️ These were a true act of love, but worth every single second! My 17yo son and I made these together. That’s a treat in itself. 😊 This dough is so flaky and buttery and rival any bakery item! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. We will be making again and again.

11 months ago

I made this from Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. Fast, easy and delicious. A keeper. Thank you

Diane Springer
11 months ago

Can you add apples to the danish?

Hermsoven
11 months ago

Gemma, growing up in Brooklyn, NY, cheese danish were my favorite dessert. I think they still are. Your danish just came out of the oven and I couldn’t wait to eat two very warm ones with an option to have the other seven! The danish had the multi-layered texture of the best croissant. For me, however, there isn’t nearly enough of the cheese filling. Can you suggest where and how to add more? There was a good amount left over. Bottom line: it does take time to make these great pastries, but definitely worth it. Thank you for posting the… Read more »

11 months ago

Absolutely fantastic! The pastry came out perfectly and the cream cheese filling was delicious!

Thanks Gemma for another great recipe! All the way from Nunavut, Canada! 🇨🇦

caric36
5 months ago

Brilliant recipe…worked out great first time out. Can’t wait to try out other fillings…thank you Gemma x

SamiSam
8 months ago

Love this recipe made a large blueberry braid and mini danishes; hope my Pictures get posted. Thank you Gemma

Magda
Magda
10 months ago

Can you freeze the daughter?

Sherry Branch
Sherry Branch
11 months ago

Hi Gemma, Love your website. Can these finished rolls be frozen after baking?

Kay
Kay
11 months ago

These look delicious! Is it possible to make the danish dough the night before and bake in the morning?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!