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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.
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):
- First, make your danish dough. Follow the steps from this recipe up to 11. There’s also a helpful video!
- On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12 x 12 inch (30x30cm) square. Cut the dough into 9 squares.
- 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.
- In a bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract until it is well blended. Place it in a piping bag.
- Pipe about 2 tablespoons of the filling into the dent of each square.
- 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.
- Once proofed, heat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Remove the plastic wrap and brush the dough of each danish with the egg wash and bake for 10 minutes.
- 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.
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!