Puff Pastry Danish
No need to make a bakery run when you can easily make Puff Pastry Danish at home using frozen puff pastry! Fill with cream cheese, apple butter, jam, and more.
My sweet tooth sometimes leads me to making really bad breakfast choices.
I know I’m supposed to start the day off right with some fruit and yogurt or even banana mango smoothie but if there’s dessert in the house, it’s probably also going to be my breakfast.
Growing up, it was a special treat for my parents to buy Danishes from the grocery store bakery.
If you’re not familiar with them, they are sweet, flaky pastries with a filling on top then drizzled with a glaze. My favorite was cream cheese, although cherry was a close second.
Nowadays I often see them on breakfast buffet tables or at coffee shops. Sometimes when Dad and I go out for coffee, he’ll grab one as a treat.
Since he loves them so much, I decided to try making Danish with puff pastry at home.
As much as I love making dough by hand, I also love just pulling out a sheet from the freezer and being able to whip up some puff pastry Danishes in under an hour.
Some may call it lazy; I call it smart baking.
What is a Danish?
A Danish is a sweet pastry from Denmark where flaky, buttery dough is folded over a filling then glazed with icing.
Traditionally Danishes are made with a variant of puff pastry called Danish pastry. It’s leavened with yeast as opposed to French puff pastry that is raised by steam.
It’s a bit denser and more bread-like with a texture in between a croissant and brioche.
I decided to make homemade Danishes a bit easier by using frozen puff pastry. Perhaps they’re not authentic but regardless – they’re still buttery, flakey, and delicious.
Ingredients For Puff Pastry Danish
To make your Danish with puff pastry, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Puff pastry: Can be found in the frozen section near frozen pie crust. It’s not the same as phyllo dough.
- Cream cheese: Use a block of full-fat cream cheese. Do not use whipped, low fat, or fat free as they may end up too watery.
- Sugar: Some sweetness to balance the filling
- Egg: The yolk helps firm up the filling while the egg wash with the white helps make them golden brown.
- Apple butter: Adds a bit of spiced apple sweetness. You can either buy a jar or make Crockpot Apple Butter. For more apple butter recipes, check out my guide on what to do with apple butter.
- Vanilla extract: Balances the filling flavor
- Vanilla glaze: Adds a final touch to the pastry
How To Make Danish Pastries With Puff Pastry
Ready to make your puff pastry Danishes?
- Beat together cream cheese and sugar then beat in egg yolk, apple butter, and vanilla.
- Roll out puff pastry to 10×10 square. Cut the dough into 4 even squares. Repeat with the second sheet for a total of 8 squares.
- Add cream cheese filling, spreading evenly with a knife. Fold each corner in towards the center, making an X. Brush with egg white wash.
- Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
- Make the glaze and drizzle over each Danish.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftover Danishes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Fillings For Puff Pastry Danish
The Danishes I ate growing up came in a variety of flavors – cream cheese, cherry, apricot, apple, lemon, even pineapple.
As mentioned earlier I used apple butter to make apple Danishes, but you can easily substitute your favorite jam such as:
To make puff pastry cream cheese Danishes, omit the apple butter.
Puff Pastry Danish FAQ
To reheat, bake at 350F for 5-10 minutes or until heated through and is crispy again. Using the microwave may make the pastry soggy.
Yes, you can freeze Danishes with puff pastry. Place each one on a baking sheet then freeze uncovered for 30 minutes. This ensures the plastic wrap won’t stick to the filling. Wrap individually in plastic wrap then transfer to a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months.
To defrost, thaw pastries in the refrigerator overnight then reheat in the oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes or until hot and crispy again.
More Puff Pastry Recipes
- 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
- 4 ounces (1/2 block or 4 tablespoons) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature (do not substitute low fat or fat free)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 1/4 cup apple butter or fruit jam*
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg white, room temperature
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1-2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl on medium-high speed (with paddle attachment if using stand mixer), beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
- Scrape down the bowl then beat in the yolk, apple butter, and vanilla.
- On a lightly floured surface, unfold one of the puff pastry sheets. Roll it out slightly to a 10x10 square. Cut the dough into 4 even squares. Repeat with the second puff pastry sheet.
- Spoon about 2 tablespoons of cream cheese filling into the center of each square and spread evenly with a knife. Fold each corner in towards the center, making an X. Place on the baking sheet. At this point if the dough feels too warm, refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, beat together the egg white and a little bit of water. Brush the dough of each danish. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cool 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, make the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and vanilla. If it's too thick, add the remaining milk. Drizzle over top of each danish. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.