A simple and delicious recipe for flaky and delicious Cheese Danish! These are made with my easy (cheater’s) homemade puff pastry, though you can substitute store-bought in a pinch.
Homemade Cheese Danishes
A little while back I shared my recipe for homemade puff pastry, and, if you recall, strongly encouraged you to make a few extra batches and store some in your freezer. This Cheese Danish recipe is exactly why. Once you have that pastry made, you’re only 25 minutes away from perfect homemade breakfast pastries. Perfect for brunch or holiday breakfast spreads or (let’s be real) any random Tuesday the craving happens to hit.
I always thought danishes were difficult to make, and the puff pastry can be a bit time consuming, but we’ve mastered that now (and if we haven’t, there’s always store-bought). They’re not difficult, and homemade is better than any pre-packaged breakfast pastry you’ve ever tried.
The filling is smooth and creamy, like a pocket of cheesecake or cream cheese frosting encased in buttery, flaky pastry. The glaze is simple and a perfect compliment to top everything off. Just. Make. These. Now.
What You Need:
- Puff Pastry. I highly recommend you use my “easy” homemade Puff Pastry for best taste! However, store-bought will work. You’ll need one box (/two sheets).
- Cream cheese, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Stir these together to make your cheese danish filling.
- An egg and a splash of water. This will be your egg wash which helps brown the outside of your cheese danish.
- Powdered sugar and milk. Whisk these together to make a glaze for drizzling over the danishes once they’ve cooled. Or while they’re still warm. No judgement here.
How to Make Cheese Danish
Begin by dividing your puff pastry dough in half and roll into a 12×12 square. Cut this into four even-sized squares. The steps below correspond with the step-by-step collage above.
- Stir together cream cheese, (granulated) sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and dollop two tablespoons into the center of each square.
- Fold the corners toward the center without actually touching them to each other. Leave a small bit of space between the corners.
- Brush the pastry with an egg wash (made by whisking together egg and 2 teaspoons of water).
- Bake until golden brown. The pastry (and the filling) will puff quite a bit in the oven, but will settle down as they cool.
Don’t forget to drizzle everything off with a simple milk and sugar glaze. Technically you *should* let the danishes cool a bit before drizzling with this glaze, otherwise it has the inclination to melt alllll over the place. I personally don’t mind so long as I get to enjoy my cheese danish warm (sometimes too warm, careful not to burn your tongue).
But we’re all adults here. Choose your own ending! Melty and warm or cool and tidy!
Different Danish Shapes
The square shape that I used in today’s recipe is is the simplest and most basic design for making cheese danishes. However, if you watch my video (below the recipe) I also share how to make a fancy-looking but surprisingly simple pinwheel design, too.
More Recipes You Might Like:
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Homemade Cheese Danish Recipe
- 1 batch homemade puff pastry may substitute 1 box thawed store-bought puff pastry
- 8 oz cream cheese softened (226g)
- ½ cup granulated sugar 100g
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 cup powdered sugar 125g
- 3-5 teaspoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400F (205C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Prepare filling by stirring together cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
- Divide puff pastry into 2 even parts (If using homemade puff pastry I’ll usually cut this width-wise, if using store-bought dough it will already be divided into two even sheets for you).
- Roll first half of puff pastry into a 12x12” square (about 1/16” thick). Cut into 4 even-sized squares.
- Transfer squares onto prepared baking sheet. Dollop about two tablespoons of filling into the center of each square. Fold the corners over the center of the filling, leaving a space about ¼” thick in the center and between corners.
- Prepare egg wash by whisking together egg and 2 teaspoons water. Brush generously over the top of the puff pastry dough.
- Transfer cheese danishes to 400F (205C) preheated oven and bake for 17-19 minutes or until light golden brown. Pastries will puff a lot in the oven but will settle as they cool.
- Repeat steps with second half of puff pastry dough.
- Allow cheese danishes to cool before drizzling with glaze.
- To prepare glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Drizzle glaze generously over cooled cheese danishes. Enjoy!