Easy Cheese Danish Recipe: Cheese Danish are incredible and easy homemade pastries you can make that will totally “Wow!” your guests! Three filling options are included here but the filling possibilities are endless!

Cheese Danish at home?! Sweeeeet!

It’s been years since I’ve had a cheese Danish, mostly because every time I go for one, usually at a breakfast event at work, all of the plain cheese Danish vanish. Poof. Just like that! And I won’t compromise my love for cheese Danish when they are covered in canned cherries.

So I took the opportunity over this past weekend to make these for breakfast on Sunday. Thankfully, Kyle had been up since 5am (?!?!) and had already eaten a bagel, otherwise he would have been like a hungry bear searching for an open cooler. OK…soooo they took a little longer than I expected they would but that’s not to say they still weren’t easy.

I still didn’t have to make the pastry dough (puff pastry), and in my book, “how great is that?” The cream cheese mixture came together quickly and was some seriously dangerous stuff. It’s a good thing Kyle wasn’t stalking the kitchen while I was making it because there wouldn’t have been enough left to fill these Danish with!

Cream Cheese Danish Filling Ideas

From the original recipe, I made 9 Danish using 3 different danish fillings. Three of the full size danish I made with the plain cream cheese mixture. That’s not to say “plain” means boring here because oh no! Would I ever make and eat something boring?! No way!!

Then, to make things interesting, I peeled, cored, and cut up a Macoun apple that I mixed with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. After the apple mixture sat for a few minutes, I topped the cream cheese mixture (already on the puff pastry square) with some of the apples.

This yielded 3 more full size Danish with a few mouthfuls of cinnamon sugar apples leftover (which of course, didn’t go to waste!).

To sweeten the Danish deal, I mixed the final 3rd of the cream cheese Danish recipe mixture with pureed canned pumpkin and some pumpkin pie spice that I always keep on hand. I ended up with 3 minis of this type since I cut the pastry dough wrong (oops!). After my not-sweet-enough apple turnovers, I sprinkled a good amount of coarse sugar on the tops and edges of these puppies.

The end result of all of these cheese Danish was truly outstanding. Like, I’m-drooling-right-now-thinking-about-them-good.

The plain cheese Danish was delightful and they were Kyle’s favorite. Next time, I’ll add a little extra vanilla.

Then there’s the the apple pie Danish. What can be said about this one? I’ve been day dreaming about these apple cream cheese Danish for over a week and they were heavenly! I had a difficult time restraining myself from eating all of 3 of them but alas, sharing must happen.

And the pumpkin cheese Danish? Well, holy pumpkin pie Danish Batman!!! They were INCREDIBLE.

I’ll add an extra pinch of the pumpkin pie spice next time, but overall the pumpkin pie Danish is a definite keeper! These would definitely make a perfect Thanksgiving weekend brunch treat along with some iced pumpkin spice lattes for your guests!

Easy Cheese Danish

Eventually my mind will come back to earth and I will most likely stop obsessing over these Danish. But until then…I might just have to make them again this weekend for our 2nd anniversary trip to Lake George so that I can just get the craving over with. ๐Ÿ˜€

Easy Cheese Danish Recipe (3 Ways!)

Easy Cheese Danish Recipe (3 Ways!)

Yield: 8 large Danish
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Cheese Danish are incredible and easy homemade pastries you can make that will totally "Wow!" your guests. I've made 3 different fillings and included all the details for them here so you can make them too! This cheese Danish recipe uses store-bought puff pastry but you can definitely use crescent rolls or homemade puff pastry if you make your own.

Ingredients

For the cream cheese Danish (Makes 8 Danish):

  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • โ…“ cup sugar
  • 2 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ยผ tsp kosher salt
  • ยฝ - 1 tbsp grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

For the apple pie filling (Makes 8 Danish):

  • 2 small apples, like Macoun or Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and medium diced
  • 6 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Dash of ground nutmeg

For the pumpkin pie filling (Makes 8 Danish):

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
    2. To make the cheese Danish: Place the cream cheese and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment and cream together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix until just combined. Don’t whip!
    3. Unfold one sheet of pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10-inch square. Cut the sheet into 8 equal squares. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold two opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes before baking.
    4. Bake the Danish for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve while still slightly warm.
    5. To make the apple pie Danish: Stir the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Set aside while you make the filling.
    6. Place the cream cheese and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment and cream together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt to the bowl, and mix until just combined. Don’t whip!
    7. Unfold one sheet of pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10-inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters. Place a heaping tablespoon of cream cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Top with about 2 tablespoons of the apple mixture. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold two opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes before baking.
    8. Bake the Danish for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve while still slightly warm.
    9. To make the pumpkin pie Danish: Place the cream cheese and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment and cream together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, and salt to the bowl, and mix until just combined. Don’t whip!
    10. Unfold one sheet of pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10-inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters. Place a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin pie cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold two opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes before baking.
    11. Bake the Danish for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve while still slightly warm.

Notes

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

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  • October 16, 2008 at 9:26 AM

    It’s so funny we were right on track with the pumpkin! Your apple danish looks wonderful, too. I thought about apples but didn’t have any… know I know that’s the one I’ll make next! Great job Tara!

  • October 16, 2008 at 9:49 AM

    They look beautiful and sound delicious. Great work on this one!

  • October 16, 2008 at 1:29 PM

    These look great.

  • October 16, 2008 at 1:58 PM

    Your apple pie danishes have me drooling too. Thanks for the idea about add ins / modifications. I loved it.

  • October 16, 2008 at 3:32 PM

    They look fantastic and I love the pumpkin idea! I will have to try that ๐Ÿ™‚

  • October 16, 2008 at 4:02 PM

    Your apple Danishes look and sound wonderful–I love apple. Great job with the creative add-ins!

  • October 16, 2008 at 10:07 PM

    Pumpkin danish sounds SO good!

  • October 17, 2008 at 5:30 AM

    Wow! I didn’t even think of playing with it…just went for the straight cream cheese. Great pics!

  • October 17, 2008 at 8:02 PM

    Oh yum! I love that you made three types. These were easy too. I tend to make a recipe per instructions the first time around and then make changes once I know what I’m working with, so I’ll have to make these again soon. I especially love the pumpkin pie idea.

  • Karen
    October 19, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    yours look great. i made mine this morning and they were awesome. i’m really loving these bonus recipe choices. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • October 19, 2008 at 5:07 PM

    I’m Danish and I eat waaaay too many danishes. I had to comment to you that your photos are simply stunning.
    Wonderful job here.

  • October 23, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    wow! danish. i’ve always been intimidated. but man, these look goooooood….

  • Karen
    October 29, 2008 at 9:00 PM

    hi, just wanted to post again to let you know i gave you a kreativ blogger award over at my site. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • […] in the center of the pastry square.ย  All in all, though, very delicious.ย  And I think that Taraโ€™s pumpkin variation sounds incredible โ€“ check it out!ย  Yes, it is going to be another lovely Sunday morning… […]

  • August 8, 2009 at 11:19 PM

    This look yummy. Too bad I am on a diet. I would love to try it.

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