Easy cream cheese danish is so simple to make and feels like an elevated treat of a childhood favorite. Flaky puff pastry and a creamy cheese filling with a joint of lemon. This danish can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, or dessert!
I LOVE a cream cheese danish. Like really really love it! Always have. Always will.
My dad use to go out and get Entenmann's cinnamon rolls or a cream cheese danish every now and then on a Saturday for a treat breakfast. Do you remember the Entenmann'scinnamon rolls?! They were square and came in a rectangle with a paper bottom that you would peel back. Man....we LOVED them!
Both those and the cream cheese danish he would get a serving and place a pad of butter on top and nuke it in the microwave for 10 seconds. Just until it was warmed and soft all the way through, the icing was melted, and that better just glazed over the top making it even more delicious.
I am drooling now!
We would eat them all in about 2 seconds flat and smile licking our sticky-sweet lips. These are sweet memories. 🙂 Literally.
While this easy cream cheese danish doesn't hold a flame to my dad's surprise Saturday treats growing up - it does come in a close second.
This is an elevated version of the childhood cream cheese danish we all love. It can be enjoyed for breakfast on a Saturday morning or even served as a dessert for a dinner party. Either way, you will love this irresistible and easy treat!
Ingredients Needed for Danish
- 1 Sheet of Frozen Puff Pastry
- 8 Ounces Cream Cheese
- ½ Cup Sugar
- 1 Egg
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- Zest of ½ Lemon
- Juice from ½ Lemon
- 1 Egg
- ¼ Cup Turbinado Sugar
- Juice ½ Lemon
- ¾ Cup of Powdered Sugar
How do you make cream cheese Danish from scratch?
Puff pastry prep – you need to thaw out your frozen puff pastry sheets. I always like to use the Pepperfridge Farm kind that is found in the freezer dessert section. It’s best if you place a sheet in the fridge for 24 hours to thaw, but you are doing it last minute, you can place it on the counter for 30 minutes. You need it to be pliable to roll out but not thawed out to be the point you can’t handle it/move it/the butter has melted inside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Once you puff pastry is thawed, sprinkle your counter with some flour and roll out to a 12″x16″ rectangle roughly. It will be the same shape and dimensions as the original size but just larger.
- The sheet comes folded in thirds. as you roll it out, you will be able to still see those fold lines. Keep these fold lines long ways (16″) and use them as a guide to making out braid slices. Move the puff pastry to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
- Using a sharp knife, cut a strip out a ½″ wide and all the way into the fold line (see pictures and video below). You will get about 15 strips all the way down. Repeat on the other side.
- To a large bowl, add the cream cheese, and mix with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy (making sure to get all the lumps out).
- Add in the sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt. Mix until blended and creamy. Add in lemon zest and juice and mix with a rubber spatula.
- Spoon out the cream cheese filling down the middle on the puff pastry.
- To begin the braid, start at the top of the puff pastry and take one strip from the right side and pull it over to the left at a slight angle. Take the top strip from the left side and wrap it over to the right, overlapping the first slightly. Repeat all the way down the pastry forming an overlapping braid. (see video)
- Beat an egg in a bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the braided puff pastry, and sprinkle over the turbinado sugar. Place in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown on top and the bottom is cooked fully.
- When finished, remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes until drizzling with icing and serving.
- In a bowl add in the juice of ½ lemon and ¾ cup of powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth and combined. To adjust thickness, add in more lemon juice to be runnier, or more sugar to be thicker. Drizzle over danish once cooled. You can also use heavy cream in place of lemon juice if you prefer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. If there are any leftovers left (which I will be surprised if there are) then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
More Sweet Breakfast Recipes
- Brioche French Toast
- Protein French Toast
- Cranberry and White Chocolate Scones
- Easy Homemade Monkey Bread
- Grown-Up Cherry Toaster Strudel
- Berry and Mint Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Chips
- Buttermilk Pancakes