This quick and easy cheese danish recipe is so simple to make, especially in the summer when berries are fresh and ready to use. Making danish pastries might seem intimidating, but this recipe couldn’t be simpler. With store-bought puff pastry, you’ll be able to make these sweet treats in no time. Read below for the recipe.
What are Berry Lemon Danishes?
Berry lemon danishes consist of puff pastry cut into squares or rectangles that are topped with a sweet cream cheese filling, fresh strawberries, and crushed raspberries. We top it all off with a simple lemon glaze that pulls it all together into a delicious treat.
Breakfast pastries, such as this cheese danish recipe, are best eaten the same day that they are made. While they’re still good to eat the next day, puff pastry is the most crisp and fresh the day it’s made.
If you’ve ever bought a pastry from a grocery store, you might have noticed that it’s somewhat soft and lacks that crisp texture. That’s because the longer the danish pastry sits after baking, the softer it gets. It starts to loose that beautiful crunch and crispness that we love so much, making it just an average pastry that isn’t really worth eating.
How to Make this Cheese Danish Recipe
The process for making this cheese danish recipe is really simple. Let’s go through the basics along with some tips for success.
First, thaw the puff pastry in the fridge if it’s frozen, which it most likely will be if it comes from a grocery store. The puff pastry needs to be really cold when you work with it so that the butter or fat in the dough doesn’t get too warm and start to melt before baking.
If the dough gets too warm and the fat begins to soften, the pastries will be dense and oily instead of light and tender.
Second, roll and cut the puff pastry dough into 9 squares. I like to use a ruler to measure the dough so that it’s easy to cut the pastries into even portions.
Third, score the inside of each square. To do this, take a small paring knife, and lightly mark a square within each square. You will have a 1/4 inch border all the way around after marking the dough.
**Pro tip: When you mark the dough, it might be tempting to cut all the way through the dough. We don’t want to do this because it will separate the center dough from the border, ruining the cheese danish. Instead mark light slits, and this will allow the outside border to rise during baking while the inside stays flatter.
Fourth, mix the cream cheese danish filling together and fill the marked squares, being careful not to get the filling on the 1/4 inch border. Top with fresh cut strawberries and crushed raspberries, then chill and bake.
Lastly, drizzle with a light lemon glaze and enjoy!
Can You Freeze Danish Pastries?
Yes, you can most definitely freeze baked danish pastries for a short period of time (2-3 weeks max.) They are delicate pastries, and leaving them in the freezer for a long period of time will ruin their quality.
After thawing the pastries, be sure to crisp them in the oven for 3-5 minutes so that they aren’t too soft.
How to Make a Shiny Glaze for Fruit
This is one of my favorite pastry chef tips. Have you ever seen pastries in bakeshops with that fruit that seems so perfectly shiny?
Chances are that they are using a glaze. The easiest way to make the glaze is by combining apricot jam and water in a pot on the stove. Warm it until soft and liquid, and then gently brush over the cooked (or fresh) fruit on any dessert.
The glaze will not only make the fruit look beautiful, but it will help to preserve the fruit so that it stays fresher longer.
Essential Baking Tools
- A good rolling pin (this is my fav)
- A high quality paring knife
- A hand mixer for the filling
- A pastry brush for the glaze (this is my favorite set)
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Easy Cheese Danish Recipe
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 18 pastries 1x
- Category: pastries
- 2 sheets puff pastry (such as Pepperidge Farm)
- Fresh strawberries and raspberries
Cream Cheese Danish Filling
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 Tbs sour cream
- 3 Tbs sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 an egg
- Zest of 1/2 a lemon
For the Shiny Fruit Glaze (optional)
- 1/4 cup apricot jam
- 2 Tbs water
For the Lemon Glaze
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbs Lemon juice
- Milk, to thin the icing
To Make this Cheese Danish Recipe
- Thaw puff pastry dough in the refrigerator according to package directions (usually a few hours).
- Remove puff pastry from the fridge and work with one sheet of puff pastry at a time. On a pastry mat, begin by rolling the puff pastry lightly to smooth out the seams and to make the dough thinner. The dough should be approximately 11×11 inches.
- Cut the dough into 9 even squares/rectangles. Next, score the inside of each pastry with a paring knife to make a 1/4 inch border all the way around. Be careful not to cut all the way through the dough. Lightly scoring it will get the job done.
- Pop the pastries into the fridge on a parchment lined baking sheet, and repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry. If the dough seems too warm or soft at any point during the preparation, return it to the refrigerator for 10 minutes. We don’t want the butter or fat in the dough to melt before hitting the oven, otherwise the pastries will be heavy and oil instead of light and flaky.
- Once the pastries are chilling, cream the cream cheese filling ingredients in a bowl with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Slice the strawberries thinly and crush some fresh raspberries in a bowl until juicy with small pieces remaining.
- Remove the puff pastry squares from the refrigerator and portion the lemon cream cheese filling into the center of each one. Fill the centers all the way to the borders, but try not to get the filling in the scored lines so that the pastries bake properly.
- Next, top with strawberries and raspberry, then place in the fridge for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Right before placing the cheese danishes in the oven, mix an egg and water in a bowl, and brush the pastry borders lightly with the egg wash.
- Bake the danish pastries for 13-16 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed.
- Remove from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool.
- If adding the shiny fruit glaze, warm the apricot jam and water in a pot until liquid. Brush the cooked fruit with the glaze to add shine and freshness.
- Lastly, mix the lemon icing ingredients. Drizzle the icing over the danishes and enjoy warm or at room temperature.
- These danishes are best eaten the same day that they are made. You can still eat them 1-2 days after, but they will diminish in quality as the pastries soften.
This is a Baker Street Society original recipe
Keywords: cheese danish recipe, lemon cream cheese filling, pastries