Cream Cheese Danish


Cream Cheese Danish pastries are a delightful treat perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a sweet snack. These pastries feature a buttery, flaky puff pastry filled with a rich and creamy lemon-infused cream cheese filling, and they are finished with a sweet vanilla glaze. This easy-to-follow recipe ensures a homemade Danish that’s sure to impress.

Overview of the Recipe

Cream Cheese Danish is a classic pastry that combines the rich flavor of cream cheese with the tanginess of lemon, all wrapped in a flaky puff pastry. The simplicity of the ingredients and the ease of preparation make this recipe accessible for home bakers of all skill levels. Whether served warm from the oven or at room temperature, these pastries are always a hit.

History and Origin

The Danish pastry, known as “wienerbrød” in Denmark, has a storied history that dates back to the 19th century. Originating in Austria, it was brought to Denmark by Austrian bakers who were hired during a bakers’ strike. Over time, Danish bakers adapted the recipe, incorporating local ingredients and techniques, leading to the creation of what we now know as Danish pastry. The cream cheese variation is a more modern twist, popular in the United States, adding a creamy and tangy element to the traditional pastry.


For the Dough:

  • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

For the Filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat Your Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the Puff Pastry: Roll out the thawed puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. Cut each sheet into 4 equal squares, creating 8 squares in total.
  3. Make the Filling: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth and creamy.
  4. Fill the Pastries: Place a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture in the center of each pastry square. Fold the corners of the pastry squares towards the center, overlapping slightly to enclose the filling.
  5. Egg Wash: Brush the edges of the pastries with the beaten egg to give them a golden finish.
  6. Bake: Arrange the pastries on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the pastries are puffed and golden brown.
  7. Prepare the Glaze: While the pastries are baking, prepare the glaze by mixing the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl until smooth.
  8. Glaze and Serve: Remove the pastries from the oven and let them cool slightly. Drizzle the glaze over the warm pastries before serving.


These Cream Cheese Danish pastries are best enjoyed warm but can also be served at room temperature. They are perfect for a morning treat with coffee or tea, a delightful addition to brunch, or as a sweet snack anytime.

Pairing and Serving Suggestions

Cream Cheese Danish pairs well with a variety of beverages:

  • Coffee: A hot cup of coffee complements the creamy and tangy flavors of the Danish.
  • Tea: Serve with black tea, green tea, or herbal teas for a soothing pairing.
  • Fresh Fruit: Add a side of fresh berries or a fruit salad to balance the richness of the pastries.

Variations of the Recipe

  • Fruit Toppings: Add a spoonful of fruit preserves or fresh fruit on top of the cream cheese filling before baking.
  • Nut Toppings: Sprinkle chopped nuts such as almonds or pecans over the cream cheese filling for added texture.
  • Chocolate Drizzle: Substitute the vanilla glaze with a chocolate drizzle for a richer dessert.

Health Benefits

While Cream Cheese Danish is a delicious indulgence, it does provide some nutritional benefits:

  • Dairy: The cream cheese filling is a source of calcium and protein.
  • Lemon: The lemon juice and zest add vitamin C and antioxidants.

However, due to its high sugar and fat content, it should be enjoyed in moderation.


  • Storage: Store any leftover pastries in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat in the oven before serving to regain their flakiness.
  • Freezing: These pastries can be frozen before baking. Assemble the Danish, place them on a baking sheet, and freeze until solid. Transfer to a freezer bag and store for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.


Q: Can I use a different type of pastry? A: Yes, you can use homemade dough or other store-bought pastry dough, but puff pastry gives the flakiest texture.

Q: Can I make these pastries ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the pastries and store them in the refrigerator overnight before baking them fresh the next day.

Q: What can I use instead of lemon? A: If you prefer a different flavor, you can substitute the lemon juice and zest with orange or lime.

Q: Can I make these pastries gluten-free? A: You can use gluten-free puff pastry if available, and ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free.


Cream Cheese Danish pastries are a classic, versatile treat that brings a touch of bakery elegance to your home kitchen. With a flaky puff pastry, creamy lemon-infused filling, and sweet vanilla glaze, these pastries are sure to delight. Whether you’re serving them for a special occasion or as a simple indulgence, this recipe is a keeper. Enjoy the process of making these delightful pastries and savor each delicious bite.

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