These easy cream cheese pastries mimic a traditional danish with relatively little effort! You can make these quickly with store-bought puff pastry or make your own. Learn how to make 4 fun designs!

Cream Cheese Breakfast Danish topped with a raspberry

OVERVIEW

Cream cheese pastries are so impressive to serve for breakfast or brunch and equally as delicious to eat! A cheese danish with a hot cup of coffee is my favorite morning treat.

If you want these in a hurry feel free to use store-bought puff pastry. It freezes really well so it’s almost (if not the same) as using homemade dough. If you want to go the extra mile, you can make your own dough with my step-by-step tutorial on homemade puff pastry. It really is a fun challenge and is so rewarding in the end.

How to Shape Puff Pastry Danishes

Cream Cheese Breakfast Danishes shown in 4 different shapes

You can make a simple danish by cutting the dough into circles and filling it in the center kind of like a pie. Follow the steps below if you want to get a little fancier!

Square shaped danish

  • Brush the square piece of dough with a thin coat of water. This will help the dough to stick together.
  • Pick up the corner of the dough and bring to the center of the square and press together so it stays put. Repeat with each corner.
  • Spoon a dollop of the cream cheese mixture into the center of the dough. Top with a berry.

Pinwheel shaped danish

  • Use your knife to cut a slit in each corner of the dough halfway to the center of the square.
  • Brush a little bit of water onto the center of the square.
  • Bring a piece of the dough to the center of the square and press together so it stays put. Repeat with every other piece of dough.
  • Spoon a dollop of the cream cheese mixture into the center of the dough. Top with a berry.

Flower-shaped danish

  • Bring one corner of the dough to the opposite corner of the dough folding it in half. Make a slit about a ½ inch from the edge.
  • Make another slit to form a box inside the larger square. Do not cut all the way through. This step is hard to explain. See the photos for more clarity.
  • Unfold the dough. Brush the center of the dough with a little water.
  • Bring each corner of the outside square into the center of the dough and press together so it stays put. You should have a flower-looking shape on top of a smaller square.
  • Spoon a dollop of the cream cheese mixture into the center of the dough. Top with a berry.

Diamond Shaped Danish

  • Fold the dough square in half by bringing one corner to the opposite corner. Cut a slit a ½ inch from the edge on both sides. Do not bring the 2 slits together.
  • Unfold the dough. Brush a little water in the center of the square. Bring one corner of the dough to the other side and press together so it stays put.
  • Repeat with the opposite corner.
  • Spoon a dollop of the cream cheese mixture into the center of the dough. Top with a berry.

Shape each dough square into the same design for a theme or mix it up and do a few of each. Have fun with it!

Cream Cheese Breakfast Danishes shown in 4 different shapes
Cream Cheese Breakfast Danish topped with a raspberry
Yield: 12 danishes

Cream Cheese Breakfast Danish

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

A cream cheese danish is the most decadent of breakfasts. You can make these quickly with store-bought puff pastry or make your own. Learn how to make 4 fun designs!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (2 sheets) puff pastry (store bought or homemade quick puff pastry), thawed
  • 226 grams (1 cup, 8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 berries, can be whole raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or strawberry halves

For the Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the Glaze *optional

  • 60 grams (½ cup) powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons milk or lemon juice

Instructions


PREP

  1. Several hours before baking (or the night before) remove puff pastry (1 pound, 2 sheets) from the freezer and move to the refrigerator to thaw.
  2. At least 1 hour before baking, remove the cream cheese (226 grams, 1 cup) from the refrigerator to soften.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F/205°C.

For the Filling

  1. In a large mixing bowl whisk the softened cream cheese and granulated sugar (50 grams, ¼ cup) using a handheld mixer or stand mixer until the sugar is completely combined. Check the mixture to make sure you don't feel any grittiness. This should take 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the egg yolk (1 large) and vanilla extract (½ teaspoon) and whisk until combined. Set aside.

For Shaping the Danish

  1. Unroll 1 sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. If the dough cracks, let it sit out at room temperature for a few minutes. Cut the dough using a bench knife or regular knife in half horizontally. Cut each new half into 3 equal pieces. You should now have 6 square shaped pieces. Repeat with the other piece of puff pastry so that you have a total of 12 pieces.

For the Square Shape (see photos in post)

  • Brush the square piece of dough with a thin coat of water. This will help the dough to stick together.
  • Pick up the corner of the dough and bring to the center of the square and press together so it stays put. Repeat with each corner.

For the Pinwheel Shape (see photos in post)

  • Use your knife to cut a slit in each corner of the dough halfway to the center of the square.
  • Brush a little bit of water onto the center of the square.
  • Bring a piece of the dough to the center of the square and press together so it stays put. Repeat with every other piece of dough.

For the Flower Shape (*this shape is hard to explain, see photos in post)

  • Bring one corner of the dough to the opposite corner of the dough folding it in half. Make a slit about a ½ inch from the edge.
  • Make another slit to form a box inside the larger square. Do not cut all the way through. This step is hard to explain. See the photos for more clarity.
  • Unfold the dough. Brush the center of the dough with a little water.
  • Bring each corner of the outside square into the center of the dough and press together so it stays put. You should have a flower-looking shape on top of a smaller square.

For the Diamond Shape (*this shape is hard to explain, see photos in post)

  • Fold the dough square in half by bringing one corner to the opposite corner. Cut a slit a ½ inch from the edge on both sides. Do not bring the 2 slits together.
  • Unfold the dough. Brush a little water in the center of the square. Bring one corner of the dough to the other side and press together so it stays put.
  • Repeat with the opposite corner.


For Baking The Danish

  1. Once all of your dough has been been shaped, place each piece on a parchment lined sheet pan.
  2. Spoon a dollop of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each shape. Top with a berry.
  3. Combine the egg (1 large) and water (1 tablespoon) for the egg wash together and whisk vigorously until well combined and very smooth. You can add a bit more water if needed to thin out. Brush the egg wash on the puff pastry and not the filling.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes until the puff pastry is puffed and golden.
  5. Let cool completely.

For the Glaze

  1. Whisk the powdered sugar (60 grams, ½ cup) and milk or lemon juice (1 ½ tablespoons) together in a bowl until you have a consistency that can be drizzled. If it becomes too thin, you can add more powdered sugar to thicken it back up. If it's too thick, add more liquid.
  2. Place glaze in a piping bag or zipper bag with the tip cut off. Slowly drizzle the glaze over the cooled danishes. The glaze will harden as it sets. Alternately, you can simply spoon the glaze over the tops of the danishes.

Notes

STORAGE: Store cream cheese danishes in the fridge for up to 4 days.

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Nutrition Information:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0