Got a taste for a cheese danish but hate waiting in the Starbucks line? Try making them at home for a fraction of the cost! The best part is, you can customize the flavors to whatever you want – for example…a luxurious dark sweet cherry filling.
Copycat Cream Cheese Danishes are the 3rd installment of my Fall miniseries, all dedicated to the beautiful puff pastry! This is a really simple dish to make and the flavors are absolutely amazing… so much better than the store-bought version in my opinion. Make a batch (or two) of these pastries and they make great grab-and-go breakfasts or snacks.
- Frozen Puff Pastry Dough – A flaky, buttery puff pastry is going to be our vehicle for the cream cheese filling. I use the frozen kind from Pepperidge Farm and let it thaw on the counter for 20 or so minutes before cooking.
- Cream Cheese– Yeah, you can’t have a cream cheese danish without cream cheese! I’ve used the full-fat and low-fat kind with great results. Be sure to let it sit out and get to room temperature before mixing.
- Powdered Sugar – Using powdered sugar allows the filling to remain silky smooth. I also sprinkle some powdered sugar on top at the end of baking!
- Dark Sweet Cherries – If you’re not a cherry fan, you can skip this & replace with your favorite fruit. We’re going to cook down a few frozen dark sweet cherries to a jam-like consistency and then mix it together with half of the cream cheese filling.
How to Make Cheese Danishes at Home
This is such a simple recipe that leads to a fantastic-tasting result!
First, I like to make my fillings so they are ready to go. In a bowl, simply mix together the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. You can taste and add more sugar if needed.
Then, take half of the vanilla filling and separate it into another bowl. Cook down the fruit until it’s a jammy consistency. I like to use a hand-mixer to get it really smooth. Mix the cherry jam with the vanilla cream cheese filling.
Now for the actual danish part! Take your thawed puff pastry and cut it into 6 even rectangles. Bake them on a greased baking pan at 400°F for 5 minutes, then remove.
The puff pastry will be, well, puffy. Take a spoon and mash the center to create a little hole for the filling, then add your fillings to the pastries. Finally, bake for another 5 minutes until golden brown and flaky.
Let cheese danishes cool for a few minutes so the filling can set properly, then enjoy! You can also take these to the next level by adding a vanilla glaze or extra powdered sugar on top – see my Roasted Sweet Potato Turnovers recipe for a quick glaze you can use!
- Use your favorite fruit for this cream cheese danish recipe – I love dark sweet cherries, but you can also try strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries!
- Try adding a drizzle of vanilla glaze on top for some added sweetness.
Other Ideas from my Puff Pastry Miniseries:
Copycat Cream Cheese Danish
- 8 oz. cream cheese softened
- 2 tbsp. powdered sugar to taste
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup frozen dark sweet cherries
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough thawed
- Mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
- Take half of the vanilla filling and add it to another bowl to finish out the cherry filling.
- Add the dark sweet cherries and lemon juice to a small skillet or saucepan.
- Cook them over medium heat until the cherries become soft. Using a hand blender or masher tool, mash the cherries to a jammy consistency.
- Let the cherry jam cool slightly, then stir it into the other half of the vanilla cream cheese until smooth.
- Cut the thawed puff pastry sheet into 6 rectangles.
- Bake them at 425°F for 5 minutes, then pat down a divot in the center. Add about 1 ½ tbsp. of the mixture to the middle of each pastry.
- Bake for another 5 minutes, then let cool for 2-3 minutes. Enjoy!
The Coined Breakdown
- Total Cost per serving: $0.98
- Total Cost (6 servings): $5.87
- Those Other Guys: $3.45 per danish