Fruit & Cream Cheese Puff Pastry Danish
Sweet cream cheese and fresh fruit is nestled into a buttery flaky puff pastry for a perfect breakfast treat! Make your own rough puff pastry or use store bought. It’s the best way to spend a weekend morning.
Ok, if there is any type of breakfast pastry I don’t want to live without (besides a donut, because that’s obviously number one), it’s a fruit and cheese danish. There’s something about that sweet and tangy cream cheese that really gets me going. Pair it with your favorite fruit and the flakiest pastry of all time and you’ve got a winner!
These Fruit & Cream Cheese Puff Pastry Danish are a simple way to make a weekend breakfast feel a bit more special. Eat them fresh, and eat them all?
Making a danish with puff pastry
I am a huge proponent of making everything from scratch. I am a rough puff pastry fanatic, which is basically a cheat version of puff pastry that produces almost identical results. You can make your own rough puff pastry for the danishes from my Rough Puff Pastry Recipe. It takes a bit of time, but only because most of it is time resting in the fridge! Active time is only about 30 minutes.
You can also watch my video on how to make the rough puff pastry.
However, I know not everyone has time to dedicate to these types of fun tasks, so you can absolutely make this with frozen puff pastry. You’ll only need one sheet for this Fruit & Cream Cheese Puff Pastry Danish recipe (makes 6), but you could totally double up if you want more! Keep in mind these are to be eaten the day they’re made, so for this you actually don’t want to plan for leftovers...
Preparing the puff pastry
For either homemade or frozen puff pastry, roll out the dough to ⅛”-¼” thick. This won’t take much rolling for frozen puff.
Using a sharp chef’s knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into rectangles or squares. Using a large cookie cutter to do circles is also super easy! Honestly, you can make these into whatever shapes you want, but you will want to get six pieces out of the dough. The smaller the shape, the less cream cheese and fruit you’ll need to use.
Using the tip of a sharp paring knife, score a ½” border the whole way around the dough. You want to make an indent, but do not cut the whole way through the dough. Scoring this border helps the edges to rise around the fillings and get extra flaky.
Transfer the pieces of dough to a parchment lined baking sheet large enough so they are not touching.
Simple cheese danish filling
A sweet and tangy cream cheese mixture is spread on top of the pastry. It’s the perfect contrast to the buttery crust and fruity topping and may be my favorite part. All you do is combine room temperature cream cheese, sugar and vanilla paste/extract until it’s totally combined.
Add a heaping tablespoon to the center of each piece and spread it to meet the scored border.
Toppings for the cheese danish
Here are some of my favorite options, but you could really do this with any fruit:
Raspberry may be my favorite, but cherry is a close second. Some in season peaches also get me really excited!
Fresh fruit definitely comes out best, but you can absolutely use frozen fruit, as well. Thaw the fruit in a colander and allow all juices to drain. Chop any fruit, if necessary, then toss with the sugar, lemon juice and corn starch. For frozen fruit, use 1 tablespoon of corn starch instead of ½ tablespoon.
Finishing the Fruit & Cream Cheese Puff Pastry Danish
Once the pastry is baked and golden brown, the final step is to brush on some hot jelly, jam, or preserves. The fruit will become slightly dull during the baking process, so the jam adds a lovely sheen and also an extra punch of flavor.
Try to pair jams and fruits for best results — strawberry jam with strawberry danish. Cool? Cool.
Is puff pastry the same as danish pastry?
No. While similar in that they’re both laminated doughs, danish pastry contains yeast and puff pastry does not.Can I make this ahead of time?
Sure! Follow all steps to prep except for adding the fruit and egg wash. Cover the cream cheese topped pastry with a piece of plastic wrap or a clean dish towel. Store the prepared fresh fruit in a bowl and toss with the sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch only before you plan to bake. When ready to bake, add the fruit, egg wash the sides, and bake!How do I store a danish?
These are made to be eaten fresh. Due to the cream cheese filling in the danish, these would need to be stored in the fridge. The pastry would turn soft and soggy - no thank you!
Want more breakfast recipes?
- Lemon Filled Donuts (with Meringue Topping)
- Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Orange Poppy Seed Loaf
- Chocolate Espresso Babka
- Banana Nut Muffins
Fruit & Cream Cheese Puff Pastry Danish
- One Sheet Puff Pastry
- 1 egg for egg wash
- Jam, jelly, preserves optional, for glaze
- 4 oz full fat cream cheese room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh fruit strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, cherry, peach are good options
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 400℉.
- Start by preparing whatever fruit you want to use. If using strawberries, cherries or peaches, hull/pit, then slice - leave blueberries and raspberries whole. Add the fruit to a bowl, then sprinkle on the sugar, lemon and cornstarch and carefully mix to combine.
- In a small bowl, mix together the soft cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with a spoon or small rubber spatula.
- In another small bowl, whisk together an egg and a splash of water.
- Roll out the dough to ⅛”-¼” thick. Cut the pastry into six desired shapes. Rectangles and squares work well and cookie cutters can be used to make circles. Lightly score a ½” border on the inside of the pastry with the tip of a sharp knife, careful not to cut through the dough completely.
- Transfer the cutouts to a parchment lined baking sheet. Take care not to touch the sides too much or it will seal the edges and prevent flaky layers.
- Add ~1 heaping tablespoon of cream cheese to the center of each piece of dough, and spread evenly to the scored border. Add a few spoonfuls of fruit on top, mounding it up in the center.
- Using a small pastry brush or your finger, rub the egg wash on all exposed sides of the dough. Try not to let the egg wash fall over the edges or it will seal the layers and prevent them from puffing up.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the exposed edges are golden brown and flaky.
- While the danishes bake, heat a few tablespoons of jam until loosened. Try to pair flavors appropriately (i.e. apricot or peach preserves with peaches, strawberry jam with strawberries, etc). When the danishes are done, brush the jam over the fruit. This step is not required, but add a nice sheen and a touch of extra flavor.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.