This cheese danish, made with sweetened cream cheese on a flaky pastry is so delicious and only takes a few minutes to make!
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Cheese Danish Ingredients
- Crescent roll dough – We prefer the sheets, but the perforated ones will work as well. Just pinch the seams together. You can also use traditional danish dough.
- Cream cheese – Softened.
- Sugar – Granulated.
- Vanilla – Real vanilla extract, not imitation.
- Icing – Powdered sugar and milk.
How do you make cream cheese danish from scratch? (step-by-step)
⭐ First, roll out the crescent dough and cut into rectangles/squares. Roll up the sides to form a circle shaped basket. Gently place onto a baking sheet.
⭐ Next, mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Spoon filling into dough baskets and spread to the edges.
⭐ Then, bake until edges have turned a nice golden color. Allow to cool.
⭐ Finally, while danishes are baking whisk together the powdered sugar and the milk. Drizzle over the cooled danishes.
Can you make cheese danishes ahead of time?
For sure. You can bake, cool, and then keep in the fridge for a few days. Enjoy chilled, or warm as desired.
Alternatively prep the danishes to the point of right before baking. Then cover well and keep in the refrigerator for up to two days. Bake as directed when ready.
Should the cream cheese puff up while cooking?
Yes, this is totally normal. The cheese will puff while cooking and then deflate/settle back down.
How do you make the icing?
Danish icing is super simple and consists of just powdered sugar and milk whisked together until it reaches a thickness you’re happy with. Feel free to mix it up with vanilla, cinnamon, or lemon extract.
Storage and leftovers
Does a cheese danish need to be refrigerated?
This recipe is made with both cream cheese and milk, so we do suggest refrigeration after baking (if not serving right away) and for leftovers. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days.
Can you freeze cheese danishes?
Yes! Let them cool completely after baking, then wrap in parchment paper (or layer with parchment paper) and freeze for up to 3 months.
For best results, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. The cheese may separate a little, but it will still taste yummy.
How do you warm them?
If you prefer a warm cheese danish, use a toaster oven on medium, or wall oven on 350F until warmed to your liking.
Tips, tricks, and frequently asked questions
What is a cheese danish made of?
This recipe is made with dough (we used crescent dough, but you can also use traditional danish dough), a sweetened cream cheese filling, and a sweet milk glaze.
Why is it called a cheese danish?
They are called danishes because this pastry was inspired by a concept brought to Denmark by Austrian bakers and later by Danish immigrants to the United States.
It’s specifically called a cheese danish because the center is filled with sweetened cream cheese.
(Want to more Denmark? Check out our trip to Copenhagen, Denmark)
What shape for cheese danish?
We used the round ‘basket’ shape because it’s easiest and holds the cheese well, but you can experiment with any shape you like. Some folks get super fancy!
Cheese danish variations
🍫 Try adding a handful of chocolate chips to the top of each danish for a chocolate danish recipe.
🍒 Spoon a dollop of your favorite fruit pie filling into the middle for a fruit danish (I love cherry!)
🧂 Sprinkle cinnamon, maple syrup, and chopped nuts over the cheese for a maple cheese danish.
🥧 Spread pumpkin pie filling in the center for a pumpkin spice cream cheese danish.
What to eat with cheese danish (serving suggestions)
I love to mix sweet and savory for meals so I would enjoy these with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce or a veggie filled egg casserole. If eggs aren’t your thing, try this amazing sweet potato and sausage hash!
More delicious breakfast recipes
- Avocado toast
- Easy chocolate chip pancakes
- Cinnamon roll casserole recipe
- Best pumpkin bread
- See all our awesome breakfast ideas!
More cream cheese recipes
- Crack chicken dip recipe
- Chocolate breakfast pastry
- Best no bake cheesecake
- Cranberry jello salad
- Cookies and cream cookies
- See all our recipes that use cream cheese!
More recipes with crescent dough
- Crescent roll cinnamon rolls
- Easy garlic knots
- Baked ham and cheese croissants
- Peanut butter and jelly hand pies
- Raspberry dumplings
- See all our recipes that use crescent dough!
Tools we love
- Large baking sheet – My most used baking sheets, we love these!
- Silicone baking mat – Sometimes called silpat, these mats are amazing, nothing sticks!
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How to Make a Cheese Danish
- 2 packages crescent roll sheets
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out the crescent dough and cut into four rectangles/squares (8 total). Roll up the sides to form a kind of basket and shape into a circle. Gently place onto a baking sheet.
- Mix together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spoon filling into the crescents and spread to the edges.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges of danishes have turned a nice golden color. Allow to cool.
- To make the icing, whisk together the powdered sugar and the milk until it's well blended and there are no lumps. Fork drizzle over the cooled danishes.
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