Skip to content

This freshly baked cheese danish is easily made with puff pastry and blends simplicity with elegance, delivering a bakery-quality brunch or breakfast pastry with minimal effort.

Cheese danish recipe on a plate.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read disclosure policy.

Puff Pastry Cheese Danish

Whether you’re recreating the beloved Starbucks cheese danish or adding your own twist with unique fillings, this recipe is bound to become a staple breakfast recipe.

For even more easy breakfast recipes, try my homemade pancake recipe, scones, or crepes.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Simplicity at its best: Using frozen puff pastry dough means you get that perfect flaky texture every time, without the need for mixing, kneading, or rolling dough from scratch.
  • Customizable: The basic cream cheese filling is delicious on its own, but the recipe easily adapts to include your favorite jams, fresh fruits, or even chocolate chips.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make puff pastry cheese danish:

Cheese danish ingredients on the counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Frozen puff pastry, thawed: The base of your Danish, offering a buttery and flaky texture.
  • Cream cheese, softened: I use the brick style for the best results.
  • Filling: Sugar, egg yolk, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla – adds sweetness and flavor to the filling.
  • Egg wash: 1 large egg with 2 teaspoons water – gives the Danish a beautiful golden sheen.
  • Optional glaze: A simple mix of powdered sugar, heavy cream (or milk), vanilla, and a pinch of salt for drizzling.

Substitutions and Variations

Make a couple of small tweaks to customize this recipe to your own taste preferences!

  • Filling options: Beyond cream cheese, consider adding a spoonful of cherry pie filling, a dollop of jam, fresh berries, or a sprinkling of chocolate chips before baking for a burst of flavor.
  • Flavor enhancers: Instead of vanilla, try using almond.
  • Glaze alternatives: Skip the glaze, opt for a dusting of powdered sugar or try a cream cheese glaze or orange glaze!

How to Make Cheese Danish

These four easy steps are all that stand between you and these irresistibly flaky and creamy pastries!

Showing how to make a cheese danish in a 4 step collage.
  • Filling: Mix the cream cheese filling ingredients until smooth, ensuring a rich and creamy texture.
  • Assembly: Cut and shape the thawed puff pastry, add the filling, and prepare for baking with an egg wash and a sprinkle of sugar. Place the danish on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Baking: Put the baking sheet in the oven and watch as the danishes transform, puffing up and turning golden brown.
  • Finishing Touches: Allow the danishes to cool slightly before drizzling with the optional powdered sugar glaze for that final sweet flourish.

Expert Tips

  • Ensure cream cheese is softened: For a smooth and creamy filling, make sure to use softened cream cheese before mixing. 
  • Keep the puff pastry cold: Puff pastry works best when it’s cold but pliable. If it gets too warm, the butter starts to melt, which can affect the pastry’s ability to rise and flake. If the pastry is too warm, place in the fridge for a few minutes.
  • Don’t skip the egg wash: The egg wash not only gives your danishes a beautiful golden sheen but also helps seal the edges and adds color. For an extra glossy finish, you can lightly brush the danishes with the egg wash a second time right before baking.
  • Cool before glazing: Applying the glaze to hot pastries can cause it to melt and run off. A slightly warm or room-temperature danish will ensure the glaze sets nicely on top.
Cherry cheese danish on a plate.

Recipe FAQs

What type of puff pastry should I use?

Opt for a high-quality, all-butter puff pastry for the best flavor and texture. Ensure it’s thoroughly thawed before use to make handling and shaping easier.

What’s the best way to thaw frozen puff pastry?

The best way to thaw frozen puff pastry is in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re short on time, you can also leave it out at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes until it’s pliable but still cold. Avoid using a microwave as it can cause the pastry to become too soft or partially cooked.

How do I prevent the filling from leaking out during baking?

To minimize leaking, ensure the center of each pastry square is well-indented to create a “nest” for the filling. Also, avoid overfilling; a medium cookie scoop or about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling is sufficient. Making sure the edges are pressed together firmly can also help contain the filling.

What’s the best way to store cheese danish?

These cheese danishes keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, making them a fantastic make-ahead option for busy mornings.

Can I freeze cream cheese danish?

For longer storage, freeze them for up to 2 months, and reheat them gently in a 350°F oven for a just-baked taste.

Cheese danishes on a plate.

More sweet pastry recipes for breakfast include croissant breakfast casserole and overnight cinnamon rolls.

More Breakfast Recipes to Try

HUNGRY FOR MORE? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all the newest recipes!

Cheese danish recipe on a plate.

Cheese Danish Recipe

5 from 6 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
This freshly baked cheese danish is easily made with puff pastry and blends simplicity with elegance, delivering a bakery-quality brunch or breakfast pastry with minimal effort.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8



  • 1 pound box frozen puff pastry , 2 sheets thawed
  • 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 3-4 Tablespoons sugar , plus more for dusting
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon juice and zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons water

Glaze (optional)

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Optional fillings: Cherry pie filling


    • Preheat: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    • Make filling: Combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, lemon juice, zest and vanilla in a bowl. Mix with a hand mixer until smooth.
    • Cut: Unroll the thawed pastry sheet and press seams together if needed. Cut into 4 squares. Press each corner in about an inch to form an octagon. Place on baking sheet.
    • Fill: Use a medium cookie scoop (or about 1 1/2 Tablespoons) to scoop and add filling into the center of the dough. Press fillings into cream if desired.
    • Egg wash: Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl. Brush on the tops of the dough. Then dust with a sprinkle of sugar.
    • Bake: Bake cheese danishes in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Let cool on a cooling rack.
    • Glaze: Whisk powdered sugar, cream and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle on top of cooled danishes.


    Storage: Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 2 months. 
    Variation: Add a spoonful of jam or fresh berries to the center for a different flavor variation. 


    Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 239mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 444IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

    Let’s connect

    Join our community of over 5 million!

    Featured on

    • Taste of Home
    • Martha Stewart
    • Country Living
    • BuzzFeed
    • Yahoo
    • Food Network
    • Today