Blueberries ‘n Cream Danish Braid

Follow these detailed instructions and create a flaky, buttery cream cheese danish at home!

Homemade Blueberries 'n Cream Danish Braid

One of the kitchen challenges I gave myself last year was to make homemade Danish pastry. You know those buttery, flaky, fruit/cream cheese filled pastries at catered breakfasts and meetings? They’re totally irresistible, I know.

Making Danish pastry at home was extremely intimidating, but I put on my big girl pants last October and spent days in my kitchen trying my hand at it. Call me determined, call me pastry crazy, call me whatever but I finally got it! Lucky for us, the recipe I use to make our beloved pastries at home is a quick-method.

If you haven’t tried it yet, now is the time. Don’t be scared; you can do this too!

Homemade Blueberries 'n Cream Danish Braid

My Danish pastry dough and method is an adaption of several trusted sources: Cooking IllustratedJoy of Cooking, and pastry master Beatrice Ojakangas. I studied the three methods and sort of mish-mashed them all together. Using what I learned, I made a beautiful Iced Raspberry Danish Braid and brought it to Kevin’s parents’. If heaven had a taste, it would be my raspberry danish braid.

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

Homemade Blueberries 'n Cream Danish Braid

In case you missed it a few months ago, let me explain what Danish pastry is.

What is Danish Pastry?

Danish pastry is made from flour, yeast, milk, eggs, and copious amounts of butter. The texture is similar to croissant dough, but tastes sweeter (and has the addition of egg in the dough). Like croissants, typical Danish pastry dough is rolled out thinly, then folded into numerous layers with a butter square. Flaky, buttery layers. That’s what makes it so good!

My Shortcut to Danish Pastry

Rather than laminating the dough with a butter square like Danish and croissant dough typically requires, I cut the cold butter into the dough. Which is a method I use for making my favorite pie crust. You’ll still get the flaky, buttery layers you love about Danish pastries, but you’ll cut a lot of work from the process.

I have a separate page for you dedicated to preparing and shaping this Danish braid. Before you begin, I suggest reading through the entire dough recipe. It takes some planning ahead. Certain ingredients must be at room temperature, certain ingredients must be warm, while others must be cold. Temperature is very imperative to the success of your Danish pastry dough! So be sure to be prepared by reading my instructions first.

How to Make Blueberries & Cream Danish Pastry Braid

The dough must be sufficiently chilled whenever you are working with it.

There are two stages of chilling:

  1. Chill the dough right after you prepare it. Chill it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours. (And up to 3 whole days.)
  2. Chill the dough after the “roll and fold” process (of which I detail in the pastry dough recipe) and before you braid it. Chill for at least 30 minutes. During this second chilling time, you could actually keep the dough frozen for up to 1 month. Then thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Because of all the chilling, this pastry is a wonderful recipe to begin the night before and serve as brunch the next morning. Or even prep the dough a few days in advance so your work can be cut down. I detail make-ahead instructions in the pastry dough recipe.

It’s important to know that this recipe makes 2 lbs of dough, which equals 2 braids. The filling and glaze recipes below are enough for 2 braids. 1 braid should serve 4-6 people. Make 2 braids for company. If you don’t need that many tempting danishes around, freeze the second half of the dough for a later time. That’s what we do!

The filling I used is a simple cream cheese mixture. Lightly sweetened and the perfect creamy center for the flaky dough. It sort of tastes like cheesecake. Cheesecake tucked inside buttery pastry. Oh yes. I dotted the cream cheese filling with blueberries and topped the braid with a few sliced almonds before baking. (Also a simple egg wash to leave a shiny finish.)

Once the braid is finished, you’ll drizzle it immediately with a simple glaze. Try to go very light on the glaze because you’ll want the cream cheese filling to stand out. Toasted almonds, cheesecake filling, juicy blueberries, flaky pastry, vanilla glaze. What a combination of flavors this braid has!

Homemade Blueberries 'n Cream Danish Braid

Creating homemade danishes at home is totally doable. Just take some time to read through the easy instructions before you begin and plan ahead. That will make the whole pastry-making-process much easier for you! It’s not rocket science, it’s fruity pastry. Don’t be overwhelmed by my wordy instructions. The more thorough I am, the more help you have to make a successful braided pastry.

You can do this!

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Blueberries ‘n Cream Danish Braid

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 6 hours (includes chilling)
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours, 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 braids, 6 servings each
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Danish

Description

Follow these easy instructions and create a flaky, buttery cream cheese danish at home!


Ingredients

Dough

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8oz (224g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
  • optional: 1/3 cup sliced almonds

Vanilla Icing

  • 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) heavy cream or milk

Instructions

  1. Make the cheese filling: You can start the dough (next step) and prepare this filling during one of the chill times. In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and egg yolk together on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Make the Danish pastry dough through step 11.
  3. Spread 1/2 of the cheese filling down the length of the center of the strip, which should be about 3 inches wide. Dot with 1/2 of the blueberries. Using a sharp knife, pastry wheel, or pizza cutter, cut 10 slanting strips (3/4 – 1 inch wide each) along both sides. Fold strips over dough, alternating each side to resemble a twist or a braid. Fold the bottom end up to seal the filling inside. Repeat with the second half of the dough and the rest of the filling and blueberries. The braids may seem very narrow, but they puff up and out as they bake.
  4. Egg Wash: Whisk the egg wash ingredients together. Brush all over dough. Sprinkle each braid with almonds, if using.
  5. If you have room in your refrigerator, refrigerate both pastry braids as the oven preheats. If not, set aside at room temperature, lightly covered, as the oven preheats.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  7. Bake each braid for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown. Some butter may leak from the dough, that’s completely normal and expected. Feel free to remove the baking sheets from the oven halfway through baking and brush the dough with any of the leaking butter, then place back in the oven to finish baking. (That’s what I do!)
  8. Remove baked danish braids from the oven and cool for at least 5 minutes before icing/glazing.
  9. Vanilla Icing: Whisk the icing ingredients together. If you want a thicker icing, whisk in more confectioners’ sugar. If you want a thinner icing, whisk in more milk or cream. Drizzle over warm pastries and serve.
  10. Braids taste best served on the same day. Dough may be prepared in advance. See make ahead & freezing instructions in the pastry dough recipe.

Notes

  1. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: blueberries n cream danish braid, blueberry danish braid

Click through to learn how to make unbelievable cream cheese danish at home!

29 Comments

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  1. I made this tonight, intended for Easter breakfast tomorrow, and my daughters already ate half of one. I wish I had added the almonds for a bit of bite in the texture, but one of my daughters dislikes them. It was still amazingly delicious (and warm) and I have to hold them all back from eating the other 1 1/2 (still warm). I’m eager to have some with coffee.

    Thank you for this. My eldest says it tastes like pancakes with a hug.

  2. Sally. Oh. Sally. I made this last night, for Easter breakfast. I subbed cherry pie filling and cream cheese for the filling. It’s the best danish recipe EVER!!!! It’s so easy, and soooooo yummy!!! It’s our new favorite! Thank you so much!!!! Happy Easter!!!

  3. These look amazing! I’ll be trying them tonight to be served for breakfast tomorrow. Been studying the dough recipe for days! Quite nervous since it’s my first attempt. Wish me luck! 🙂

    1. Good luck! Take your time with it – glad you read through the recipe a few times before beginning. That, right there, spells success. Enjoy!

  4. Sally I just made this to take on a picnic tomorrow with my Hungry Hubby – we’ve only been married 4 years but we’ve been together for 14 on Monday se we’ve taken a long weekend off to celebrate. The pastry is amazing! The lamination is wonderful and it tastes sublime. I love the blueberry cheesecake vibe to it too. Thank you for sharing a wonderful recipe I can’t wait to make again! 😀

    1. So so glad you made and are loving this Jo! Thanks for reporting back. Have an amazing anniversary weekend!

  5. Haha whenever I’m browsing Pinterest for dessert ideas I always find myself back at your site Sally! It’s so awesome and everything looks so delicious! Especially this Danish.

  6. Absolutely love your danish recipe and so does my family… I actually made the cream cheese version and added your raspberry filling on top of the cream cheese filling instead of blueberries and skipped the glaze… was a total hit. Another time I made your raspberry filing using mixed berries, really yummy too. I have been making this recipe with varied fillings (apple, poppy, mixed berries) quiet frequently, next I want to try it with a nut filling (should be similar to a “bear claw”). Thank you so much for posting this recipe, like you stated I will never buy danishes again.

  7. Oh my goodness! This is, by far, the most delicious thing that I have ever made. Thank you so much for making this seem approachable. I never would have thought that I could have made something like this but your step-by-step instructions (and beautiful pictures) really made it easy. I feel like I can do anything in the kitchen now. Wonderful recipe! I sincerely appreciate it! 🙂

  8. Fantastic, easy recipe. I’ve made this at least 5 times now with great results every time. The cream cheese filling is amazing and has gone well with a variety of fillings: fresh blueberries, apple cinnamon, and pumpkin. I get rave, and I mean RAVE, reviews from everyone who gets to sample these things. Thanks so much for taking the time to post such detailed instructions. Your recipes seriously make me look like a star baker!

  9. Sally, I made this and added cherry pie filling to the cream cheese filling for Easter brunch. It’s a delicious recipe, everyone loved it, and it will part of our holiday traditions in the future. It wasn’t too bad given your instruction. No more butter braids for us – we will be eating this!

  10. Wonderful! Your pictures and the detailed steps made this so doable. Made it for Easter and they couldn’t stop talking about it!

  11. Thanks for the great recipe! I made this with puff pastry dough that I had in the freezer and needed to use up and it turned out fabulously! In lieu of the glaze, I went for cinnamon sugar and it tastes wonderful!

  12. Yay yay yay! Thank you for the extremely detailed instructions and step-by-step photos (on the other page); they helped me successfully make a cheese danish!! I can’t believe how easy it was to make the puff pastry — something I previously thought only pro bakers did o_o!!! Thank you for giving a newbie baker like me some confidence, Sally! ^_^ 
    I will say, though, in case anyone else likes to cut sugar when they can… I made the dough with only 3 Tbsp of sugar, and cut the sugar in the cream cheese filling to 3 T as well, and to my tastebuds it was still very sweet! For my second danish braid I’m only going to use 2 T of sugar in the filling, and I think that will be just right for my not-so-sweet sweet-tooth. ^_^

  13. This is one of my favorite go-to recipes! I seem to have “just enough” for us to have this with breakfast, but then I find we are always wanting more so making the dough ahead and freezing a batch or two it is the best option. Thank You Sally!!

  14. Sally, this is our go-to holiday breakfast recipe. I’m wondering: can you make and freeze the whole braid? If you do so, should you defrost before baking? Maybe overnight in the fridge?

  15. Most delicious thing I’ve ever made! Everybody was dying over it! Thank you so much! Just a tip for anybody, I used a cheese grater to grate the butter before adding it to the flour and it worked really good! Thank you so much!!

  16. Thank you for posting this!  The directions were easy to follow and ever so much easier than croissants!  These were delicious! A hit with the family!  They asked me to make them again today!  My daughter, who is 25, exclaimed,  “where have these been all my life?!”

  17. Could I sub cherries for blueberries? My mom wants a dessert with cherries and cheesecake and loves danish.

  18. If I prep it to the point where it’s all put together, do you think I can leave it in the fridge overnight so I can just put it in the oven to bake quickly in the morning? I want to bring it to a work event and have to leave early, but if it’s best eaten day-of, I don’t want to bake it the night before.

    1. Hi Kate! Yes, you can prep and shape the braid the night before then bake in the morning. It definitely tastes the best when it’s fresh-baked that morning.

  19. This recipe is AMAZING. I made this for Father’s Day because my dad loves blueberries and had just picked fresh ones. I doubled it-and I’m so glad I did -my dad ended up eating an entire danish himself over a few days!

    Do you think lemon curd would work in the recipe?

    Thanks!

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