Blueberries ‘n Cream Danish Braid

Follow these easy 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.

While snowed in this past week, I made the Danish pastry again – cream cheese filling this time. I also tried to cut the pastry into cute little shapes. Squares, rectangles, circles, twists. What a disaster! They puffed up, but looked incredibly awkward and lopsided.

I’ll spare you the photos.

I’m better at pastry braids. It seems like braiding the dough would be harder than cutting into shapes, but trust me – it isn’t! Just follow my instructions and visuals and you’ll be a Danish pastry master in no time. Promise.

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

My homemade pastry is nothing like those mass-produced, overly sweet danishes you’re used to finding at the store. My mom put it perfectly “store bought danishes taste so old.” Yes, they do! And they’re filled with a bunch of gunk I can’t even pronounce.

It’s simple to create a tender, flaky pastry dough at home. I know it seems scary, but take some time to read through the easy instructions before you begin. 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!

Enjoy starting your day with blueberries? You’ll LOVE these berry-filled recipes:

Print

Blueberries ‘n Cream Danish Braid

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours
  • Yield: 2 braids; 4-6 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 Glaze

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

Instructions

  1. Make the pastry dough through step 7.
  2. Make the filling: 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. Continue with steps 8-10, including preheating the oven to 400°F (204°C), in the pastry dough recipe for how to assemble. *Don’t forget to add the blueberries on top of the filling (as pictured above) and sprinkle the uncooked braids with the sliced almonds before baking.
  3. As the braids are baking, prepare the vanilla glaze by whisking all of the ingredients together. After 10 minutes of cooling, drizzle the braids lightly with glaze and serve immediately.
  4. Braids taste best served on the same day. Dough may be prepared in advance. See “make ahead” instructions in the pastry dough recipe.

Notes

  1. Dough recipe adapted from Cooking IllustratedJoy of Cooking, and Beatrice Ojakangas.
  2. 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!

142 Comments

  1. This is beyond gorgeous. I’ve always been so intimidated to try this, but after reading your post I think I’ll give it a go. I am sure we have another snow day coming up in our near future and this Danish Bread would definitely keep me busy and happy :). You are so talented, Sally. Can’t stop looking at these beautiful images!

    1. Thank you Kathi, you are so kind. You have to give danish pastry a try. I know it looks challenging, but just read through the recipe first. You can absolutely handle it!

  2. Another beautiful danish. Great job Sally. This is definitely making we want to (finally) attempt to make a danish.

  3. I just made this today and it was so easy to make and so delicious. I’m making half of the recipe tomorrow. Sally I do have a question regarding the dough. So even though I rotate the pan every five minutes, and left it in the oven for a couple more minutes the dough was still a bit underdone. What do you suggest I should do to have a perfect cooked dough? Or is it supposed to be this way?

    1. Hi Ela! So happy you tried it. I suggest leaving in the oven a little longer then. Remember, you’ll want to bake it until golden brown. Almost 20 minutes at 400F for the braids is a lot! But if that’s what your ovens needs, then it’s just fine.

  4. I can’t believe I’ve never made a danish braid! You always make them look so good! That raspberry one is still on my list to try. Yum!!

  5. I read this over three times and I cannot find oven temperature or baking time…did I miss it? Can you repeat it here? (I actually plan to make this, and those things are kind important…)

      1. ok…so it is not on this page and I didn’t miss it…

        Cream cheese has a different texture and density from jam…does it bake the same 15 minutes as the raspberry pastry or different?

      2. Hi again Dawn. The baking temperature is on this page as well. You will need to use the Danish pastry recipe page, where I’ve took some time to detail a lot about the pastry itself as well as step-by-step photos, to make the recipe. The cream cheese filling is cooked in 15-16 minutes, as I explain.

  6. Sally, these just look soo good! I could gobble this up in a moment! I really think the blueberries and almonds sell it for me 🙂

  7. This pastry looks amazing! Blueberries are my favorite ever, and I can’t really imagine how heavenly this thing must taste.
    Pinning!

  8. I’m so glad you put on your big girl pants! heehee cuz now I get to see the fruits of your labor and this danish bread is FANTASTIC! I just put on my big girl pants and made buttermilk biscuits. I’ll have to add danish to my list now for sure!

  9. I made a danish braid to go with our coffee on V-day and it was LOOOOOVE. Must try this lovely blueberry version asap! It’s so pretty, Sally 🙂

  10. This looks incredibly, beautifully, delicious! I love how you can make it decorative with the bread yet have such a flavorful dish!

  11. I made these a few days ago and they were absolutely fantastic! Even me- the pie hater/pastry decliner- enjoyed a warm slice of this decadent treat straight out of the oven, and the hubby and son raved endlessly about it. I posted it on my blog and linked back to you, of course! Thanks so much for a superb recipe!

  12. Oh my. I’m so jealous right now of your Danish making skills. I’ve tried once before and it did NOT look like that. I’ll have to try this recipe! It looks amazing and I love that you used a homemade pastry dough recipe and not prepacked stuff. Thank you for that! 🙂

  13. Sally, this looks heavenly! Pinned it! And including it in our brunch ideas for Feature Friday today! http://returntothetable.net/recipes/15-easter-morning-brunch-ideas/

  14. 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.

  15. 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!!!

  16. 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!

  17. 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! 😀

  18. 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.

  19. I studied this one for months before finally attempting this weekend. The dough was so, so sticky. I rolled it out on parchment and cut the strips, but couldn’t peel the strips off the parchment without tearing. I ended up kind of wrapping the parchment up around it and kind of…I don’t know…smooshing it together that way??? So, it looked like a giant mess, but the dough was soooo light and flaky! We devoured it! I’m hoping maybe I just need to incorporate more flour in the rolling and folding process and it will go better next time. Any other troubleshooting suggestions for me? Thanks for the delicious recipe!

    1. Hey Nicki! Let’s think. Did you measure your flour correctly? Was your butter extremely cold? Try freezing your butter next time then cutting it in. I find this is very helpful if I make the dough on a humid day (when lots of hot moisture is in the air). And a little bit more flour helps, too!

  20. Hi Sally! These Danishes look amazing! I was wondering, your pastry dough recipe makes enough for two braids, so if I wanted to make one raspberry and the other one your blueberry cream cheese filling would
    I cut the filling recipes in half so as to only make enough for one? Thank you sorry for the dumb question!

  21. 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.

  22. These look great! I am wondering if you can prep the braids completely, then instead of baking you’d freeze them immediately. Then on the day you’d eat them thaw them on a baking sheet until doubled in size then bake. Like the butter braids you buy at school fundraisers. If anyone has tried this or knows if this will work let me know!

  23. 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! 🙂

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