Iced Raspberry Pastry Braid

With layers of buttery flaky dough and raspberry filling, this raspberry pastry braid is undoubtedly irresistible. Though it seems intimidating, making breakfast pastries from scratch is completely doable for the home baker. Here we’re using a modified variation of classic Danish pastry dough. Follow these detailed instructions for success.

raspberry danish pastry braid with icing

I’m excited to show you how to make a variation of Danish pastry dough today. It’s a quicker method to real Danish pastry and an adaption of several trusted sources: Cooking IllustratedJoy of Cooking, and pastry master Beatrice Ojakangas. I combined all of the recipes I studied to produce a shortcut version of the famously flaky buttery dough.


This is a Shortcut Homemade Pastry Dough

This is not the traditional method of making real danish pastry. This dough is usually laminated several times between layers of butter, similar to how we prepare homemade croissants. Here we are working the butter directly into the dough using a food processor. We’re still rolling out and folding the dough, just as you do when you laminate dough with butter, but we’re not folding it up with a separate layer of butter.

I use the term “shortcut” loosely. This dough still takes at least 5-6 hours total with 2 rounds of refrigeration. Pastries made from this dough are just as buttery, tender, and flaky. I usually make individual breakfast pastries from this dough, but another option is a beautiful pastry braid like this blueberry cream cheese pastry braid or today’s raspberry version.

folded pastry dough

close-up photo of a pastry braid with raspberry filling

Follow the Pastry Dough Recipe Carefully

Before you begin to make this raspberry pastry braid, review my pastry dough recipe. The recipe takes some planning ahead. Certain ingredients must be at room temperature, certain ingredients must be warm, certain ingredients must be cold. Temperature is imperative to the success of your pastry dough. If you’re new to working with yeast, reference this Baking with Yeast Guide where I include practical answers to common yeast questions.


How to Make a Raspberry Pastry Braid

  1. Make the pastry dough. You can review it in detail in this pastry dough post.
  2. 1st refrigeration. Wrap the sticky dough up tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 48 hours. This dough is very sticky and should be sufficiently chilled whenever you are working with it.
  3. Shortcut lamination. Now let’s do a variation of laminating aka rolling and folding dough and butter together. Remember how we make croissants and laminate the dough with a sheet of butter? The butter is IN this homemade pastry dough. So, instead, we’re just rolling and folding the dough itself. Roll it out into a rectangle. Fold it in thirds like a letter, then turn it clockwise. Roll it out into a rectangle again. Repeat the folding. Turn it clockwise again. Repeat rolling and folding 1 more time for a total of 3 times. Have extra flour on hand for this step– I use plenty of it during this whole process!
  4. 2nd refrigeration. Wrap the laminated dough up tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
  5. Shape the pastry braid. This recipe yields 2 braids, so cut the dough in half. Refrigerate any dough you aren’t working with. Roll the half of dough into a 12×8 inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut off two corners of the dough (on one 8-inch side) and then two small triangles 3 inches apart from each other on the other end (the other 8-inch side). Spread 1/2 of the raspberry filling down the center of the strip. Using a sharp knife, pastry wheel, or pizza cutter, cut 10 slanting strips 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 2nd half of dough and remaining raspberry filling.
  6. Brush with egg wash. This is a combination of egg and milk and guarantees a shiny and crisp golden crust.
  7. Chill. To help guarantee the braids hold their shape, chill them in the refrigerator as the oven preheats and even up to 1 hour.
  8. Bake until golden brown.

Because of all the chilling, this pastry is a wonderful recipe to begin the night before and serve the next morning. Or even prep the dough a few days in advance so your work is cut down the day of serving. I include freezing and make-ahead instructions below.


Raspberry Filling

Though you could certainly use store-bought raspberry jam or preserves, I love making the raspberry filling at home. You need fresh or frozen raspberries, sugar, cornstarch, and water. That’s it! The filling must cool down before using, so feel free to get started ahead of time.

raspberry filling for pastry

raspberry danish pastry braid baking in oven

two images of raspberry pastry braid

Creating homemade pastries and danishes at home is totally doable. Take some time to read through the instructions before you begin. That will make the whole pastry-making-process much easier for you. You can do this!

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raspberry danish pastry braid with icing

Iced Raspberry 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 flaky, buttery raspberry Danish braids at home. You can be a master in the kitchen too, I promise!


Ingredients

Raspberry Filling

  • 2 and 1/2 cups raspberries, fresh (300g) or frozen (340g)
  • 3 Tablespoons (40g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) warm water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Dough

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) whole milk

Vanilla Icing

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

Instructions

  1. Make the raspberry filling: You can start the dough (next step) and prepare this filling during one of the refrigeration times. Whisk together the warm water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Stir and allow the raspberries to break down, about 4 minutes. Mix in the cornstarch/water. Gently simmer for 3 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Set aside and let it cool to room temperature before using. You can also make it 1-2 days ahead of time. Once cooled down, cover, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Make the pastry dough through step 11.
  3. Spread 1/2 of the raspberry filling down the length of the center of the strip, which should be about 3 inches wide. 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 filling, 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. 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 the dough.
  5. I strongly recommend refrigerating the shaped braids before baking for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour before baking. The braids tend to leak more butter and/or lose more shape if they haven’t chilled.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  7. Bake each braid for 18-22 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 braids from the oven and cool for at least 5 minutes before icing, cutting, and serving.
  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. Cover leftover iced or un-iced pastries and store at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw before serving. Before enjoying, feel free to reheat leftover iced or un-iced pastries in the microwave for a few seconds until warmed.

Notes

  1. Make-ahead and freezing instructions for the dough are included in the thorough pastry dough recipe.
  2. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: iced raspberry pastry braid, danish braid, pastry

82 Comments

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  1. OMG!! This was the best recipe in a long while. It was so easy to make and it tasted delicious. 
    While I was making the dough though, it was a little runny and very sticky but, I added some more flour until it got the right texture. 
    This I will for sure make again. Thank you  🙂

  2. I have made this dozens of times now. The first time I succeeded it was amazing, but what was more surprising was it seemed to get better and better the more I made it. I have to give it up to Sally. This is by far the best danish recipe I have found and I used more than a few.

  3. Hi Sally – I have to tell you the funny thing that happened to me when I made a braid and put the rest of the dough in the freezer. Where I forgot about it, so it was in the freezer way too long. I pulled it out and thawed it in the refrigerator but it was apparent the yeast wasn’t working. I didn’t want to waste it and all that butter, though, so I ended up using it for an apple pie crust – it worked great! I felt a lot better about forgetting about it since I found a good way to use it up anyway. 🙂 

    1. What a wonderful save!! So glad you could salvage it.

  4. Chantel Kindblade says:

    I made this at the beginning of the year and it was amazing!!! Great recipe! I’m making it again today. Makes for a great gift as well. 🙂 

  5. Madeline Augustine says:

    This is amazing! I used soy milk instead of dairy milk (cashew milk would’ve worked too), I used 3 T aquafaba in place of the egg and the butter from Maddiemayi.com

    It was perfect and beautiful. I wish I could post a picture.

  6. Have you tried to swirl this raspberry filling with the cream cheese filling from the blueberry recipe? Im trying to recreate a family recipe that has disappeared that had both berry and cream cheese filling. This seems like it might work but I’m worried the acid from the berries might cause separation or make it soggy. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Hannah! Since publishing both recipes some years ago, I’ve made this braid a few times and yes, that includes using this raspberry with the cream cheese filling. It’s great! I recommend trying it.

  7. Bethany Weaver says:

    Have you ever tried a savory version of this danish bread? Could I use the same dough recipe or should I cut down the sugar?

    1. Hi Bethany! I haven’t personally tried it, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. You can reduce the sugar in the pastry dough.

  8. This recipe was sooo good! Got really good reviews from my family members. I’ll have to try the Cheese filling next time.

    1. I’m so happy your family enjoyed this recipe, Juliana! 🙂

  9. This recipe is amazing! I’ve made this several times now and turned out perfectly each time.
    Ill be making many more times I. The future.

  10. My boyfriend asked for danishes and he devoured these! Another slam dunk recipe. Making these for Christmas morning.

    Question: can I freeze the extra filling with the extra dough? I feel like I’m wasting half the filling.

    1. Sure can! You can freeze for up to 3 months.

  11. Hi! I made the raspberry-danish braid (almost) following your directions (I did the butter/dough by hand), and it got rave reviews!! Thank you!! My second-ever baking project! I installed Instagram to share a photo, but I lack a touchscreen on my PC.

  12. I don’t leave many comments on pages but I just had to let you know how absolutely amazing this is!! I made a few mini ones from the leftover dough just now to make sure I did everything correctly. Oh my goodness!!! Great and easy recipe. Almost too good to be true . I made blueberry cream cheese and raspberry cream cheese. The ladies at work are going to loooove these. Thanks a lot!

  13. Would this work with King Arthur measure for measure gluten free flour?

    1. I haven’t tested it! Let me know if you do.

  14. I did try this last night and it tasted great!!! Only one refrigeration was necessary and the shaping is more difficult with the gluten free flour. I rolled out constantly having to flour my work surface etc, and I made mini bite sized ones using 1” x 2” shapes of flattened dough with triangles on each end and folded over instead of the whole braid because the dough was just easier to work with that way. It did not rise quite as much as a normal flour would but the King Arthur Flour was the closest in taste and best rise of any gluten free flours I’ve ever tried! I definitely recommend making this with King Arthur brand measure for measure flour. My whole family loved them!

  15. This was a fun recipe to make the past week! I’ve had my eye on it for years and finally wanted to tackle it. Very clear instructions were helpful for this beginner baker. My braids weren’t as pretty as yours, but I know it will take practice. The 2nd one was better looking! I will try the blueberry cream cheese one next. Thanks for sharing this sally.

  16. Love this recipe. Family always gets excited to see such a beautiful treat. I love making these danishes for holidays or when i have extra cream cheese filling or fruit to use up. Nothing is wasted in my kitchen :). Perfect recipe

  17. I just made this for Mother’s Day and it was absolutely delicious! Every recipe I’ve tried from your site has been a success. I accidentally mixed the dough with my hands the first time and I could tell I overworked it because it was double the size of my second batch when I checked on it 12 hours later. But overall, both came out great!

  18. I’ve made this a couple of times over the last couple of months and it is delicious! Just wondering if I can safely substitute strawberries in place of the raspberries? Thanks!

    1. Sure can!

  19. So we got a mill to ground our own flour and I tried using soft white wheat, and I had to add a lot more flour. Last time I used store bought all-purpose flour and it was way too dry. Any suggestions on what might have gone wrong either time? They both turned out fine, but the texture was weird.

    1. Hi Cara! I’m unsure of the variance, but it sounds like the soft wheat you’re using wasn’t absorbing as much moisture. Also, do you think the butter and flour were mixed enough? If the chunks of butter are too large, you’ll have a harder time in the rolling/folding and shaping steps. (You’ll need a lot of extra flour, too.) Thank you so much for trying this pastry braid. If it helps, I always use a lot of extra flour in the rolling/folding and shaping steps.

  20. This is really amazing and I’m making it this morning for the third time. One thing that I struggle with though: the temp seems high. With the egg wash making the crust so wonderfully brown, I am having a hard time ensuring that the entire Danish is baked through and not doughy inside. What am I doing wrong? I have an electric oven and the thermostat seems fine.

    1. Hi Pat! Are you using a convection oven by chance? No matter what type of oven you are using, though, lowering the oven temperature will help bake the braids a little more evenly. Try reducing down to 375°F (191°C) and baking for a few extra minutes. Tenting the braids with aluminum foil would help brown them a little more evenly as well.

  21. Reba Schaller says:

    Sally, I tried the raspberry danish for the first time yesterday. Your directions are spot on, I just needed to read the recipe several times so I got it right. My braid was sorry looking, strips came apart, but tasted gooood! Giving it another shot today; maybe try individual danish with different fillings. One concern. The bottom of the crust underneath the filling was kind of doughy. The bottom of the crust was VERY well done, not burnt. I baked for the the recommended time, turning 3 times, at 400 degrees. I live in. Colorado at about 6500 ft above sea level. Do I need to roll my dough thinner, bake longer or at a different temp? Thank you for making it so simple and do-able

    1. Hi Reba! Thank you so much for this feedback and I’m glad to help for next time. For more even baking, I strongly recommend lowering the oven temperature. (Use a light colored baking pan as well.) Baking the pastry at 375°F (191°C) or even 350°F (177°C) will help. Add a few minutes to the bake time since the oven temperature will be lower.

  22. Would you be able to do cream cheese and raspberry filling like the blueberry and cream cheese one?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Yes, absolutely!

  23. Absolutely delicious!

  24. This beautiful braid is next on my baking wishlist, it looks soooo delicious! But I had a quick question: how would I go about it making it with a apple or peach filling? (Since I have those fruits readily available right now … just made your apple slab pie which disappeared super fast too so I’m sure a braid like this with apple filling will too)

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Gerline, You can definitely make this with any other fruit fillings you wish! You can replace the raspberries with peach or make an apple filling like the apple pie. For more filling ideas you can see the list in the post for Breakfast Pastries – they will all work here!

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