Iced Raspberry Danish Braid

Follow these easy instructions and create flaky, buttery raspberry Danish braids at home. You can be a master in the kitchen too, I promise!

Homemade Raspberry Danish Tutorial and Recipe-- I love this flaky, buttery, fruity pastry recipe!

I’ve spent the past four days trying to master light-as-air Danish pastry. Danish pastry has been on my baking bucket list for quite some time. I have always loved those fruity danishes at bakeries, catered breakfasts, office meetings, and hotel breakfasts. I mean, look at that puffy dough! Danish pastries are so hard to resist. It was only a matter of time that I put on my big girl pants and attempted my beloved pastry at home.

I’ve studied, tested, and retested dough this past week. I’ve taken 1,000 pictures and have gone through a few pounds of butter. (Thank goodness for the butter sale I caught at my grocery store.) My resulting dough is a quick-method to Danish pastry. It’s an adaption of several trusted sources: Cooking IllustratedJoy of Cooking, and pastry master Beatrice Ojakangas. I sort of mish-mashed all of the recipes I studied and made my own version of this flaky, buttery dough. Then I turned it into a beautiful braided pastry. By my 3rd try, I was incredibly pleased with my braiding skills. Practice makes perfect.

In an effort to keep this post from being way too long, I’ve created a separate post for my danish pastry dough. Filled with in-process photos and tips so you can have a visual of what you’re supposed to be doing. You’ll find the Iced Raspberry Danish Braid recipe below, but there will be a link to how to make the dough itself.

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.

How to make a Danish Pastry Braid

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.

Homemade Raspberry Danish Tutorial and Recipe-- I love this flaky, buttery, fruity pastry recipe!

Before you begin to make your Danish braid, I suggest reading through my entire 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 very imperative to the success of your Danish pastry dough! So be sure to be prepared by reading my instructions first. 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. Or if you’re super organized (I’m jealous), make the dough 1 month ahead of time. I detail make-ahead instructions in the pastry dough recipe.

It’s important to know that the dough 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.

I chose an easy raspberry filling for my Danish pastry. Raspberry danishes are my pick of the litter, though cream cheese danishes steal my heart too.

(Updated: here’s my cream cheese version!)

How to make a Danish pastry braid with raspberry filling

The raspberry filling is made from scratch on the stove. You’ll need fresh or frozen raspberries, sugar, cornstarch and water. That’s it! You could certainly use store-bought raspberry jam instead (1 cup per braid). But homemade is always better, right?

The raspberry juices will lightly spill out of the sides as it bakes.

Iced Raspberry Danish Braid - with homemade pastry using the quick method | sallysbakingaddiction.com

The homemade raspberry filling isn’t overly sweet. With my first braid, I found that a lot of the pure raspberry flavor was lost with too much sugar. Easy fix. I just reduced the amount of sugar in the homemade filling with my second try. (The recipe below reflects that.)

You don’t want a too-sweet filling because you’ll be covering the danish with vanilla icing.

Homemade Raspberry Danish Tutorial and Recipe-- I love this flaky, buttery, fruity pastry recipe!

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!

Print

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 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream or milk

Instructions

  1. Make the raspberry filling: You can start the dough (next step) and prepare this filling during one of the chill 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 to come to room temperature before using. You can also keep it chilled in the refrigerator.
  2. Make the Danish pastry dough through step 11.
  3. Spread 1/2 of the 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 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. 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. 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: iced raspberry danish braid, danish braid

69 Comments

  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. 🙂 

  4. 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. 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?

  7. 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?

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

  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.

  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. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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!

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