Easy Cheese Danish

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There is something simply sublime about a cheese Danish, a cup of coffee, and a newspaper (or in my case a book) on a lazy weekend morning. Like most of Ina Garten’s recipes, this one is delicious and easy to make. It only takes about 10 minutes to make and 20 minutes in the oven with some resting time in the fridge in between. Puff pastry is easy to work with, and once baked it turns into a buttery, golden, flaky dream. It is filled with sweet and creamy cheese with a hint of lemon. After tasting the first bite, the only thing eventually left on your plate will be a fork and a stray, flaky crumb.

from: Barefoot Contessa At Home
makes: 8 Danish

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar

2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a handheld electric mixer) cream the cream cheese and sugar together on low speed until smooth. Add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix on low until just combined. Don’t whip!


Unfold one sheet of puff pastry and place on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10×10 inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters with a knife or pizza cutter. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold two opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.

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Bake the pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve warm.

*They are best served fresh from the oven, but you can keep them in an air-tight container and then reheat them on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 350 for 5 minutes or so. You can also assemble these the night before and bake them before breakfast.

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