Hosting a brunch party soon? Make sure a batch (or two) of these cream cheese strawberry danish pastries is on the menu! With puff pastry, vanilla, and lemony glaze, they’re flaky, jammy, and beyond delicious. Serve them with a hot cup of coffee and find brunch bliss.

Rows of cream cheese strawberry danish pastries and strawberries on a tan counter.

My fantasy of late is that it’s peak summertime and I’m picking juicy strawberry after juicy strawberry from my garden to turn into a stunning brown butter strawberry crumble pie, a strawberry crunch cheesecake, or perhaps a flaky pastry. Of course, this dream will completely depend on whether or not I actually get it together for a garden this year. Only time will tell.

But for the time being, I’m perfectly content using some store-bought strawbs to make what is perhaps my favorite pastry of all time. The humble cheese danish.

If you’re not familiar with danishes, we need to chat for a minute. These Scandinavian pastries (a.k.a. wienerbrød) are made with laminated yeast dough and a variety of fillings from cheeses to fruit. The edges of the dough rise up, leaving us with a jammy, creamy center and flaky, golden edges. A total dream.

Why you’ll love these pastries

When I was in pastry school, we made dozens upon dozens of batches of puff pastry. So many batches, in fact, that I came to the conclusion that I never wanted to make it ever again. I will leave that task to my favorite bakery down the street thank you very much. But, the beauty with this particular recipe is that we’re using a little shortcut with store-bought, frozen pastry. No lamination needed. We love to see it.

  • These pastries are beyond easy to make from scratch with just a handful of ingredients.
  • With lemon, vanilla, & strawberries, these pastries are bright, creamy, & jammy.
  • Serve these pastries with coffee or tea. They’re lovely for snacking or brunching!
  • Make these danishes for brunch parties, holidays, bridal showers, & more.

The ingredient list

White and brown bowls of cream cheese, vanilla, powdered sugar, strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice on a white counter next to an egg, puff pastry, and a jar of apricot jam.
  • Cream cheese – for this recipe, you will need full fat cream cheese. The fat adds richness and makes the texture nice and creamy. Low fat cream cheese cracks when it’s baked.
  • Sugar – just a bit of regular granulated sugar will add sweetness to the cream cheese filling.
  • Eggs – you will need to separate one egg for this recipe. The egg yolk will be added to the filling which binds everything together and helps the filling set. The egg white is used for egg wash to make the pastry shiny and golden-brown.
  • Lemon – the lemon zest will add a pop of citrus to the cream cheese which is so lovely with the strawberries. And, the juice will add a bit of tartness to the filling and glaze.
  • Vanilla – I love vanilla bean paste because it adds a big pop of vanilla bean flavor. But you can also use regular vanilla extract too!
  • Puff pastry – as a shortcut, we’ll use store-bought, frozen puff pastry. It’s still nice and flaky without spending hours making homemade pastry.
  • Strawberries – fresh strawberries are a must in this recipe! Frozen strawberries have too much liquid and will make the pastries soggy.
  • Apricot preserves – this is optional, but a bit of apricot preserves makes the berries look gorgeous and shiny. You can also use strawberry preserves.
  • Powdered sugar – regular powdered sugar makes up the base of the simple two-ingredient glaze.

Ingredient variations

  • Citrus – feel free to use orange zest, grapefruit zest, or lime zest instead.
  • Berries – you can also use blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries.
  • Sugared edges – if you don’t want to use glaze, try sprinkling the edges of the pastry with raw sugar instead.

How to make this recipe

Three steps to prepping puff pastry. In photo 1, puff pastry is rolled on a wood counter. In photo 2, a pizza roller cuts the pastry into rectangles. In photo 3, a knife scores the puff pastry on the edges.

Cut the puff pastry

  1. First, roll the puff pastry on a floured surface, just to seal the seams.
  2. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, slice the pastry into 6 equally-sized rectangles.
  3. Then, use a paring knife to score a 1/4-inch border around the rectangles. Don’t cut all the way through! Place the puff pastry rectangles in the refrigerator.

Pro tip

Always keep the puff pastry as cold as possible! In pastry school, they taught us that cold fat is essential for those flaky layers. If the pastry starts to warm up too much or sticks to the surface of the cutting board, pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, until cold and firm.

Two steps to making cheese filling. In photo 1, a block of cream cheese is in a white bowl with sugar, lemon zest, an egg yolk, and vanilla. In photo 2, the cheese filling is mixed together.

Mix the cream cheese filling

  1. Add the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla bean paste to a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Using a rubber spatula (or hand mixer), combine the cream cheese filling until it’s very smooth. There should be no big lumps of cream cheese.
Two steps to prepping cheese pastries. In photo 1, a pastry brush brushes puff pastry with egg wash. In photo 2, the pastry is topped with cheese filling.

Assemble the danishes

  1. Whisk the egg white with 1/2 Tablespoon of water, until smooth.
  2. Then, use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash on the edges of the puff pastry rectangles.
  3. Add about 1 Tablespoon of the cheese filling to the center of each pastry rectangle. Spread it out, leaving a 1/4-inch border.

Quick tip

Don’t over-fill the pastries or the filling with overflow in the oven. You want to leave about 1/4-1/2 inch of space between the filling and the edges of the pastry.

Two steps to making cream cheese strawberry danishes. In photo 1, puff pastry is topped with cream cheese and strawberries on parchment paper. In photo 2, a hand uses a pastry brush to brush the baked pastries with apricot jam.
  1. Divide the strawberries between the pastry rectangles, leaving some of the cream cheese filling peeking through.
  2. Bake the pastries until the cream cheese is set and the pastry is deep golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, microwave the apricot preserves until it’s runny. Right when the pastries come out of the oven, brush the berries with the melted apricot preserves.
  4. Transfer the danishes to a wire rack and let them cool until they’re warm.

Pro tip

Avoid over-baking the pastries or the cream cheese filling will crack and become dense. The pastries are done when the filling is set (not liquid-y), the berries are soft, and the pastry is golden-brown.

Three steps to glazing strawberry danishes. In photo 1, a white bowl is filled with powdered sugar and lemon juice. In photo 2, the glaze is mixed together. In photo 3, rows of baked danishes are drizzled with glaze.

Add lemon glaze

  1. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice.
  2. Then, use a spoon to stir it together until the glaze is the consistency of glue.
  3. Lastly, drizzle the cooled danishes with the glaze. Let the glaze set and enjoy!

Serving ideas

The beauty of danishes is that you can enjoy them for breakfast, brunch, or just as a sweet treat. They’re lovely with a cup of coffee or earl grey tea.

Helpful tools

Pro tip!

To make sure the recipe comes out amazing every time, I always recommend using a scale to weigh the ingredients instead of measuring cups. A kitchen scale is the best way to accurately measure the ingredients!

Rows of strawberry danish pastries with cream cheese next to a cup of coffee on a tan counter.

Storing, freezing, & reheating

To store the leftover pastries, place them in a single layer in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.

To freeze the baked danishes, place them in a single layer on a sheet pan and freeze until solid, about 1-2 hours. Then, stack the frozen danishes in an airtight container or freezer bag, adding a sheet of parchment paper in-between each layer so they don’t freeze together. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost the danishes at room temperature for 1 hour or so before reheating.

The danishes may get a bit soft in the fridge, so I recommend reheating the leftovers to crisp them back up! To reheat the danishes, place them on an ungreased sheet pan. Then, bake the pastries at 300°F (150°F) in the lower 1/3 of the oven for 8-10 minutes, until the pastry is crisp on the bottom.

Quick tip

If you have a toaster oven, you can also reheat them that way! Just place the pastries in the toaster oven at 300°F (150°C) for about 4-5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the pastries so they don’t burn.

Make-ahead danishes

These strawberry cream cheese danishes are usually best eaten right away when the pastry is crisp and the berries are glossy. But, if you don’t want to wake up early to make them, you can always prep the ingredients in advance and assemble the next day. Here’s how!

  1. Start by rolling, cutting, & scoring the puff pastry rectangles. Place them on a parchment-lined sheet pan, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Next, mix the filling until it’s smooth. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. The next morning, slice the strawberries. Then, assemble the pastries with the chilled puff pastry, prepared filling, and strawberries.
  4. Bake the pastries according to the recipe directions. Drizzle with glaze and enjoy!

Quick tip

I don’t recommend assembling the pastries the night before. The strawberries will leak juices which will make the puff pastry soggy. It’s best to prep the ingredients the night before and assemble the next morning for flaky, fresh-out-of-the-oven danishes!

Rows of cream cheese strawberry danishes with puff pastry on a tan counter.

Tips & tricks

  • For smaller, bite-sized strawberry danishes, feel free to cut the puff pastry into smaller rectangles or squares. Just reduce the amount of filling to about 1/2 Tablespoon so it doesn’t overflow.
  • Frozen puff pastry needs to thaw before you roll it out. I usually pop it in the fridge overnight or let it warm up for 30-60 minutes on the counter. Just don’t let it warm up too much or the pastry will come out dense instead of flaky.
  • For equal-sized pastries, use a ruler to measure the puff pastry into 6 rectangles. I also like to use the ruler as a guide for cutting straight lines!
  • Use room temperature cream cheese. Not only is room temp cream cheese so much easier to mix, but it also keeps lumps from forming!
  • If your strawberries are particularly juicy, pat them dry before placing them on top of the pastry. You don’t want them to leak too many juices or they will make the puff pastry soggy.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use frozen strawberries in this recipe?

As much as I love frozen summer strawberries, sadly, they will not work in this recipe. Frozen strawberries tend to leak more juices which will make the puff pastry soggy. Fresh is best!

How should I thaw puff pastry?

To thaw puff pastry, simply place the package in the fridge overnight. Or, if you forget to do it the night before like I oftentimes do, just let it warm on the counter for 30 minutes or so.

Can I use other fruits in this recipe?

Yes! Any berries like blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries would be delicious in these danishes. I haven’t tried other fruit, but I bet diced peaches or apricots would be delicious too!

Do I have to add the glaze at the end?

Nope! If you aren’t a fan of glaze, you can skip it. But, Since the filling isn’t very sweet, I definitely recommend adding some extra sweetness in one of two ways. 1. Sprinkle the egg-washed puff pastry with raw sugar before baking the danishes. You’ll end up with a gorgeous, crunchy sugared crust! Or, 2. dust the danishes with powdered sugar right before serving.

Rows of strawberry cream cheese danishes on a tan counter next to stoneware plates of danishes and two beige cups of coffee.

More strawberry treats

Simple Strawberry and Apple Crumble
Ricotta Strawberry Lemon Cake
The Best Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
Strawberry Balsamic Hand Pies with Honey Glaze

If you make this recipe, I would love it if you left a star rating and review! I read every single comment and love hearing what you think about my recipes. Thank you for supporting Sunday Table!


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Cream Cheese Strawberry Danish with Puff Pastry

Yield: 12 pastries
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Hosting a brunch party soon? Make sure a batch (or two) of these cream cheese strawberry danish pastries is on the menu! With puff pastry, vanilla, and lemony glaze, they're flaky, jammy, and beyond delicious. Serve them with a hot cup of coffee and find brunch bliss.

Ingredients

Strawberry Danishes

  • 1 pound strawberries (454 grams)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1.1 pounds puff pastry, thawed (490 grams/2 sheets)
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 2 Tablespoons apricot preserves (40 grams)

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 ounces full fat cream cheese (227 grams)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (50 grams)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract)

Lemon Glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (60 grams)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or milk)

Instructions 

Prep the ingredients

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • Core and thinly slice the strawberries. Then, in a small bowl, whisk the egg white with 1/2 Tablespoon of water to make egg wash. Set aside.

Cut the puff pastry

  • Next, unroll the thawed puff pastry on a lightly-floured cutting board or pastry board. Using a rolling pin, roll the puff pastry a few times width-wise and length-wise just to seal the seams together.
  • Cut the puff pastry in half length-wise with a pizza cutter or a sharp paring knife. Then, cut each strip of puff pastry into 3 equal rectangles width-wise.
  • Using a paring knife, score a 1/4-inch border around the outside of the puff pastry rectangles. Don't cut all the way through! The scoring will allow the edges of the puff pastry to rise and create a border to keep the filling in place.
  • Transfer the puff pastry rectangles to the prepared sheet pans, spacing them at least 2-inches apart. (They will puff up quite a bit.) Place the puff pastry rectangles in the fridge.

Mix the filling

  • Add the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla bean paste or extract to a large mixing bowl. Use a rubber spatula or hand mixer to beat the filling until it's well-mixed and there are no lumps of cream cheese.

Assemble the danishes

  • Remove the puff pastry rectangles from the refrigerator. Use a pastry brush to brush the edges of the puff pastry rectangles with egg wash. This will help the danishes bake up shiny and golden-brown!
  • Dollop about 1 Tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in the center of each puff pastry rectangle. Use a rubber spatula or butter knife to evenly spread the filling, making sure not to go past the borders.
  • Top the centers of the danishes with a few slices of strawberries, letting some of the cream cheese filling peek through. Depending on the size of the strawberries, you will have anywhere between 4-6 slices. Don't over-crowd the danishes, or the strawberries will be too heavy for the delicate pastry.
  • Bake the danishes on the middle rack of the oven for 18-20 minutes, until the filling is set and the edges of the puff pastry are golden-brown. Meanwhile, microwave the apricot preserves in a small bowl until it's runny.
  • Right after you remove the danishes from the oven, use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the berries with the apricot preserves. Let the danishes cool on the sheet pan for 5-10 minutes. Then, transfer the pastries to a wire rack to cool until they're warm.

Add the glaze

  • While the danishes cool, combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl. The glaze should be the consistency of glue. If it's too thick, add a bit more lemon juice 1 teaspoon at a time. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time.
  • Using the tines of a fork, drizzle the lemon glaze over the warm danishes. Let the glaze harden for about 10-15 minutes. Enjoy the danishes right away with coffee or tea!

Notes

To make sure the recipe comes out amazing every time, I always recommend using a scale to weigh the ingredients instead of measuring cups. A kitchen scale is the best way to accurately measure the ingredients!
For smaller, bite-sized pastries, feel free to cut the puff pastry into smaller rectangles or squares. Just reduce the amount of filling to about 1/2 Tablespoon so it doesn’t overflow.
Frozen puff pastry needs to thaw before you roll it out. I usually pop it in the fridge overnight or let it warm up for 30-60 minutes on the counter. Just don’t let it warm up too much or the pastry will come out dense instead of flaky.
For equal-sized pastries, use a ruler to measure the puff pastry into 6 rectangles. I also like to use the ruler as a guide for cutting straight lines!
Always keep the puff pastry as cold as possible! In pastry school, they taught us that cold fat is essential for those flaky layers. If the pastry starts to warm up too much or sticks to the surface of the cutting board, pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, until cold and firm.
Use room temperature cream cheese. Not only is room temp cream cheese so much easier to mix, but it also keeps lumps from forming!
Don’t over-fill the pastries or the filling with overflow in the oven. You want to leave about 1/4-1/2 inch of space between the filling and the edges of the pastry.
If your strawberries are particularly juicy, pat them dry before placing them on top of the pastry. You don’t want them to leak too many juices or they will make the puff pastry soggy.
Avoid over-baking the pastries or the cream cheese filling will crack and become dense. The pastries are done when the filling is set (not liquid-y), the berries are jammy, and the pastry is golden-brown.
Cuisine: American, Scandinavian
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Snacks
Serving: 1danish, Calories: 256kcal, Carbohydrates: 25.2g, Protein: 3.9g, Fat: 16.1g, Saturated Fat: 6.5g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 122mg, Potassium: 98mg, Fiber: 1.1g, Sugar: 12.4g, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg
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xo Sara Lynn

Song of the day – Kokomo, IN by Japanese Breakfast