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World's Best Danish Pastry Recipes

Updated on November 6, 2011

Back In The Good Ol' Days

Remember the days of waking up to something warm in the oven? You couldn't fight the urge to get up out of bed due to that sweet aroma dancing through the air. Where have those days gone?

Baking fresh breads, pastries and other sweets in your own kitchen use to be a common part of life. We baked for the holidays and for those special weekend dinners. Today we tend to hop in the car and visit the closest local bakery for our treats and sweets. It simply isn't the same.

The creation of this lens aims to get baking back into the kitchen with it's simple recipes and and wonderful outcomes. Here you will find danish recipes from around the world in various flavors. You'll find helpful tips and techniques to make your time in the kitchen a bit easier. For those of you who simply do not have that "Baker's Thumb"; you will find information on some of the best places to find warm and delicious breakfast danishes to share with your entire family.

A Little History

"Danish pastry...A term encompassing a variety of yeast-dough pastries rolled and filled with cheese, prune, almond paste, fruit preserves, nuts or other condiments. These pastries are a staple breakfast item, especially on the East Coast, where one orders a "Danish" prefixed by the filling desired. Although the pastries may have danish origins, these flaky buns and rolls are more often associated with New York Jewish delicatessens and bakeries. With this meaning the word first appeared in print in 1928. In California Danish pastries are sometimes called "snails," because of their snail-like appearance." ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 109).

What Goes Into A Danish?

Homemade Snail Danishes From My Kitchen
Homemade Snail Danishes From My Kitchen

The ingredients of these delicious treats include flour, yeast, milk, eggs, and large amounts of butter. A yeast dough is rolled out thinly, coated with butter, and then folded into numerous layers. It is sometimes necessary to chill the dough to ease handling. Danishes take a little time to create due to how many steps you must repeat but they are more than worth the trouble!!

There are several types of Danish pastries which include Kringles, rolls, snails and figure-eights. While the snails are MY favorite they are all equally delicious. Some of the things that can be used as topping are icing, chocolate, nuts and sugar as well as stuffed with jam or custard. Every country has its own method of preparing their danishes and therefore, all of them end up tasting quite different from each other based on the country to which they belong. Because here in the United States we enjoy flavors from around the world; we tend to see a larger variety in stores and bakeries.

Some of the Most popular flavors in the U.S. include:

Almond

Streusel

Pecan

Coconut

Cream cheese

Strawberry

Blueberry

Apricot

Pineapple

Cinnamon Apple

Cherry

Strawberry Cream Cheese

Plum

Cinnamon

Mmmm, are you hungry yet?!?

Photo By Sandra Watson
Photo By Sandra Watson

Let's start out with a warm and creamy Cream Cheese Snail Danish. These are sure to get any mouth watering!

  • Prep time: 3 hours
  • Cook time: 17 min
  • Ready in: 3 hours 17 min
  • Yields: 16

Ingredients

  • Dough: 1 package (2 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast or 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 C water
  • 3 1/2 C all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs powdered milk
  • 4 Tbs sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 Tbs butter softened
  • Filling: 3/4 C cream cheese
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp egg glaze
  • Sugar Glaze: 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • Egg Glaze: 1 egg and 1Tbs milk Wisk to combine and set aside

Instructions

  1. If using active dry yeast, proof it in 1/2C of warm water for 10 minutes. If you are using instant yeast, it can just be mixed in with the dry ingredients in the next step.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, powdered milk, and sugar.
  3. Add the yeast, water, and eggs and mix until ingredients are combined.
  4. Add the softened butter and mix or knead until the ingredients are thoroughly combined You should have a fairly sticky, satiny dough.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size (approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours).
  6. Punch the dough down, return it to the bowl and cover it again, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. In the morning, , while still cold, prepare snails.
  8. Before beginning, you'll need to make a simple egg glaze that you will use in both recipes:
  9. Egg glaze: 1 egg and 1Tbs milk, whisk to combine, set aside
  10. Roll the dough out into 2 large rectangle, approximately 8 by 12 inches. Slice the rectangle into 8 long strips on each rectangle making 16 total strips.
  11. Stretch each strip as long and thin as you can about 12 to 15 inches long or longer. Twist each strip and then curl each up to make a snail shape.
  12. Place the snails on a parchment-lined or well greased baking sheet and brush them gently with the egg glaze.
  13. Use your fingers to create a well in the center of the snail and then place 1 or 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture on top.
  14. Let the snails rise for 1 to 1 & 1/4 hours until they are puffy.
  15. Bake the snails on 385 for 15 to 17 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  16. Immediately after removing from the oven, paint then with a light sugar glaze:
  17. Or you can use a heavier sweeter glaze if you prefer after they have cooled:
  18. fondant glaze
  19. 1 to 2tsp of hot water combined with 2/3C of powdered sugar
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Pain Aux Raisins and Cream Cheese Snails
Pain Aux Raisins and Cream Cheese Snails

Do We Have Any Raisin Lovers?

One of the tastiest things that I have ever tasted would have to be Pain Aux Raisin and Cream Cheese Snail Danishes. These delicious danishes are one of the easiest desserts to make and taste awesome! They call for almost all of the same ingredients as the traditional danish with a slight twist. Continue reading for the recipe!

  • Prep time: 3 hours
  • Cook time: 17 min
  • Ready in: 3 hours 17 min
  • Yields: 16

Pain Aux Raisin and Cream Cheese Snail Danish Recipe

  • Pain Au Lait: 1 package (2 1/2 teaspoon) active dry yeast or 2 teaspoons instant yeast 3/4 cup water
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered milk
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter softened
  • Cream Cheese Filling: 3/4 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon egg glaze
  • Pain Aux Raisins: 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • Egg Glaze: 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Sugar Glaze: 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. If using active dry yeast, proof it in 1/2 cup of warm water for 10 minutes. If you are using instant yeast, as I did, it can just be mixed in with the dry ingredients in the next step.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, powdered milk, and sugar. Add the yeast, water, and eggs and mix until ingredients are combined. Add the softened butter and mix or knead until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. You should have a fairly sticky, satiny dough.
  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size (approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours). Punch the dough down, return it to the bowl and cover it again, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. In the morning, divide the dough into 16 separate snails.
  5. Before beginning, you'll need to make your simple egg glaze that you will use during your baking.
  6. Place the snails on a parchment-lined or well greased baking sheet and brush them gently with the egg glaze. Use your fingers to create a well in the center of the snail and then place one tablespoon of the cheese mixture on top. Next place a scoop of your Pain Aux Raisins on top of the cream cheese filling.
  7. Let the snails rise for 1 to 1 1/4 hours until they are puffy. Preheat the oven to 385 degrees and bake the snails for between 15 to 17 minutes, until they are golden brown. Immediately after removing from the oven, paint them with a light sugar glaze.

How About A Quick Tutotrial?

A Little Bit Of "I Bet You Didn't Know"

So do I have you ready to jump up from your comfy seat straight into the kitchen yet? If not, the next recipe surely will! Before we do that; how about a little kitchen trivia?

Q: What company first condensed soup in 1898?

A: Campbell's.

Q: What nutty legume accounts for one sixth of the world's vegetable oil production?

A: The peanut.

Q: What country saw the cultivation of the first potato, in 200 A.D.?

A: South America.

Q: What type of lettuce was called Crisphead until the 1920s?

A: Iceberg lettuce.

Q: What's the only fish that produces real caviar, according to the FDA?

A: Sturgeon.

Q: What type of egg will yield 11 and one-half average-size omelettes?

A: An Ostrich egg.

Q: What's the groundnut better known as?

A: The peanut.

Q: What crystalline salt is frequently used to enhance the flavor to TV dinners?

A: Monosodium glutamate.

Q: What sticky sweetener was traditionally used as an antiseptic ointment for cuts and burns?

A: Honey.

Q: What should your diet be high in to lessen the chance of colon cancer, according to a 1990 study?

A: Fiber.

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Ready in: 45 min
  • Yields: 16

Simple Pineapple And Cream Cheese Danish - One Last Recipe

  • 2 cans crescent rolls
  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple 1 egg white
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Spray rectangular baking pay with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Spread one can of crescent rolls on the bottom pinching edges together.
  3. Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until creamy then spread over crescent roll bottom.
  4. Drain pineapple and sprinkle over cream cheese mixture.
  5. Cover with remaining can of crescent rolls pinching top and bottom together.
  6. Close any openings then brush on egg white for a shiny crisper top.
  7. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  8. Stir confectioners sugar and milk together until well mixed then drizzle over Danish.
  9. *** If you would like a slightly sweeter treat; try sprinkling the top of the pineapple with some brown sugar before baking.

Books You Can Use

With technology and the internet at your fingertips these days it's simple to find any recipe on line. Maybe! What about some of the old time recipes that your mom got out of a cookbook. Those may not be available online. One day you may find yourself without your trusty laptop and really need a recipe for this month's block party. It's always handy to have a few good trusty cookbooks on hand at home. Below are a few ideas.

For You Non Bakers

Like I promised from the very beginning; I'm going to let all of you non bakers know where you can find some delicious danish pastries as well as other yummy treats for your sweet tooth. Below you will find a list of the top bakeries in the United States (as ranked by wherewedine.com) as well as a few online shops that specialize in fresh homemade baked goods.

Let's start off with some top notch bakeries:

Let's Debate!!

Which is better cream cheese filled desserts or fruit filled desserts?

Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese

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    • julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Ah ... there ain't nothing better than a cream cheese filled Danish pastry!

    • SmartyGirlRenee 5 years ago

      I pick cheese even if I'm lactose intolerant as a grown up. I remember when I could eat these with impunity as a kid! Great lens

    • bestgiftz 6 years ago

      Definitely cream cheese!

    • fitnessmaster1 6 years ago

      I love cream cheese filled desserts - my favorite one.

    Fruit

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      • LRPD2007 5 years ago

        Yum!!

      • termit_bronx 6 years ago

        Fruit filled desserts look delicious! :)

      • Sharon Berry 6 years ago from Michigan

        I really love anything with cream cheese but for a Danish I would have to choose fruit and it would be raspberries. My very favorite fruit flavor.

      A Big Thanks

      Thank you everyone for taking the time to read my lens about yummy danish recipes. Hopefully you found this both useful and entertaining. Stop by again for more articles on cooking and baking.

      Please Sign My Guestbook And Tell Me What You Think

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          Sharon Berry 6 years ago from Michigan

          Ooohh, I can't wait to give a couple of these recipes a try. I love to be in the kitchen, especially with a grandchild or two. Very nicely done.

        • bestgiftz profile image

          bestgiftz 6 years ago

          Well, these aren't on my diet but I wish they were. Yummy!

        • The Great Conve profile image
          Author

          The Great Conve 6 years ago

          Thank you everyone for the wonderful comments! I love my readers!

        • profile image

          JoshK47 6 years ago

          I'd love a cheese danish right now - my favorite. Great lens.

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          Looks so yummy, I'm very hungry for a Danish now.

        • laki2lav profile image

          laki2lav 6 years ago

          I'm definitely bookmarking this...awesome!

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          Oh my, these all look absolutely delicious! I have to bookmark this and refer back to these whenever I want to make something nice/am in a baking mood. Thank you!

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          RecipePublishing 6 years ago

          Wow, what a treat!

        • The Great Conve profile image
          Author

          The Great Conve 6 years ago

          Thank you for stopping by and taking a look at my lens. If you try the raisin and cream cheese you won't want another :)

        • fitnessmaster1 profile image

          fitnessmaster1 6 years ago

          This great lens, i really like it, i have to try those danish recipes, thank you for sharing.