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Cherry Cheese Danish

Food and prop styling by Shiri Feldman
Food prep and styling by Chef Suzie Gornish
Photography by Felicia Perretti

This heavenly Danish, made with a soft, buttery pastry, is a welcome addition to any cake platter. Needless to say, it tastes much better than the bakery’s! Be forewarned — it’s addictive!


  • 2¼ tsp dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ cup butter, at room temperature, divided
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 scant tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups flour, divided (I used white spelt)
  • 2 tsp dough enhancer (optional, but recommended)
  • cinnamon and sugar, for sprinkling
  • egg, for glazing
Danish Filling
  • 1 8-oz (225 g) container 3% or 5% quark cheese
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 20-oz (570-g) can cherry pie filling

Dissolve yeast in warm water in the bowl of a mixer. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the lemon juice to the warm milk. Add it to the yeast mixture, along with 14 cup butter, sugar, eggs, salt, vanilla, 2 cups flour, and dough enhancer, if using. Beat until smooth.

Stir in the remaining flour to form a soft dough. (Depending on the weather, you might need more or less flour.) Continue kneading for 6–8 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Leave it in the mixing bowl (no need to dirty another one!), cover, and let rise for about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a very large rectangle. Dot half the surface with 14 cup butter, cut into small pieces; fold dough in half lengthwise. (Every time you dot the dough with butter, smooth it out very gently with a knife in that spot.)

Dot with more pieces of butter and fold lengthwise into thirds. Dot with remaining butter and fold widthwise into thirds. You should have a high, thick piece of layered dough. Roll dough into a large rectangle (if you’d like smaller pastries, cut the dough in half before rolling).

Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and sugar. Roll it up, jelly roll style, until you have a long log. Slice into buns and place on a Palisades Parchment Paper-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 40 minutes, or until doubled.

Halfway through, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

To make the cheese filling, mix cheese and sugars in a bowl.

Beat egg for glazing and brush tops of buns. Make an indentation in the center of each, using two fingers. Top with a spoonful of cheese filling and a generous dollop of cherry pie filling. Bake for 18 minutes, or until golden brown.

These Danish freeze well.

Note: You can omit the cheese and just top with cherry pie filling. Also, you can top with cheese and cherry pie filling before rising and egg around the perimeter of the Danish afterward.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 897)

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