This raspberry cream cheese danish recipe is one of the best breakfast pastries you have ever tasted! The crescent dough is baked to a pretty golden brown, while the sweet and tangy cream cheese filling just melts in your mouth! Each braid has a glaze drizzle that brings all of the flavors together. The best part is that it’s ready in just 35 minutes!
My favorite part of these special treats is the way the braid looks! Most homemade danish recipes call for store-bought puff pastry sheets, so you don’t look as pretty. But these take it to a whole new level and are great when you want to show off a little bit. Since we are using the fresh raspberries as a garnish, use the leftovers to whip up a batch of raspberry cupcakes, raspberry lemon bread or crockpot strawberry raspberry jam.
Why You’ll Love This Danish Recipe
- A sweet pastry that makes a delicious breakfast the whole family loves.
- The presentation is amazing, so it’s perfect for brunches or holidays.
- From start to finish, the whole process takes just 35 minutes.
- You can easily change the flavor of the pie filling to make a different danish pastry recipe.
What Ingredients do I Need for Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish Braids?
- cream cheese – allow time for the cream cheese to come to room temperature.
- granulated sugar
- egg yolk
- vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 small lemon
- raspberry pie filling
- crescent roll sheet
- powdered sugar
- heavy cream
- lemon juice (from the zested lemon)
Pro Tip: If you are serving this for a special occasion, be sure to read the make-ahead instructions so it’s easier!
How to Make Easy Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish
PREP: Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or a sheet of parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest using an electric mixer at medium speed (or stand mixer with the paddle attachment). Unroll the dough sheet and flatten it into an 8×14-inch rectangle. Use a rolling pin if needed.
SLICE: Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut 10 (1.5 inches) strips at a diagonal on each side so the center stays solid for the filling.
ADD FILLING: Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the center of the dough carefully so it doesn’t get on the strips. Spoon the pie filling on top of the cream cheese layer. Fold the ends of the dough up and over the filling so it stays in when baking.
BRAID: Start at one end and fold one strip across to the other side of the filling. Then take a strip from the opposite side and cross it over the top of the piece you just placed. Repeat until you have a criss-cross pattern all the way down.
BAKE AND GLAZE: Bake for 20-25 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and cream. Whisk until smooth. Allow the danish to cool for 30 minutes on the counter, then drizzle over top.
- Make-ahead instructions: Assemble the raspberry cheese danish up until the point of baking. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until solid. Wrap in a couple of layers of plastic wrap and freeze. When ready, place in the preheated oven and bake. Follow the same instructions for adding the glaze.
- If you cannot find the crescent roll sheets, use regular crescent rolls. Press together the seams so the filling does not leak out.
- Make sure the braid has cooled completely before adding the glaze. If not, it will just melt off.
- Do not mix the glaze until you are ready. This will cause the top to get crusty or have chunks in it.
In Denmark, Danish pastries are typically made with a sweet, rich dough called “danish dough,” which is made with milk, butter, and eggs. The dough is then sweetened with sugar and flavored with vanilla, lemon zest, or almond extract.
Substitutions and Variations
- Pie fillings: Swap out the filling for blueberry, strawberry, or apple! Honestly, the options are endless!
- Some like to use seedless raspberry jam instead of pie filling. You could also use fresh raspberries and a little sugar over the stovetop in a saucepan to make your own raspberry sauce.
- If you don’t want to braid the dough, you can swap the crescent dough for store-bought puff pastry dough sheets.
Keep leftovers in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
It is called a Danish because it is believed to have originated in Denmark, where it is a popular pastry. The cheese filling gives the pastry a rich, creamy flavor and adds a savory element to the sweet, flaky dough.
Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish Breakfast Braid
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Zest of 1 small lemon
- ¾ cup raspberry pie filling
- 1 8-ounce crescent roll sheet
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice from the zested lemon
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, egg yolk, vanilla extract, salt, and lemon zest until smooth.
- Unroll the crescent roll sheet onto the prepared baking sheet and gently flatten it to a rough 8×14-inch rectangle.
- Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut 10 (1½-inch) strips, at a diagonal, on each side. You want to leave the center solid (about 3 to 4 inches wide) because that is where you will place your filling.
- Evenly spread your cream cheese mixture onto the center of your cut crescent roll sheet, careful not to get it on the cut strips.
- Spoon your raspberry pie filling onto the top of the cream cheese filling.
- Fold the ends of the crescent dough up and over the top of the cream cheese and cherries. This helps the filling to stay nice and neat inside the ends of the raspberry breakfast braid when baked.
- Starting at one end, fold one strip across to the other side of the filling. Then take one strip from the opposite side and cross it over the top of the strip you just placed. Repeat until you have made a criss-cross (braid) pattern on the top of your crescent and fillings. You want to make sure that you go all the way across to the other side when placing your strips. This ensures that your filling does not seep out the sides when baked.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.
- In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth. If your glaze is too thick, you can add a small amount of additional lemon juice to thin it. Be careful not to add too much liquid.
- Allow your baked raspberry breakfast braid to cool on the counter for 30 minutes before adding the glaze and serving.
Store leftover breakfast braid in the refrigerator, covered in plastic wrap, for up to 4 days. Notes: Garnish and/or serve with fresh raspberries for a pretty presentation. If you cannot find a canned crescent roll “sheet”, you can use a regular can of crescent rolls. Simply press together the seams as you pat your dough into the 8×14” rectangle. Be sure to allow the breakfast braid to cool down completely before drizzling it with the glaze, or the glaze will melt right off the braid. Do not mix up the glaze until the braid is cooled down OR cover tightly with plastic wrap so that no air gets to the glaze. You do not want it to get crusty on the top before drizzling, or there will be chunks in it.