Cultural Cuisine: No-Fuss Danish Pastry Recipe + Origin

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

Who doesn't love a deliciously airy, creamy, and jam-y Danish? Danishes or Danish pastries are essentially a croissant type pastry with custard, jam and glaze. Strangely, though, 'danishes' didn't actually originate in Denmark. They were brought over by Austrian bakers in the mid-1800s when at the time, Danish pastry chefs were on a massive strike. Fun fact: In Denmark, they aren't called danishes. Instead, they are called 'wienerbrød' or 'Viennese bread.' Nonetheless, in the 200 years since the Austrians graced Denmark with this pastry, Danes have made this deliciously sweet and gooey treat their own. I'm going to show you how to make a very simple danish at home without too many ingredients, complicated steps or fuss. I made these recently on an Instagram story out of pure boredom. I'd been craving one for the longest time and decided to make some with what I had on hand because #stayathome. Anyway, they were a huge hit, so I decided to recreate the recipe for Savor & Yore. I know it's a tad different from my usual old school, no shortcut style of cooking, but I promise it's just as good! The only real swerve from a traditional danish is using a storebought puff pastry that has been hiding out in my freezer instead of making a puff pastry dough by hand - which you can absolutely do!

So, let's get to it. Here are all the ingredients you need: Puff pastry dough (storebought or homemade), jam of choice (I used cherry and strawberry), egg with yolk and white divided, sugar, powdered, sugar, whole milk, cream cheese, lemon squeeze.

Combine your egg yolk, cream cheese, sugar and lemon squeeze

mix together to make a smooth custard

roll out your puff pastry on a floured surface and cut into desired shape. I made a large variety of traditional pinwheels and basic shapes.

Once you've made your squares, circles, pinwheels etc. transfer them to a baking sheet and give them a nice egg wash with the white. If doing a bigger shape like a square, poke a few holes in the center with a fork. Finally, add a dollop (approximately a tablespoon) of custard to the center.

Bake at 400F/200C for 12 minutes turning halfway through.

After removing them from the oven, top with jam if desired or leave only the custard.

Now prepare the icing by combining the powdered sugar and whole milk. To do this, combine the milk with the powdered sugar about a teaspoon at a time until you reach a glaze/frosting type consistency.

Serve with hot coffee and enjoy!



• 1 puff pastry sheet - homemade or storebought

• Jam of choice - I used cherry and strawberry.

• 1 c cream cheese

• 1/4 c sugar

• 1 egg yolk

• 1 lemon squeeze (1-2 tbsp lemon juice)

• 1 c powdered sugar

• 1 tbsp whole milk

• 1 egg white

• flour for dusting


• Combine the cream cheese, yolk, sugar and lemon squeeze to make a custard

• Roll out puff pastry on a floured surface and create desired shapes

• Transfer to baking sheet and give brush with egg white

• Poke a few holes with fork in center of pastry

• Add a dollop (1 tbsp) of custard to middle of pastry

• Bake in the oven at 200c/400f for 12 minutes rotating halfway through

• Remove from oven and top with small spoons of jam once cooled. Feel free to leave some with only custard and some with jam for variety.

• Combine powdered sugar and milk - work in milk one teaspoon at a time until you achieve a glaze or frosting-like consistency

• Drizzle glaze over pastry

• Serve with hot coffee & enjoy!