Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid

Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-17One of the desserts that I just can’t stay away from are soft and tender yeast breads. I will pass up cake any day if I can have any kind of yeast bread and one made from a danish dough is simply the best. What makes this dough unique and extra delicious is the extraordinary texture, made by combining two already delicious doughs into one – yeast dough with puff pastry dough. The result? Incredibly soft, tender and fluffy dough with flaky and buttery layers.

I decided to make a danish braid and used my favorite filling ingredients – cream cheese and strawberry jam. Isn’t it jaw droppingly beautiful? It tastes even better than it looks, and that’s saying something.
Ingredients:

1/2 a recipe Danish pastry dough

1 egg (for egg wash)

Filling:

1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 cup strawberry jam (or any kind of jam)

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1-2 Tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla (or 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest)

Instructions:

Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix the softened cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla (lemon juice and zest too, if you’re using it) until the mixture is well combined.

Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-2Whisk the egg and 1 Tablespoon of water using a fork. Set is aside; this is your egg wash.

Cut the prepared danish pastry dough in half. Danish Pastry Dough-1-22On a lightly floured surface, roll out each half of dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle, about 12×16 inches. Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-27(Work quickly, so your dough stays chilled while you are rolling it out and shaping it. You don’t want the butter to melt and blend into the dough, since the beautiful, soft and flaky texture will not be the same. Keep the second half of the dough in the refrigerator while you are working with the first one.)

Spread out half of the cream cheese filling in the center of the rectangle. Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-7Spread the strawberry jam over top of the cream cheese filling. (I used homemade strawberry jam, which has a great texture and is soft enough to be spread evenly with no problems. If you are using store bough jam, it will come out of the jar in one big glob and will be very hard to spread, so soften it in the microwave or on the stovetop, until the texture is softened and easily spreadable.) You can use any kind of jam that you like.

Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-8Make 3/4 inch diagonal slashes along the sides of the filling.Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-9

Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-5Fold the strips over the filling, alternating sides, until the whole loaf is braided. Seal the ends. Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-6

Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-11

Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-12Place the braided loaf onto the prepared baking sheet, brush with the egg wash. Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-13Allow to rise at room temperature for about 30 minutes. The loaf will not double in size, just become puffy. Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-14Repeat with the other braid.
Bake in the preheated oven for 18-23 minutes.

I know some people will ask, so I will address this right now. Can you use store bought puff pastry for this recipe? Yes and No. Yes, you can use store bought puff pastry. I don’t know the size you would need to roll it out to, I don’t know how much filling you will need or how long you will need to bake it. I didn’t test this recipe with puff pastry. 

Also, the texture will be completely different. It will be like puff pastry, not a danish braid. I’m sure it will be delicious, just a completely different recipe.

Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-15While the danish braid is baking, make the glaze. Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-16Whisk all the ingredients together. You can add more or less milk to the powdered sugar, depending on how thick or thin you want the glaze to be. Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-22When the danish braid has cooled for about 10 minutes, drizzle the glaze on top.Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-19

Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-18

Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid-1-21

Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 2 Danish Braids
Ingredients
Filling:
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ cup strawberry jam (or any kind of jam)
Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla (or 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the softened cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla (lemon juice and zest too, if you're using it) until the mixture is well combined.
  3. Whisk the egg and 1 Tablespoon of water using a fork. Set is aside; this is your egg wash.
  4. Cut the prepared danish pastry dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each half of dough into a ¼ inch thick rectangle, about 12x16 inches. (Work quickly, so your dough states chilled while you are rolling it out and shaping it. You don't want the butter to melt and blend into the dough, since the beautiful, soft and flaky texture will not be the same. Keep the second half of the dough in the refrigerator while you are working with the first one.
  5. Spread out half of the cream cheese filling in the center of the rectangle. Spread the strawberry jam over top of the cream cheese filling. (I used homemade strawberry jam, which has a great texture and is soft enough to be spread evenly with no problems. If you are using store bough jam, it will come out of the jar in one big glob and will be very hard to spread, so soften it in the microwave or on the stovetop, until the texture is softened and easily spreadable.)
  6. Make ¾ inch diagonal slashes along the sides of the filling. Fold the strips over the filling, alternating sides, until the whole loaf is braided. Seal the ends.
  7. Place the braided loaf onto the prepared baking sheet, brush with the egg wash.
  8. Allow to rise at room temperature for about 30 minutes. The loaf will not double in size, just become puffy.
  9. Repeat with the other braid.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-23 minutes.
  11. While the danish braid is baking, make the glaze. Whisk all the ingredients together. You can add more or less milk to the powdered sugar, depending on how thick or thin you want the glaze to be. When the danish braid has cooled for about 10 minutes, drizzle the glaze on top.

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