Cream Cheese Danishes with Sugared Cranberries and Butter Glaze Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Cream Cheese Danishes with Sugared Cranberries and Butter Glaze

17 reviews / 4.8 average

Everything about these cream cheese danishes will bring holiday joy to your kitchen! Twirls of crescent dough layered with cream cheese and baked with a pool of strawberry jam and a buttery glaze on top to finish. Add in those sugared cranberries to bring it right over the top!

These cream cheese danishes are a thing of beauty!

Croissant dough layered with cream cheese, twisted up and baked with a pool of jam on top, and a drizzle of buttery glaze to finish. The sugared cranberries on top are just the bonus for decoration and a bite of tart crunch. Hoo, wow, I've been eating them on the reg lately, and those layers of cream cheesy goodness hit just right when they are warm out of the oven. This is my current weakness.

Bite out of cream cheese danishes

Cream Cheese On Top Vs. Cream Cheese Inside The Layers

I tried these with a little puddle of cream cheese filling on the top, but since this dough (refrigerated croissant dough) really wants to pop up when it bakes, I felt like it was hard to get that dense cream cheese center I was going for.

Personally, I love the cream-cheese-in-the-layers approach because the cream cheese gets evenly distributed throughout the dough so you are guaranteed cream cheese - and just the right amount - in every bite.

Topping Options

How I think about the 3-way topping situation:

  • For flavor: strawberry jam
  • For color and sparkle: sugared cranberries
  • For beautiful sweetness: vanilla butter glaze drizzle
Sugared cranberries

You can sub other types of jam (I'm a sucker for the classic strawberry, but raspberry, blackberry, or even something like fig or apricot could be awesome). And you can use a different fruit to garnish in place of the sugared cranberries, or skip them altogether. The sugared cranberries do take some time, so I would recommend making those at least a few hours before, or even the day before, just to keep it really easy.

If you want to go all-out, some streusel crumbles on top would make it extra-danishy!

Cream cheese danish with a bite taken out

Pro Tip: Eat These Cream Cheese Danishes Warm

The last thing to know about these little danishes is that they are really delicious when eaten warm, just a few minutes after coming out of the oven.

Let them cool enough to get the glaze on there without melting into a puddle, and then just sink your teeth into this very festive, warm, buttery, cream cheese and fruit deliciousness.

Cream cheese danish with glaze and sugared cranberries

Watch How To Make These Cream Cheese Danishes

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A picture of Cream Cheese Danishes with Sugared Cranberries and Vanilla Butter Glaze

Cream Cheese Danishes with Sugared Cranberries and Vanilla Butter Glaze


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 large danishes 1x

Description

Everything about these cream cheese danishes will bring holiday joy to your kitchen! Twirls of crescent dough layered with cream cheese and baked with a pool of strawberry jam and a buttery glaze on top to finish. Add in those sugared cranberries to bring it right over the top! 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Cream Cheese Danishes

  • 1 roll refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon milk (for egg wash)
  • 1/2 cup jam or fruit spread (I like a classic strawberry but this is also delicious with something more seasonal)

Vanilla Butter Glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon warm melted salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sugared Cranberries

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Make the sugared cranberries: Boil 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup sugar for 3-4 minutes. Add washed and dried cranberries to the pot; stir to combine. Transfer to a parchment-lined tray and let cool for one hour (to make them sticky and not overly wet). Once cool and sticky, toss with the remaining 3/4 cup sugar to coat.
  2. Make the cream cheese danishes: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Unroll the dough out into one flat piece on a clean work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out and press the seams together. You want to make a solid rectangle that is just a bit bigger than the original shape.
  3. Mix the softened cream cheese with the sugar until well combined. Spread evenly over the dough.
  4. Cut the dough into 4 long strips. Fold each strip in half (so the cream cheese isn't getting all over your hands) and then twist each strip into a long rope. Roll the rope into a spiral to make the shape of the danish. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Mix the egg and milk to make an egg wash. Brush each danish with egg wash and dollop each danish with 1 tablespoon of the jam. Bake for 10 minutes; if you want, increase temperature to 400 and bake for 3-5 more minutes to achieve desired browning.
  6. Finish and glaze: Remove from oven and let cool. While cooling, whisk the glaze ingredients together.
  7. Top each danish with a few sugared cranberries (see notes below) and drizzle with glaze. I really (like, really) enjoy eating these warm. The cream cheese layer, the jammy goodness, the tart crunch from the cranberries... oof. So good!

Notes

I would suggest stirring up your jam a bit to make it more “saucy” before you add it over the top of the danish (like, don't just put a big solid chunk of jelly or jam on top). If needed, you can add a tiny bit of water to the jam to make it more spreadable and saucy. When they come out of the oven, the jam will be running over the top and they look a bit messy, but once you get the cranberries and the glaze on there it will be a masterpiece.

The glaze is designed to set fast, so that you don't have to wait too long or make too much of a mess to eat these! So once you mix it up, don't wait too long to use it or it will set and become harder to drizzle.

When you sprinkle the sugar over the cream cheese, it might create a less-smooth texture with the cream cheese. This didn't bother me because you fold the strips before you roll and bake them, so the cream cheese layer is tucked inside anyway (and it saves you the step of having to pull out the mixers)! But if it bothers you visually or texturally, you can always just use electric mixers to get your cream cheese and sugar worked together before you start spreading it on the dough.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Scandinavian

Keywords: danish, cream cheese danish, sugared cranberries

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34 Comments

  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I LOVE this post. Very interesting info! Perfect just what I was looking. Nice PICS. I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe. Thank You !!!
    Beautifully executed. Starting to end I couldn’t stop myself and went on reading it. Pics are very attractive.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I wonder if I’m the only one in love with sweets and cookies, this visual feast looks great, extreme passenger and I will drink my coffee from seven every morning and get to work, thank you blog

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Sounds great; can’t wait to try it. But why 3 cups of cranberries if you are only supposed to put “a few” on each finished Danish? The recipe makes 4 of them, so we’re talking about maybe 12 or 16 cranberries. What am I missing?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Why did you come here to rate it without even trying it? I try to take ratings seriously, but it’s hard to do when people who haven’t even made the recipe rate it.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Maybe they thought they had to leave a rating in order to ask a question. The only reason I scrolled to the comments was to ask the same question/see if it had been answered. I think we’re both trying to avoid having 2 cups of sugared cranberries go to waste in the refrigerator.

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          I made these this morning and they were incredible !! But I totally agree about there being too many cranberries. I have a huge bowl in the fridge of extra sugared cranberries that I’m not sure what to do with.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yum!! So easy for a special breakfast. I made these for myself and my 2 year old and wanted less sugar. I used Daiya dairy free strawberry cream cheese and no sugar in the middle, and topped it with an all fruit blueberry jam. No glaze or other toppings but it’s so so yummy even though I made a more simple version. Thanks for the fun idea!!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow! Saw these on Instagram (where you talked about the cinnamon sugar variation) and knew I had to make them. I’m currently dairy free, and surprisingly most crescent dough is too! Filled them with apple butter and did egg wash and coarse sugar on top. SO delicious. Will be our Christmas morning treat!! Thanks so much for the content you put out!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Delicious and so easy! I don’t even think it needs the cranberries but they are pretty.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is such a great recipe — we’ve made it no less than three times over the Holidays (minus the cranberries!). Whole family loved it!!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    These danishes are delicious and are very easy to make. They looked beautiful! I warmed up the cream cheese slightly to help it spread easier. I skipped the sugared cranberries because the strawberry jam and glaze were the perfect amount of sweetness for my family. I’ll definitely make these again.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    These are AMAZING! We’ve done them with both strawberry jam and lingonberry jam and love them equally. I’ve been making them in batches and freezing them with great success too!!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Made for Easter weekend breakfast, and they were a hit! My 3yr even helped spread cream cheese and roll them into swirls. Will keep in regular Sunday morning rotation.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    This Cream Cheese Danishes recipe with sugared cranberries and butter glaze seems like a delicious treat for the holiday season. The addition of sugared cranberries on top of the cream cheese danishes sounds delightful, and the pictures in the article make my mouth water. I appreciate the author’s tip on how to get a dense cream cheese center, and I can’t wait to try this recipe with strawberry jam and vanilla butter glaze. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us and providing the option of using affordable ingredients from ALDI.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    These are DYNAMITE! I made them up the night before (no egg wash or jam yet)and left them in fridge. They baked up beautifully! Thanks for a yummy, easy and impressive recipe!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Just made these today, they turned out great! As a novice baker, I would have loved the instructions to include notes about using flour to make working with the dough more manageable. I also thought some of the measurements were too much for just four pastries, like the jam and cranberries.

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Are the nutrition facts correct? 687mg of sodium seems high!? And 1,053 calories? Yikes!
    Maybe I’m reading this wrong, this serves 4 people?
    Can someone please clarify?

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    It is very possible I overlooked it, but I don’t see in the instructions where to use the jam/fruit spread.?.
    Thanks