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Easy Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish

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These easy Cranberry Cream Cheese Danishes will bring the holidays to your table! Twirls of flaky puff pastry are braided over layers of sweetened cream cheese and a delicious cranberry filling with hints of cinnamon and citrus. Every bite of this glazed braided danish is holiday-worthy!

Slices of Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish stacked on a white scalloped cake stand

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When the holidays arrive, I’m always looking for ways to use puff pastry– a simple ingredient that’s easy to find and yet, can be twisted and twirled into the most festive holiday dessert or appetizer, like my Spinach Puff Pastry Christmas Tree.

Quick to make, utterly delicious, and pretty too. Whether you’re serving these cheese danishes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a holiday afternoon tea.

It’s much like an apple strudel that’s dressed up for the holidays. These Cranberry Cream Cheese Danishes are a festive and easy dessert that, if you’re a cranberry lover, is tailor-made just for you!

What I Love About Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish

  • Simple to make: Puff pastry makes these danishes incredibly easy.
  • Cranberry filling: While technically, you can, of course, use a ready-made cranberry sauce, this filling is so deliciously flavored and easy to make in minutes that I hope you’ll try making your own!
  • Festive treats for a busy season: I love simple holiday desserts that look and taste like you’ve made more of an effort than you have!

Pro Tip: Eat These Warm

Before we jump into the ingredients and how to make this Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish, here is a pro tip. While my husband will eat these frozen if need be (he loves them that much), they are incredibly delicious when eaten warm. A little like our Pain au Chocolat!

Just before serving, glaze the braid and serve this festive treat for the holidays!

Top view of thawed puff pastry, cream cheese and cranberry filling on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Cream Cheese Danish Ingredients

You can find the ingredient measurements in the recipe card below! Here’s what you need:

For the Cranberry Filling

  • Cranberries: fresh or frozen work equally well
  • Granulated sugar to sweeten the cranberries
  • Orange zest because they pair SO well together 😋
  • Cinnamon for a warming note

For the Danishes

  • Cream cheese filling (softened cream cheese plus a bit of sugar to sweeten). You can eliminate the sugar or substitute honey if preferred.
  • Store-bought puff pastry thawed by package instructions
  • Egg wash: 1 egg mixed with water
Top view of unsliced and glazed Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish on a wood cutting board.

How to Make Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish with Cranberries

Much like apple strudel, this Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish is very easy to make. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Make the cranberry filling: Add the ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until thickened. Refrigerate to cool the filling quickly.
  2. Mix softened cream cheese with sugar (or honey) until smooth.
  3. Prepare the pastry, fill with cream cheese and cranberry filling, and make an easy braid (more instructions below).

Making the Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish Braid

Step-by-step instructions are also in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Prepare the pastry

Unfold the thawed pastry over a lightly floured work surface and roll in one direction to extend the length by 2 inches. The folds in the pastry will help guide the assembling of the Danish. I like to transfer the dough to parchment paper for easy transfer to a baking sheet.

Top view of unbaked puff pastry crust with a stripe of cream cheese filling.

Step 2: Fill the pastry

This recipe makes two pastry braids. Repeat the steps for both (or make one and use the cranberry filling on leftover turkey sandwiches!).

Spread half of the cream cheese down the center of the pastry, leaving 1″ of space at the top and bottom. Then, spread the cranberry filling over the cream cheese, keeping the 1-inch border.

Top view of unbaked Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish with twisted strips.

Step 3: Making the braid

Cut equal 1-inch strips along each pastry side, leaving 1/2-inch space between the filling and the strip.

Fold the top flap of dough and pinch the corners down to seal. Then, alternating from left to right, fold in the side strips, making a twist for a decorative finish.

Fold up the bottom flap, pinching the corners to seal, then finish folding in the last two side strips, pinching the corners to seal.

Step 4: Bake

Transfer the Danish to a baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and bake at 400˚F for 18-22 minutes or until the top is golden and puffed.

Closeup view of sliced Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish slices on a white decorative serving platter.

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Cream Cheese Danish with Cranberries

These easy Cranberry Cream Cheese Danishes will bring the holidays to your table! Twirls of flaky pastry are braided over layers of sweetened cream cheese and a delicious cranberry filling with hints of cinnamon and citrus. Every bite of this glazed braided danish is holiday-worthy!
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 16 servings

Ingredients

Cranberry Filling

  • 2 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water

Cream Cheese

  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Danish

  • 2 sheets store-bought puff pastry thawed by package instructions
  • 1 large egg plus 1 tablespoon water for egg wash, beaten together.

Instructions

Cranberry Filling

  • Add cranberries, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Refrigerate until cooled.

Cream Cheese

  • Mix the softened cream cheese with the sugar until fully blended.

Assembling the Danish

  • Unfold the thawed pastry over a lightly floured work surface and roll in one direction to extend the length by 2 inches. The folds in the pastry will help guide the assembling of the Danish. I like to transfer the dough to parchment to transfer it to the baking sheet easily.
  • Spread half of the cream cheese down the center of the pastry, leaving 1" of space at the top and bottom of the pastry. Then spread the cranberry filling over the top of the cream cheese, keeping the 1-inch border at the top and bottom. Repeat with the second pastry.
    Top view of unbaked puff pastry with a stripe of sweetened cream cheese filling.
  • Cut equal 1-inch strips along each side of the pastry, leaving 1/2-inch space between the filling and the strip.
  • Fold down the top flap of dough and pinch the corners down to seal. Fold in the side strips, alternating from left to right and, make one twist away from yourself for a decorative finish. Fold up the bottom flap, pinching the corners to seal then finish folding in the last 2 side strips, pinching the corners to seal.
    Top view of unbaked and braided cheese danish ready for an egg wash.
  • Transfer the Danish to a baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and bake at 400˚F for 18-22 minutes or until the top is golden and puffed.

Notes

Pastry Glaze:

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon water (or as needed for consistency)
Whisk together, adding additional powdered sugar or water to achieve a drizzling consistency. I like to drizzle using a fork or a whisk.

Nutrition

Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 131mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheese danish

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