This Crescent Roll Cream Cheese Danish recipe is the perfect Holiday breakfast idea. They're so simple to make and are ready to eat in less than 45 minutes. An absolute must have breakfast recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
If you're like me, the fridge is stocked full of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls during the Holiday season. It creates the best dough for so many recipes, and these cheese danishes are no different. I love the savory, buttery dough filled with this vanilla cream cheese custard.
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- No homemade dough required for these delicious pastries
- The vanilla custard filling only uses a few ingredients
- Perfect for weekend breakfasts, holidays, or dessert
- Ready in less than 45 minutes
Crescent Roll Dough-The dough for these danishes. The crescent rolls or crescent dough sheets both work here. The dough sheet requires a bit less work because pinching or rolling out the perforations isn't needed. Either one is very simple though. I prefer the original flavor and the Pillsbury brand.
Cream Cheese-The creamy base of the danish filling. The cream cheese is mixed with granulated sugar to bring in more sweetness. Don't use low fat cream cheese for this recipe.
Egg- Egg yolk brings in a custard like texture to the cream cheese filling and the egg white is whisked with water for a quick egg white wash to get the crust nice and golden.
Cinnamon and Sugar- Sprinkled on the outside for texture, appearance and a touch of sweetness.
*Full recipe ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card below.
Substitutions and Variations:
To add more sweetness at serving, drizzle on a simple icing with 1 cup powdered sugar whisked together with 1-2 tablespoons of water or milk.
Want fruit filling? Add in a spoonful of your favorite fruit filling and less of the cream cheese filling. Make sure not to overfill the danish too much or it might cause a leak over the side of the pastry.
Not big on cinnamon and sugar? Feel free to leave it off.
How to Make Crescent Roll Cream Cheese Danish:
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Here are the Step by Step Instructions for Cheese Danishes.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Separate the egg yolk from the egg white in two different bowls. Whisk the egg white with water and set aside.
Step 2: Into the stand mixer, or using a large bowl with hand mixer, add in the cream cheese. Whip with beater attachment on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add in ¼ cup granulated sugar. Blend on medium speed for 60 seconds, scraping down the sides as needed.
Step 3: Add in the egg yolk and mix for 30 seconds on medium speed. Pour in vanilla extract and blend 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then blend again on medium high speed for 60 seconds. Set filling aside.
Step 4: Roll both the crescent rolls out onto a piece of parchment paper. Pinch together, or use a rolling pin to close the perforations if using crescent rolls, instead of dough sheets. When looking at the crescent dough like a tall rectangle, use a pizza cutter to horizontally slice the rectangle, 3 times into 4 equal pieces.
Step 5: Roll each piece up tightly into a cylinder, like a snake. Then, twist the piece by holding the right side still, and turning the left side counter clockwise. This will make the dough look like it has stripes, like a candy cane does.
Step 6: Swirl the piece of dough around into a circle shape. Then, press the center of the danish dough down with the thumb or a spoon to create a well for the filling. Note: Make sure there are no open gaps for filling to leak from.
Step 7: Transfer the danishes onto a parchment paper or silpat lined cookie sheet. Fill each pastry with about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese filling.
Step 8: In a small bowl, combine the ground cinnamon with remaining tablespoon of granulated sugar. Lightly brush the outsides of the pastries with the egg white wash, then sprinkle on a pinch of cinnamon and sugar around the outsides of the dough, not on the filling. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
Step 9: Allow the danishes to cool for about 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy! They taste best warm.
- To avoid a lot of chunks in the filling, make sure the cream cheese is softened to room temperature.
- Leave the crescent dough in the fridge until ready to rolls into danishes. When the dough warms up, it sticks to the hands more.
- Use parchment paper under the dough to avoid sticking.
It doesn't seem like a big deal, but it actually is. Softened cream cheese will result in a much smoother texture and when it's the base a recipe it's really important! If it's cold, the cream cheese will clump together.
A crescent roll starts as dough and is baked into a flaky, buttery, soft and puffy texture. It's different than croissants, puff pastry or rolls and is great in so many recipes, both sweet and savory.
Allow the danishes to come to room temperature, then store in ziplock bags or a sealed container in the fridge. Eat within 3 days.
To reheat in the oven: Place danish onto a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven until warm, 5-8 minutes. For the microwave, place on microwave safe dish with a paper towel on top and microwave in 15-30 second increments until warm.
For one of my most viral tiktok crescent holiday recipes, check out these Bacon Cream Cheese Crescent Roll Pinwheels.
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