Cherry Danish is a puff pastry topped with cream cheese and cherry pie filling, baked until flakey and golden brown. It is a delightful way to start your day or to enjoy with a cup of coffee. I also have a Super Easy Danish you might want to try, too!
A Danish is a popular pastry around the world and is commonly filled with jams, fruits, and nuts. This recipe is close to a danish, but a lot easier to put together! In addition, it eats more like a dessert than a breakfast, but I will take that any day!
Puff Pastry: You will need two sheets of store-bought puff pastries, thawed according to package instructions. I also have a great recipe for a homemade Puff Pastry.
Almond Extract: If needed, look for imitation almond extract; it does not contain nuts. Almond extract pairs so well with cherries since many almond extracts are made with cherry pits. You could also get away with using vanilla extract.
Cherry Pie Filling: Use a 21-ounce can of pie filling or make your own homemade cherry pie filling.
Can I Use a Different Pie Filling?
Definitely! Just like your favorite cheesecake, you could top the danish with your favorite kind of fruit pie filling. Or apple pie filling, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, or your favorite combination. This recipe is easy enough to make and try with your favorite flavors.
How to Store Cherry Cream Cheese Danish
These really are enjoyed fresh, the same day as being baked. However, if you have any leftovers, you will want to refrigerate them. The danishes will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator, but the puff pastry will lose its crispy, flakey layers. To reheat them, warm them up in the air fryer or oven.
Air Fryer Cherry Danish
If you are ok with working in batches, then the air fryer is a great option for making these danish. To do that, set your air fryer to 325°F and then assemble the danishes following the directions in the recipe card. When ready to cook, place as many danishes into the basket (or on the tray) of your air fryer without overlapping. Set timer for 8 minutes. They may take up to 10 minutes, but you are looking for a puffy, golden brown crust.
Danish filling ideas
Aside from the light-as-air puff pastry, the best part of a Danish is the filling! Lightly sweetened, creamy cheese is one of my favorite fillings for homemade pastries. However, I encourage you to make these danishes your own! You can swap out the cream cheese for chocolate and exchange the jam for seasonal fruit! Get creative and add your family’s favorite ingredients! Below are a few ideas to get you started
Danish pastry fillings:
- Cream Cheese: Cheese filling tastes similar to cheesecake! (Recipe included below.)
- Ricotta: The classic filling for a Danish is cream cheese. However, if you want a more European-style Danish, you can substitute half of the cream cheese for ricotta!
- Fruit Jam or Preserves: Apple cider jam (pictured), raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, grape, orange or cranberry.
- Fresh Fruit: Sliced apples, raspberries, sliced strawberries, blackberries or blueberries.
- Curds: Lemon, mango, passionfruit or pineapple curd.
- Fruit Butters: Pumpkin, apple or blueberry butter.
- Spreads: Nutella, peanut butter or chocolate.
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry sheets thawed according to package directions
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 can 21 ounces cherry pie filling
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 tablespoon water
- confectioners' sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Lay the puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface, and cut each sheet into 6 equal-sized rectangles. You will have a total of 12 rectangles, about 4½x3 inches in size.
- Arrange the puff pastries evenly onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between each pastry.
- Use a fork to poke a few holes into the middle of the pastry sheet. Be sure to leave about a ½-inch perimeter around the edge. This will allow the outside border to puff up while the center stays low and holds the filling.
- In a medium bowl stir together the cream cheese, sugar, and almond extract until fully combined.
- Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture onto the center of each puff pastry.
- Top the cream cheese mixture with 2 heaping tablespoons of cherry pie filling.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg and water together. Brush onto the outside edges of the pastry.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden.
- Remove from oven and dust with confectioners' sugar. Set aside to cool slightly before serving.