American

Cinnamon Crumb Danish

March 12, 2021
0 Stars
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop stylist: Megan Hedgpeth.
  • Prep time 15 hours
  • Cook time 18 minutes
  • makes 16 danish
Author Notes

I can never decide what flavor danish I like best—something with a creamy cheese filling, or something with a juicy fruit filling—or even something topped with plenty of crumbly, buttery streusel. This recipe covers all the bases, because there’s some flexibility and freedom to mix and match to suit your tastes. Cheese filling, cinnamon filling, and crumb topping makes for a particularly cozy combo that’s always a crowd pleaser.

Note: When you get to step 5, check out this step-by-step tutorial on how to shape danish. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

Bake It Up a Notch is a column by Resident Baking BFF Erin Jeanne McDowell. Each month, she'll help take our baking game to the next level, teaching us all the need-to-know tips and techniques and showing us all the mistakes we might make along the way. Today, a crash course in yeasted puff pastry—the labor-of-love dough for crispy-tender croissants, danish, kouign amann, and more. —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Cinnamon Crumb Danish
Ingredients
  • Cheese Filling, Cinnamon Filling & Crumb Topping
  • Cheese Filling
  • 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (113g) powdered sugar
  • 1 large (56g) egg, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
  • Cinnamon Filling
  • 5 tablespoons (80g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (212g) light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
  • Crumb Topping
  • 1/2 cup (40g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (53g) light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons (80g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Make the cheese filling: In a medium bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), cream the cream cheese and powdered sugar until well combined. Add the egg and mix well to combine. Add the flour, vanilla, and salt and mix well to combine. If desired, transfer to a pastry bag (you can also just dollop onto the pastry with a spoon).
  2. Make the cinnamon filling: In a medium bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), cream the butter and brown sugar until well combined. Add the flour, cinnamon, and salt and mix well to combine. If desired, transfer to a pastry bag (you can also just dollop onto the pastry with a spoon).
  3. Make the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, stir the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt to combine. Add the butter and rub into the dry ingredients until the mixture forms moistened clumps. Set aside.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry dough to a square 12 by 12 inches in size. Cut the dough horizontally into 3 even strips, then do it again vertically into 4 even strips so you end up with 12 squares total.
  5. Shape the danish as desired (see author notes for a tutorial on how to do this). Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet with at least 2 inches between each pastry. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until noticeably puffy. The amount of time this will take can vary drastically—as little as 30 minutes in a warm environment, and over an hour where it’s colder. To see if the dough is properly proofed, gently press a finger into the surface. It should leave an imprint that slowly starts to spring back. If it won’t hold an imprint when gently touched, it’s still underproofed and needs more time. If it holds the impression and doesn’t spring back at all, it’s likely overproofed.
  6. Towards the end of rise time, preheat the oven to 400°F. When the pastry has risen, spoon or pipe a heaping tablespoon of cream cheese filling in the center of the danish. Spoon or pipe a heaping tablespoon of cinnamon filling on top. Top generously with the crumble topping.
  7. Brush the edges with egg wash and bake until the pastry is evenly golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  8. Variations:

    Cheese Danish: Skip the cinnamon filling and crumb topping, then proof and bake as directed.

    Fruit & Cheese Danish: Skip the cinnamon filling. After applying the cheese filling, spoon or pipe about 1 tablespoon of jam, jelly, or preserves on top of the danish. You can still use the crumb topping, if desired, then proof and bake as directed.

    Monkey Danish: Inspired by a treat sold at the Apple Pie Bakery Cafe at my alma mater, the Culinary Institute of America. Chop any scrap pieces of dough into bite-size pieces. Toss the pieces in a small amount of egg wash, then in cinnamon sugar to coat. Place mounds of the sugared dough into greased pastry rings—or just onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let rise as directed in step 5. Bake alone, as directed in step 7, or fill with cheese filling and top with streusel before baking.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, The Book on Pie, came out on November 10th, 2020, and my pie merch collaboration with Food52 is out now too: https://food52.com/shop/merchants/manifest-food52/food52-x-erin-mcdowell

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