My dad is one of those enigma types of people. He has reached great levels of success in his life, but his tastes remain super simple. He is the kind of person who will drive his very fancy car 10 miles out of the way because he found a gas station where gas is cheaper. He refuses to eat in a restaurant without a coupon. And when he comes up from Florida to visit, he has but one simple request – cherry danishes from the supermarket. Not the bakery. The supermarket.
I’ve wanted to make my dad’s favorite treat from scratch for a long time, and making Homemade Cherry Danish is a bit of a project. But I’m so glad I finally did it because the end result is nothing short of mind blowing. Friends, make this recipe and I promise you’ll never buy danish from the store again. Let’s get started!
What’s the dough part of homemade danish?
The type of dough used to make danish is the same as what’s used for croissants. It’s called laminated dough. Lamination is the process of layering cold butter into dough by rolling and folding it over and over. This creates lots of buttery, flaky layers in the dough.
You can then use the dough to form it into croissant shapes or, in our case, create pretty swirls of danish. Making laminated dough is complicated in terms of the number of steps, but is not actually hard to do. You’ll need two days, though, as it has to be refrigerated overnight.
How to make Homemade Cherry Danish
- Day One: Today, you’ll make the actual dough. This won’t take long at all. Just combine the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, eggs, milk and butter to form the dough. It will rise for a few hours, and then just put it in the fridge overnight. Day one, done.
- Day Two: Here’s where things get wild. First, you’ll roll the dough into a large rectangle. Then, you’ll place the cold butter in between two pieces of parchment and roll it out until it’s half the size of the dough. Rolling out the cold butter is the hardest part.
The rest is just more rolling, folding the dough over itself, and chilling. Repeat the rolling, folding and chilling process a few times, and then you’ll be ready to bake.
Tips for Success
- When making fruit filled pastries, I’ve learned that a little bit of fruit goes a long way. That pesky fruit filling just loves to explode in the oven. So, after you form the danish shapes, make sure to create a very deep well in the center. I’m talking, as deep as possible without actually putting a hole in the dough. Then, fill the center with no more than two or three cherries. Any more than that and the filling will seep out onto the pretty danish and you’ll be upset. Been there, trust me.
- Use a food scale to measure out the ingredients. Always important in baking, and very important in this recipe.
- Go for Irish butter over regular butter. It has a higher fat content that is necessary to get the super flaky layers.
- When you’re ready to roll out the butter, slice the blocks crosswise to create two thinner rectangles. Line them up next to each other. This will make rolling easier.
I’ve included as much detail as possible in the recipe steps so that you can be successful.
Follow the steps and you’ll have the most buttery, flaky Homemade Cherry Danish you’ve ever had. Way better than the supermarket. Like, not even in the same universe as the supermarket.
Let me know how it goes! Leave a comment or drop a rating below. Happy baking!
For more sweet breakfast treats, try these:
- Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Citrus Crumble
- Sticky Bun Monkey Bread
- Chocolate Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread
Homemade Cherry Danish
- 600 grams all purpose flour
- 525 grams unsalted butter cold, divided
- 3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp. milk room temperature, divided
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 4 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 can cherry pie filling
- 12 grams salt
- 80 grams sugar
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 cup water 110-115 degrees
- Stir yeast into the warm water and let dissolve 10 minutes.
- Fit a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. In the bowl, sift flour, salt and sugar. Stir in the yeast mixture.
- With the motor running on medium low, beat in 1 egg, 3/4 cup milk and 65g of butter. Beat about 4 minutes. Shape into a ball. Cover the bowl with a damp towel. Let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
- Dump the dough out onto a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 19×11". Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
- Slice the remaining 460g blocks of butter crosswise so that they are thinner rectangles. Place them next to each other between two pieces of parchment. Roll them out until they are about half the size of the dough rectangle, approximately 10×6". Place the butter on top of half of the dough. Fold the remaining dough over the butter. Seal the edges with a rolling pin.
- Turn the dough 90 degrees. Roll into a rectangle approximately 1/2" thick. Fold the two short ends of the dough into the center so that they meet each other. Then, fold one over the other, like you're closing a book. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough out again into a rectangle 1/2" thick. Fold into thirds: fold one short end 1/3 of the way, then fold the other end over the first end. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Roll out again and repeat step 7. Wrap and chill 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle again. Using a pizza cutter, slice strips from long end to long end that are about 1" wide. Holding opposite ends of the dough strips, twist them and then wrap them into circles. Tuck the edges in. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let rest 90 minutes at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using the back of a spoon, make deep wells in the center of the pastry circles. Fill the wells with 2-3 cherries. Beat the remaining egg together with 1 Tbsp. cold water. Brush the pastries with the egg wash. Bake 30 minutes. Cool completely.
- To make the glaze, whisk the confectioner's sugar with 3 Tbsp. milk. Drizzle over cooled danish.