I bet you didn’t think Danish pastries were a make-at-home kind of treat, did you? They’re a lot easier than I expected! Believe me, I was expecting this to be such a hard recipe to conquer that I almost didn’t try it. Good thing I did, though, because this homemade Danish pastry recipe is to die for.
There’s no telling what people like in their danishes. Whatever your preference, my danish pastry recipe has it covered.
Below are step-by-step instructions for preparing the dough. These instructions will apply for any type of danishes. Then I included step-by-step instructions for spiraled danish pastries. Finally, for those who like their danishes filled with goodies, I included a separate step for cream, pastry cream, and jelly filling.
I’ve provided pictures because a little bit of visual assistance always helps — especially with a multi-step process like this Danish pastry recipe.
Have fun making these danishes, and then go enjoy your pastries! Happy cooking!
How to Make Danish Pastries: A Visual Guide
The first thing you want to do with the recipe is prepare your dough and the butter you’ll be adding into the dough.
Now you’ll need to flatten the butter and prepare the yeast.
Now you’re ready to start mixing the dough.
Fold the butter into the dough as shown.
Roll together the dough and the butter.
Danish Pastry Recipe Bonus: How to Make Spiraled Danish Pastries
How to Make a Cream, Pastry Cream, or Jelly-Filled Danish
Danish Pastries You Can Make at Home
- 2 sticks cold unsalted butter (about 1 cup)
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar plus 1 teaspon for feeding the yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Slice each stick of butter lengthwise into three pieces (6 in all). Sprinkle a little flour over a piece of parchment paper measuring approximately 26 x 15 inches. Place the butter in a horizontal row in the middle of the left half of the parchment paper. Fold the other half of the parchment paper over the butter. This will keep the butter from sticking to the rolling pin. Roll the butter into a flat sheet about 1/8-inch thick. Place the butter sheet into the refrigerator.
- In a stand mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook, add flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and the salt, and mix on low until combined.
- In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar, and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, add the milk, egg, and vanilla and mix well.
- Pour the milk mixture and the yeast mixture into the flour and knead the dough for 7 to 8 minutes.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll dough to an approximately 20 x 20-inch square. Remove the butter from the refrigerator and place 1/2 of the butter sheet over the right side of the square. You may have to remove the butter with a scraper. Cover the butter with the right side of the dough. Place the remaining butter on the bottom half of the dough and fold over with the top half of the dough. Pinch all the sides of the dough to keep the butter from coming out of the sides when you roll the dough. The key is to get thin layers of butter throughout to create a flaky dough.
- Roll the dough to about 1/2-inch thick, then fold into thirds just as you would fold a letter. Repeat three more times. The last time, leave it folded like a letter and put the dough in a ziptop bag and refrigerate for at least one hour. I like to put mine in overnight and have dough ready for the next morning.
To make the spiraled pastries:
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and place on a floured surface. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness, creating a 24 x 24-inch square. Cut the dough into 1-inch strips. With one strip of dough, beginning with the ends, twist the dough in opposite directions. When the dough is spiraled, roll one end continuously to reach the other end, until you have formed a pretty cylinder. Place each danish onto a piece of parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet and allow to rise for one hour.
To make the cream, pastry or jelly-filled danish
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and place on a floured surface. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness, creating a 24 x 24-inch square. Fold the sides, not letting the filling spill out, and seal the pastry together with an egg wash. Place each danish onto a piece of parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet and allow to rise for one hour.
Baking the pastries:
- Bake pastries at 375 degrees in a pre-heated oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and store in an airtight container.