Updated: Mar 1
Do you have a sweet tooth when it comes to breakfast? Or maybe you enjoy sweet breakfast baked goods for dessert in the evening. Either way, you’re going to love this recipe as it’s lip smackin’ delicious and can be relished at anytime. Your family and friends will think you spent hours in the kitchen preparing this delectable danish, but later in this post I’ll show you how to significantly cut down the preparation time by using one easy shortcut. And yes, you can still have bragging rights in claiming that it’s semi-homemade.
Another exciting feature about this recipe is that it’s convertible in the sense that you can omit the section in preparing the apples and follow the remainder of the recipe, resulting in a rich and creamy danish. Or get creative and experiment with adding a different fruit, nut or flavored sugar based filling. The sky’s the limit in the variety of fillings you can use to bake up this classic pastry, so whether you choose to follow this recipe to the letter or combine it with your own twist, I hope your baking experience is a sweet one.
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To prepare the apple filling you’ll need:
Apples – 2 3/4 cups chopped (I used 3 medium sized Honeycrisp apples as they’re on the sweeter side. If you prefer some tartness you can combine Granny Smith apples. For additional options, check out this quick reference guide from Bon Appetit
Light Brown Sugar – 1/2 cups
All-Purpose Flour – 1 Tablespoon
Cinnamon – 1/2 Teaspoon (if you prefer a stronger, slightly spicier flavor, I recommend using Saigon cinnamon)
Nutmeg – 1/4 Teaspoon
Kosher Salt – 1/4 Teaspoon
Vanilla Extract – 1 Teaspoon
Unsalted Butter – 4 tablespoons
To prepare the cream cheese filling you’ll need:
Regular Cream Cheese – 2, 8-ounce bars – cut into approximately 16 pieces (use the markers on the outside of the wrapper as a guide).
Granulated Sugar – 1 cup
Eggs – 1 large
Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
To prepare the dough for the danish you’ll need:
Refrigerated Crescent Dough Sheet – 2 cans (I used Pillsbury brand. If the full dough sheets are not available, you can substitute with 2 cans of crescent rolls).
Egg – 1 large egg white
To prepare the glaze you’ll need:
Confectioners (Powdered) Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Heavy Cream – 1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract – 1 Teaspoon
The following items are common kitchen utensils you likely have on hand. If you've read some of my other posts, you'll notice most of these items rotate in appearance as they can be used in several cooking and baking recipes. With proper care, the items I list below will make your life easier in the kitchen and will last you many years --- and recipes --- to come.
Measuring cups - this set contains common measurements from 1/4 - 1 cup and can also measure liquids as it's designed with a spout, for easy, mess-free pouring.
1.5 quart mixing bowl
Apple corer/slicer - simplify the prepping step of removing apple cores and cutting even slices as this device does it easily for you.
Silicone spatula - stir and combine dry and wet ingredients and also use it in high heat up to 480°. You'll appreciate how versatile this spatula is for this recipe and many other recipes featured in our other blog posts.
Measuring spoons - no more randomly missing measuring spoons as this set is magnetized and dual sided to measure dry and wet ingredients from 1/8 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon.
Chef's knife - There's a reason why this tool has 5 stars and is also highly recommended for nearly 2 decades on America's Test Kitchen. It handles exceptionally well and unlike other high quality knives, the price won't slash your wallet.
Fruit peeler - to remove apple skin.
2 quart sauce pan - to cook apple filling.
9. Whisk - this standard sized 9-inch whisk will easily whip up the smooth glaze called for in this recipe.
10. Mixing bowl - I used a 1.5 quart bowl for mixing together the brown sugar mix and also for whipping up the glaze. The link included here is for a set of 3 Pyrex mixing bowls as you'll get a lot of use out of them from storage to aiding in food prep and the value for the set is unbeatable as these are constantly selling out.
11. 9 x 13 inch baking pan - Fat Daddio's baking pans get high marks from me and several other reviewers for durability and sturdiness and you'll love the consistent results it produces in your baked goods.
12. 1-cup capacity measuring cup - If you've read some of my other posts, you'll notice this item is used often and for good reason. They're sturdy, rate highly for their precise measurements and can transfer directly from the fridge or freezer to your preheated oven, which makes this another highly versatile kitchen tool to stock up on.
13. Mini offset spatula - Here's yet another tool that makes smoothing fillings and frostings on baked goods a breeze.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash apples and remove skins.
2. Place an apple corer/slicer over top of each individual apple and while firmly holding the handles, carefully push the corer/slicer through the apple.
3. Using a chef’s knife, coarsely chop the apple slices and set aside 2 3/4 cups.
4. Add brown sugar to the mixing bowl.
5. Add 1 tablespoon of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt to the mixing bowl.
6. Stir ingredients until combined.
7. Add 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter to medium sized saucepan and melt butter over medium heat (approximately 3-4 minutes).
8. Reduce heat to low-medium setting and carefully add chopped apples to the saucepan.
9. Add brown sugar mix to the saucepan and stir until combined.
10. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the saucepan and stir until combined
11. Cook apples until sugar mix has thickened (approximately 6-8 minutes).
12. Place cooked apples in a medium sized mixing bowl and allow to cool while preparing the cream cheese filling.
13. Add 16 ounces of regular cream cheese (cut into slices approximately 1/2 inch thick) to a stand mixer bowl.
14. Add 1 cup of granulated sugar to the stand mixer bowl.
15. Add 1 large egg to the stand mixer bowl.
16. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the stand mixer bowl.
17. Using the flat beater attachment, set mixer speed on low until ingredients are combined (approximately 20 seconds) and increase speed to medium until cream cheese filling is smooth (approximately 1 minute).
18. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan and lay one crescent dough sheet flat across the bottom of the pan.
19. Add cream cheese filling and using a mini offset spatula or the back of a spoon, evenly spread the filling across the crescent dough sheet, leaving approximately 1/2 inch from the edge uncovered.
20 Add apple filling and using a silicone spatula or the back of a spoon, evenly spread the filling across the cream cheese filling, also leaving approximately 1/2 inch from the edge uncovered.
21. Lay the second crescent dough sheet over the apple filling and create a seal along the edges by pressing top layer of dough into the bottom layer of crescent dough. If any crescent dough tears, gently pinch seams together.
22. Using a basting/pastry brush, gently brush egg white over the top layer of the crescent dough. Place baking pan in the oven and bake the Danish for approximately 35-40 minutes until the top has a light golden brown appearance. Once done baking, remove the baking pan from the oven and allow the danish to cool in the baking pan for approximately 15-20 minutes.
23. For the glaze, add 1 1/2 cups of confectioner’s (powdered) sugar to a medium sized mixing bowl and pour 1/2 cup heavy cream into the bowl.
24. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mixing bowl.
25. Using a whisk, beat ingredients until smooth.
26. Transfer the glaze to a cup with a spout.
27. Slowly pour all of the glaze onto the danish.
28. Using a silicone spatula, spread the glaze to coat the entire top surface and guide excess so it coats the sides of the danish.
Thank you for reading this post and let me know how much you enjoyed it by dropping a comment below. Have a sweet day! ~Xina