Homemade Danish Pastries Recipe

Homemade Danish Pastries Recipe

Ever since we were featured on Evening Magazine, this has been my most requested recipe. It simply whisked across the screen for 30 seconds and people were in love. I don’t blame them.

I figure I’ve frosted 58,923 of these in my lifetime so far. They were popular at Scandia Bakery when I worked there many years ago and I made it one of my life goals to try to recreate them. You know, because I missed frosting them every day. My goal has been achieved and I am regifting them to you this Christmas.


You’re welcome. I’m sorry. You’re welcome.


  • 5 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110F or cooler)
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar (divided)
  • 3/4 cup of instant mashed potatoes stirred together with 3/4 cup of warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk (110F or cooler)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • About 7 cups all-purpose flour

Place 1 tablespoon of sugar,  yeast and warm water into a large bowl. Give a little swirl and let sit for about 10 minutes to become foamy.

After foaminess has developed, whisk in remaining 1 cup of sugar, instant mashed potatoes (mixed with the 3/4 cup water), milk, eggs & shortening. Mix until well combined and shortening is about the size of peas. Finally, stir in salt.

Continue mixing with a wooden spoon and add a couple of cups of flour.

Slowly continue adding a cup or two of flour at a time. When you can no longer stir the dough easily with a spoon, begin kneading in the remaining flour. You can keep it in the bowl while doing this or on the counter – whichever you find easiest for you.  Knead by hand for about 5 minutes or until dough is somewhat elastic.

Cover with a clean warm, damp towel and let the dough sit in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. This can sometimes take longer in the winter because of the weather so be sure to place dough in a warm place.

Turn happily risen dough onto flour covered countertop. Coat dough with a little bit of flour so it’s easier to work with and punch down. Form into circles or long ovals. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Use fingers to press down and spread out dough into shape and size you would like them to be.  Makes up to 24 regular-sized danishes depending on what size you make them. You can also make minis for parties, brunches & teas. They make a lovely spread when filled with different kinds of toppings. Minis are my favorite.

If baking on the same day, let sit on a tray in a warm place for an hour or doubled in size.  If making the night before, cover with non-stick spray coated saran wrap and place in the fridge. After removing from fridge, allow to sit out for about 20 minutes before filling.

Press centers of danishes down to make room for fillings, then brush each danish with a well-beaten egg.


  • Cherry & cream cheese (Pictured above. See cream cheese filling recipe below.)
  • Boysenberry & cream cheese
  • Apricot
  • Strawberry & lemon
  • Lemon & cream cheese
  • Apple

You can use homemade or store-bought pie fillings or jelly.


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • Juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Blend together until smooth and creamy. Apply to danishes using a pastry bag.


After danishes are formed, add filling or fillings of choice to each one. Top with streusel.


  • 1 stick of butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup of flour
  • 2/3 cup of powdered sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 egg
Place streusel ingredients into food processor and press pulse until combined but still crumbly (about the size of peas). Sprinkle onto filled danishes generously.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 20-30 minutes or until light golden brown.

Remove danishes from oven when done baking and allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Drizzle frosting over danishes and add extra on edges of danish.


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

Stir together until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Here’s to the next 58,923 perfectly frosted danishes. Merry Christmas.


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