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Easy Lemon Danish Recipe

Lemon Danish Recipe: A Zesty Morning Delight

Start your day on a bright and delicious note with these Lemon Danishes. These flaky pastries are filled with a luscious lemon cream cheese mixture, drizzled with a lemon glaze, and baked to golden brown perfection. Whether you enjoy them with a hot cup of coffee or as part of a leisurely weekend brunch, these Lemon Danishes are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The Importance of Each Ingredient

To create the perfect Lemon Danish, each ingredient plays a crucial role:

  • Frozen Puff Pastry: This ready-made pastry dough provides the flaky, buttery layers that make danishes irresistible. It’s a time-saver that ensures your danishes turn out perfectly every time.
  • Cream Cheese: Cream cheese brings richness and a creamy texture to the filling. It’s the classic choice for danishes and complements the tangy lemon flavor beautifully.
  • Granulated Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness to the cream cheese mixture, balancing the tartness of the lemon.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor, adding a delightful aroma and depth to the filling.
  • Egg: The egg is used for the egg wash, giving the danishes a glossy, golden-brown finish.
  • Lemon Curd: Homemade or store-bought lemon curd provides the zesty, citrusy flavor that makes these danishes burst with lemon goodness.
  • Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar is used to make the glaze, adding sweetness and a smooth texture.
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream is essential for creating a creamy and drizzle-worthy glaze.


Can I use store-bought lemon curd?

Yes, you can absolutely use store-bought lemon curd to save time. However, making your own lemon curd from scratch allows you to control the flavor and adjust the tartness to your liking.

Can I prepare the danish pastries in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the pastries the night before, refrigerate them, and bake them fresh in the morning. Just be sure to cover them with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out.

What’s the difference between lemon curd and lemon zest?

Lemon curd is a thick, sweet-tart spread made from lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, and butter. Lemon zest, on the other hand, is the outermost, flavorful part of the lemon peel. Both add citrusy flavor, but lemon curd is sweeter and more intense.

Tips and Tricks

  • Thaw Puff Pastry Properly: Thaw the frozen puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight for the best results. Avoid using heat or direct sunlight to thaw, as it can affect the texture.
  • Room Temperature Cream Cheese: Ensure that the cream cheese is fully softened to room temperature before mixing. This ensures a smooth and creamy filling.
  • Lemon Zest: Don’t skip the lemon zest in the cream cheese mixture. It adds a burst of fresh lemon flavor.
  • Egg Wash Evenly: Brush the egg wash evenly on the pastry to achieve a consistent golden-brown finish.


Cheese Danish

For a classic cheese danish, omit the lemon zest and lemon curd. Instead, fill the pastries with a sweet cream cheese mixture and top with your choice of fruit preserves or pie filling.

Savory Danish

Experiment with savory fillings by using ingredients like ham and cheese, spinach and feta, or smoked salmon and cream cheese. The flaky pastry works wonderfully with savory flavors too.

Where to Serve

Lemon Danishes are a versatile treat that can be served in various settings:

  • Weekend Brunch: Serve these danishes as part of a leisurely weekend brunch spread. They pair perfectly with fresh fruit and a hot cup of coffee.
  • Easter Brunch: Add a festive touch to your Easter brunch with these delightful pastries.
  • Dessert Table: Include Lemon Danishes on your dessert table for a delectable lemony treat.


To store your Lemon Danishes:

  • Airtight Container: Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. They are best enjoyed fresh.
  • Reheating: If you have leftovers, warm them in the oven at a low temperature to restore their flakiness.

Common Problems and How to Avoid Them

Pastry Not Rising

If your pastry doesn’t rise properly, it might be due to the dough not having enough time to rise. Ensure you let the pastry dough rise according to the package instructions, usually about 30 minutes to an hour.

Leaking Filling

To prevent the cream cheese mixture from leaking out during baking, make sure to seal the edges of the pastries well. Press the edges with a fork to ensure they are tightly sealed.

Glaze Too Thick or Thin

For the perfect drizzle glaze, start with the recommended measurements in the recipe. If it’s too thick, add a bit more heavy cream; if it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar until you achieve the desired consistency.

Tips for Making This Recipe with Kids

Get your little ones involved in the kitchen and make this a fun family activity:

  • Let the kids help with brushing the egg wash on the pastries; it’s a simple and safe task.
  • Allow them to sprinkle the lemon zest on top, which adds a burst of fresh lemon flavor and is a great way to engage their senses.

Topping Options

Customize your Lemon Danishes with these topping options:

  • Confectioner’s Sugar: A light dusting of confectioner’s sugar adds a touch of sweetness and elegance.
  • Lemon Zest: For an extra zing, sprinkle some fresh lemon zest on top of each danish.

Why This Recipe Works

This Lemon Danish recipe works because it combines simple ingredients to create a delectable treat that’s perfect for breakfast or dessert. The flaky pastry, creamy cream cheese filling, and tangy lemon curd come together to create a delightful balance of textures and flavors.

Whether you’re enjoying it as an easy breakfast or a sweet ending to a meal, these Lemon Danishes are sure to become a family favorite. So, whip up a batch, savor the great flavors, and start your day with a smile.

Here are some more amazing breakfast pastry recipes:

Easy Lemon Danish Recipe
Yield: 12 servings

Easy Lemon Danish Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

These amazing lemon danishes are great with your morning coffee or tea?


  • 1 box (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 jar lemon curd
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. 
  2. Lay the two sheets of thawed puff pastry out flat on a clean work surface. Use a sharp knife to cut each sheet into 6 rectangles, making 12 total rectangles. 
  3. Use the knife to score a ½ inch border around each rectangle (only cut about ½ way down into the dough). This will allow the outside ½ inch border to puff up while baking and the middle to stay flatter.
  4. Use a fork to prick several areas around the middle of each rectangle of pastry. This helps to keep the center from rising too much while baking.
  5. Place the pastries onto one large or two medium baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
  6. In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract. Scoop the mixture onto the pastries and spread out evenly over the center area, but not onto the ½ inch border.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the egg wash onto the ½ inch border of each pastry.
  8. Bake the pastries at 400F for 18-20 minutes until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer the pastries to a wire cooling rack.
  9. While the pastries are still warm, add a dollop of lemon curd to the center of each pastry and spread out just enough to cover the cream cheese layer.
  10. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Drizzle the frosting over the cooled pastries.


For more lemon flavor, add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest to the cream cheese filling. Some fresh lemon juice can also be added if desired.

The pastries should be stored in the refrigerator and keep fresh for up to five days. They can be reheated in the microwave on high for 10-20 seconds.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 129Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 48mgSodium 58mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 0gSugar 16gProtein 2g

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