Poppy-Seed Danishes with Cherry-Cream Cheese Filling

Photo: Ditte Isager
Prep Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 20 mins

Poppy-seed Danishes with a cream-cheese-and-cherry filling are cut and folded to resemble the blooming flowers.


For the Dough

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, plus more for bowl

  • cup granulated sugar

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (one ¼-ounce envelope) active dry yeast

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and hands

  • Salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash

For the Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • ¼ cup confectioners' sugar

  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons poppy seeds

  • cup cherry preserves

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 3 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream


  1. Make the dough: Warm milk, butter, and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat until mixture reaches 120 degrees on a candy thermometer. (Butter will not melt completely.) Pour warm milk mixture over yeast in the bowl of a mixer; whisk to combine. Cover with 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt (do not stir). Let stand for 5 minutes.

  2. Using the dough-hook attachment, mix dough on medium speed, scraping down sides of bowl, until a sticky dough forms. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low, and mix in 1 1/2 cups flour. (If dough is too sticky, mix in an additional 1/2 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.) Continue to mix until dough is smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl, about 5 minutes more.

  3. Using floured hands, turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough into a ball, and transfer to a large buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place until dough is doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

  4. Return dough to lightly floured surface, and punch down. Reshape into a ball. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, make the filling: Beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolk. Add poppy seeds, and beat until evenly distributed.

  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a 16-inch square. Trim edges using a sharp paring knife to form a 15-inch square. (If dough seems too warm or too elastic, refrigerate or freeze for 10 minutes.) Cut dough into nine 5-inch squares, and divide between 2 baking sheets.

  7. Cut a 2-inch line from the 4 corners of each square into the center. Spread a heaping tablespoon filling onto each. Dollop centers with a heaping teaspoon preserves. Fold the 2 top corners into the center of each square. Repeat with remaining corners to form petals. Brush petals with egg wash. Bake until deep golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool slightly.

  8. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Mix together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use. (If glaze gets stiff, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.)

  9. Drizzle Danishes with glaze, and let stand for 10 minutes.

Cook's Notes

Danish dough can be frozen for up to 2 weeks. Thaw before using.

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