If you love flaky pastries and have missed them since going gluten free, you are going to LOVE this Gluten Free Cheese Danish recipe!! I took my most popular flaky pastry dough and took it to the next level with this easy Gluten Free Cream Danish recipe.
This gluten free cheese danish recipe is going to be your new favorite breakfast! When you bite into this sweet delicious danish, you will be shocked that there is no gluten in it. My gluten free pastry recipe has been a favorite of my readers for years, and I used it as the base for this recipe.
When Mr. Fearless Dining and I went on a trip to Europe (way before we were gluten free!), we fell in love with not only the beauty and culture but also the French and European pastries.
We knew that we probably wouldn’t taste anything like them at home, but when we started making these danishes, we knew we were as close as we could get. If you love pastries, you will also want to try my Czech Gluten Free Kolache recipe too!
These gluten free cheese pastries do take some time and effort, but I can promise you they are worth every single scrumptious bite!!
Sweet, flaky crust filled with cream cheese and topped with a lemon sugar glaze that is decadent and unforgettable. These gluten free danishes are seriously food heaven for your taste buds. If you are a breakfast fanatic like we are, you will want to check out ALL of my yummy gluten free breakfast recipes.
Why these pastries are great:
You can eat pastry for breakfast again! You can make these danishes for breakfast, but they are also great to serve as a brunch option too. These Danish do have a lot of steps but sooo worth it to get those yummy flaky pastry layers!
If you do a lot of meal planning, then you could also make these on the weekend, so then you have a quick grab and go breakfast when you are on the way out the door. (Just remember to bring an extra napkin!!)
The base gluten free pastry dough for this recipe is based on my most popular Gluten Free Flaky Pastries recipe.
Each danish has the perfect amount of flakiness and sweet goodness! Once you make this pastry recipe and figure out how versatile it is, and you will completely fall in love. Below are a few more ideas of how you can use the same recipe and merely make a few adjustments to change it up.
- Gluten free flour blend - I tested this recipe using Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend and King Arthur's Measure for Measure Gluten Free Blend. That doesn't mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
- Xanthan gum - If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon. This helps to hold the pastries together.
- Jam - use your favorite flavor!
- Butter - In this recipe, vegan butter doesn't do a good job in making the flaky layers...for this reason, I do not think it can be converted to dairy-free.
- Cream cheese - I used full-fat but low-fat also works well.
Variations for this recipe:
- Add chocolate or Nutella
- Add nuts, marshmallows or sprinkle with coarse sugar
- Sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar mixture
- Add any flavor of jam or fruit filling you like
- Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes
- You can make a large shaped cheese danish in the form of a rectangle
Are you ready to see how easy these Gluten Free Cheese Danishes are to make?
Recipe step by step directions:
Step 1: Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend.
Step 2: Add the yeast, sugar, and milk to a bowl. Allow the yeast to proof 10-15 minutes. Add the yeast and wet ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend.
Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Step 4: Let the dough sit and rise for an hour. After an hour, mix the dough and add a little flour if needed. Getting gluten free dough to rise can be tricky. Here are a few tips for this recipe and for different gluten free bread recipes you want to make.
Step 5: Roll out the dough on a cutting board with a rolling pin.
Step 6:Add cold butter to the dough. Fold the dough over the butter and roll with your rolling pin again. You will be repeating this process several times. If the dough is sticky, add more flour. If the dough gets too warm, put back in the refrigerator to chill.
Step 7: The dough folded over ready to roll again. Add more butter once rolled out and fold the dough back over itself again. Roll it flat again. You can read more about the steps and see more pictures in my original Flaky Pastry recipe.
Roll the dough flat for the last time. Grab a round cookie cutter.
Step 8: Lay out the round dough circles on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Use your fingers to press down the middle in each.
Step 9: Fill each pastry circle with the cream cheese mixture and jam.
Step 10: Brush an egg wash on each pastry. Bake at 350º F for 18-20 minutes until done.
Tips and Recipe FAQ:
Follow these tips to help your yeast rise better:
- You will have better luck if you let it rise overnight, in a cool, dry place. It may take longer, but the result is a stronger dough, and it rises better.
- When you ferment the yeast with warm milk make sure that it isn’t over 110 F degrees. Because milk has sugar in it when you use it to ferment your yeast the sugars will feed the yeast.
- I found that letting my yeast sit in the milk with a little sugar longer helps it really get bubbly and active! Mine sat for 15 minutes and went crazy...making this dough super puffy!
There is a LOT of butter in this recipe, so you may think of this question.
Yes, you can. Organic as well as plain butter is typically gluten free. There are some varieties that add ingredients that have gluten in them, so just pay close attention to what is in the butter. You can also have most dairy products. Just read the labels and organic is always a safer bet.
Yes! You can fold, twist, and shape this pastry dough any way you like!
You will know the pastry is done when it is slightly golden in color.
These pastries will keep fresh up to 4 days in the refrigerator. With all of the butter, they will get hard. To soften them back up, microwave for 25-30 seconds.
What flavors of jam are best for pastry?
There are many flavors of jam, or even pie fruit filling, that work beautifully in this recipe. Here are a few of my favorite pastry fillings:
European and French gluten free recipes:
- Gluten Free Dairy Free Crepes
- Easy Gluten Free French Apple Cakes
- Gluten Free German Apple Cake
- Light & Fluffy Gluten Free Cream Puffs (Profiteroles)
- A good rolling pin. You will be rolling this dough several times with butter. I love this rolling pin because it works well and can go into the dishwasher to clean!
- Cookie cutters to make perfect circle shapes with the dough.
Gluten Free Cheese Danish
- 2 cups gluten free flour blend * see note
- ¼ cup tapioca starch
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar For the yeast
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ cup warm milk (*feel free to use non-dairy milk)
- 3 eggs (*note, one is for the egg wash and two for the dough)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- For Filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
For Rolling Dough:
- extra flour for when the dough gets sticky
- In a small bowl, add the yeast, one teaspoon sugar, and warm milk. Allow sitting for 10 minutes to let it get frothy.
- In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add all of the wet ingredients. Pour in the frothy yeast mixture and whisk to blend.
- Pour the wet ingredients, including 4 of the tablespoons of butter melted, into the dry ingredients and mix.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise for one hour.
- Place plastic wrap onto a cutting board. Sprinkle with flour.
- Put the dough to the cutting board. Sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour. Use a rolling pin or your hands to press it flat to ¾ inch thick. Use as much flour as needed to prevent it from being sticky. At any time you can refrigerate the dough to help.
- Add chunks of butter and then fold the dough onto itself. Roll flat again.
- Add more butter chunks and roll again. You will keep repeating this process so that you have lots of butter layers. This is what makes your pastry dough flaky. It is a bit time consuming but it is worth it!
- Repeat this process until you use all of the butter. Again, you will want to refrigerate the dough a bit between each butter layer. Cold butter works a lot better in making flaky layers.
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Make the cream cheese layer by adding room temperature cream cheese, the egg yolk, and sugar to a mixer and whip until creamy.
- Roll your dough to ½ to ¾ inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out circles, or another shape.
- Use your fingers to press down the dough in the center of the circle. Add one spoon full of the cream cheese mixture and jam to each center.
- Beat an egg in a small bowl. Use a brush to spread the egg onto the exposed dough of each pastry.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until done. Allow cooling.
- Make the icing with the powdered sugar and lemon juice to a bowl. Feel free to add more lemon juice to get the right consistency. Drizzle onto each Danish.
- I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF and Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend. That doesn't mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
- If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
- I used milk but dairy-free kinds of milk will work but I do not recommend canned coconut milk.
- Use a biscuit cutter or large circle cookie cutter to cut out your circles so the Danish are all the same size.
- Use any jam flavor you like!
- These pastries will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
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