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 recipe and took it to the next level with this easy Gluten Free Danish recipe.
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This gluten free cheese danish recipe is going to be your new favorite breakfast! Don't wait for a special occasion to make this, it should be made often! 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.
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 love pastries, you will also want to try my Czech Gluten Free Kolache recipe too!
If you are a breakfast fanatic like we are, you will want to check out ALL of my yummy gluten free breakfast recipes.
Why This Recipe Is 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!
- There are no complicated ingredients, but you do need to ensure you use a good gluten free flour blend that works with yeast recipes.
- 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, 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 Four Blend - I tested this recipe using Cup4Cup Blend. That doesn't mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours. Do NOT use any gluten free flour containing bean flour blends. Note some gluten free all-purpose flour is not made to work with yeast so always check the back of the bag of flour to make sure it is recommended with yeast.
- 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.
- White Sugar - This is to help get the yeast bubbling.
- Jam - use your favorite flavor!
- Yeast - double-check the brand you use is gluten free. Red Star Platinum is NOT gluten free!
- 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. Use unsalted butter.
- Eggs - Use size large.
- Cream Cheese - I used full-fat because it is a creamy cheese, but low-fat also works well. Be sure to read the label to ensure your cream cheese is gluten free.
- Vanilla - Please use pure vanilla extract if you can. Imitation often leaves an off-taste. If you are curious if vanilla is gluten free, you can read more about it.
There are various fillings options when making a Danish. Here are some of my favorites:
- 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
How To Make Gluten Free Danish:
Step 1: To make the danish dough, add the yeast, sugar, and milk to a bowl. Allow the yeast to proof for 10-15 minutes. Add the yeast and wet ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend.
Step 2: Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and use a whisk to blend the dry ingredients together.
Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix well. Note, that you can use a standing mixer with a dough hook or paddle attachment if you prefer.
Step 4: You only get one good rise so you need to shape your dough and work the butter layers in quickly.
Step 5: Roll out the dough on a clean work surface with a rolling pin. Rolling of the dough should be done quickly before the dough starts to rise.
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 texture of the dough is sticky, add more flour.
Step 7: The dough is folded over and 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 or the back of a teaspoon to press down the middle, making a shallow indentation. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the danish rise for 45 minutes.
Getting gluten free dough to rise can be tricky. See the Recipe FAQ for my best tips to rise gluten free dough.
Step 9: Fill each pastry circle with the cream cheese filling and jam. In the fall, try this recipe with apple pie filling!
Step 10: Preheat the oven to 350º F. In a small bowl, break an egg and whisk it. Brush the egg wash over each pastry. Bake at 350º F for 18-20 minutes until done. The tops will get a light golden brown.
If you love this pastry, you will also want to try my homemade gluten free cinnamon rolls recipe.
Tips and Recipe FAQ:
Yeast Rising Tips:
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.
- 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!
- Preheat the oven to 200º F and then turn the oven off. For best results, rise the dough in this warm oven with the oven door cracked open.
There is a LOT of butter in this recipe, so you may think of this question.
Butter is gluten free, and you can read more about it in this article, Is Butter Gluten Free. 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 for 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 Jam Flavors Are Best For Pastry?
There are many flavors of jam, or even pie fruit filling, that works beautifully in this gluten free danish 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)
This post was updated from an older January 2019 post with more detailed instructions.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place the danish dough rounds in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes.
- 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.
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- 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 Cup4Cup 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.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
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