Cream Cheese Danish Bread

If I had to choose my favorite breakfast pastry, it would always include cream cheese in some way.  In fact, I would add cream cheese to any dish, savory or sweet, because I absolutely love the flavor and the texture. Maybe it comes from my Jewish heritage and how so many weekend breakfasts or brunches included bagels and cream cheese.  Food evokes such wonderful memories for me, as I am sure it does for you too 🙂

About 20 years ago, when I moved to Florida, I became obsessed with Southern Living recipes and cookbooks. I would buy the books every chance I got and take my kids to the local bookstores so I could sit and read cookbooks…mostly for their dessert recipes 🙂  I found a recipe for cream cheese danish braids and would make them every chance I got.  Lately, I started thinking about how much I loved that recipe, so I perused the internet until I found a similar recipe.  I changed it up a bit to make it my own, and used the best yeast so I knew the dough would rise beautifully.  If you haven’t ever tried Red Star Yeast, you must because it is a wonderful and essential part of making great dough.  Here is a link to their website

These loaves need to be eaten fresh…preferably the day of or after you bake them.  If not, they freeze beautifully if wrapped properly and will last a few months in the freezer.  Let me know if you love them 🙂

Wonderful ingredients make for the best dough.  The sour cream makes it so tender.

The dough is very sticky and won’t come together in a smooth ball like most doughs.  That is totally fine.

After the dough has chilled, and you knead it, it will be smooth and supple.

Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.

Whip up the cream cheese filling in your mixture.

Roll the dough into a 12″x8″ inch rectangle and spread the filling over the top.

Tuck the ends under and pinch the seam closed so the filling doesn’t spill out.

Cut Xs into the top of the loaves after they have risen. Be careful not to slice all the way through or the filling will ooze out.

After the loaves are baked and cooled, drizzle the glaze over the top.

Could these look any more delicious?

Serve them for a special Sunday brunch with your favorite tea or coffee. 🙂

Cream Cheese Danish Bread

Makes: 4 loaves Prep time including rising: 3-4 hours Bake time: 15 to 20 minutes


1, 8 ounce container sour cream, (not low fat)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

2, 1/4 ounce envelopes active dry yeast ( I use Red Star Yeast)

1/2 cup warm water

2 beaten eggs

4 cups all purpose flour, ( I always use unbleached)


2, 8 ounce packs softened cream cheese

2 teaspoons best quality vanilla

3/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 beaten egg


2 and 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

2 teaspoons best quality vanilla

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon half and half


Heat first 4 ingredients in a saucepan until the butter melts and the mixture is warm.  Set aside

Combine yeast and warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer and let stand for 5 minutes.  Stir in sour cream mixture and eggs.  Gradually stir in flour.  The dough will be very soft and sticky.  Cover and chill for about 4 hours or until very cold.

Dust your board well with flour and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and soft. Divide the dough into fourths.

In your stand mixer, combine all of your filling ingredients.

Roll each ball into a 12″x8″ rectangle.

Divide the filing into fourths and spread each fourth onto the rolled dough being careful to leave an inch border so the filling doesn’t ooze out the side.

Roll up each rectangle and tuck each end under.  Pinch the seams closed so the filling does’t come out.

Place two rolls each on parchment lined baking sheets.

With a very sharp knife, cut 6 equally spaced Xs across the top of each loaf, being careful not to cut completely through the dough to expose the filling.

Cover each pan with a towel and let rise for an hour.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

Bake the loaves for 15 to 20 minutes or until the loaves are a golden brown.

Combine all glaze ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk and set aside.

Let the loaves cool completely before drizzling the glaze.

Wrap each loaf in wax paper and foil.  If they aren’t eaten by the next day, freeze them for up to 2 months.

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