How about starting your morning with fresh baked, homemade strawberry ricotta cheese danishes? Now, how about if I told you these danishes are ridiculously easy to make when you start with puff pastry? They’re also lightened up and you can sweeten them as much or as little as you want.
Try something new for breakfast
These are pretty much our household new favorite thing to make for breakfast. The kids love them, and I love that they are so quick and easy to make. They’re yummy and just something different than our typical weekend breakfast. If you’re celebrating something special, maybe a birthday, mother’s day, or some other special occasion, then give these a try! Also great for feeding house guests.
Lots of topping possibilities.
These danishes are “build your own” so you can add any kind of fruit and toppings. I don’t bake the cheese filling into the pastry. I add it after the pastries are baked. Reason being, if there’s someone in your house who isn’t a fan of cream cheese (like my son) then they can skip the filling. The pastries still taste very good with just fruit, whipped cream, Nutella and/or almonds.
Great for a baby or wedding shower, or a brunch
I really love how fancy these look compared to the amount of work needed to make them. You can make a bunch of these in no time flat and keep them chilled until you’re ready to serve them. You could also make just the puff pastry shells, and set out individual toppings so that party guests can add what they want to them. A build-your-own danish bar of sorts.
Don’t stress about scoring the puff pastry perfectly.
You’ll notice that one of the steps is to score a square shape into the dough before cooking. This is so that once these are cooked and puffed, you can just press that middle part in so it sinks down, leaving a cup to fill with your fruit, cheese filling and other goodies. The square outline does not need to be perfect at all. you won’t even see it once they’re filled so don’t drive yourself crazy trying to make sure your cuts are even. See the photo of how haphazard mine were and they came out just fine.
What if you don’t have or don’t like ricotta cheese?
I’ll be honest, I just added ricotta to be a little fancy. The ricotta adds a light texture and isn’t as rich as cream cheese. If you don’t have ricotta, simply add more cream cheese in its place. You’ll just end up with a slightly more dense cheese filling that is actually more like a typical danish that you would buy already made.
Could you bake the cheese filling into the puff pastry?
Yes, you could. This is actually typically how cheese danishes are made. I just chose to not bake the cheese in because I have picky eaters. 🙂 If you want to bake yours the more traditional way, then you’ll want to cook your puff pastry about half way, then carefully push in the centers to create an indention to fill. Then spoon in your cream cheese mixture and bake for the remaining time. Once they’re done baking you can add fruit and any other toppings you’d like.
What can I to do with the leftover puff pastry dough?
So glad you asked! 😉 To make a dozen of these easy strawberry cheese danishes, you need exactly one and a third sheets of puff pastry. You can use the remaining square of puff pastry to top a pie! Try my blueberry pie recipe or my chicken pot pie recipe. Both call for a puff pastry top!
Helpful tools for making this recipe:
- Baking sheet with silicon liner (set)
- Ceramic chef’s knife (ceramic prevents sticking)
- Kitchen Aid stand mixer in retro colors!