I’m a sucker for buttery, flaky treats (like this farmer’s cheese danish), especially enjoyed with close friends and family first thing in the morning. With the weather getting a little warmer and the smell of spring in the air, all I am dreaming about is long days at the cottage, sitting by the lake with perhaps a cocktail, good conversation, and of course enjoying the abundance of home cooking and baking.
I’m excited to share this recipe with you! It’s simple to make and doesn’t involve a lot of prep work. Puff pastry is great for that, and you’d be surprised how versatile it is. You can even make the filling the night before so all you have to do is assemble the cheese danish and bake. You’ll have the warm, lemon, buttery smell filling the air for everyone in the house to wake up to, what a treat for your guests!
The filling is so light and refreshing and it pairs beautifully with the flaky, soft yet crisp pastry. You can add any fruit you’d like or homemade jam to sweeten things up too.
- Puff pastry
- Cream cheese
- Granulated sugar & icing sugar
- Egg yolks
- Ricotta cheese
- Jam (optional)
- Pure vanilla extract
Tips to Make the Perfect Farmer’s Cheese Danish
- Make sure you have defrosted your puff pastry in advance.
- When making your batter, beat until the mixture resembles a ribbon like consistency. You want the batter to be thick; this can take some time so be patient.
- Make the danishes right on parchment paper so you can easily transfer them to the baking sheet.
- Making a braided danish is easier than it looks, and you’ll get better each time you make it. So don’t stress and have fun trying a new technique. It’s basically 1-inch cuts that are folded into the middle and then crossed over each other.
The recipe makes two large danishes. Try making two different flavours and freeze any extras.
- Add fresh fruit like; raspberries or blueberries
- Add your favourite jam
- Add chopped figs
- Add raisins or currants
- Sub the ricotta cheese for farmer’s (cottage) cheese
- Add shaved almonds
How To Make a Farmer’s Cheese Danish
Step One: Make your filling and set aside. Roll out one piece of the puff pastry, approx. 10 x 10 inches. Lightly mark your pastry into 3 sections (vertically); 3 inches, 4 inches and 3 inches. Now cut 1 inch strips horizontally on the 3 inch sides, leaving the center intact.
Fill the center of the pastry with half of the lemon cheese filling.
Step Two: Make your braid- starting from the top on the left side, fold one strip into the center of the lemon pastry (slightly angled down). Now on the right side fold the top strip in and overlap the other strip. Repeat until you don’t have any strips left. Brush the tops with milk, place in the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.
Step Three: Drizzle the glaze and dust with icing sugar once danishes are cool.
Farmer’s Cheese Danish
This farmer’s cheese danish will definitely become a staple! It’s simple to make and it’s the right amount of sweetness for a morning treat. The filling is light and refreshing and it pairs beautifully with the flaky, soft yet crisp pastry.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 22 mins
- Total Time: 32 mins
- Yield: 2 Danishes 1x
- Category: Pastry
- Cuisine: Danish
- 1 package of puff pastry (make sure it’s defrosted and ready to use)
- 1 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 2 Tablespoons of milk, for brushing the tops of the danishes
- jam (optional)
- 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar together until well combined. Add egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla extract, salt and lemon rind. Beat on medium high for approx. 2-3 minutes until mixture starts to thicken and colour is pale yellow. Set aside.
- On a floured work surface roll out one piece of the puff pastry, approx. 10 x 10 inches (it doesn’t need to be exact). Note: you can also make the danishes on parchment paper so you can easily transfer them to the baking sheet.
- To make the braid – lightly mark your pastry into 3 sections (vertically); 3 inches, 4 inches and 3 inches. Now cut 1 inch strips horizontally on the 3 inch sides, leaving the center intact. See the images above for reference.
- Fill the center of the pastry with half of the lemon cheese filling, leaving 1/2 inch from the edges (add dollops of jam if using).
- Starting from the top on the left side, fold one strip into the center of the lemon pastry (slightly angled down). Now on the right side fold the top strip in and overlap the other strip. Repeat until you don’t have any strips left. If you have an extra strip that doesn’t fit just cut it off.
- Slide the danish onto your prepared baking sheet, leaving room for another danish.
- Repeat the process to make another danish.
- Brush the tops of the danishes with milk. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown and the bottom is browning.
- Remove the danishes from the baking pan and place them on a cooling rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, make your icing. Mix icing sugar, milk and vanilla together. Drizzle over danishes once cooled and dust with icing sugar.
Add fresh raspberries to the filling or any fruit. You can add homemade jam to sweeten things up too.
Use Farmer’s cheese as a substitute for ricotta cheese as they are interchangeable.
Best eaten the day of, will last for 2-3 days in an airtight container.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 114
- Sugar: 3.5g
- Sodium: 71mg
- Fat: 7.6g
- Saturated Fat: 2.3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 9.6g
- Fiber: 0.2g
- Protein: 2g
- Cholesterol: 19mg
Keywords: Danish, Breakfast, Puff Pastry
Farmer’s cheese is a firm cottage cheese. It can be made from the milk of cows, sheep, or goats.
Ricotta cheese is a great substitution for farmer’s cheese and can be used interchangeably. Make sure to use full fats.
Yes, cheese danishes freeze really well. Place them in an airtight container with plastic wrap over the danishes and freeze for up to two months. Let danishes come to room temperature before enjoying or reheat in the oven at 350˚F for 8-10 minutes.
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this looks delicious
Have to try this,I love any cream cheese dessert, can’t wait!!!!
Just a Note: I’ve made some adjustment to the filling as some people have mentioned the filling is a little too runny. Hope this helps for anyone who had some problems. Happy Baking, Alie
Just had The treat of treats!…
Alex’s “farmers cheese danish“. Shared with fam at my small Mother’s Day brunch… and we licked the platter clean! Delicious! Thanks Alie!
I found this recipe and tried it for the first time. I’m a pretty good at cooking but not so much at baking. Saying that this was one of the easiest and amazing recipes I did. Everyone absolutely loved it!,Delicious..
This is one of my favourites recipes and I’m so happy to know you found it easy and delicious Raj!
The Farmer’s cheese danish looked like I had purchased it at a bakery. It looked just like the picture and tasted delicious! It was actually fun to make with the braiding of the puff pastry. More recipes using puff pastry would be great!
This is one of my favourite recipes on the blog Suzie!! I’m so, so happy to hear you like it too! Will definitely get some more puff pastry recipes out!
Why are they called farmers cheese danish when there is NO FARMERS CHEESE in the recipe???
Hi Candace, thanks for your questions. This is my take (that I’ve adapted) on a farmers cheese danish. I prefer ricotta cheese in the recipe but you can sub out the ricotta and use farmers cheese if you like. It’s noted in the note section about making the substitute. Happy Baking 🙂