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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Raspberry-Lemon Cream Cheese Danish

These are amazing! Don't be intimidated by the shape and size. This Danish isn't any more difficult to make than cinnamon rolls.  In fact, once you get the hang of it, I'd wager it's easier than cinnamon rolls.  The lemon cream cheese filling contrasting with the tasty raspberries is one of those amazing flavor combinations that will leave you wanting more... and more. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Raspberry-Lemon Cream Cheese Danish
Raspberry-Lemon Cream Cheese Danish - Fresh out of the oven!
A Slice of GF Raspberry-Lemon Cream Cheese Danish
Served with powdered sugar

Raspberry-Lemon Cream Cheese Danish
Makes 2 Danish rings
The dough in this recipe is the same used in the cinnamon rolls. If you like, you can make one Danish and one 8x8 pan of cinnamon rolls, which is what I like to do!  Just use a half recipe for filling/frosting as in the cinnamon roll recipe for your cinnamon rolls, and use half the filling called for here.
Prepare filling:
Mix thoroughly in a bowl, then set aside:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp ricotta
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
Rinse and set to dry:
2 cups fresh raspberries
This is filling for half a recipe (since I made cinnamon rolls, too!)
Prepare dough:

Preheat oven to 350F.  (I do this so I can sit things on to top of a warm oven to rise)
Place in a cereal bowl:
3 eggs (still in shells)
Pour warm/hot water over eggs.  This will bring them to room temperature.
In a 2 cup measuring cup, heat until just scalding (90 seconds in the microwave should do it):
¾ cup milk
Immediately add to hot milk (and stir occasionally to help butter melt):
½ cup butter, chopped into smaller pieces
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
In a small measuring cup or bowl combine:
1/3 cup warm water (110-115F)
4 tsp rapid rise yeast or active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
Let yeast rest 5 minutes to foam and allow milk mixture to cool a bit. 
Meanwhile, mix in a large bowl:
4 ½ cups Kristin’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix * (see note at bottom of recipe for measurement amounts for just this recipe)
2 tsp xanthan gum (this is in addition to the xanthan gum in the flour mix)
Add to the flour mixture:
3 warmed eggs (you can add these to the milk)
Milk mixture
Yeast mixture

Mix well with a spoon, using the back of the spoon to help make the mixture nice and smooth.  Let this sit just a moment while you prepare the filling.

Line two large sheets of plastic wrap side by side on the counter, overlapping a bit.   2-3 foot long pieces work well. 
Spoon out half of the dough and place along the middle of the plastic wrap.
Pull out another two large sheets of slightly overlapping plastic wrap to cover the dough.  You’ll then flatten out the dough between the sheets until you have – more or less – a 10”x20” piece of dough. 

Try to make it nice and even.  (You can try to make the middle a bit thicker than the top and bottom since you’ll be folding it over, so then you’ll effectively double the amount of dough where it joins together. But don’t worry too much!)
You have to slightly adjust the plastic wrap as you’re flattening the dough, since it sometimes gets caught underneath the dough.  But, you’ll find the dough doesn’t stick to the cling wrap, which is fantastic!  Carefully remove the top layer of plastic wrap.

Spread half of the cream cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a good 1-2 inches at the top and bottom.  Sprinkle with half of the fresh raspberries.

Carefully fold the dough in half, using the plastic wrap to help you lift it up and over itself.   Pull the plastic wrap back and use the other side of the plastic wrap to help lift and fold the bottom back onto itself, as shown in the picture. 

Fold the dough in half long-wise, using the plastic wrap to help
Fold back the edge onto the top of the dough, to form a log

You’ll have to carefully lift the plastic-wrapped log over to your cookie sheet.  You’ll want to roll the middle of your log onto the cookie sheet and wrap the others around to form a circle.  This is a little tricky the first time you try it, but you can use the plastic wrap to help you adjust the circle and stick the ends together.  Don’t touch the dough with your hands, use plastic wrap.  You can use the plastic wrap to help you widen the center of your circle once it’s on the pan.

I used the plastic wrap to help widen the center hole, and make a nice circular shape

Using a serrated knife, gently cut slices around the Danish, widening the sliced areas a tiny bit using the knife to help you.   

Carefully sliced Danish

Cover your cookie sheet with an upside-down cookie sheet and set in a warm location to rise 30-45 minutes.  (alternatively, you can butter some plastic wrap and set that over the dough). The dough won’t double in size, but should look like it’s puffed up a bit.
It looks very similar when risen, and will just look like it's puffed up a bit, not doubled.
Repeat with other ½ of dough, OR flatten dough and fill like cinnamon rolls.
Bake each Danish at 350F for 25-30 minutes, until nicely browned on top.   Set cookie sheet on wire rack to cool.
Slice and sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve!

Ahhh! Look at those raspberries!

These freeze really well and heat up quickly in the microwave!  We slice and pop them into tupperwares once cooled and pull out and reheat on a plate for snacks/breakfast/treats.  Enjoy!
* If you don’t want to make up the flour mix since you’d have to make it twice for this recipe, just use the following: 
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
¾ cup + 1 Tbsp cornstarch OR 2/3 cup arrowroot starch
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp potato starch
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp tapioca starch
1 ½ tsp xanthan gum (ideally measure 1 1/3 tsp)


  1. just found this post and it looks amazing! do you think it could be made dairy free as well? I was thinking coconut milk, earth balance and soy cream cheese. not sure what I'd do for the ricotta though and I would prefer an alternative the soy cream cheese...hmmm.

    1. Thanks! It is really tasty. I think you could definitely use coconut milk. I've not done much cooking with earth balance, but definitely give it a try. Sometimes different moisture amounts in the dough can alter the final texture, so you'll just have to experiment. For such a small amount of ricotta, you could easily leave it out. I've not used soy cream cheese, either, and I know sometimes soy products can have a bit stronger flavor, so you might find you need to add a bit extra lemon flavor and sugar to counteract the flavor. Good luck and happy cooking!

  2. Found this recipe several months ago, knowing I'd save it to make for my husband's birthday...he's missed cheese Danishes since needing to go gf three years ago. Made these this morning and they were a hit! Thanks for a great recipe!