These Pumpkin Cream Cheese Danish are pumpkin forward w/ a hint of warm spices. Flaky & crispy outside w/ a creamy sweet center. They’ll be a party favorite!
Currently, we’re recovering from Covid. We finally got it after 2 1/2 years. Luckily, we’re fully vaccinated and the symptoms have been kind of mild. Mild fever, fatigue, chill, sinus pressure, sneezing, and coughing. We have gone through them all. Bryan lost his smell for a day or so. Not too sure if this has to do with bad nasal congestion or covid symptom. Good news is that he is getting a lot of it back. It has been a rough couple of weeks. It was like a really bad cold, but definitely don’t recommend it. We’re feeling much better now.
Since I’m better, I’m getting back to baking. Fall is here and pumpkin season is in full force. I really like pumpkin, but I’m not a huge fan of overly strong spices. So I like to make my own pumpkin treats at home, where I can adjust the amount of spices.
These little danish are perfect way to let the pumpkin flavor shines. To enhance the pumpkin flavor, I first reduced it in a nonstick skillet. Stir and let the water evaporate. Once it has been reduced about half and the color got a bit darker, it’s ready. Let it cool back to room temperature before use.
The danish filling is just like cheesecake filling. Cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, spices, vanilla and egg yolk. I’m going light on the spices. You can taste it, but not overwhelming. Instead of using a whole egg, I just used the yolk to prevent the filling from becoming too runny.
Next, I rolled out the puff pastry to 12 x 12 inches and cut into 9 squares. Place them on baking sheets. Filling the center with a little bit of cream cheese filling. You’ll be tempted to add extra filling, but it can spill out. Brush 2 opposing corners with egg wash, fold over the filling, overlap the corners a little bit and pinch tightly. My danish all came apart because I didn’t pinch them tight enough, but they still looked great and of course, that didn’t affect the taste.
Once they are baked, let them cool a little and drizzle over a glaze. I think the danish look better that way. But it’s not a must. You can skip it if you like.
These little danish are flaky, sweet & pumpkin forward with a hint of spices. They’re great for breakfast or dessert, and even for a party too. Any leftover can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat in oven or toaster oven. They’re so good and just what you need this fall! Let me know if you guys tried this!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Danish
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry (thawed according to package)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- ½ tablespoon sugar
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling:
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- In a medium nonstick pan over medium heat, add the pumpkin puree. Reduced by half, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Be careful not to burnt the puree. Remove from heat and set aside to cool until room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment papers.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add ½ cup pumpkin puree (not all) and beat until blended. Add ½ cup sugar and beat for 1 minute. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat again until combined. Add egg yolk and mix until just blended. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured working surface, unfold one puff pastry (keep the other in the fridge) and roll into 12 x 12-inch square with a rolling pin. Cut into 9 squares (4 x 4-inch). Transfer the squares into the 2 baking sheets, and space them apart for about 2 inches.
- In a small bowl, beat together 1 large egg and 1 teaspoon water to make egg wash. Set aside.
- Scoop about 1 heaping tablespoon cream cheese filling in the center of the puff pastry squares. Brush two opposing corners with egg wash, fold over, overlap the corners a little bit, and pinch tightly to seal.
- Brush all of the exposed puff pastry with the egg wash. Sprinkle generously with sugar over the danish.
- Bake in the oven 20 – 22 minutes until golden brown, rotating the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back after 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
- Repeat with the second puff pastry sheet.
- For the glaze (optional), whisk together powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl. Drizzle the glaze over the danish. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Leftover pumpkin puree can be saved for other uses. Keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
- My danish didn’t hold together for the shape at the end. It was my mistake of not pinching them tightly. Although they didn’t look as great, I promise they were still delicious.
- For storage, danish can be keep at room temperature for a few hours. Or keep the them in the fridge in a container with a loose cover for up to 4 days. Reheat in a 300˚F oven for 10 – 12 minutes. Or keep them in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Thaw in the fridge for a few hours and reheat in a 300˚F oven for 10 – 12 minutes.