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A picture of Cream Cheese Danishes with Sugared Cranberries and Vanilla Butter Glaze

Cream Cheese Danishes with Sugared Cranberries and Vanilla Butter Glaze

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 large danishes 1x


Everything about these cream cheese danishes will bring holiday joy to your kitchen! Twirls of crescent dough layered with cream cheese and baked with a pool of strawberry jam and a buttery glaze on top to finish. Add in those sugared cranberries to bring it right over the top! 


Units Scale

Cream Cheese Danishes

  • 1 roll refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon milk (for egg wash)
  • 1/2 cup jam or fruit spread (I like a classic strawberry but this is also delicious with something more seasonal)

Vanilla Butter Glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon warm melted salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sugared Cranberries

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar


  1. Make the sugared cranberries: Boil 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup sugar for 3-4 minutes. Add washed and dried cranberries to the pot; stir to combine. Transfer to a parchment-lined tray and let cool for one hour (to make them sticky and not overly wet). Once cool and sticky, toss with the remaining 3/4 cup sugar to coat.
  2. Make the cream cheese danishes: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Unroll the dough out into one flat piece on a clean work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out and press the seams together. You want to make a solid rectangle that is just a bit bigger than the original shape.
  3. Mix the softened cream cheese with the sugar until well combined. Spread evenly over the dough.
  4. Cut the dough into 4 long strips. Fold each strip in half (so the cream cheese isn’t getting all over your hands) and then twist each strip into a long rope. Roll the rope into a spiral to make the shape of the danish. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Mix the egg and milk to make an egg wash. Brush each danish with egg wash and dollop each danish with 1 tablespoon of the jam. Bake for 10 minutes; if you want, increase temperature to 400 and bake for 3-5 more minutes to achieve desired browning.
  6. Finish and glaze: Remove from oven and let cool. While cooling, whisk the glaze ingredients together.
  7. Top each danish with a few sugared cranberries (see notes below) and drizzle with glaze. I really (like, really) enjoy eating these warm. The cream cheese layer, the jammy goodness, the tart crunch from the cranberries… oof. So good!


I would suggest stirring up your jam a bit to make it more “saucy” before you add it over the top of the danish (like, don’t just put a big solid chunk of jelly or jam on top). If needed, you can add a tiny bit of water to the jam to make it more spreadable and saucy. When they come out of the oven, the jam will be running over the top and they look a bit messy, but once you get the cranberries and the glaze on there it will be a masterpiece.

The glaze is designed to set fast, so that you don’t have to wait too long or make too much of a mess to eat these! So once you mix it up, don’t wait too long to use it or it will set and become harder to drizzle.

When you sprinkle the sugar over the cream cheese, it might create a less-smooth texture with the cream cheese. This didn’t bother me because you fold the strips before you roll and bake them, so the cream cheese layer is tucked inside anyway (and it saves you the step of having to pull out the mixers)! But if it bothers you visually or texturally, you can always just use electric mixers to get your cream cheese and sugar worked together before you start spreading it on the dough.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Scandinavian

Keywords: danish, cream cheese danish, sugared cranberries