Breads, Rolls + Donuts

Easy Danish Dough

Danish dough

This Easy Danish Dough is from my 1st book, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book.

The dough does need to rest overnight in the refrigerator, so plan accordingly. It’s important for the Danish dough to come to room temperature before you roll it out, or the butter will not incorporate correctly.

This dough can be frozen, but doesn’t rise quite as nicely as when it’s fresh. If the dough is not used right away after being out and turned, it will puff up in the refrigerator. This will make it a little harder to roll out, but you will still have good results.

Recipes that use this Easy Danish Dough:

Danish dough

Easy Danish Dough

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 8 hours
An easy cheater method for Danish dough that bakes up tender and flaky. Perfect for using in many applications that require Danish dough.
Sarah Kieffer
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate


  • 3/4 cup whole milk warm (100-110F)
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups 355g all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick | 57g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks | 170g) unsalted butter, cold, cut in 1/2-inch pieces


  • Grease a large bowl.
  • In a large liquid measuring cup, combine the milk, egg, yolks, and vanilla.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt on low. Add the room temperature butter and mix on low until it is incorporated into the flour and no pieces are visible. Add the cold butter and mix on low, until it is broken down and smashed a bit, but still in 1/2-inch pieces. Add the milk mixture and mix on low until combined. The dough will be very sticky and there will be visible lumps of butter. Using a spatula, scrape the dough into the prepared bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 3 days.
  • The next morning, transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface. Knead 10-12 times, until the dough forms a ball. Cover the top lightly with flour and cover with a tea towel, let rest until it comes to room temperature. Pat the dough into a 6-inch square and roll into a 16 by 20-inch rectangle. If the dough sticks at all, sprinkle more flour underneath it. Brush any excess flour off the dough, and, using a bench scraper, fold the short ends of the dough over the middle to made three layers, similar to a business letter. This is the first turn.
  • Flip the dough over (seam side down) and roll into an 8 x 16-inch rectangle. Fold the short ends over the middle, business letter style. Repeat the steps again, for a total of four turns.
  • On the last turn, gently use the rolling pin to compress the layers together slightly. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour before using or keep refrigerated for 2 days.
  • Reply
    Friday, February 16, 2024 at 4:48 pm

    Please, I’ve looked and looked, where can I get the recipe for what us pictured here, a cream cheese Danish?
    I’ve made the dough and would like to reproduce the type
    of single handheld Danish that is pictured. Appreciate your help!

  • Reply
    Friday, February 9, 2024 at 9:59 am

    I only have salted butter. Can I use that and leave out the tsp of salt?

  • Reply
    Thursday, October 26, 2023 at 10:41 pm

    5 stars
    Favorite new recipe!!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, April 4, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    5 stars
    I have made this dough multiple times into a braid (from Baking for the Holidays) and it is such a wonder. Each time I can’t believe the beautiful result and it’s so good. I made both braids with the cranberry jam, also in the book, but for one I also used the cream cheese filling and the other I used the almond base for the pear/almond danish. The almond was divine. I plan to make this again for Easter 2023 with the almond paste base and raspberry jam. A total winner.

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Tuesday, April 4, 2023 at 3:12 pm

      love hearing what you’ve made with the dough, Mary!

  • Reply
    Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 9:38 pm

    I have the dough in my fridge now resting! I can’t believe how easily it came together – I don’t have a stand mixer right now (mine broke after heavy, HEAVY use) and mixed by hand, which I think will be fine given that I didn’t need to develop gluten in kneading.

    Wondering how long it takes for dough to come to room temp – any ideas? I bought some cherry jam and I think I’ll make some very cheater-y cherry cheese danishes with it.

  • Reply
    Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 5:01 pm

    5 stars
    You are always an inspiration–thank you!!!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 4:45 am

    Wow. This made an amazingly light, buttery pastry that was lightly sweet and a little yeasty. I was surprised by the instruction to roll out at room temperature because I’m used to rolling other buttery doughs, e.g. pie crust, very cold. When I followed this part of the recipe it felt scary and wrong and the first turn was kind of a mess, but on subsequent turns the dough started to come together and the everything worked as-written.

    I used instructions from a King Arthur Flour blog post (helpful and highly recommended) to shape, rise, and bake individual cheese danishes that were as pretty as something from a bakery and tasted even better. Will definitely make this again and may try the large filled braid or one of the bun recipes on this site.

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