Nothing says ‘I Love You’ more than a freshly baked sweet treat. These vegan and gluten-free Strawberry Cream Danishes are simply perfect, from their flakey pastry to the fresh strawberries, and cream cheese filling. I use ‘ready to roll’ puff pastry which makes this recipe ridiculously quick and easy, as well as flakey and ‘melt in your mouth’ good!
What is a Danish?
A Danish Pastry, often shortened to’ Danish’ is a sweet breakfast roll filled with custard, jam, cream or fruits. The traditional pastry of a Danish requires a laminated pastry, which means layers of butter are rolled between layers of dough. If you were making this by hand, it would take quite a while and be more complex. This is where ‘ready to roll’ puff pastry is your best friend in the kitchen, especially for a quick and easy snack. My easy recipe is simply a sheet of ready to roll puff pastry, absolutely no preparation needed – yippee!!
Tools you’ll need
* Large heart shape cookie cutter
* Small heart shape cookie cutter
* Rolling pin
* Piping bag
* Baking tray
* Sharp knife
* Powdered sugar sifter
* Airtight container
Strawberry Cream Danish – Tips and Tricks
Don’t overfill the pastries
* Be careful not to overfill your danishes or it may ooze out the sides when baking. The amount of cream cheese filling and strawberries doesn’t seem much but it’s the perfect amount to fill them.
Bake until golden
* Bake the danishes until the sides pf the pastry turns a golden brown colour. Make sure they don’t burn.
Brush with milk
* Make sure to brush the edges of the pastry with some dairy-free milk before baking. This will help to brown the pastry, resulting in a golden pastry. It also helps to add a light sprinkle of caster sugar on top of the milk before baking. A simple trick to getting the perfect golden pastry every single time.
Sprinkle with icing sugar
* The pastries already look gorgeous as they are, but serve them with a light dusting of icing sugar. It helps to add sweetness and looks like they’ve come straight out of a bakery.
Cream cheese should be chilled
* You’ll want the cream cheese to be firm so keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
Vegan Strawberry Heart Danish FAQ
Storing the danishes
* These danishes are best enjoyed day of making. They can also be kept in a sealed container at room temperature for a day after making.
Can I double the recipe?
* You sure can. For a larger quantity, simply double up on the ingredients.
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
* YES!!! This recipe is already gluten-free and coeliac friendly as I used a gluten-free puff pastry. You want to keep in mind about any possible cross-contamination. If you are coeliac, make sure every single ingredient you use doesn’t contain any gluten-containing ingredients. It’s worth checking out Coeliac UK for more details on gluten-free products. It’s a great read!
How to add shine to the pastry?
* To give the pastry shine, once it comes out of the oven, brush it with some apricot jam. It will add the really beautiful shine as well as extra flavour!
* 1 –2 sheets of puff pastry (I use JusRol Vegan + Gluten-free Puff Pastry)
* 130g of dairy-free cream cheese
* 15g of gluten-free / plain flour (depending if you are making them gluten-free)
* 15g of caster sugar + extra for sprinkling
* 4 tablespoons of dairy-free milk
* Fresh strawberries
Method (puff pastry)
1. Preheat oven to 180°C fan and line 2 large baking trays with greaseproof paper.
2. Unroll the pastry sheet leaving the baking paper underneath. This will prevent sticking. Use a rolling pin to slightly flatten out any wrinkles in the pastry. Dust over some plain flour if the pastry is too sticky.
3. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to chomp out the shapes and place on the tray lined with greaseproof paper. Place a smaller sized heart-shaped cookie cutter into the middle of the larger heart and press down gently. You don’t want to chomp it out, but make an indention into the pastry. Set aside while you make the cream cheese filling.
Method (cream cheese)
1. In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, flour and sugar. The mixture should be thick and creamy. Transfer the filling mixture into a piping bag and snip off the tip. If you don’t have a piping bag, simply spoon the filling onto the pastry.
2. Wash and slice some fresh strawberries and add a few slices on top of the cream cheese.
3. Brush some dairy-free milk over the edges of the pastry hearts. Sprinkle some sugar to help the pastry brown in the oven.
4. Place the tray into the middle of the oven and bake in pastries for 10-15 minutes or until golden in colour and flakey.
5. Once fully baked, remove the tray from the oven and place the other tray in to bake and repeat.
6. Allow to cool slightly, then serve with a dusting of icing sugar.
Storing: Store the pastries in a sealed container in the fridge, allow to come to room temperature before enjoying. Best served day of making. Best eaten 2 days of making.
Where to buy puff pastry sheets? I use Jus-Roll which is available from most supermarkets and online including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Ocado and ASDA for example.
* Prep Time: 5 minutes
* Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
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How to make Danish Dough
Cream cheese Danish
Source the Little blog of Vegan