We recently shared a recipe on social media for making classic Swedish Sugar Buns. I made them a couple times as the recipe was written but then my creativity went into overdrive and I realized I could tweak them just a bit and turn them into delicious cream cheese and jam danishes. A few more tests and I feel we have a winner! These are best served warm, right out of the oven but no one really complained when they enjoyed them the next morning, slightly warmed in the microwave. I used a slightly sweetened cream cheese mixture and cherry jam for mine but feel free to use just plain cream cheese if you’re trying to cut back on sugar and if another flavor jam is preferred, go for it. Make them your own. I personally enjoyed the slightly sweet cream cheese and the tart jam combination but let us know if you find a combination that you enjoy.
The original recipe has you shaping these buns like a pretzel. I’ll be honest, I’ve always struggled with this shape so my first recipe test I just made them into knotted rolls. But in order to turn these into individual danishes, I decided that a figure 8 pattern would be best as the two loops would be the perfect place for the cream cheese and jam.
Now, this post is a bit different from all the others in that I’ve created the recipe but I’m turning the rest of the post over to Carmi as her skills at recipe testing and photography have reached a superior level. My plan is to continue creating recipes from time to time, but Carmi will be taking over photography and will be adding her input on each of my posts. So with that, I’m turning things over to her. 🙂
Hi all! Carmi here. Let’s dive right in to the recipe. First off, this is a soft dough. Do not be tempted to add more flour. Once kneading time is done, it will have come together into an easy to work with dough.
We used bread flour for its high gluten content in order to get the structure that we wanted for the Danishes. If using whole wheat, we advise adding some vital wheat gluten. Instructions for that are given in the recipe, at the bottom where the whole wheat variation instructions are.
Now as Ashley mentioned, pretzel shaped buns weren’t her go-to. I love the figure 8 she created with cream cheese filling on one side and jam on the other. These require a little know-how to properly shape so let’s walk through it.
So here is how you shape the Danishes:
Notice the handy mat in the photo above? It is from a company called Dough EZ. Not only does it provide an excellent surface for rolling out all different kinds of dough, it has inch measurements on the bottom and pie measurements on the other side.
In the recipe below, I added instructions for creating a proof box with the oven and some boiling water to get these Danishes risen in 15 minutes after shaping. Wait till they are proofed before adding egg wash, and then fill with cream cheese mixture and jam.
Once baked, they just need to cool a few minutes and then glazed while still warm. This glaze will harden as it sets, so don’t be tempted to make it in advance. I find it easiest to just whisk up the glaze in a small mixing bowl while the Danishes cool out of the oven and then use the whisk to drizzle glaze over buns.
We hope you enjoy these tasty pastries and let us know if you have any questions or comments. Happy baking!
Cream Cheese and Jam Danish
Prep Time: 40 minutes (including rolling and shaping Danish)
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour (total kneading and proofing time)
212 g. (approximately 14 Tbsp.) whole milk
100g (7 Tbsp.) unsalted butter
13 g (3 1/4 tsp.) instant dry yeast
1 egg, room temperature
45 g. (3 1/2 Tbsp.) sugar
7 1/2 g. (1 1/2 tsp.) vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/2 g. (1/8 tsp.) baking powder
5 g. (1 1/4 tsp.) kosher salt
400g (3 1/3 cup) bread flour
113 g. (4 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
14 g. (2 Tbsp.) powdered sugar
2 1/2 g. (1/2 tsp.) vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
Approximately 80 g. (1/4 cup) jam of choice
30 g. (2 Tbsp.) milk
2 1/2 g. (1/2 tsp.) vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
172 g. (1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
With the Ankarsrum in its upright position, set up with the stainless steel bowl, dough roller and scraper.
Place butter and milk into a small saucepan. Over medium heat, heat until butter is almost melted. Remove from heat and still until butter is fully melted. Be sure not to let milk/butter come to a boil, as it will kill the yeast and curdle the egg if it becomes too hot. Once butter is melted, pour mixture into the Ankarsrum stainless steel bowl. Turn machine on the lowest speed and add yeast, egg, sugar, vanilla bean paste and baking powder. Still on the lowest speed, begin adding the flour a scoop at a time, and then the salt. Turn speed to medium speed (3 o’clock) and set timer for 8 minutes. Once dough begins to form a ball, lock arm in place about 1/2 inch from edge of bowl.
Once timer has run out and machine has shut off, remove dough roller and dough scraper, place white lid on the bowl and allow dough to rest 30 minutes. This is a great time to prepare the filling.
With the Ankarsrum in its upright position, position the double beater bowl onto the mixer base. Using the multi-wire balloon whisks, starting on the lowest speed, begin whipping the softened cream cheese until smooth, slowly add in powdered sugar, vanilla and continue whipping until smooth and creamy. Scrape down sides and middle tube if necessary. Cover and set aside until ready to use. Can be made up to 3 days in advance. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Keep jam in fridge until ready to use, so it won’t become too runny while baking.
Right before dough is done resting, preheat oven to 170° F. Place a metal bread pan or oven safe pan on the bottom of the oven and bring several cups of water to a boil. As soon as oven has preheated, turn it off. Pour boiling water into bread pan and shut oven. This creates a proof box to quickly speed up rising time. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Once dough has rested, remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 10 equal pieces (81 g. each) Place dough balls back in Ankarsrum bowl and cover so they don’t dry out. To form a figure 8 Danish, roll each portion of dough into a long rope (about 15 inches in length), bring the ends of the rope together, overlapping about 1/2 inch and pinch together to seal. You now have a large circle of dough. Grabbing hold of each side of the circle, twist twice in opposite directions to form a figure “8”, making sure pinched seam is in the twist to hide it and keep it together. Place formed Danishes on lined pans and place in oven to proof for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove Danishes and bread pan with water and turn oven on to preheat to 450º F. (Alternately, cover and let rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.)
Once oven has preheated, brush Danishes with beaten egg. On one end of the Danish, spoon about 1-2 tsp. cream cheese mixture into the circle. On the other side, spoon in about 1 1/2 tsp. jam.
Bake at 450° for 10 minutes, rotating halfway through.
Carefully remove to a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes before adding glaze.
While Danishes are cooling, whisk together milk, powdered sugar and vanilla. Use whisk to drizzle glaze over Danishes. Do not make glaze in advance, it will harden.
Yield: 10 Danish
Whole Wheat Version
-Replace bread flour with 400 g. (approximately 3 1/2 cups) whole wheat flour. If using hard wheat, add 7 g. (1 Tbsp.) vital wheat gluten. Ashley said she liked them with soft wheat, but bumped the vital wheat gluten up to 14 g. (2 Tbsp.)
-If desired, replace sugar in recipe with equal measurements of honey granules, aka sucanat with honey. For powdered sugar, place honey granules in a blender, turn on high speed and blend for approximately 30 seconds for powdered sugar.
-Follow instructions above.