Food & Swine

Recipe: $2,000 Cherry Danish


$2,000 = Tender yeast dough + Lemon Cream Cheese Filling + Cherry Red Raspberry Filling + Vanilla Almond Icing = Cherry Danish

Long version of the recipe: “Cherry Red Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish with Vanilla Almond Glaze” AKA: Cherry Danish
*Recipe at the END of the post.


The first day of the Iowa State Fair, August 7th, was a lucky day for me.  The Cherry Danish recipe I’m going to share with you scored $2,000 and a nice blue ribbon from the Tone’s Spices “Favorite Recipe I Love to Bake” competition.  As many know, they did not have the “Tone’s Cinnamon Roll Contest” this year.  There was some disappointment surrounding that decision by some food contestants that I visited with.  The thing you should know is, they replaced 1 contest with a $3,000 prize with FOUR contests with a $2,000 prize!  All contests were set for the first day of the Fair and I decided that baking is my favorite thing to do, so I entered the “Favorite Recipe I Love to Bake” contest.  (Other contests: Casual Appetizers, Holiday Baking & Family Dinners).


I struggled with what I should enter.  Should I take the cinnamon rolls that I’d worked so hard on perfecting the past few years?  Would other people do the same thing?  I was curious what others would bring and a little down in the mouth because I knew that there would be some amazing cakes in the lineup.  I think a well executed yeast roll (roll of any shape made with yeast risen dough) is more dynamic than any cake out there, (my honest opinion and preference).  It is right up my alley, but you never know with the judge that inherits your dish to analyze.  Will she/he like cake better? Will they understand why I refrigerate the dough? Will they like cherries and red raspberries together?  Should I have strained the raspberry seeds?  Did I use too much vanilla? Not enough almond?  The jest of the competition was to utilize any of the Tone’s Spices family of spices and extracts.  I incorporated their Spice Island Vanilla Bean, vanilla extract and almond extract.


Should I have made cinnamon rolls for this class?

Entering recipe/baking competitions can certainly be an interesting experience.  The best advice I can give for the success I’ve had in my 5 years of doing this is, as a rule:  “Stay true to yourself and what you like to eat, cook and bake.”  This little mantra will take you far and will award you in the end.  Sure, there are times (exceptions) when a person must go out of their comfort zone and create something to rise to the contest/class that they are entering (HELLOOOOO… can we say “Bacon Caramel Pear Layered Mousse Cake? More on the Beeler’s Bacon Dessert contest and the chefs from Atlanta that judged, later.)  Most of the time you’ll be rewarded for sticking with the things you know and appreciate best. (ie: Cherry Red Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish, Sour Apple Pork Burgers).


In other news… have I mentioned how much I missed this little girl on her first day of Kindergarten yesterday?  It was one of the longest days of my life.  She had an excellent day, she said.  She LOVED riding the bus (no seat belt, no car seat), center time where she got to make artwork for everyone in our family and she even ate baked beans at lunch… and liked them! After school we did pig chores at 2 different places, went fishing and had a nice dinner. She was so excited to go back today and see her teacher.  She also wanted to ride the bus… even when I asked if I could pick her up.  Hey that’s 20 extra minutes I could be with her during the day!  Nope… couldn’t even bribe her with a pony ride.  She’ll be on the bus this afternoon and I’ll be anxiously waiting at the end of the driveway for her.

Things I miss from summer… no schedule, morning pig chores and walking pigs while her brother played in the sand box, trips to Casey’s for a ‘treat’ and nap time (when her brother laid down and we got to have time together doing more pig-stuff.) The last breath of my freedom with my daughter was taken when she boarded the bus yesterday for the first time.  Now we have to find a new normal, and it will take some work… for me.


After rising, I press the centers of the Danish gently, brush with egg wash, add the cream cheese filling, then cherry filling.

Here’s the recipe I promised!

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Cherry Red Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish

By: Cristen
Author: Cristen


  • ½ C warm water
  • 4 ½ tsp Fleishmann’s active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 C mashed potatoes fluffy
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 5 C KING ARTHUR all-purpose flour
  • 1 C butter cool room temperature

Cherry Red Raspberry Filling

  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C cornstarch
  • 3 C pitted frozen sour cherries thawed, juice reserved
  • 1/2 C cherry juice from thawed sour cherries
  • 2 C red raspberries
  • 1 tsp Tone’s Almond Extract
  • 2 TBSP Chambord Raspberry Liquor if desired

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 12 oz (1 1/2 bloccream cheese
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 Spice Island Vanilla Bean scraped of seeds

Egg Glaze:

  • 1 egg beaten + 1 tsp water


  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 2 TBSP milk
  • 1/2 Spice Island Vanilla Bean scraped of seeds
  • 1 tsp Tone’s almond extract


  • Mix warm water, yeast and sugar together in a small bowl.  Set aside until foamy.
  • Add buttermilk, mashed potatoes, eggs, salt, sugar, and butter, whisk well. Add flour and mix in until a soft dough forms and the butter thoroughly incorporated.
  • Knead the dough by hand for 8 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise and room temperature until doubled in size, 1 – 1 ½ hours. Deflate the dough, recover the bowl, and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 5-6 hours until well chilled.
  • Before shaping danish, make fillings.
  • Cherry Red Raspberry Filling: combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and cool.
  • Cream Cheese Filling: combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined
  • Egg Wash: combine the egg and milk in a bowl and beat until combined.
  • Icing: combine all ingredients until a smooth icing forms.  Set aside until Danish are baked and cooled for 15 minutes.


  • Once filling has cooled off, take the dough out of the refrigerator and gently deflate it. Divide into 18 pieces. Roll each piece into an 9” rope. Using rolling pin, roll rope flat to ¼” in thickness. (8”x3” rectangles, ¼”thickness).  With pizza cutter, cut small rectangle in half lengthwise.  Take 2 dough strips and twist around each other and into a circle, securing ends. Place on silicon lined baking sheets 3 inches apart.  Spray with nonstick spray, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk, very puffy.
  • * While danish are rising, preheat the oven to 350.
  • When fully risen, gently depress centers slightly with wet fingertips, brush outside of Danish with egg wash, then place a 1/2 tablespoon of cream cheese filling in bottom center of the Danish.  Add a scant tablespoon of Cherry Red Raspberry filling on top of the cream cheese.
  • Bake on the center rack of the oven for approximately 15-18 minutes, rotating once after 20 minutes to bake evenly.
  • *Remove from the oven and allow it to cool to warm.  Drizzle with icing.  Serve warm.  Makes 18 danish.


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  • Reply G July 26, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    These are amazing! The only downside is that they took long to make, and disappear instantly!

    • Reply Cristen August 30, 2021 at 5:52 am

      Ahhhhhh I feel you here! I do make the dough up to two days in advance and just leave it in the fridge. Then shape the day of baking, but YES they still take a long time and disappear FAST! I’ll try to brainstorm faster ways! XOXO Cristen

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