Buttery danishes scented with cinnamon and orange zest and filled with cranberry sauce. A perfect wintertime morning treat!
This recipe was developed in partnership with Red Star Yeast.
Each year I’m on the hunt for the perfect Christmas morning breakfast. I want something elegant and fitting for the occasion, but I’ve also got a million other things to think about so I want something I can prep in advance. Yeast breads and treats are always a fabulous option because you can get it all ready the night before and just pop it in the oven the next mornings. By the time everyone is done with presents they’ll be hot and ready for enjoying.
These spiced cranberry orange danishes are my latest (and dare I say greatest?) suggestion for the big day, though truthfully they’ll be fabulous all winter long. They’re 100% from-scratch and filled with the flavors of cranberries, orange, and cinnamon.
I don’t bake danishes nearly as much as I should. They’re not really any more time consuming that other yeast rolls or buns and they’re so decadent and flavorful. Not to mention, fresh from the oven they’re a million times better than what you can find in many bakeries and supermarkets.
For this recipe I took my summer berry danish braid, added a bit of cinnamon and orange zest to the dough, rolled it up into individual portions, and placed a dollop of cranberry sauce in the center of each. (Do you still have leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving? This is the perfect way to use it up!) These danishes are beautiful, buttery, and with just the right amount of sweet and tart. If I had one of these for breakfast each weekend from now until Spring I would be one very happy woman.
Whether you’re planning a special brunch for friends or family, or are looking for a fun baking project for a lazy weekend, this recipe is it!
And just in case you’re looking for other Christmas morning recipe inspiration, how about these chocolate hazelnut sweet rolls, this baked french toast with streusel topping and cranberry maple syrup, this Christmas coffee cake, or this blueberry pancake bake?
baking tip:How to Fold Danish Dough
Danish dough made with yeast gets its buttery texture by rolling cold butter into the dough over and over again, similar to how puff pastry is made.
- On a well-floured surface, roll the dough out into a large rectangle.
- Fold the dough lengthwise like you would a business letter— bring the bottom third of the dough up and the top third of the dough down over on top.
- Flip the dough over so it’s seam side-down and the short end is facing you. This is known as the first turn.
- Repeat the rolling, folding, and flipping for a total of 4 turns. If the dough starts sticking, add more flour to your work surface.
- Chill in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to bake.
Spiced Cranberry Orange Danishes
- 1 cup (250 ml) warm whole milk
- 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) Red Star Active Dry Yeast
- 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 large egg + 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash
- 2 cups (200 grams) cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 cup (132 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (112 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1-2 tablespoons milk or cream
To prepare the dough:
- Combine the warm milk and yeast and stir slightly to combine. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar and salt, cinnamon, and orange zest in a large bowl. Add the butter and cut it into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until the butter is the size of small peas. Whisk together the yeast mixture, egg, and egg yolk and add all at once to the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon just until it forms a sticky dough. Do not knead. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
- Dump the chilled dough onto a generously floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle about 15 inches wide. Fold the dough in thirds like you would a business letter, the flip over so the seam side is down and short end is facing you. Add more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Repeat the rolling and folding for a total of 4 times. Fold the dough in thirds and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.
To prepare cranberry filling:
- Add cranberries, water, sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer until cranberries have burst and mixture is thick, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. (See Notes)
To assemble to danishes:
- On a generously floured surface, cut the danish dough in half. Wrap half of the dough in plastic and store for another use (see Notes). Roll other half of the dough out into a rectangle 10x12 inches. Cut into 8 equal strips lengthwise. Hold one end of a strip of dough in one hand and use your other hand to twist the dough several turns for each strip. Set the strip down on your work surface and roll it up around itself (it should look like a snail shell) and tuck the end under. Transfer to a parchment lined sheet pan. Repeat with remaining strips of dough, spacing 3-4 inches between each danish.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes until puffed. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Whisk together the egg and water to make an egg wash and brush onto the danishes. Use your finger to press the center of each danish in and spoon a heaping tablespoon of cranberry into the well.
- Bake until danishes are golden brown, 15- 17 minutes. Let cool on the pan for about 10-15 minutes.
To make the icing:
- Whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice. Add just enough milk or cream to create a thick but pour-able glaze. Drizzle over cooled danishes (it's okay if they're still a little warm).
- Let glaze set for a few minutes, then serve immediately. Danishes are best the day they are baked but may be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
- This recipe makes enough danish dough for a double batch (16 total danishes). If you only wish to make 8 as instructed here, store the rest of the dough wrapped in the fridge for up to 3 days or (double-wrapped) in the freezer for up to 1 month. Let thaw before using.
- You will have leftover cranberry filling. Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
- How to make-ahead: Prepare dough the night before and shape into twisted rounds. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight. The next morning, let them come to room temperature 1 hour before baking.
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Disclosure: This recipe was developed in partnership with Red Star Yeast. Thank you for supporting partnerships with brands I love and believe in, which make Completely Delicious possible. All opinions are 100% my own, as always.