How to Make a Starbucks Cheese Danish Copycat Recipe at Home

This Starbucks cheese Danish copycat recipe makes a light and flaky breakfast pastry.

It happens all the time. You pop into Starbucks for a macchiato or a flat white—and then that warm, cheese Danish starts calling your name! So why not make this Starbucks cheese Danish copycat recipe at home?

The flaky layers of laminated dough and a sweet, cheese filling in the center make this Danish a natural to pair with hot coffee or tea. It’s as delicious for breakfast as it is for a late-night snack. This recipe is easy to make, too, thanks to frozen puff pastry dough that you can find at the store.

What Kind of Cheese Is in a Starbucks Danish?

The cheese in a Starbucks Danish is Neufchatel, a soft cheese that can be used interchangeably with cream cheese, but is lower in fat. It’s blended with sugar and egg to make the filling. In this Starbucks copycat recipe, you can use regular cream cheese or Neufchatel. (Look for it in the same dairy case as cream cheese.)

The flavor of a Starbucks cheese Danish is fairly plain. The advantage of making your own is you can perk up that flavor! Blend a little orange or lemon zest, cinnamon or mini chocolate chips into to the cream cheese mixture. Or add a dollop of homemade jam to the cheese filling before baking.

Are Danish Freshly Baked?

Though the lattes and other coffee drinks are made right before your eyes, the cheese Danish are not. They are shipped frozen to the cafes, allowed to thaw and then microwaved. Making your own Danish at home means you know just how fresh they are and what goes into them. However, you can steal this Starbucks trick: homemade Danish are easy to freeze and reheat.

Find more secrets that Starbucks employees won’t share.

How Much Does a Starbucks Cheese Danish Cost?

Depending on the location, a Starbucks cheese Danish costs between $2.90 and $3.50 apiece. The cost of a copycat cheese Danish made at home? Less than $1!

You can make a copycat Starbucks lemon loaf, too.

How to Make a Starbucks Cheese Danish

This recipe makes 9 servings.

Ingredients

Ingredients including puff pastry, vanilla and cream cheese. starbucks cheese danish copycatNancy Mock for Taste of Home

  • 1 package frozen puff pastry (17.3 ounces; 2 sheets)
  • 8 ounces Neufchatel or regular cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole egg

Editor’s tip: You can add additional flavors to the cream cheese mixture, like citrus zest, cinnamon or nutmeg.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Rolling pin
  • Sharp knife or pizza cutter
  • Large baking sheet
  • Parchment paper

Directions

Step 1: Thaw the puff pastry

Unwrap the frozen puff pastry and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Step 2: Make the cheese filling

Cream cheese mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer. starbucks cheese danish copycatNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Blend the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. The mixture should be smooth.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 3: Roll and cut the dough

Rectangles of puff pastry dough on a cutting board. starbucks cheese danish copycatNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Gently unfold the puff pastry sheets. Roll each sheet of dough into a 10-inch by 15-inch rectangle. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to slice one sheet into 9 rectangles. Set them aside.

Rectangles of puff pastry dough with rectangular cutouts in the centers. starbucks cheese danish copycatNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Then, cut the other sheet into 9 rectangles, and cut out a small, rectangular hole in the center of each one. This hole is where the filling will show through, and should be roughly 1-½ inches by 3 inches.

Step 4: Assemble the Danish

Puff pastry rectangles with filling in the centers. starbucks cheese danish copycatNancy Mock for Taste of Home

To start, arrange the 9 solid pastry rectangles on the lined baking sheet, then place 2 tablespoons of cheese filling into the center of each one.

Then whisk the whole egg together with 1 tablespoon of water to create an egg wash. Brush the outside edges of the pastry dough with this egg wash.

Puff pastry rectangles with cream cheese fillings. starbucks cheese danish copycatNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Top each pastry rectangle with one of the remaining dough rectangles, so that the cheese filling shows in the cutout. Lightly press the dough edges down to the bottom layer.

Brush more egg wash over the dough on each Danish.

Step 5: Bake

Baked cheese Danish on a baking sheet. starbucks cheese danish copycatNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Bake the Danish for 15-17 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and browned. Transfer the Danish to a cooling rack. These are tastiest when served warm!

Storing Danish

To store the Danish, let them cool to room temperature. Place them in a sealed bag or container, and keep in the fridge for up to five days.

You can also freeze them. Place the Danish in a single layer inside a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to three months. Here are more tips for freezing baked goods.

How to Reheat Danish

Danish on a plate next to tray of more Danish. starbucks cheese danish copycatNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Frozen Danish should be placed in the refrigerator to thaw, in a sealed bag or container. (It will only take a couple hours.) To warm up a Danish, microwave it for about 10-20 seconds.

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Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.