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Overnight Cherry Danish

These rolls with their cherry-filled centers melt in your mouth and store well, unfrosted, in the freezer. —Leann Sauder, Tremont, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1-1/2 hours + chilling Bake: 15 min.
  • Makes
    3 dozen


  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups warm half-and-half cream (70° to 80°)
  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  • ICING:
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dash salt
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons half-and-half cream


  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add yeast mixture, cream and egg yolks; stir until mixture forms a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  • Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 4 portions. Roll each portion into an 18x4-in. rectangle; cut into 4x1-in. strips.
  • Place 2 strips side by side; twist together. Shape into a ring and pinch ends together. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Repeat with remaining strips. Cover with kitchen towels; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make a 1/2-in.-deep indentation in the center of each Danish. Fill each with about 1 tablespoon pie filling. Bake 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
  • For icing, in a bowl, beat confectioners' sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and enough cream to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over Danish.
Nutrition Facts
1 danish: 218 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 55mg cholesterol, 188mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Jeanne
    Mar 31, 2020

    OMG! just made this recipe, and it is soooooo good! I said to my sister ( we are retired living together) that I thought the results were Bakery ready, and she said they were even better than that! It takes a minute to get through the recipe so read it several times first. I added sugar to the yeast/milk and it activated the yeast just fine. I did let it sit outside the Fridge for just a half hour after putting dough together, then covered with plastic wrap and put in Fridge. By this morning it had raised over double. The dough feels really dense at first, but when you start working with it, braiding and making the rings it had a lot of elasticity. Still had a lot of butter chunks in it which gives it the pastry feel and taste. I love this recipe! Thank you!

  • Cheri
    Sep 10, 2019

    I’ve made this recipe for a few years now. I’ve read some reviews and gave to say that the overnight rise is important, it helps the dough to develop a better flavour. It never looks like it has risen much, but you’ll always get a good result following this recipe as is. I’ve gotten so many compliments on these~ they’re delicious and good proof!

  • Charity and Faith
    Apr 7, 2018

    Great cipe, my family loved them!! Make sure you make the danish rings have a very small hole, so that when they rise there isn't one. I added 2 Tbsp of cream cheese and about a 1/4 tsp of extract to the icing.

  • Donna
    Dec 13, 2017

    Deleting one star just for the confusion in the recipe. I found this recipe in my Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes cookbook. I followed the directions carefully. However, upon rising in the morning (like other reviewers), my dough had not risen at all. It was just like it was when I put it in the fridge the night before. I was about to throw out the entire lump of dough, but decided to check on line to see if there was a typo with the recipe in the book or something. Nope, just the same. Thankfully...many reviewers had the same issue as I did. Just continue doing as the recipe states and your rolls will turn out perfectly. (I guess the rising over night is unnecessary.) They are light and flaky like a croissant. The dough is only slightly sweet. They turned out bigger than I thought they would...they are about the size of my palm. Remind me of a kolache, only the dough is lighter and flakier. Were fun to make once I realized they weren't ruined, and will make a nice addition to Christmas Dinner.

  • Psalm127-3
    Dec 19, 2016

    I want to thank Leanne S for posting this great sounding recipe.I'm giving this 3 stars only because there are already issues. hope the end result is supergood.the idea, ingredients and looks of this recipe caught my eye and attention. I'm an experienced baker so the work involved didn't faze me and used my KitchenAid. first problem was my yeast didn't dissolve in my warm milk. yeast is new and milk warmed and checked by thermometer. second problem was my dough did not form a 'soft anything' as stated in recipe. so I scraped it out of KA bowl, halved it and set in 2 zipper 'sprayed' bags to rise. placed inside the oven as I know dough will rise in frig but no draft or coolness in oven, better conclusion for me. today I'll buy the can of cherry pie filling and finish recipe tomorrow. my fingers are crossed.

  • TH420
    Apr 1, 2016

    Have made this recipe several times and have always had great results. Making it again today to donate to a benefit. Not sure why some people are having trouble, I follow this recipe to the letter each time with no problem. I would recommend making sure that you activated the yeast. As with any yeast recipe, it will start rising as it warms up (if you have refrigerated it) and will continue to rise as it should during the 45 minutes between shaping them and putting them into your oven. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  • randcbruns
    Jan 29, 2016

    These are always a hit with the family! They do take some planning but they are so work it. Like someone else has mentioned, frozen sweet dough is a good way to cut out a few steps and not have to make this the day ahead!

  • abreendre
    Jan 3, 2016

    I rolled the dough out next morning, cut into squares and shaped when I put them on baking sheet. Tasted and looked great Probably took 45 min. off preparation time. Great flavor. Will make many more times [my method]. Thanks for the tip on sugar and rising.

  • chefagogo
    Dec 13, 2015

    If your in a hurry you can use frozensweet dough. Thaw, roll out as directed and follow recipe.

  • Linda_from_NH
    Dec 13, 2015

    I got rave reviews when I served this for Christmas breakfast and many requests for the recipe. They came out perfect!