Sweet, tart, and tender these apricot danishes have all the hallmarks of a classic breakfast pastry. The center of each pastry is filled with a delicious apricot filling made with cream cheese and fruit that’s wrapped in buttery puff pastry. These little bites of heaven only take about 20 minutes to bake! 

Two cream cheese pastries on a rack.

​A Little Commotion For This Cream Cheese Pastry

I once fell in love with a fresh apricot danish I had at a coffee shop in DC and knew I needed to recreate them at home. As much as I’d like to, I can’t fly there whenever I have a craving!

The sweet and slightly tart flavor of apricots have been a longtime favorite of mine. My grandparents lived in California and had these beautiful apricot trees, but the ones we have at the grocery stores in the South just don’t taste the same. It’s because apricots don’t ripen off the tree and they’re a pretty fragile fruit to ship. So what’s a Southern girl to do – use dried apricots.

When making these apricot danishes, I really wanted to reproduce that fresh apricot flavor. I tried many, and I mean many, different ways to reproduce this danish and finally found a combination that was just sweet enough with true apricot flavor. Lucky number 5 this time!

I started with dried apricots, like I do in my apricot bars, and cooked them in water to plump up. Then I added sugar so the filling became more like a chunky jam but with a fresh apricot taste. I used the liquid from this mixture to brush over the exposed pastry which gave them an even deeper apricot flavor. The final touch is a creamy filling made from a combination of ricotta and cream cheese – rich without being overly sweet.

I also tried these with a good quality apricot jam and they were delicious, but the dried apricots had much more of the fresh apricot taste I was looking for. If you try it with jam or fresh apricots, let me know how it goes in the comments. 

An apricot danish with a bite taken out.

What Makes Something A Danish Pastry?

Okay, so these may technically not be considered a danish since we’re using premade puff pastry dough, but they sure are similar! The main difference between a danish and other pastries, is that danish dough is made with yeast and eggs, making it a bit sturdier than puff pastry. But around here we call this a danish.

When To Serve This Apricot Pastry

  • Breakfast – Who doesn’t love a sweet pastry with their morning coffee? While sweet, it’s not overly sweet.
  • Afternoon Tea – Serve these alongside other small bites like cucumber sandwiches and mini raspberry tarts.
  • Anytime, Anywhere – Small, dainty, and delicious, they’re the perfect snack to have on the go. Try adding them to your brunch spread.

Ingredient Options For Apricot Danishes With Cream Cheese

The ingredients for apricot danish using jam.
The ingredients you’ll need if using jam.
Sugar and Dried apricots needed for the jam.
Homemade filling

Puff Pastry – I recommend a 14 oz package of your favorite frozen puff pastry. I personally like Dufour or Trader Joe’s which both contain butter but these will still work with Pepperidge Farms.

Dried Apricots – Dried apricots retain that fresh ripe apricot flavor, but you can skip the dried apricots and just use jam intstead.

Cheese – You’ll need both cream cheese and ricotta cheese for the ultimate texture. 

Lemon Zest – Adds a pop of citrus! 

Pantry staples – sugar and powdered sugar, vanilla extract and an egg for the egg wash.

How To Make An Apricot Cream Cheese Pastry

Step One: Make Apricot Filling

Add chopped apricots to a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil until the apricots have softened, about 20 minutes.  Add ½ cup of sugar to the softened apricots and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 2-3 minutes. 

Drain the apricots reserving the liquid, you will need about 2 tablespoons of liquid to brush on the pastry.

Chopped apricots on a cutting board.
Chop the apricots.
Cooked apricots in a saucepan.
Cook until softened.
Apricots being drained in a colander.
Drain the juice for later.

Step Two: Make Cream Cheese Mixture

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, ricotta, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla and mix with a handheld mixer until smooth.

Cream cheese filling in a bowl.
Combine the cream cheese filling.

Step Three: Cut Pastry and fill

If using Dufour puff pastry, cut it in half and roll each half into a 10-inch square on a lightly floured surface. If using Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, roll each sheet into a 10-inch square. 

Add about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese filling into the center of each puff pastry square. Add about a teaspoon of the apricot filling on the top of the cream cheese filling.

Pastry squares before they have been wrapped.
Add cream cheese and jam to each square.

Step Four: Coat and bake

Mix the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush onto two opposite corners of each square. Take one corner and place it across the filling and do the same with the opposite corner. The egg wash acts as glue holding it together while it bakes. Brush the outside of the puff pastry with the reserved apricot liquid.

A wrapped pastry square.
Brush with egg wash and wrap.
Apricot glaze being brushed on the pastry.
Brush each with the apricot liquid.

Bake until the puff pastry is golden brown. These are great warm but also at room temperature.

Baked pastries on a cookie sheet.
Bake until golden brown.

Can I Use Other Fruit In This Recipe? 

The beauty of a danish is that they can be made with so many kinds of fruit. Try them with raspberries, apples, blackberries, or strawberries!

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Instead of making the apricot filling you can use apricot jam.
  • You can cut these into smaller squares for mini pastries.
  • You can add more sweetness by topping with Demerara sugar.

Storing Apricot Danishes

In The Fridge: Store in an airtight container for several days. 

In The Freezer: You can wrap them individually to take out as you need or store them all in an airtight container. They’ll keep for several months. 

These can be eaten at room temperature or warmed up. To reheat, bake on low heat til warmed through.  Don’t microwave.

Two cream cheese pastries with apricots on a cooling rack.

Homemade Apricot Cream Cheese Danishes

Sweet, tart, and tender this apricot danish has all the hallmarks of a classic breakfast pastry. The center of each pastry is filled with a delicious apricot filling made with cream cheese and fruit that's wrapped in buttery puff pastry. These little bites of heaven only take about 20 minutes to bake!
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 596kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 package puff pastry 14 oz
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 egg

Instructions

  • Add chopped apricots to a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer, cooking until the apricots have softened, about 20 minutes.  Add additional water if needed. There should be some extra fluid when you are finished. If not, add a little more water. Add ½ cup of sugar to the softened apricots and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 2-3 minutes. 
  • Drain the apricots reserving the liquid, you will need about 2 tablespoons of the liquid. Allow to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, ricotta, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla and mix with a hand held mixer until smooth.
  • If using Dufour puff pastry, cut it in half and roll each half into a 10 inch square on a lightly floured surface. If using Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, roll each sheet into a 10 inch square. Cut into 8 squares total.
  • Add about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese filling into the center of each puff pastry square. Add about a teaspoon of the apricot filling on top of the cream cheese filling.
  • Mix the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush onto two opposite corners of each square. Take one corner and place it across the filling and do the same with the opposite corner. 
  • Brush the outside of the puff pastry with the reserved apricot liquid.
  • Bake for 20-23 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown. Let cool slightly. Can eat warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  • Instead of making the apricot filling you can use apricot jam.
  • You can cut these into smaller squares for mini pastries.
  • You can add more sweetness by topping with Demerara sugar.

Nutrition

Calories: 596kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 759IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @easy.southern.desserts or tag #easysoutherndesserts!

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