A sort of kringle, Danish Puff Pastry is a three-layered flaky coffee cake that is easy to make and perfect to serve with coffee or for a holiday brunch with Pesto Eggs in a Nest.
Danish Puff Pastry (and it deserves all caps, trust me) is a recipe that once you make it, you'll start inventing special occasions just so you can make it again. I mean who doesn't love an almond-flavored, flaky pastry topped with creamy icing?
It's the perfect Sunday brunch sweet recipe to accompany a big pan of Italian egg bake. That and some fresh fruit and you're set!
To my husband, his mom's Danish puff pastry recipe
was IS everything. (More on Katie below).
What is Danish puff pastry?
Danish puff pastry is a light and flaky almond (in this recipe) breakfast pastry that hails from Racine, Wisconsin about 20 miles north of Kenosha. Known as the "most Danish city in America", Racine also has the distinction of making kringles in an oval shape to accommodate all the fun fillings that customers were requesting back in the day.
Several Racine bakeries are known for their kringles.
One of the originals is O & H Danish Bakery which has been making kringles in Wisconsin since 1949. If you visit, you'll see traditional flavors like almond, cinnamon and cherry and more outrageous flavors like the Christmas Kringle with chocolate cake filling, peppermint and red velvet cake crumbs.
You can even order them online but hurry because they sell out!
Step-by step instructions
Danish Puff Pastry is a little different than a kringle in that you make into two strips instead of an oval or traditional circle.
Danish Puff Pastry has three layers:
- Layer#1: a blend of flour, butter and water (1-4)
- Layer #2: a pâte à choux, similar to a creme puff (5-7)
- Layer #3: an almond-flavored white icing (8)
Butter or margarine?
With all the almond flavoring in this recipe, you'd expect to see sliced almonds on top. Nope. Katie used finely chopped walnuts. Usually chopped with a tool that looks just like this.
The recipe inspiration
If you have a second to listen, I want to share a little about my peach of a mother-in-law, Katie.
She was a force. She got things done.
You'd be in awe watching her in action while wondering how you could bottle her approach to her life and her family. Katie was in charge with strong determination, positive attitude, and unwavering faith. She accepted that things happen but it's your response to the unexpected that matters. Because let's face it—anything else would be a waste of time.
Channel your inner Katie and some of your own memories with this Danish puff pastry...it's worth making the time!
Made this recipe?
I'd love it if you'd share your review and leave a star rating and comment!
Danish Puff Pastry
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 2 TBSP water
- ½ cup butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Coat butter with flour. Mix in water with a fork like you would pie crust. It will be quite shaggy or crumbly. You can mix in a mixer but don't over mix.
- Divide the dough in half and shape or roll with a rolling pin into two rectangles approx 12-14" long x 3" wide on a baking sheet.
- Add water and butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the mixture comes to a low boil. Turn off the heat and add the almond extract.
- Add the flour all at once and stir till combined.
- One at a time, add the eggs stirring very quickly with a wooden spoon until each is incorporated.
- Divide this mixture in two (or count out spoonfuls as you go to make it even) and spread over the rectangles of dough on the baking sheet.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 1 hour until the top is golden brown. It will get quite golden brown but you don't want it to burn.
- Remove from the oven to cool. Don't get nervous because it will slightly deflate.
- While pastry is baking, whip the butter in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add ½ the sugar and beat some more and then then add ½ the milk. Repeat finishing with the milk.
- Chop the nuts finely.
- Once the pastries have cooled, ice using a flat spatula coming almost to the edge. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Slice and serve.
- The original recipe called for margarine which you can certainly use.
- Best prepared the day of but you can make the pastries the night before you plan to serve if needed and frost the day of your event.
- Store in a sealed container for about two days or so.
About Lori Murphy
Lori has over 30 years in the food industry as a marketing strategist, culinary instructor and chef for three kids with discerning palates. As the chief content creator at Josie + Nina, Lori is dedicated to helping home cooks create food memories through fresh ingredients and Italian flavors.