Cream Cheese Danish & Cinnamon Rolls

It gives me great please to be able to share this recipe, given to me by my sweet friend, Vikki, originally from the island of Saipan, but now resides in Missouri!  This recipe is for a basic dough, but very versatile.  It’s made similarly to a recipe I had posted to my blog earlier, that uses a box of yellow cake mix.  Great for the novice baker as well as for the pros!  Through several test kitchen experiments, Vikki has broken the code for the most fluffiest, softest dough you have ever eaten.  This recipe is fool-proof! Thanks bunches Vikki, for sharing this recipe with me and allowing me to share it with the rest of the world…..Si Yu’us Ma’ase!

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ROLLS:
3 pkgs. Active dry yeast (YES 3, I used regular yeast)
2 1/2 cups WARM water
2 Tbsp. granulated Sugar
2 large Eggs, slightly beaten
1 (16.5 oz.) pkg. Duncan Hines CLASSIC Yellow cake mix (NO PUDDING in the mix!)
5 – 7 cups All-purpose flour

CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated Sugar
1 Egg yolk
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 – 2 Tbsp. Heavy cream, for consistency
1 can FAVORITE pie filling, I used Blueberry in the recipe

CINNAMON FILLING:
1 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted Butter, softened
2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
1/2 cup Raisin, optional
1/2 cup Nuts, optional

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
1/4 cup Butter, softened
4 oz. Cream cheese, softened (1/2 block)
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 cup Powdered sugar
Heavy cream, for drizzling consistency

GLAZE:
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/4 – 1/2 cup Heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract

 

Begin by combining, in a large mixing bowl, the 3 packages of dry yeast with the water and sugar.  Stir to dissolve the sugar and yeast.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the yeast to bloom.

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Add the beaten eggs.

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Add the package of DRY cake mix and 3 cups of the flour.

NOTE:  It is very important that you DO NOT use a cake mix that has “pudding in the mix”.

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Using a large spoon or spatula, stir all of these ingredients to combine.  Add 3 more cups of flour, you should have 1 cup left.  This will be added ONLY if the dough is still pretty wet.

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After mixing the ingredients together, the dough will become a bit heavy to mix by hand.  Secure the dough hook of your stand mixer and allow the mixer to knead the dough for about 8 – 10 minutes, adding more flour IF NEEDED.

NOTE:  DO NOT use more than the 7 cups of flour!

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Continue mixing the dough until a smooth and soft dough forms.  The dough should still be slightly sticky to the touch!

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Lightly grease or spray a large bowl, place the dough, rotating it on all sides to coat with the grease. Cover with a clean towel and place in a draft free warm area, such as your oven.  Allow the dough to rise and double in size, usually for about an hour.

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In the mean time, while the dough is rising, prepare the cream cheese filling.  In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients, except for the heavy cream.  Using a mixer, combine these together until smooth and creamy.  To make the filling a spreading consistency, add 1 – 2 tablespoons of heavy cream to the mixture.

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Beat this mixture together until the cream cheese is smooth but not too stiff.  Cover and set this aside.

NOTE:  If you are only making the Cream cheese danish, then double the filling recipe, otherwise, this filling recipe is enough for only one roll.

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Now mix the filling ingredients for the Cinnamon rolls by combining everything together thoroughly.  Set this aside.

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By this time, the dough should have doubled and is ready to roll out.

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Lightly flour your counter surface, pour the dough out onto the counter, and lightly sprinkle some flour on top of the dough.  Using a pastry cutter or knife, cut the dough into half.  Set one half aside covered so that it doesn’t dry out, while you work with the other half.

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Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough roughly into a 18-inches long x 12-inches wide rectangle.  Using a straight edge, dividing into thirds, LIGHTLY score the dough, making sure NOT to cut through it. Your center should be about 6-inches wide. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter (great tool), eyeballing as best you can, cut diagonal strips about 5/8-inch wide, leading up to the center’s score line, but not cutting all the way through, as pictured below.  Continue doing this evenly on both sides.

 

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Now, take your filling and spread it on the center part of the dough, as pictured.

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Dollop 1/2 the can of your favorite pie filling over the cream cheese mixture.  Spread evenly over the cream cheese.  I used only half the can because I didn’t want it to ooze out while baking and also overpower the flavor of the cheese filling.  This is just preference.

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Now, starting on one end of the roll, begin by overlapping the strips, forming a braid, going over and under with each strip. When you get to the end of each strip and you can’t braid it anymore, either tuck it or cut it off.  Continue braiding the strips until you get to the other end.  Trim off any “extra” strips that you don’t use.

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After making it look so pretty, the challenge is to CAREFULLY lift the danish, from the counter onto your lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet, without ruining it, LOL!  GOOD LUCK!  😉

NOTE:  After I had made this, I was trying to figure how to lift it onto my baking sheet, this without ruining my braiding.  It becomes quite heavy with the filling.  What you can do, is tear off a large piece of parchment paper, about 20-inches long OR use your silpat silicon liner, place your already rolled rectangle onto the parchment or silicon liner and THEN continue with the cutting and braiding part. Once you’re done, lift the paper or liner onto your baking sheet, VOILA!  😉

Now, once you’ve carefully transferred your danish onto the baking sheet, take the extra strips of dough and press them into the areas on the ends that do not have any dough, as pictured below.  Tuck them under pinching to seal.

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Beat an egg and using a pastry brush, brush the danish lightly.  Set this aside to rise until doubled.  I just placed it into my oven for about 35 – 45 minutes and it rose beautifully!  While the danish is rising, proceed with making the other half of the dough.  You can either make another danish using a different pie filling, or you can make Cinnamon rolls.

Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, set this aside.  Roll the dough out to about 18-inches x 12-inches. as shown below.

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Now take the Cinnamon filling that you prepared earlier and spread it evenly over the dough. Starting on the longer end of the dough, roll the dough away from you, forming a log.

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Once you’re done rolling, using the palms of your hand, roll it again to seal the open seam, as if you were rolling out a piece of dough into a rope.  Using a serrated knife, cut the log in half, then cut those pieces into halves and so on.

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Place the pieces of dough, cut side facing down, onto the prepared pan.  Set this aside in a draft free area, such as your oven, to rise until doubled.

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While the pastries are rising, prepare the glaze by combining all of the ingredients.  Mix well, adding the  heavy cream as needed for drizzling consistency.  Set this aside.

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When the pastries are ready to be baked, REMOVE the pans from the oven, if you were using it to proof your pastries.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees to bake the Cream cheese danish, for about 35 – 40 minutes, or until golden in color.

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Allow the danish to cool slightly, drizzle the glaze over top. SERVE!

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Bake the Cinnamon rolls at 350 degrees for about 30 – 35 minutes or until golden.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.  You can either use the Cream cheese frosting OR the glaze to top it off.  I opted for the glaze.  Either one is tasty!  SERVE!

To make the Cream Cheese Frosting, in a bowl, combine all of the ingredients and using a hand mixer, beat these ingredients well, forming a smooth and creamy frosting.  Continue to add more cream until the desired consistency is reach.  Frost the tops of slightly cooled Cinnamon rolls.

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Take a look at the inside yummy goodness of both pastries!  Drooling yet?  😉

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2 thoughts on “Cream Cheese Danish & Cinnamon Rolls

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