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Apricot Cardamom Danish

Servings: 8

This recipe takes influence from Swedish kardemummabullar, or cardamom buns, a pastry featuring a cardamom-enhanced dough. The technique of incorporating cardamom into the flour gives the final product a spicy warmth—ideal for breakfast on a cold morning. My spin includes apricot preserves in the filling, which balances the danish’s depth with a bit of fruity tang.


For the dough

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing
  • 1/3 cup (66g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 oz. active dry yeast (2-1/4 tsp.)
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature, divided
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 cups (360g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. sliced almonds

For the filling

  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (38g) confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves


Make the dough

In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter, and sugar over medium-low heat until the butter has melted and sugar has dissolved (the mixture shouldn’t simmer). Transfer the warm milk mixture to a large bowl, and let cool to 110°F.

Sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture, and whisk to combine. Add 2 of the eggs, the egg yolk, and vanilla, and whisk to combine.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the milk mixture, and stir using a spatula until a dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until a smooth dough forms, about 2 minutes. Transfer the dough to a bowl greased with butter, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until double in size, about 1 hour.

Make the filling

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, egg yolk, confectioners sugar, and lemon zest until combined.

Shape and fill the dough

When the dough is ready, punch the air out, and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top. Roll to a 16×12-inch rectangle. Spread the cream cheese filling 4 inches wide lengthwise down the center of the dough, leaving a 1-inch unfilled border on both ends. Top with the apricot preserves.

Cut the dough on either side of the filling into 1-inch-wide diagonal strips about 4 inches long. Braid the strips by alternately folding a piece of dough from each side over the filling. Fold the ends on either side under to seal. Cover with a piece of parchment paper, and let rise again 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk the remaining egg with 1 Tbs. water. Brush over the dough, and sprinkle with the sliced almonds.

Bake until golden brown and puffed, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes before slicing and serving.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • Bsugarcream | 01/17/2022

    I made this today and it was delicious. I started on it late morning and we ate the finished danish for dessert. The recipe could use a bit of tweaking- the first rise should be at least 2 hours. Mine sat for about 3 hours (second rise timing is fine in recipe). I used 1 1/4 teaspoon cardamom and thought it was the right amount, as cardamom can easily be overwhelming. I only had raspberry preserves on hand so I used those and it was just as tasty. The hardest part was cutting the strips. I was just eyeballing mine so they came out kind of uneven. But the end result was beautiful. And the almonds on top are the perfect touch. Kudos to the photographer of this piece on cardamom sweets in FC print version. The photos make you want to make everything featured. The pear coffee cake looks amazing. Thank you Vallery!

  • cclark8174 | 10/21/2021

    This didn't work for me. I think combining the yeast with the eggs and milk before it has had a chance to bloom is the problem with this recipe, plus any enriched yeast dough is going to have a long proof time.

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