Gluten Free Danish Puff Pastry Recipe

Gluten Free Danish Puff Pastry Recipe

I’ve been thinking about making gluten free Danish puff pastry a lot lately. I have no idea why exactly, but sometimes when a food memory bubbles up, I can’t stop thinking about it until I make a gluten free recipe for it. And so it happened with puff pastry. Specifically, Danish.

gluten free puff pastry pinwheels

When I was young, my mom used to buy frozen Danish with cream cheese filling for special breakfasts. They must have been made with a puff pastry; they weren’t fancy, just incredibly delicious! I bet I haven’t had one for at least 30 years — that’s really scary to put into writing — but I remember the taste vividly.

When I set about to create this gluten free Danish puff pastry recipe, I wanted to also recreate the decadent cream cheese filling as a vegan recipe, so I experimented with several dairy free cream cheese alternatives. They all worked well, but some are more runny than others, which is easily fixed by adding a touch of my gfJules™ Gluten Free All Purpose Flour to thicken it up. Feel free to make the filling with regular dairy cream cheese instead, if you like.

gluten free cheese danish

 

The results were not only pastries that tasted as good as I remember, but are even more beautiful! I had so much fun working with this pliable, soft dough. You read that right: I had fun working with this PLIABLE, SOFT GLUTEN FREE DOUGH. That’s all because of my gfJules Flour. It adds subtle stretch to doughs like these (and gluten free pie crust, sugar cookies, crescent rolls, etc.) and makes it easy to roll out and fold over your fillings, plus it makes the baked Danish so light and fluffy. 

Don’t try this recipe with an ordinary rice flour-based or bean flour blends, or you’ll wind up with dry, cracked and crumbly Danish that taste funky or gritty. Definitely not worth your time or effort. And it really makes me feel bad when people come back and tell me my recipe didn’t work as pictured … because they used another gluten free flour. They really are very different, folks! Check out this article on gluten free flours to find out why!

Since I first published this recipe, I’ve heard from so many readers that they’ve made it and loved the results with my gfJules Flour (that should encourage you to try it, too!). The most fun part is that readers have shared with me ways that they’ve made the dough into other beautiful shapes.

gluten free danish rings - debbie burkhardt 2

Here are Debbie Bernhardt’s gluten free Danish RINGS made with this recipe. She writes,

“Tonight’s Gluten Free (Jules of course) Danish’s from your recipes. ???? Fillings include: Cheesecake, Lemon Curd, Apples with Cinnamon Sugar, and Dark and White Chocolate. I baked them for 25 minutes. I had let them rise for more than a hour because I had started out with cold dough, so it took that long to get them to begin to rise. By that time they were room temp, so they baked fairly quickly.”

Others have made different fun fillings, too: chopped apples and cinnamon; pecans, sugar and butter; diced peaches; preserves … or use one of the two filling recipes I provide below.

cindy-ss-puff-pastry-for-danish-made-with-gfjules-flour

Jules Shepard your Danish Puff Pastry is amazing! It was so easy to make, and to work with! I made apple and raspberry pin wheels, I even re-rolled the scraps into strips and spread with raspberry filling and twisted, they came out great. I tried rolling a triangle into a croissant, need to tweak the baking a little but actually did not come out to bad! My next batch I am going to make Bear Claws! ~Cindy S.

 

And this photo makes me drool every time!

gluten free danish reader Kate Pula

Gluten Free Danish from Kate P.

 

The point is, you can make these any shape you like and you know they’re going to be delicious made with my soft, light gfJules Flour, so go for it! Make pockets, envelopes, braids, twists … get creative and enjoy delicious gluten free puff pastry again!

Now that gluten free Danish Puff Pastry is back on the menu, I can’t wait to make these for my mom. Is there a food memory from your childhood you’d like to re-create gluten free? I’d love to hear about it!

Here’s a video showing the recipe in action

 

An overview of the steps after mixing the dough:

This is called the “rough pastry” method that makes the dough super flaky!

rolling gluten free puff pastry doughOnce the layers are formed, you’ll roll the dough out again and cut into equal squares:

gluten free puff pastry square

To make Gluten Free Danish Pinwheels:

Gluten Free Puff Pastry pinwheels collage

To make Gluten Free Dutchess Danish:

Gluten Free Puff Pastry - Duchess Tutorial

To make Gluten Free Swiss Roll Danish:

 Gluten Free Puff Pastry - Swiss Roll Style

Gluten Free Danish Puff Pastry Recipe

Gluten Free Danish Puff Pastry Recipe

Yield: 10-12 Danish, depending on size
Prep Time: 55 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Light, flaky gluten free Danish Puff Pastry just like you remember, only now you can make them for yourself anytime you have the craving! This easy gluten free recipe breaks down each step so you'll be a Danish making pro in no time!

Ingredients

Gluten Free Puff Pastry Dough

  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ tsp. instant/quick rise yeast (Red Star – 1 packet
  • 1/3 cup milk, dairy or non-dairy, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature or 1 Tbs. flaxseed meal steeped in 3 Tbs. warm water until thick
  • 2 ¾ cup (371 gr) gfJules™ Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 14 Tbs. cold butter or non-dairy substitute (e.g. Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks

Cream Cheese Filling

Raisin Filling

  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs. softened butter or non-dairy alternative (like

Other Toppings

  • 1 egg for egg wash or mild flavored oil for vegan alternative
  • demerara sugar
  • confectioner’s sugar
  • berrries

Instructions

Gluten Free Puff Pastry:

In a small bowl, whisk together warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast. Set aside.

Once the mixture becomes foamy, add 1 egg and milk.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the gfJules™ flour, 3 tablespoons sugar and salt.

Cut cold butter into ½ tablespoon-sized pieces and toss with flour mixture. Using a paddle attachment on a stand mixer or a blender, food processor or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small pebbles. Do not over-process; it should still be a powdery mixture with small pieces of butter throughout.

Slowly pour the yeast mixture into the dry mixture and mix just until dough has formed. The dough will be sticky but will hold together.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes.

Once dough is cold again, place on a clean counter or pastry mat liberally dusted with more gfJules™ flour or gluten free starch.

Roll gently in all directions until you have a rectangle of dough that is between 16-17 inches by approximately 14 inches. Add more flour as you roll to prevent the dough from sticking.

Fold opposing ends in to the middle, as you would fold a letter in one direction, and then in another. You will be left with a square of folded dough. If it is very sticky, wrap and refrigerate or freeze again; if you are still able to work with it, repeat the rolling and folding steps 3 more times, then wrap the dough and refrigerate for 3 hours or more (overnight is fine).

This process of gently rolling cold dough with cold butter distributed throughout, layering with flour between folds and re-rolling, will help to form yummy flakey layers in the baked pastry dough, so for the flakiest pastry, don’t skip these steps!

Prepare your fillings while the pastry is refrigerating.

Cream Cheese Filling:

Whisk all ingredients together, adding more gfJules™ Flour if the mixture is runny; different brands of non-dairy cream cheese and sour cream can be thinner and may need more flour to give the filling body so it won’t run out of the pastries. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Raisin Filling:

Combine raisins, sugar and cinnamon with soft butter in a small bowl, mixing with a fork until the raisins are evenly coated. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Making the Danish:

Cut the refrigerated dough in half and re-wrap and cover one half of the dough, returning to the refrigerator as you work.

Prepare two baking sheets by covering with parchment and setting aside. Prepare a clean counter or pastry mat by liberally dusting with gfJules™ flour or gluten free starch.

Roll out half of the dough gently in all directions until the dough forms a square or rectangle between ¼ – ½ inch thick. Measure squares between 4 ½ – 5 inches on each side and cut with a pastry cutter, bench scraper or butter knife. The sides of the squares should be equal (they are squares, after all), but the size can vary depending on the amount of dough you have to work with.

Gather up the dough cut off from the squares and re-roll, cutting squares from the remaining dough as well. Repeat with remaining refrigerated dough.

Cut even squares of dough from the rolled out pastry dough.

Choose a shape below:

To make pinwheel pastries, place a dollop of filling in the middle of each square, then cut in from the 4 corners just to the filling. Brush with egg wash.

Pick up the left corner of one of the cut corners and fold into the middle of the filling; repeat with the same left corner of each of the cut corners.

Wet the corners with more egg wash and gently press together in the center to help them stay together more during the rise. Place a berry in the center, if you wish. The dough will spread when they rise and bake – particularly if your dough is rolled thicker – but the twisted pinwheel shape is still pretty.

Brush egg wash on the newly exposed sides of the pastry before setting aside to rise.

Gently pick up the pastry with a spatula or bench scraper and transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with demerara sugar, if desired.

To make Dutchess pastries, fold the square into a triangle by pulling one corner over to top the opposite corner. Cut into the triangle to almost form another smaller triangle in the middle, but don’t join the cuts, so they are still intact. The border outside of the smaller triangle should be about ¾ inch wide.

Open the square back up and place a line of filling down the center. Fold one cut border over to the opposite side on top of the smaller interior square and filling. Repeat with the other side, folding overtop the opposite border, as pictured above. Brush with egg wash.

Gently pick up the pastry with a spatula or bench scraper and transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with demerara sugar, if desired.

To make Swiss roll-style pastries, roll the equivalent of two 5 inch squares of dough out to form a rectangle instead of a square, approximately 1/8 inch thick. Gently spread a thin layer of butter or non-dairy spread on top of the entire rectangle, then sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, or any combination you desire.

Starting at one long side of the rectangle, gently roll up the pastry into a long log. Twist the log around itself to form a bun, then press gently in the center to form a well. Place a dollop of filling into the well. Brush with egg wash.

Gently pick up the pastry with a spatula or bench scraper and transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with demerara sugar, if desired.

Baking Pastries:

Cover pastries and allow to rise for 15-30 minutes in a warm spot.

Preheat oven to 400º F.

Bake pastries in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Particularly with pastries like the pinwheel, which have smaller points, do not over-cook or they will become crunchy and dry. Swiss rolls generally need a bit longer to cook. Because of the egg wash, the pastries will brown nicely, so watch to make sure they are not getting too dark before you remove from the oven.

Remove to cool on a wire rack once baked.

Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar or a simple mixture of confectioner’s sugar and your milk of choice, drizzled as icing on top of the Danish, if desired.

Makes 10-12 Danish pastries, depending on size.

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I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

Pin it to try later!

These gluten free puff pastry Danish tastes as good as those (gluten ones) I remember from my childhood. And they're surprisingly easy to make. Try 'em NOW!

Gluten Free Danish Puff Pastry Tutorial gfJules.com

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70 thoughts on “Gluten Free Danish Puff Pastry Recipe

  1. I love how simple you put things, and how delicious they look.

    I have a question for you. I am making apple roses with puff pastry both gluten free and non gluten free for a wedding. Do you think it would be better to use the danish puff pastry recipe or your regular rough puff pastry recipe?

    • Thanks Denise, I try! For Apple Roses, I think I’d go with this Danish Puff Pastry recipe. Best of luck – what a lovely idea for a wedding!
      ~jules

    • Oh my gosh, they are wonderful from frozen! I forgot I had some in the freezer for many, many months (!) and found them on my way out the door one day for an early morning train. I didn’t have any way to microwave them or anything, but when I got to enjoying them a couple hours later, they were delicious, even still a little chilly! I was so impressed! I would gladly urge you to make a double batch and freeze some – yummy!!! My gfJules Flour does tend to make baked goods that hold up well to freezing, and these were no exception!
      ~jules

  2. I am from UK and I like the look of these puff pastry and would like to make them, I wish you could put the weight in pounds and onces, the cup weight doesn’t work for me. I shall try them in the future. I know my husband would love them. Thank you, Joyce

    • Hi Joyce: They’re as good as they look! Google makes converting cups to grams/ounces a cinch. Too much to do, thus far, to go back and convert the 400 recipes my amazing wife has created. Enjoy!

    • Hi Joyce, to follow on what Jeff said, one cup of my flour is 135 grams; other measurements like sugar etc. are fairly standard and easy to find metric conversion tables. Hope that helps!
      ~jules

  3. Pingback: 7 Gluten Free Travel Tips - Gluten free recipes - gfJules - with the REAL Jules

  4. I cannot WAIT to try making these!!!!! One quick suggestion, though – had I not looked at the photos, I wouldn’t have realized I needed to put thin butter pats between each fold of dough before rolling because the verbal instructions don’t say to do so! That being said, about how thin/thick should the pats of butter be, and should they be in a solid layer, or is there space between the pieces? Sorry to sound nit-picky, I just want mine to turn out as good as yours look! Yum! And thank you SO much for your always-generous sharing of recipes, information, and positive reinforcement on what is sometimes not a very fun dietary journey!

    • Hi Becky, you are so very welcome!
      I’m not sure what you’re referring to in this recipe about putting thin butter pats between layers of the dough. I do show cutting the butter pats to incorporate into the flour to CREATE the dough, but when I show folding the dough over, I’m not adding any butter at that point. I hope that clears it up and you are confident in diving into this recipe. I know you’ll love it!
      ~jules

      • Well that’ll teach me to read recipes on a small tablet without my reading glasses! I thought you were rolling pats of butter between the layers of dough!!!! Whew – making these danishes this weekend!!! CANNOT WAIT!

        • You never know how recipes and photos really look on a phone until you’re struggling to follow a recipe from one! I can’t wait to hear how the Danish-ing goes this weekend, Becky!
          ~jules

    • Hahaha – a few extra hours in my day before packing for Portland, and I’d gladly make these. Sooooooo good, Chrystal! Can’t wait to see you later this year at the show (whether I have Danish with me or not!).
      ~jules

  5. I absolutely love Puff Pastry…especially cream-cheese-filling ones!! I was wondering if I could use your flour that has been in my freezer for a couple of years. I thought I was out but found a lone bag in the bottom of the freezer. I hate not to use it if there’s a possibility it’s still good. What do you think…use it or get new?

    • Hi Vicki – I’m so glad you want to give this recipe a go!
      About the flour, that’s a good question. What is the expiration date on the bag? If it’s been in the freezer and it’s not past 1 year over the expiration date, it’s probably ok, but then again, I’d hate to tell you to try it out on a recipe like puff pastry in case it doesn’t perform well. Maybe try it on some muffins first and then see? Make sure it doesn’t smell — sometimes things take on the smells of other things in the freezer. Let me know what you decide and good luck on the puff pastry! I can’t wait to hear how you like it!!
      ~jules

  6. Jules will have to try this when weather gets cooler. Too hot to bake these right now. I so do want them though. And I agree with earlier comment about elephant ears. I miss those and bear claws. Will have to figure out how to make the bear claws using this recipe. Thanks again for the recipe and tutorial.

    • So glad you’re going to try this recipe, Doris! I understand about the heat, that’s why I do my baking at night and in the mornings. I must say these Danish are amazing to enjoy out on the deck while the weather is still warm!
      ~jules

    • Thanks so much, Audrey! I do hope lots of people find delicious pastries are back in their lives with this recipe!
      ~jules

  7. Yum!!!!!
    Oh please tell me this dough could be used to make those “elephant ear” pastries?! (Palmiers?) Would it just take a REALLY sharp serrated knife to cut the Swiss Roll and a lot of sparkle sugar? Or is there more to that process?
    Thank you SO much!!!

    • Oh Yes, Heather! I think it would make lovely elephant ears! I haven’t made those myself (YET!) but I will definitely try with this puff pastry recipe as the base. It will be such a tasty process to develop the recipe! Let me know if you try it first! 😉
      ~jules

  8. Jules,

    There is a major hole in the G-F market and you’ve just put your rolling pin right on it! Whaddya think? GF Jules Gluten Free Pastry Dough Squares found soon in the frozen food section of s supermarket near you!

    I’m telling you, lazy folks like me would snap it up in an instant!

    • Would you believe you’re not the first person to propose that, NeenaJ?! Although, no one has put it quite so poetically! If I had any spare time or a spare dime, I’d definitely look into it! Just like making my flour, I’m my own biggest consumer! I’d love to have GF puff pastry dough at the ready. Something to think about, for sure! At least it’s really not so hard to do it, once you realize how totally worth it the process is!
      ~jules

    • Oh I hope you do try it, Rachel! It’s a very easy, pliable dough to work with, which makes it so much fun to play!!!
      ~julse

    • Nothing funny about it, Gloria! I think it’s a perfectly reasonable craving, and I’m not even pregnant! ha! Hope your hubbie gets right on that baking for you, and best of health to you (with or without GF Danish) in your pregnancy!!!
      ~jules