Yield: 6 blood orange danishes // Total Time: 1 hr. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. //
Flaky, buttery puff pastry topped with a sweet vanilla cheesecake filling and a flavorful blood orange curd.
Why you’ll love these blood orange cheesecake danishes
It’s officially blood orange season! I’ll admit that blood oranges do taste almost identical to regular oranges, but the most important part about them is truly how pretty they are. I mean, just look at that dark red hue! These blood orange cheesecake danishes are super easy to make, and of course are super delicious. We’ll use a pre-made puff pastry sheet and top it with an easy homemade blood orange curd and cheesecake filling. If you’d like to make them extra pretty, finish them off with some powdered sugar and dried blood orange slices!
Why do you post small batch recipes?
I love making small batch bakes because they are the perfect size myself and others who don’t have a lot of people to bake for in their home. Small batch helps cut down on waste and eliminates the feeling that all that excess dessert MUST be eaten. Here on my blog I like to post a mix of small batch and “regular batch” recipes from time to time. All my recipes can easily be doubled or tripled to fit your need, so long as you use grams to measure!
Weigh your ingredients
- Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient and can easily throw off a recipe. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Avoid metal utensils when making the curd
- It’s possible for the curd to take on a metallic taste if you are using a metal bowl or whisk, so to be safe I would recommend staying away from those when making the curd.
Constantly whisk the curd
- When you’re cooking the curd, it is essential that you constantly whisk it. This will ensure that you don’t end up with any cooked egg in the curd! It’s not the *biggest* deal if you do have a little bit of cooked egg at the end because we’ll strain it regardless, but, it’s better to avoid it!
Room temperature ingredients
- It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other. Take out the egg and cream cheese at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe. To bring an egg to room temperature quickly, you can place it under hot water for 1 minute. To bring cream cheese to room temperature quickly, slice it, place it on a plate, and microwave it in 5 second intervals until it can easily be indented when pressed on.
Thaw the puff pastry
- If your puff pastry is frozen, it will need to be slightly thawed before unfolding it. Be sure to remove it from the freezer at least 10 minutes (but no more than 15) before assembling the pastries.
How to make dried blood orange slices
I made dried blood orange slices for a (non-edible) garnish for the photos. If you’d like to do the same, it’s really easy just a little time-consuming. Rinse and dry a couple of blood oranges, then slice them into super thin slices. Place them on a baking sheet, and bake at 225F / 110C for ~2 hours, until the slices are dry. Be sure to turn them over every 30 minutes. And there you go – some beautiful dried blood orange slices!
Ingredients and substitutions
For the blood orange curd:
Blood oranges: the star of the show! You can substitute in regular oranges or cara cara oranges.
Granulated sugar: to sweeten up the curd.
Egg: necessary for thickening up the curd.
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the flavor and sweetness of the curd.
Unsalted butter: helps thicken the curd and make it creamy. You can substitute in salted butter here, just be sure to omit the extra salt from the curd! You can also use your favorite dairy-free butter stick as a substitute.
For the cheesecake filling:
Cream cheese: the base of the cheesecake. You can use full-fat cream cheese or Neufchatel.
Granulated sugar: we’ll use a little bit of sugar to sweeten the filling.
Egg yolk: helps bind the filling together and gives a more rich texture.
Vanilla: for flavor.
For the egg wash:
Egg white & milk: save the egg white from the cheesecake filling, and use your favorite dairy or nondairy milk!
For the danish:
Puff pastry sheet: you’ll just need one pre-made puff pastry sheet! I use pepperidge farm puff pastry sheets.
How to: blood orange cheesecake danishes
Here are the steps to follow to make these danishes. You can find the complete recipe (which is printable!) at the end of this blog post.
1. Make the curd. Add the blood orange zest, juice, salt, sugar, and egg to a medium saucepan. Set the mixture over medium heat and constantly whisk until it thickens and reaches at least 170°F / 76°C.
2. Strain and add the butter. Pass the curd through a fine mesh sieve and immediately whisk in the butter until it melts and the mixture is smooth. Place the curd in the freezer to firm up while preparing the other parts of the recipe.
3. Make the cheesecake filling. In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth, then mix in the egg yolk, vanilla, and sugar.
4. Roll out the puff pastry sheet. Unfold and slightly roll out the puff pastry, then cut it into 6 rectangles. Score a smaller rectangle ~1/2″ from the edges inside of each pastry.
5. Top the pastries. Evenly distribute the cheesecake filling in the center of each rectangle, then top with the blood orange curd. Brush the sides of each pastry with egg wash.
6. Bake. Bake for ~20 minutes, or until the pastries turn golden brown.
7. Serve and enjoy! Dust with powdered sugar and dried orange slices if desired, then enjoy!
Blood orange cheesecake danish Q & A
Do I need to use blood oranges?
- You can definitely use cara cara or regular oranges if they’re not in season! I love using blood oranges for their beautiful color, but all the oranges are certainly quite similar in flavor. You could even top these with lemon curd and it would also be delicious!
Can I double this recipe?
- Of course! I even more strongly recommend measuring by weight if you are going to double the recipe for the best results.
How should I store these danishes?
- I’d recommend serving the danishes right away after baking them. Because they do have curd and cheesecake filling on them, I recommend it would be the safest to store them in the fridge if you have leftovers. When you want one, you can leave it out at room temperature for up to 1 hour before eating so it’s not cold.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Blood Orange Cheesecake Danish Troubleshooting
My curd isn’t thickening!
- If the curd isn’t thickening that just means that it hasn’t been cooking long enough. Just continuously whisk the mixture and eventually it will thicken. For reference, it took me about 5 minutes for this to happen.
My curd changed color!
- Sadly, the curd does turn more to a brownish-orange from it’s original bright red. This is completely normal and it’s because we are cooking it with other ingredients which dull the color.
Tools and ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
Did you make these blood orange cheesecake danishes?
If you made these blood orange danishes I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Blood Orange Cheesecake Danishes
- 1 sheet puff pastry thawed for 10 min.
Blood Orange Curd
- zest of 1 blood orange
- 40 g blood orange juice (~3 tbsp.)
- 50 g granulated sugar (¼ c.)
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 20 g unsalted butter (1 ½ tbsp.)
- 115 g cream cheese (½ c.) room temperature
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp. milk
Blood Orange Curd
- Zest a blood orange, then add the zest, juice, sugar, salt, and egg to a saucpan.
- Set the saucepan over medium heat and constantly whisk until the mixture thickens and reaches at least 170°F / 76°C. (This took ~5 minutes for me)
- Remove the curd from the heat and pass it through a fine mesh sieve to remove the zest.
- Immediately add in the butter and whisk until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Place the curd in the freezer to set while assembling the danishes.
- In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese for ~1 minute to remove lumps.
- Add in the vanilla, sugar, and egg yolk, and mix until combined and smooth.
- Whisk together the egg white and milk in a small bowl, then set aside.
Blood Orange Danish Assembly
- Preheat the oven to 400°F / 205°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Unfold the slightly thawed puff pastry and slightly roll it out.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the sheet into 6 rectangles, then score another rectangle inside the pastry ~1/2" from the edges. Evenly space out the pastries on the lined baking sheet.
- Evenly distribute the cheesecake filling inside of the rectangle of each danish, then top with ~1 ½ tbsp. of curd.
- Brush the edges of each pastry with the egg wash, then bake for ~20 minutes or until the edges of the pastry are golden brown.
- Garnish with powdered sugar & dried blood oranges if desired. Serve and enjoy!