Growing up, my grandma would make this delicious Cheese Danish Bake. Oh, it was so yummy with it’s fluffy layers and crispy topping. I needed a tasty brunch food to bring to a meeting, but was torn between my favorite Cheese Danish Bake and Cinnamon Rolls *swoon*. That’s when it hit me…why not combine them–the best of both worlds. This Cheese Danish Cinnamon Rolls recipe was created, and boy was it a hit.
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Fluffy pastry combined with a creamy cheese filling and crispy cinnamon sugar and nut topping makes for the most perfect combination of flavors and textures. Bonus? It’s actually really easy to make. Seriously.
This Cheese Danish Cinnamon Rolls recipe makes enough for two batches of 8 rolls each. Usually I make one for our family and one to share, but you can try freezing the extra mix or the extra rolls for future (let me know how it holds up if you do!).
I got these beautiful floral print cloth napkins (featured in several pictures) from Minted!
Throw a Farmhouse-style brunch party!
Cheese Danish Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened and split in two
- 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed and split in two batches of 3/4 cups
- 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 refrigerated crescent rolls containers (you can also find crescent roll sheets that work well)
- 3 eggs, separated
- 2 8oz packages cream cheese
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cinnamon sugar (for the topping)
- Chopped walnuts (for the topping–pecans work too!)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Using a fork, combine 1/4 cup of softened butter with 3/4 cup packed brown sugar and 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon (the other half is for the second batch.). The mixture should make a sort of paste and be well-combined.
Roll out one pastry dough evenly on a flat surface. Using a rolling pin, gently spread the dough until it makes an approximately 9×10 rectangle, taking care to seal any holes that might be in the dough. If you purchase the crescent roll sheet, you shouldn’t have this issue as much since it doesn’t come perforated.
Use your hands go gently shape the edges so the rectangle’s sides are fairly even.
Using the back of a spoon or a spatula, carefully spread the first batch of cinnamon, sugar, and butter mixture in an even layer on top of the crescent roll dough. To avoid a big mess, keep the fillings a little ways away from the edges of the pastry dough.
Using a stand or hand mixer, combine the egg yolks, cream cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract until a smooth, creamy mixture is formed (about 3 minutes).
Split the cheese mixture into two batches. Spread about half of it evenly on the pastry dough on top of the cinnamon mixture. Again, avoid the edges so your Cheese Danish Cinnamon Rolls don’t end up too messy.
Starting on one of the shorter ends of the dough, begin rolling the dough towards the other end. This will give the rolls a beautiful spiral look. Roll until it is completely sealed.
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the dough into 8 even rolls. Be careful not to smash the dough or your rolls won’t look quite so pretty afterwards. If you feel confident enough, you can use the string method (I’ll let you look into that…mine were too messy for that.).
Place the uncooked rolls into an ungreased pan. There are two ways you can choose to do this: 1) You can use a 9×10 cake pan like I did for these pictures to get rolls that can be a little more easily removed from the pan and have a little cleaner shape or 2) you can use a 9″ round pan like I did the first couple times I made these (they will look like cinnamon rolls and the edges will remain decently soft, but they may be more difficult to remove from the pan.).
Using a fork or an electric beater with the whisk attachment, “froth” the egg whites. This means just what you think it might–whisk them together until they turn foamy. You’ll really only use two or fewer of the egg whites you set aside, so you can use the rest for another recipe or frying in a pan if you wish.
Add a small amount of frothed egg whites to the top of each Cheese Danish Cinnamon Roll. Do your best to not let it pool in the pan.
You’ll love this Cinnamon Apple Zucchini Muffins recipe!
Sprinkle a cinnamon sugar mixture on the top of each roll. You can use any ratio you like. Mine is pretty heavy on the cinnamon and I used raw cane sugar rather than regular granulated sugar for this.
Add chopped walnuts to the tops of each (alternatively you can use pecans–like you get on sticky buns!).
Bake 25-30 minutes until the rolls are browned and cooked through. They will continue cooking a little in the pan out of the oven, so be sure not to over-cook.
Allow to set some before serving. Serve warm or room temperature.
Save the second batch for later or make them now following the same instructions! Prepare them while the first batch is baking. Experiment making one in a round pan and one in a cake pan to see which one you prefer! Oh, and come back to let me know how you enjoyed them!
Isn’t this mini cast iron skillet adorable?!