Apple Walnut Danish

You can NEVER go wrong with pastries and coffee…Right?

Well, here’s the thing: making your own pastries from scratch is no big deal. It seems complicated but it’s really not. So don’t be freaked out by the length of time it will take. There’s really not much active time involved, just plenty of rising and waiting. It’s perfect for one of those lazy mornings when you just want to hang out reading the paper in your PJs and fluffy slippers. And the best part is these will last, stored in an airtight container, for 4-6 days. So go ahead, pour a cup of coffee. Enjoy.


Prep Time: 2 hours 30 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Total Time: 2 hours 42 mins

Serves: 2-1/2 dozen


2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1/4 ounce package)
¼ cup warm water (read the yeast package for exact temp recommendations)
5 cups all purpose flour + additional for the work surface
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
1 cup warm milk (same temp as the water)
2 eggs, lightly beaten

For the Filling:
1½ cups chopped tart apples (Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, or Gala apple varieties are my favorites)
¾ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water for egg wash

For the Glaze:
½ cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla


1. In a liquid measuring cup, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Cut the butter into the flour mixture. My favorite method is by using a box grater (just like in scones or biscuits) . Then incorporate the butter into the flour with your fingers until coarse crumbles form. Stir in the yeast/water mixture, the warmed milk, and the eggs.

3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes. I had to flour my hands as well. The dough will be tacky. Place it in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

4. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 and butter a baking sheet, or line with parchment paper.

5. Make your filling by stirring together the chopped apples, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter.

6. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Cover the half you aren’t working with. On a floured surface, stretch the dough into an 18 X 15 rectangle. You could roll it out, but I just press with my hands. Cover the dough with the filling spread to within about ½” of the edges.

7. To fold the dough, start with a short side. Fold it towards the middle. Then fold the other short side over it (see photos). Repeat this process with the dough you set aside, and then cut each into 15 slices. (If you folded it as shown in the photos you’ll cut horizontally)

collage danish apple

8. Twist each slice a few times and then pinch the ends together to make a circle. This is what gives your danish a braided appearance. Place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Danish Apple-Walnut-Danish-Resized

9. Mix together the egg + 1 tablespoon water and brush the top of each danish with it.

10. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes. The tops will be a pretty golden brown.

11. Mix together the confectioner’s sugar, milk, and vanilla extract to make the glaze. Drizzle it over the top of each danish.

12. Store in an airtight container for 4-6 days

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