Danish pastries

Turn the kitchen into your own little patisserie with this step-by-step guide to buttery Danish pastries

  • Prep:1 hrs
    Cook:20 mins
    Plus rising and chilling
  • A challenge

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 218
  • fat 12g
  • saturates 8g
  • carbs 25g
  • sugars 4g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 3g
  • salt 0.26g


  • 250g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 250g plain flour
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 150ml whole or semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten plus extra beaten egg to glaze
  • 250g pack lightly salted butter, not fridge cold but not soft, cut into 8 even slices
  • 85g pecans, plus a few extra, chopped
  • 50g light muscovado sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 25g softened butter
  • 150g tub custard
  • 2 x 320g cans apricots
  • few tsps apricot jam
  • 50g raisins
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g soft butter
  • 50g icing sugar


Freezing instructions
The basic dough and the pecan and raisin pastries can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 1 month. Defrost in the fridge before baking.


  1. Pulse together the dry ingredients plus 2 tsp salt in a processor, then pulse in the milk and egg until you have a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Knead for 1 min, using a little flour, until just smooth. Put into an oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr until doubled in size (overnight in the fridge if you like).

  2. Flour your surface, then pat the dough out to a rectangle, 1cm thick. Lay the butter slices out over the middle of the dough, in a rectangle. Fold the pastry over the top, bottom and then sides until the butter is completely hidden. Press the edges down.

  3. Roll the dough out to a 50 x 30cm rectangle, first tapping out the dough with the rolling pin in gentle ridges, so that you can tell the butter is being squashed out evenly inside the pastry, before rolling properly. Turn dough 90 degrees, then fold the right third over and the left third over that. Do this three times, chilling for 15 mins after each roll.

  4. Cut the dough in half, into 2 squares. Roll one piece of dough to 35 x 35cm. Cut into 9 squares, then follow the instructions below for each filling and shape. If you want to make more than one shape, it's easy to divide the filling quantity. Don't worry if your squares rise as you work, just roll them out a bit again.

  5. To make 18 pecan pinwheels, whizz 85g pecans until fine, then stir in 50g light muscovado, 1 tbsp maple syrup and 25g softened butter. Cut each square of pastry almost to the middle from each corner, spoon on 1 tsp filling, then fold each point over and press into the middle. Scatter more chopped pecans and a little sugar over before baking. Drizzle with a little maple syrup to serve.

  6. For 18 apricot custard turnovers, you will need 150g tub custard, 2 x 320g cans apricots and a few tsps apricot jam. Put 2 tsp custard in the middle, sit two apricot halves on top, dot with jam, then pull 2 corners over and pinch to seal.

  7. To make 18 raisin swirls, mix 50g raisins, 25g caster sugar, 1 tsp mixed spice and 50g soft butter. Instead of cutting the dough into 9, leave it whole and spread the filling over. Roll up, slice into 9 rounds, then squash each one. Blend 50g icing sugar and a few drops of water to drizzle over once baked.

  8. Once shaped and filled, let the pastries rise for 30 mins until puffed and doubled in size. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Brush with beaten egg, make sure you pinch any edges together again, then bake for about 20 mins until golden and risen.

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