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Braided Cinnamon Danish {Homemade Laminated Dough}

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When weekend company comes to town, I like to make a special breakfast treat like this spectacular Braided Cinnamon Danish with Homemade Laminated Dough.

Braided Cinnamon Danish with Laminated Dough on a white tray

Braided Cinnamon Danish with Homemade Laminated Dough

My brother-in-law was visiting from Green Bay to bring our son his extra lawn mower, and I planned to make a braided cinnamon danish. I wanted an over the top breakfast. Unfortunately, we were in the middle of a September heat wave and my kitchen was warm to say the least. It was not an ideal day to laminate the dough.

For those of you who do not know the process, softened (and mine was very soft!) butter is spread over a rectangle of yeast dough, then the dough is folded over the butter, rolled thin, then folded and chilled. This process is repeated 3 times, making an exquisite, tender, buttery dough. Puff pastry is also a laminated dough.  So just imagine how tender and buttery this cinnamon danish dough is!

Though Bill and his brother thought the sub-par braided cinnamon danish was outstanding, it was not my finest baking moment. I had to make it again, in a cooler kitchen, so I could share it with you.

Braided Cinnamon Danish with Laminated Dough on a parchment lined baking sheet


Cinnamon Danish

This second attempt worked perfectly, save the typical oozing of the butter during the “turning” process which is a sign of  a novice laminator’s inexperience.  This gorgeous cinnamon danish was finished with a drizzle of a simple glaze. I applied the frosting by swooping a spoonful back and forth and repeating over and over. Keeping the spoon high makes for thinner striations of icing. The results were magnificent! Whew.

What Is Laminated Dough?

If you’ve ever eaten croissants or anything made with puff pastry, you’ve had laminated dough.  Croissant dough, like in this braided cinnamon danish, have yeast added to the dough, where puff pastry does not. Both, however, have layers of butter worked in between the dough through a process of rolling and folding the dough over and over. This makes numerous thin layers of both dough and butter.

When baked up, the water in the butter creates steam and makes flaky layers. The added oomph from the yeast in croissant dough gives even more rise, richness and bread-like features.


Braided Cinnamon Danish slices on a square white plate

Tips for Making This Braided Cinnamon Danish

I have sort of a foodie crush on braided breads, from challah to plaited breakfast loaves.

  • My technique for a braided danish is to roll the dough into a large rectangle, 18 x 10-inches in this case. The filling is placed in the middle third of the dough running from one short side to another.
  • Next comes the making of the strips which form the “braid.” I cut strips a little wider than a half inch, one at a time, from one side to the other, so the sides are symmetrical.
  • The slices should extend right up to the filling. Then starting at one end, cross a strip over the filling, then repeat on the other side. Go back and forth until the strips cover the filling. The ends can be left open or you can attempt to fold and tuck any excess dough under the braid.

This is really not a complicated recipe. The laminated dough takes time, with resting periods in the refrigerator between turns. I like do let the dough chill overnight and then bake it up the next morning. If you’re fearless in the kitchen, give this braided cinnamon danish a go. My favorite cinnamon rolls are another marvelous breakfast option.

More Breakfast Danishes You’ll Love:

Used in This Recipe:

Braided Cinnamon Danish with Laminated Dough | An exquisite breakfast treat

Braided Cinnamon Danish

Made with homemade laminated dough, this braided danish is flaky, tender and irresistible!

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield 10


Laminated Dough:

  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) I use Red Star Yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups flour (plus more for dusting the work surface)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter), at room temperature, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature


  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2-3 tablespoons hot water, depending on how thin you want your glaze


  • In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk. Stir and let sit about 5 minutes, till bubbles are visible. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine flour, sugar, salt, cardamom and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Beat on low till the butter is incorporated and dough looks like corn meal, about 3-4 minutes. Add milk mixture and mix till dough comes together. Add egg and yolk and mix till just combined, 2-3 minutes. Don't over-mix.
  • Gently knead bread on a lightly floured surface till a smooth ball is formed, about 30 seconds. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 18 x 10 inch rectangle. Try to keep corners square. With the short side facing you, disperse the remaining butter over the top 2/3 of the dough. Fold the unbuttered bottom third up over half the buttered dough. Then make a second fold to seal in the butter (like folding a letter to stuff an envelope).
  • Roll the dough out again to a 18 x 10 inch rectangle, then fold the dough again as above. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour. This folding and rolling is considered the "first turn." Repeat the rolling and two more times, making sure to refrigerate for an hour between all turns. After the last turn, wrap well in plastic and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to bake, bring dough out to sit out at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Preheat to 350º.
  • Make filling by mixing softened butter, sugars and cinnamon. Roll out dough to a 18 x 10 inch rectangle. Place filling down center third of dough. Slice dough into strips from outer edge to filling at about 1/2 inch intervals. Do one side, then repeat in a similar fashion on the other side. Fold strips over filling, alternating sides to make a crosshatch pattern.
  • Place danish on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake about 30 minutes, till puffed and browned.
  • Make glaze by combining ingredients, adding hot water till desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over cooled danish.


Recipe adapted  from Martha Stewart, John Barricelli, and Dorie Greenspan.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 slices

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 282Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 380mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 1gSugar: 27gProtein: 5g


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Braided Cinnamon Danish pinterest collage

Note: This recipe originally debuted in 2012. The recipe was a success back then, too! Here is an excerpt from that post:

Monet, who writes the lyrical blog Anecdotes and Apple Cores, is a warm, generous friend to so many bloggers.  She and her family have suffered a number of heart wrenching tragedies this year.

Fellow blogger and friend Kate, of Kate’s Kitchen, and I brainstormed ways to offer sweet Monet support during this difficult time.  We decided to ask some of her dearest blogger friends to contribute favorite comfort recipes along with notes, thoughts and prayers, and these were compiled into a scrapbook for her.

My contribution is this Braided Cinnamon Danish. Monet suggested that we all repost our recipes today.  Please scroll down to the bottom of this post to check out all the incredible recipes that were included in this cookbook. THANK YOU, ALL, for for enveloping Monet with blogger love.  Both Kate and I were overwhelmed with the depth of your compassion.

Here are the others who provided recipes. I hope you will take time to look at their marvelous contributions! Thank you, all!!!!!

Brian – A Thought for Food – European Hot Chocolate
Nancy – Spicie Foodie – Heavenly Nutella Banana Bread
Becky– Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves – Cinnamon Walnut Loaf
Lynn -The Actor’s Diet- Breakfast “Soup”
Liz – That Skinny Chick Can Bake – Braided Cinnamon Danish
Ameena – Fancy That Fancy This – Date Muffins
Jeanne – Simple Math Bakery – Double Chocolate Muffins
Jaime – Mangiabella – Lavender Pear Muffins
Susan – In The Wheel – My Mother’s Pumpkin Spice Bread
Kara – Happy When Not Hungry – Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Roxanna – A Little Bit of Everything – Tea Muffins
Lana – Bibberche – Focaccia
Akheela – Torview – Rustic Italian bread
Lisa – Authentic Suburban Gourmet – Neiman Marcus Popovers
Priscilla –  She’s Cookin’ – Swiss Chard with Raisins
Kristen – Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker – White Sandwich Bread
Kate – Kate’s Kitchen – Casa D’Angelo Salad
Wendy – The Weekend Gourmet – Chicken and Dumpling Soup and Cheddar Shallot Risotto
Patty – Zomppa – Nostalgia, 1989: Creamy Navy Bean Soup
Vianney – Sweet Life – Sopa de Fideo
Jessie – The Messie Kitchen – Alfredo with Roasted Asparagus
Gina – SPCookieQueen – Baked Mostaccioli in a Skillet
Bonnie Banters – Bonnie Banters – Bonnie’s Spaghetti Sauce
Christina – A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ – Chicken and Parmesan Penne
Noelle – An Opera Singer in the Kitchen – Creamy Broccoli and Mushroom Bake
Angie – Angie’s Recipes-Taste of Home – Pinotage Spaghetti with Arugula
Jennifer – Much to My Delight – Skillet Macaroni with Broccoli
Kita – Pass the Sushi – Curried Turkey Pot Pie
Peggy – My Fiance Likes It So It Must Be Good – Mushroom and Squash Enchiladas
Fiona – Nuts About Food – Ossobuco alla Milanese
Kate – Diethood – Pastrmajlija – Macedonian Pizza
Bryan – Armchair Chef – Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes

Carlyn – Not The Normal Teenage Fare- Vegetarian Chili and Corn Bread
Annie – Annie Oakley’s Kitchen – Apple Squares
A Whisk and a Prayer – Apple Shortbread Bars

Marsha – The Harried Cook – Banana Caramel Cream Pie
Penny – Jeroxie – Bread Pudding with Honey and Chocolate Fudge Topping
Eileen – Joy of Caking – Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
Jennifurla – Indigos Sugar Spectrum – Gingersnap Tart with Pumpkin Pastry Cream
Alisha – The Ardent Epicure – Colossal Sugar Plum Dumplings
Shirley – What About Second Breakfast? – Lil Cookies n Cream Cheesecakes
Kim – Liv Life – Limoncello Lemon Cake
Betty – Scrambled Hen Fruit – Mama’s Cold Oven Pound Cake
Kath – In The Kitchen With Kath – My Mom’s Oatmeal Crispies              Eloise– Weasel’s Journey – Old South Banana Pudding
Claudia – Journey of an Italian Cook – Tortoni: an almond-frozen cream dessert
Beth  – Of Muses and Meringues – Brown Butter Toffee Blondies
Tammy – Il Dolce Bacio – Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie
Kat – Cupcake Kat- Apple Muffin Hearts

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23 comments on “Braided Cinnamon Danish {Homemade Laminated Dough}”

  1. This would be a hit at our home. It looks awesome, Liz.

  2. It looks so perfect and so professional!

  3. Spectacular!!! I’ll take two to go please:@)

  4. Gorgeous braid Liz, no wonder Bill loved it! I can only imagine where your sub-par bar lies…haha! I love laminating doughs, which puts me in the cuckoo section I imagine…

  5. That looks just like it came from the most expensive bakeries I would pay alot for this perfect yeast braid wow perfect Liz Bravo!

  6. This braided danish is beautiful, Liz! I have never tried laminating before but it sounds like it’s worth the effort!

  7. Oh my word! This looks spectacular and I’m quite sure it was impressive! Such a beautiful job of drizzling too! Thanks for the tip of drizzling high!

  8. YUM!!! I love breakfast pastry — and cinnamon is always a perfect choice!

  9. Looks wonderful Lizzy!!! xoxox

  10. Beautiful braid, Liz! This is such a wonderful treat!

  11. oh my goodness this looks DIVINE! i am literally drooling over here, great recipe 🙂 xo

  12. That looks amazing! those layers! I need to give this recipe a try.

  13. Looks spectacular! Any chance of a video of the process to see what you actually do? Never attempted anything like this ever!!

  14. (((HELP))) when I was a kid back in the 1960’s. There were a couple neighborhood bakeries where we lived in Louisville KY. They sold this long John sort of, I’m guessing was a yeast, pull apart type donut or bread. The dough part was yellowish in color. It was baked in a block of 6 pull apart sections. About the length of a long John. But all 6 were together. There was cinnamon between the folds where it pulled apart. You could get them either iced with chocolate, or a white icing sprinkled with chopped peanuts. I have no idea what they were called. And have a hard time explaining what i can see in my mind’s eye. People from the neighborhood know what I am talking about, but no one knows the name. A couple said they are called a Kuca. But when I look that term up on the internet for the recipe, the picture is not what I am talking about or looking for. If anyone can help me to find out the name or have a recipe for this item, I would greatly appreciate it. I now live in Florida and the only donut shops that are around here are Dunkin donuts, or the bakery shop in the grocery store. Winn Dixie, Publix. This donut / cake / pull apart chocolate covered yummy thing is driving me crazy trying to find the recipe and the name. Please help if anyone knows. I want to be able to make this. For it has been probably 35-40 years sense these neighborhood bakeries have gone out of business.

  15. Oh my heavens! Fabulous recipe! I think this is going on our Easter brunch menu!

  16. Perfect for my Sunday brunch!

  17. Such a great recipe for a weekend baking project. I have to start practicing with Easter around the corner. Thanks for sharing.

  18. A new favorite breakfast in our house! Delish!

  19. This was SO worth the little bit of extra time and effort to make. Delicious!

  20. Would this be a good recipe to make a King Cake for Fat Tuesday?

    • Hi, Ness, I think it could be done!! I’d roll it out into a big rectangle, add the filling and treat (roll) it like cinnamon rolls, except make it into a ring. Like this recipe of mine for a tea roll. Let me know how it goes!

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