When hosting weekend guests, I like to make a special breakfast like this spectacular Braided Cinnamon Danish with Homemade Laminated Dough.

This gourmet Cinnamon Bread Recipe is plaited and drizzled with a simple glaze. The layers and layers of dough are what you’d find in a fine bakery, but you can make it at home!

Braided Cinnamon Danish with Laminated Dough on a white tray

Why You Must Make this Cinnamon Coffee Cake

  • You’ll pat yourself when you succeed in making the laminated dough. It’s not hard at all but requires patience as it needs a few stints in the refrigerator to chill.
  • This buttery danish is definitely bakery-worthy. Plus, I’ll give you a few tips for drizzling the simple glaze.
  • If you’re looking for a breakfast or brunch option for a special occasion, give this danish pastry a go!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Laminated Dough?

If you’ve ever eaten croissants or anything made with puff pastry, you’ve had a laminated dough.  Croissant dough, like in this braided cinnamon danish, has 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.

What is the Best Way to Drizzle the Glaze?

This gorgeous cinnamon danish was finished with a drizzle of a simple glaze. Apply the frosting by swooping a spoonful back and forth and repeating over and over. Keeping the spoon high makes for thinner striations of icing.

Braided Cinnamon Danish with Laminated Dough | An exquisite breakfast treat

Tips for Making this Braided Cinnamon Danish

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

  • PRO-Tip: Before you even start, check the date on your yeast. It would be awful to go though the whole proceess and not have a good rise due to expired yeast.
  • PRO-Tip: If it’s a hot day and your kitchen is very warm, it will be hard to laminate the dough as the butter will get extra soft as you work with it. So either crank up your air conditioner or wait until a cooler day to give this recipe a try.
  • 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 to 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.

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

More Breakfast Danishes You’ll Love:

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Braided Cinnamon Danish with Laminated Dough | An exquisite breakfast treat

Braided Cinnamon Danish

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

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

Ingredients

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

Filling:

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

Glaze:

  • 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

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk. Stir and let sit about 5 minutes, till bubbles are visible.
  2. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine flour, sugar, salt, cardamom, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Beat on low till the butter is incorporated and the dough looks like cornmeal, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add milk mixture and mix till dough comes together.
  4. Add egg and yolk and mix till just combined, 2-3 minutes. Don't over-mix.
  5. 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.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18 x 10-inch rectangle. Try to keep corners square.
  7. 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).
  8. Roll the dough out again to an 18 x 10-inch rectangle, then fold the dough again as above.
  9. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour. This folding and rolling is considered the "first turn."
  10. 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.
  11. When ready to bake, bring the dough out to sit out at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Preheat to 350º.
  12. Make the filling by mixing softened butter, sugars, and cinnamon.
  13. Roll out dough to an 18 x 10-inch rectangle. Place filling down center third of dough.
  14. Slice dough into strips from the 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.
  15. Place danish on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, till puffed and browned.
  16. Make the glaze by combining ingredients, adding hot water till desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over cooled danish.

Notes

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

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

2 slices

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

HOW MUCH DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?

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Note: This recipe originally debuted in 2012. The recipe was a success back then, too!