Featured, Kitchen

Mango & Blackberry Cheese Danish

April 26, 2024

A nostalgic childhood memory and an easy {mango-centric} weekend endeavor

As a child, I adored cheese Danishes. Back then (yes, I’m that old) local bakeries were abundant, crafting freshly baked goods daily. Starbucks hadn’t emerged yet, so those artificially flavored, preservative-laden pastries were rare, mainly found in gas stations, packaged for on-the-go consumption. Ironically, even those seemed fresher than today’s Starbucks versions, which appear designed (and grossly) to last indefinitely.

One particular cheese Danish memory from a bakery in Solvang, CA, remains etched in my memory after spending a day there with my dad as a kid. If you ever find yourself near Solvang, CA, a quaint Danish settlement nestled just off the coast in the Santa Ynez Valley amidst vineyards and European-style bakeries, you must indulge. The town still exudes Danish charm, and its bakeries craft the perfect cheese Danish, often with the freshest California fruits transformed into delectable jams strewn atop the Danishes.

A cheese Danish is a pastry with a creamy cheese filling encased in a flaky pastry crust, sometimes enhanced with fruit jam. It’s a cherished pastry worldwide, especially in Denmark, and it’s everywhere in Solvang!

While the cheese Danish is synonymous with Denmark, its roots actually trace back to Austria in the mid-19th century. Austrian bakers, adept in laminated dough techniques, brought their expertise to Denmark in the late 19th century, catalyzing the pastry’s international popularity. These Austrian settlers became Danish bakers embracing similar techniques, infusing a cultural melting pot of ideas and their own creative twists, including various fillings like fruit, custard, and cheese.

The Danish settlers in Solvang uphold this art of the cheese Danish, evident in the town’s charming bakeries. I was there a few years back and lo and behold, one bakery offered one with mango jam, which is when my recipe had its first breath in idea form.

The homemade cheese Danish I went on to create features a delightful combination of mango jam and fresh blackberries. Opting for convenience without compromising flavor, I utilize store-bought puff pastry for its flaky texture. While traditional Danish Neufchâtel cheese is sublime, tangy mascarpone—or even cream cheese—works wonders. I blend sugar, eggs, and vanilla with the mascarpone to concoct a luscious, sweet, and cheesy filling reminiscent of my Solvang cheese Danish.

Mango & Blackberry Cheese Danish
Makes 1 large Cheese Danish

This recipe yields one large Danish, perfect for a special occasion or a leisurely weekend indulgence. Alternatively, you can effortlessly create several smaller versions using the same ingredients and technique.


 1 ripe mango, chopped fine
¼ cup sugar + ¼ cup
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ teaspoon cardamon
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup water
8 ounces mascarpone cheese (substitute cream cheese, room temperature)
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 package 10 X 15 inch puff pastry dough (thawed)
¼ cup heavy cream (option to melt a teaspoon butter in regular milk)


Toss the mangoes in a saucepan with ¼ cup of sugar, spices, and 1/2 cup water. Cook them over medium-high heat until the sugar is melted and the mangoes are soft, about 8-10 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool.

Mix together the mascarpone or cream cheese with the egg yolks and lemon zest until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Flour a nonstick silicone mat or a piece of parchment paper roughly the size of a baking sheet.

Roll out the pastry, flouring as you go, until you have a 12-by-15-inch rectangle.

Spread the cream mixture over the center section of the pastry. Then spread the mango mixture over the cheese filling and evenly dollop the top with fresh blackberries.

Fold the top of the pastry over the filling to seal it, then cut strips on the left and right columns. Braid the strips in an alternating pattern to cover the filling.

Brush the pastry with heavy cream and sprinkle with leftover ¼ cup sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.

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