Danish pastries

Danish pastries

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(13 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 20 mins Plus rising and chilling

A challenge

Makes 18 pastries

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

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable


  • kcal218
  • fat12g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs25g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.26g
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  • 250g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 250g plain flour



    Flour is usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…

  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast



    Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form…

  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 125ml whole or semi-skimmed milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 1 large egg, beaten plus extra beaten egg to glaze



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 250g pack lightly salted butter, not fridge cold but not soft, cut into 8 even slices

For the pecan pinwheels (makes 18)

  • 85g pecan, plus a few extra, chopped
    Pecan nuts



    Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…

  • 50g light muscovado sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
    Maple syrup

    Maple syrup

    may-pul sir-rup

    The rising spring sap of a number of varieties of maple tree

  • 25g softened butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

For the apricot custard turnovers (makes 18)

  • 150g tub custard
  • 2 x 320g cans apricots



    A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety…

  • few tsps apricot jam

For the raisin swirls (makes 18)

  • 50g raisin
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g soft butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 50g icing sugar


  1. Pulse together the dry ingredients plus 2 tsp salt in a processor, then pulse in the milk and egg, plus 100ml water, 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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Comments, questions and tips

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Beth Jane's picture
Beth Jane
24th May, 2020
Really chuffed with how these turned out! Taking on board the comment below I made sure to leave the dough overnight to prove and did not knead for more than 1 minute. I did not have strong flour so used 500g plain flour in total, which worked fine - although they would probably have risen more if the correct flour was used. When splitting the dough, I used half to make raisin whirls which I rolled out slight thinner to make smaller ones. The other half I used to make raspberry pi whirls, which was very easy and meant I didn’t have to go out to buy more fillings. As long as you follow the recipe- and don’t miss the 100ml water, this is a great introduction to making Danish pastry.
dungeonseeker's picture
14th May, 2020
All the people saying the proportion of flour to liquid is wrong need to read the recipe fully. This recipe is absolutely fine, there's 100ml of water in the method NOT listed in the ingredients. To the people saying this dough should be kneaded, this is a pastry recipe, not a bread recipe. You do not knead pastry. 1 minute of kneading after mixing to bring it together is all you need. I STRONGLY advise you make the dough the 8 hours (or more) before you want to use it and let it prove in the fridge. Doing it this way means the dough will be cool when you add the butter which will keep the butter cool for longer and make it much easier to work with. I managed 2 turns on the first go before the butter started to go soft, I probably could have done 3 in one go as the mix was still cool to the touch after doing 2.
13th Apr, 2019
I followed this recipe, as above (there is 100ml of water mentioned in the method which is not in the ingredients list), and it worked perfectly. Yes, the dough did seem a little dry at first and I did add another tablespoon of water. My only other deviation from the method described is that I kneaded the dough for 11 minutes rather than 1. The finished product (raisin swirls) had the expected texture and taste and went down very well.
Meabh Landers's picture
Meabh Landers
28th Nov, 2018
As others have pointed out, there is a big mistake with the flour listed in the ingredients section. 250g of strong plus 250g of plain is way too much. I thought it was odd but I followed the recipe exactly as that's what you're supposed to do with something new. The dough was obviously all wrong and I had to throw it out after it didn't rise and just use a completely different recipe. I should have read the comments but bbc good food is normally so good I didn't bother. I would have expected better proofing before this recipe went live.
Carol King's picture
Carol King
3rd Sep, 2018
I really would like to say respectfully that Good Foods needs to double check its recipes for typos as several mistakes have occurred in published recipes. The mistake in this recipe while being quite costly (with all that butter) is also a great waste of our precious time and we definitely don't have much of that these days!
Carol King's picture
Carol King
3rd Sep, 2018
Having read all the complaints about this recipe it struck me on first reading the recipe that the amount of flour had a typo. Why? Because why would you list flour twice in the same exact amounts? Also as others have pointed out the ratio of dry to wet ingredients is really out of wack. Try it with only 250 g of all purpose flour and add a bit more while rolling if needed .
25th Mar, 2016
What a rubbish and stupid recipe this is. I am not an experience baker, but followed this recipe step by step with very bad consequences. I begun making this and soon discovered slight problems such as the dough being too dry and so on. After placing it in a warm area for an hour I did as the recipe said and rolled it 1 cm thick. Then I cam across the bizarre instruction to place butter inside the dough?? I did this and that's when the whole thing fell apart and the butter oozed out the dough and I threw the dough in the bin. Never in my life has a recipe gone this badly for me. Do not use this recipe.
8th Apr, 2015
Just looking at this recipe before I started (and without seeing the comments), it is clear there is a major typo - the ratio of dry to wet ingredients is all wrong. The dough is a basic puff pastry, and every puff pastry recipe works out to the ratio of 250g flour to 150ml liquid and 225g - 250g butter. This recipe calls for 250g flour twice, for a total of 500g!, and therein lies the mistake. Make the puff pastry with 250g strong flour, 150ml milk and 250g butter. The butter needs to be cold (fridge cold, just not chiller cold), otherwise it squeezes out everywhere in a huge frustrating mess.
27th Sep, 2014
Sorry to moan but I am a good baker and also found this recipe created a dough that was far too dry and also found myself drawn away from my instincts and using butter that was far too soft , due to the recipe being far to vague. Sadly this is not the only good food recipe that has come out a mess. A waste of time and ingredients, stick to your original recipes people.
18th Oct, 2013
Had a complete disaster with this recipe!! I am quite an experienced baker and make lots of puff pastry and croissant type recipes, but this ended up with a dough that was too stiff and butter oozing out all over the place!!! Had to bin it and resort to the old trusted WI book of baking. Their recipe is almost identical for the pastries, but adds a bit less flour (450g total) and 2 eggs to make a lovely soft silky dough. Now have perfect and very tasty Danish pastries


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