Citrus Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish Braid

As an Amazon affiliate, and affiliate with other businesses, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Citrus Cream Cheese Danish Braid

This elegant Danish Braid is filled with a soft cream cheese and cranberry filling, sprinkled with citrus sugar to create a light sugar crust, and drizzled with a tart lemon glaze. It’s a beautiful, impressive looking treat, but it’s actually pretty easy to make. 

Update: I’m excited to share the news that my recipe won first place in the Hodgson Mill “Have a Grain Holiday!” Recipe Contest! I hope you’ll give it a try.

Hodgson Mill invited me to participate in their baking challenge, “Have a Grain Holiday!” Recipe Contest! They challenged bloggers to create great-tasting, healthier treats for holiday gatherings or gift-giving made with all-natural Hodgson Mill flour and sent me packages of Hodgson Mill Bread Flour and Hodgson Whole Wheat Flour.


Hodgson Mill Bread Flour is a high protein, high gluten flour for lighter, fluffier breads and the Hodgson Whole Wheat Flour is stone ground and uses the entire natural bran and germ preserving all of the grain’s natural nutrients and great taste.


I decided to create a great-tasting, healthier Danish Braid using whole wheat flour and eliminating the 2 sticks of butter traditionally rolled in to the Danish Braid dough. This is such a wonderful, flavorful dough, and the filling and toppings are so fabulous, you’ll never miss that extra fat.


Yield: 12 servings

Citrus Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish Braid

Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes



  • 1 cup Hodgson Mill whole wheat flour
  • 2–2 1/2 cups Hodgson Mill bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
  • 1 package rapid rise (instant) yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Citrus Sugar

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons water

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Mix whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cup bread flour, wheat gluten, and yeast in stand mixer fitted with a beater blade.
  2. Heat milk, orange juice and butter until butter melts and mixture is warm (120º to 130º). Add sugar and salt, stir until dissolved. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture.
  3. Add egg, vanilla, and orange zest and beat at low speed until well combined. Switch to the dough hook, on speed 2 gradually add the remaining bread flour (add more or less as necessary) until dough clings to the hook and almost cleans the sides. Knead until smooth about 8 minutes. Shape into a ball.
  4. Place in greased bowl, turn. Cover, let rise until double approximately 60–90 minutes.
  5. While dough is rising make cream cheese filling: In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and egg yolk until smooth. Don’t over mix. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. While dough is rising make citrus sugar: In a small bowl, mix sugar, lemon zest and orange zest until well blended.
  7. Punch dough down, let rest 10 minutes before shaping. On a lightly floured work surface, silpat, or parchment paper, roll the dough into a 12 x 14-inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick. If the dough shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Along one long side of the dough make parallel, 4-inch-long cuts with a pizza cutter or sharp knife 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.
  8. Spoon the cream cheese filling down the center of the rectangle. Leaving 1 inch on the top and bottom unfilled. Sprinkle dried cranberries on top of cream cheese filling. Cut off the first two strips of dough on each side on the top and bottom of the rectangle. Fold the top and bottom flaps over the filling to cover. Begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling at an angle, alternating left, then right until finished. Trim excess dough leaving enough to tuck the ends underneath the braid.
  9. Transfer to baking sheet. Cover. Let rise until double, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 375º. Make egg wash by mixing egg white with 2 teaspoons water and lightly brush some of it over the top of the braid. Sprinkle citrus sugar evenly over the top of the braid. Bake on baking sheet for 15 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.
  11. Prepare Lemon Glaze: In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle glaze over braid.

Hodgson Mill wants to help you create great-tasting, healthier treats too and is offering a $25 gift certificate redeemable at the Hodgson Mill online store to one Barbara Bakes’ reader. Details on how to enter are listed below the recipe. Good luck!

Giveaway: Closed

Update: The winner of the $25 Hodgson Mill gift certificate is Laurie, Cookin’ Up North. Congratulations! Have fun shopping. Thank you to everyone who entered for your sweet comments and welcome to all the new followers!

Hodgson Mill is helping to spread some holiday cheer to Barbara Bakes readers by offering a $25 gift certificate redeemable at the Hodgson Mill online store to one lucky winner.

Here’s How To Enter:

Leave a comment on this post before Wednesday, December 15th at noon, MST.

For extra entries:

  • Tweet this giveaway. Here’s a sample tweet you could use: Win a $25 gift certificate to @HodgsonMillInc via @BarbaraBakes
  • Follow @BarbaraBakes on Twitter
  • Like Barbara Bakes on Facebook.
  • Subscribe to Barbara Bakes
  • Like Hodgson Mill on Facebook
  • Follow @HodgsonMillInc on Twitter

Leave a separate comment for each entry. The giveaway is only open to residents of the US. Be sure your email address is included with your comment(s). Winner will be chosen randomly, notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond.

For another chance to win great Hodgson Mill products: You can also visit Hodgson Mill for a chance to win a Hodgson Mill Baker’s Gift Pack valued at $85.


I baked this braid for a Utah food bloggers brunch and cookie exchange held to raise funds for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was founded by a mom inspired by her son’s fight against cancer. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is committed to raising funds to support research for new and improved therapies for pediatric cancer. Visit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer to learn how you can help.

Thanks to all those who organized, participated and companies that supported this fun fundraising event. Utah food bloggers are amazing people as well as amazing cooks/bakers.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.