These Starbucks Copycat Sugar Plum Cheese Danish are so easy to whip up at home. The spiced jam filling gives them a warm, holiday flavor just like Starbucks.
I love Starbucks.
Okay, well, I love coffee in general, so it makes sense that Starbucks is one of my favorite places. There’s one on every corner, I often have some gift cards thanks to my sweet students and their families, and, let’s face it, Starbucks does come up with some rather tasty concoctions.
I especially love their seasonal items. Their Cherry Mocha (check out my copycat version HERE) at Valentine’s Day is divine, I am always excited for my first Pumpkin Spice Latte in the fall, and their Chesnut Praline Latte at Christmas is my absolute favorite.
Add a Sugar Plum Cheese Danish, and it’s the perfect treat for driving around and looking at Christmas lights.
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How to Make Starbucks Copycat Sugar Plum Cheese Danish
And here’s some great news (which we have had far too little of in 2020)! These Sugar Plum Danishes are really easy to whip up at home with only a few ingredients!
The Sugar Plum Jam
This spiced jam filling gives this pastry such a warm, holiday flavor. It just tastes like Christmas!
You can use plum jam or jelly–whatever you can find. You could even sub in any red jam/jelly for a similar flavor in a pinch.
Adding the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves into the sweet jam is what gives it that spiced sugar plum taste.
The Cream Cheese Filling
The combo of sugar plum jam on top of the cream cheese filling, all tucked inside a fluffy, buttery crust, and you will have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, too. 😂🎄
Puff pastry is one of life’s greatest inventions. I mean, making a buttery pastry with all these flakey layers is a lot of work. Puff pastry lets you get that same thing, by just pulling the box from the freezer. Thank you, Pepperidge Farms.
The Starbucks version of this Copycat Sugar Plum Cheese Danish has those cute little rolled-up corners, so the best way to do this at home is to use a muffin tin.
Tuck each square of pastry into a well of the muffin pan, and then fill with the cream cheese and sugar plum jam.
To retain the flakiness of the pastry, it’s really important to work with puff pastry that has been thawed enough to be pliable, but is still cold. Make sure you set your pastry out on the counter for 30 minutes or so before beginning, but don’t let it warm up too much past that, or it will be sticky and doughy.
This is the hardest part of the whole process. You must carefully pay attention to the baking process and pull the pastries out at just the right time. That could be anywhere between 13-ish minutes and 20-ish minutes.
Yes, I know there are a lot of “ishes” in that sentence. But, puff pastry has a “just right moment” of being DONE. Because the pastry has a high butter content, which is necessary to achieve the flakiness, if you leave them in even just a minute too long, sad things will happen. All the filling will leak out and the pastry will be overly brown. 😳
How do I know this, you ask?
I present you with Exhibit A: Perfectly baked Sugar Plum Danishes that are a light golden brown, with the filling just beginning to ooze over the sides. This batch was baked for precisely 14 minutes and 7.2 seconds.
Now, let me present you with Exhibit B: Complete sadness. The pastry is overbaked on the corners, and all the filling has leaked out and scorched. This is not what a Sugar Plum Danish should be like.
This batch baked closer to 18 minutes. At about the 14-minute mark, I peeked in on them and thought, “They need a couple of more minutes maybe”. And then I reset the timer and walked away.
Don’t do it, friends! Stay right there! From about the 10-minute mark, I suggest you remain peering through the oven door, so you can grab these suckers out at just the right moment!
Your morning will be much happier, because you’ll end up with this…
Even though they require careful observation right at the end, these Starbucks Copycat Sugar Plum Danishes really are easy to make, and so worth that little bit of babysitting! 🤪
Starbucks Copycat Sugar Plum Cheese Danish
- 1 package of frozen puff pastry sheets thawed according to pacackage instructions
- 1 8-oz package of cream cheese softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup plum jam or jelly
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Unroll the thawed, but still cold, puff pastry. Cut each sheet into 9 even squares. A pizza cutter works well for this. Place one square in each well of a muffin pan, and press gently into wells, leaving the corners out.
- Mix together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Divide evenly among puff pastry squares, spreading slightly with a spoon and pressing down with back of spoon to make a small pocket in the cream cheese for the jam to sit.
- Mix together jam, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, and top each pastry square with a dollop in the cavity of the cream cheese.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until puffed and golden. Watch them carefully so that the filing does not leak out too much. You may need to adjust your baking time.
- Serve immediately. Leftovers are best when warmed just slightly in the microwave.
Wishing you perfectly baked Sugar Plum Danishes. And coffee. Always lots of coffee,
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