A quick and easy recipe for vegan Danish pastry that makes delicious portable tarts made of flaky vegan puff pastry topped with creamy vanilla custard. Everyone will love these handy-sized, customizable sweet treats topped with fresh strawberries and a sprinkling of desiccated coconut.
Easy Homemade Vegan Puff Pastry Danish
No need to visit the bakery or coffee shop next time you are craving some Danish! These vegan pastries have the same buttery, crisp flakes filled with velvety custard filling that you can enjoy with your coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon, and wine in the evening! This recipe uses ready-made puff pastry so you can have these yummy treats ready in just less than 40 minutes.
What is Danish Pastry?
Danish pastries, or simple Danish, are traditionally made of a type of Viennoiserie pastry. This is a multilayered yeast dough made through the process of laminating. If you want to know how this is made in detail, you can check my vegan Croissant recipe where I made the pastry dough from scratch. However, this Danish pastry recipe is an easier version made with vegan puff pastry that you can find at almost any grocery store.
Danish come in different forms and flavors. The pastry dough can be folded or molded into different shapes, loaded with various fillings, and garnished with fresh fruits, nuts, syrups, and other sweet treats. These make them so much fun to make and bake! You can let your creativity flourish and make these charming sweets the way you want them!
I created the recipe with my beloved friend Ela and she made delicious blueberry puff pastries. Making such a simple and quick dessert with your best friend is just perfect and makes even more fun!
Ingredients Used to make Danish pastry
- Dairy-free milk: I prefer using canned light coconut milk as this will make the pudding richer and creamier. You could also use other plant-based milk such as soy milk, almond milk, or cashew milk. However, using the alternatives can make the pudding more watery. To make it richer, you could add 1-2 tbsp nut butter such as cashew butter, almond butter, or peanut butter. For a nut-free version, you could also add some tahini or sunflower seed butter.
- Cornstarch: thickens the custard mixture and ensures that it is properly set during baking. You could try arrowroot flour instead.
- Sugar: You can use any sugar, such as raw cane sugar, coconut sugar, or date sugar. For a sugar-free version, you can use Erythritol. Maple, agave, or date syrup will do too!
- Vanilla extract: adds a delicious aroma and flattering taste to the custard. You can also use a pinch of ground bourbon vanilla instead.
- Turmeric: adding a very small amount gives the mixture a more appetizing yellow color.
- Vegan Puff Pastry: I just love using this to make quick and sweet and savory treats! I also used it to make Asparagus Puff Pastry Bundles, Apple Pie Pockets, and Strawberry Cream Tart.
- Dairy-free milk: You can use anything you have on hand for brushing.
- Fresh Fruits: I love how ripe, plump strawberries give more sweetness and color to the pastry! However, feel free to use other fresh fruits and berries that are in season. In the summertime mangoes, apricots, pineapples, and peaches are perfect for this recipe. While in the winter, you can use apples, plums, pears, kiwis, and pomegranates. Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and raspberries are always a crowd favorite!
- For sprinkling: I used desiccated coconut but you can also try chopped nuts, raisins, powdered sugar or chocolate chips, or shavings! You can also make a glaze for drizzling. All you need is confectionary sugar and a fruity juice of your choice. Check out how I made it in my vegan Madeleines recipe.
How to make Vegan Danish Pastry
As always, I recommend checking out this step-by-step instruction first. Then you can find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Cook the Custard
First make a slurry by pouring 3-4 tbsp of the dairy-free milk into a small cup. Add the cornstarch, sugar, vanilla and turmeric and stir until smooth. Pour the remaining dairy-free milk to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Then whisk in the cornstarch mixture, and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until you get a thick and creamy pudding. Remove from the heat, cover with cling wrap and allow to cool.
Step 2: Assemble danish pastry
Roll out the puff pastry dough and cut into 6 squares (or more/less, depending on desired size). Now fold the corners towards the center and press to the bottom so they won’t rise during baking. Brush the dough with some dairy-free milk. Add a bit of pudding in the center of each pastry using a teaspoon or piping bag and sprinkle with some brown or coconut sugar if you like.
Step 3: Bake, garnish and enjoy!
Bake for about 16-18 minutes at 430°F (220°C) until the puff pastry Danish tarts are puffed, flaky and golden brown. Remove from the oven and top with fresh strawberries and desiccated coconut or other fruits and toppings of your choice.
Tips when making Danish Pastry
- Frozen puff pastry should be thawed first before using. However, make sure that it is still chilled, otherwise, you will find it difficult to shape and it will not puff as much during baking.
- After making the custard pudding, cover the bowl with plastic cling wrap to make sure that a thin skin does not form on top and it remains smooth.
- Do not overcook your custard. Heat until just thick but still pourable. Remember that it will thicken further as it cools.
You can keep leftover Danish in airtight bags or containers at room temperature for 2 days. If you’ve already topped them with fruits, it’s a good idea to pour a sugar glaze on top to increase their preservability. Also, make sure they are individually wrapped to keep them as fresh as possible. For longer storage, refrigerate them after wrapping. They should be good for up to a week. Then simply heat them in the oven briefly before eating.
Can I make it gluten-free?
Yes, you can! Just look for a gluten-free puff pastry brand.
Can I use make Puff pastry from scratch?
Absolutely! This recipe is a quicker and easier way to make this sweet dessert. For the steps in making it from scratch, you check out my vegan Croissants recipe.
Can I use fruit jams instead?
Absolutely! A fruit jam is a good substitute for fresh fruits. If you love chocolate croissants, vegan Nutella would also be a great idea for the filling!
This Vegan Danish Pastry Recipe is:
- Egg-less and Dairy-free
- Gluten-free possible
- Sugar-free possible
- Flaky, buttery, and crisp
- Quick and easy to make
- Filled with creamy custard
- Topped with strawberries
- Sweet and Fruity!
- So delicious!
If you try this Vegan Puff Pastry Danish recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your flaky dessert and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Have fun trying! 🙂
Vegan Danish with Custard and StrawberriesAuthor:
You do not have a fitting cake pan at hand right now? Try my Cake Pan Conversion Calculator!
- 1 sheet vegan puff pastry gluten-free brand if needed
- 2-3 tbsp dairy-free milk for brushing
- 1-2 tsp coconut sugar to sprinkle (optional)
- 1 cup (150 g) strawberries or other fruits/berries
- 1 tbsp desiccated coconut or chopped nuts/chocolate
*Note: Be sure to check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos in the blog post above!
- Pour 3-4 tbsp of the dairy-free milk into a small cup. Add the cornstarch, sugar, vanilla and turmeric (if using) and stir until smooth. Set aside.
- Add the remaining dairy-free milk to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Then whisk in the cornstarch mixture, and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until you get a thick and creamy pudding. Then remove from the heat, cover with cling wrap and allow to cool. (The cling wrap prevents the pudding from forming a skin).
- Once cooled mix again until smooth and creamy.
- Preheat the oven to 430°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment parchment and set aside.
- Roll out the puff pastry dough and cut into 6 squares (or more/less, depending on desired size), then place on the prepared baking sheet. Fold the corners towards the center and press to the bottom so they won’t rise during baking.
- Brush the dough with dairy-free milk. Add a bit of pudding in the center of each pastry using a teaspoon or piping bag and sprinkle with some coconut sugar if you like.
- Bake for about 16-18 minutes until the Danish are puffed, flaky and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit.
- Top with fresh strawberries or other fruits of your choice. Sprinkle with some desiccated coconut or chopped nuts or chocolate and enjoy!
- Homemade dough: You can also make this recipe by using the dough of my vegan Croissants recipe.
- Dairy-free milk: I prefer using canned light coconut milk as this will make the pudding richer and creamier. You could also use another plant-based milk such as soy milk, almond milk or cashew milk. However, the pudding will be more watery. In this case you can add 1-2 tbsp nut butter for more richness, e.g. cashew butter, almond butter or peanut butter. For a nut-free version you could also add some tahini or sunflower seed butter.
- Cornstarch: You could try arrowroot flour instead.
- Sweetener: You can use any sugar, such as raw cane sugar, coconut sugar, date sugar, etc., or use Erythritol for a sugar-free version. Maple, agave or date syrup will do too!
- Baking Time: If making smaller Danish pastries, be sure to reduce the baking time as they are done sooner.
- Please read the blog post above for more helpful tips and information about this recipe.
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