Vegan Danish

vegan danishHi All, it's Jane writing today - post day for the Daring Bakers. This month's challenge was a Danish Braid. As some of you may have realized, I begged off last month's challenge, an Opera Cake. My fellow Alternative DBs did the challenge proud; however, I simply couldn't face another buttercream. But the waiting was worth it, I was thrilled with this month's offering. Lane has always loved pastry, however, that's been off the menu for us since we've been vegan. I'm sure the vegan bakeries in Los Angeles have plenty of pastry options, however, we're not really near any of them, and don't need to be making special trips for goodies. 😉

I always suspected that pastry would be something easy to "veganize," after all, my pie crust hasn't suffered a bit in the transition. I had just never tried pastry before. I made the assumption that it would be incredibly difficult to make. I was wrong. It's time consuming, but fun.

I'd gotten a sense of security from all the posts on the alternative DB board. Most of the vegan bakers seemed to have a positive experience. The gluten-free people had a tougher time of it, as you can imagine! But most people were reporting successes, even if the process wasn't textbook perfect. So when I actually started laminating my dough (a technique where you roll "butter" into the dough) I was surprized that I didn't have any of the difficulties I'd read about and expected -- dough too sticky, butter exploding out of the dough... Everything went swimmingly, my single folds and double book folds were almost perfectly aligned. Not bad for a first try! I left the dough in the fridge overnight and went to bed.

Today I needed to assemble the filling, roll out the dough, fill and braid, and bake. We were supposed to fill one braid with an apple concoction and the other with the filling of our choice. I bought the Fuji's as directed, even though they're not in season here now. They didn't taste as sweet as usual, and I wasn't really happy with the apple filling. So, for the second braid, I used a triple berry jam, and vegan cream cheese. This was a very satisfying pastry to make. I enjoyed the process, I enjoyed the end results. But it's not something you're going to throw together a few minutes before you're company is coming!

We shared this with our omnivorous cousins, and they loved it. They asked me to make it with blueberries next time. I was also thinking it might be good with the lemon curd from the vegan lemon meringue pie we made in the January challenge...  (Lane's liking that idea.)

I will definitely make this recipe again, but I'll make a few changes. The recipe directed us to mix the dough for 5 minutes after incorporating all the ingredients. I've never done that before in making any type of dough. I'm not an expert, but I thought you weren't supposed to "overmix" as you make things too tough. My dough was a tad chewy, so next time, I will only mix until things are incorporated. Also, I don't think the orange zest/juice in the dough recipe added anything to the pastry, so I'll omit them next time as well, and maybe the cardamom too.  They added a nice taste to the pastry, but I made croissant with the leftover dough, and that didn't work.   And finally, if I have the time, I'll try to make individual danishes. I'm really glad Kelly and Ben selected this recipe as our challenge. I would have never tried to make this on my own, and now I have a wonderful new dessert in my repertoire.

Note: I skipped the egg wash (of course), so my pastry wasn't shiny. No one missed it!

-- Cheers, Jane


  1. Wow, I’m beyond imressed! Baking is one of my favorite pasttimes (and the reason I’m one of those rare plump vegans), but I’ve never even considered making a laminate pastry dough. And your finished danish is beautiful. Thanks for the posting.

  2. Yum, that looks really tasty. Great job! You’re inspiring me to learn more about baking.

    FYI, you can get vegan pastries from Etsy or from the various vegan web stores. And if you need to make a dessert for company quickly, maybe you want to do something with store-bought puff pastry or phyllo dough, both of which are often vegan.

  3. Hi Kate,
    Thank you. It’s a fun recipe, if you like to bake…

    Hi Shellyfish,
    We do, don’t we! 😉 I think this is my favorite challenge (or possibly the Tender Potato Bread from November).

    Thank you Francijin.

    Hi Marika,
    Lane’s already asking when I’m going to try that. We’ve still got a bit left of this danish!

    Maybelle’s Mom – this was an easy one to veganize.

    Hi Sue,
    It was so much easier than you might think. It’s time consuming though, so make sure you’ve got a lazy day ahead of you. Well worth it!

    Hi Seitan,
    Thanks. Yay. Vegan Pastry!

    Hi Elaine,
    That’s actually why I joined the Daring Bakers… I wanted to be “forced” to get back into baking. I used to do loads of baking pre-vegan. As for purchasing baked goods, I’m a bit of a snob that way. I don’t buy cakes. The occasional napoleon or canoli… (pre-vegan), but baking was always something I enjoyed, and excelled at.

    Hi Kara,
    Sorry. I hope you were satisfied with whatever you ate this morning!

    Hi Wheeler’s,
    Thanks. That means a lot coming from you guys, experts in desserts.

  4. Fantastic. I’m going to give this a try.

    By the way, if anybody ends up in the Washington DC area and has a vegan danish fix (and doesn’t want to DIY), check out Sticky Fingers Bakery. Their prices are a tad high, but you’re paying for convenience, right?

  5. Hi Debyi,
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Hi Emile,
    Yes, next time!

    Hi Jen Yu,
    Thanks. The vegan aspect of this recipe was much easier than you might think. Vegan spread (earth balance) and Ener-G Egg replacer…

    Hi Travis,
    Yes, you pay for convenience! Part of why I mostly do my own baking. Anyway, enjoy making the danish — just make sure to set aside enough time — it’s relatively easy but rather time consuming.

  6. Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! I found it through the Daring Baker forums. Glad I stopped by – your Danish Braid looks incredible! I look forward to seeing how your July challenge turns out!

  7. Hi Vegan Noodle,
    Thanks. I did the double book fold because it looked like more fun on the video. 🙂

    Hi Medhaa,
    I used Ener-G egg replacer (found in the Gluten Free section at Whole Foods). I’ve head that it’s most effective as long as you’re replacing 1 or 2 eggs. More than that and most people think it has a taste. I’ve used this rule and been successful in most of the baked goods I make. I was considering flax seed and water as that comes out nicely too.
    Let me know if you need additional help with this project.

    Hi Jennifer,
    Glad you enjoyed the blog. Without saying more here, I’m a little apprehensive about July. I’ve been posting on the alternative DB board. We’ll see!

  8. Hi Natalie,
    I’m waiting for September!!!! Thanks. I loved this challenge. I’ll be trying it again, but maybe not that soon.

    Hi Breadchick,
    Thanks. Actually, this recipe was easy to veganize, not like the Opera Cake from May (which I passed on).

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