Apple Danish Braid (VIDEO Recipe)
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This apple danish braid is loaded with juicy caramelized apples and cranberries inside a flaky pastry shell drizzled with glaze. The danish itself is lightly sweet and the cranberries are a welcome zingy pop of flavor with each bite. I’m a sucker for a
good great pastry!
We have a long history of pastry love in my kitchen – from the cheesecake danishes to the almond peach, easy apple slab, and braided peach! This braided apple danish is well loved by kids and adults – and it looks like something out of a pastry shop, but it’s so simple to put together. We used a store-bought puff pastry and it just doesn’t get any easier! Go ahead and double the recipe right away. This apple danish disappears quickly and you’ll wish you had more!
Watch How to Make an Apple Danish Braid:
I hope you’re inspired to make your own braided Apple Danish! Here’s a quick visual tutorial that you can reference and PIN for Safekeeping❤
Wishing I had leftovers… which by the way taste just as good! You can safely store this at room temperature overnight and enjoy it the following day 🙂
⬇Print Braided Apple Danish Recipe Here ⬇
Apple Danish Braid
Ingredients for Apple Danish Braid:
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 lb 2 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/2" thick slices
- 1/2 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 sheet store-bought puff pastry (1/2 lb), thawed by package instructions
- 1 egg + 1 Tbsp water for egg wash, beaten together with a fork
- 1/2 Tbsp coarse sugar
Ingredients for the Pastry Glaze:
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp milk
Place a large pot or deep skillet over high heat. Melt 3 Tbsp butter and stir in 1/4 cup sugar. Add sliced apples and stir until evenly coated. Add cranberries and let the mixture sit 3 min to caramelize before stirring. Cook apples and cranberries a total of 6-7 min, stirring 3 times or until apples are lightly caramelized. Transfer apples to a plate and let cool until just warm (not hot).
Unfold thawed pastry over a lightly floured work surface and roll it in one direction to make it a total of 2 inches longer. The natural folds in the pastry will guide your process.
Place the cranberry apple filling down the center of the pastry, keeping it in the middle third and leaving 1" of space at the top and bottom of the pastry.
Cut away the top corners from the left and right thirds of the. Cut 8 equal 1" strips along each side, leaving 1/2" of space from the apples. Cut away excess dough at the bottom corners.
Fold down top flap of dough and pinch the corners down to seal. Fold in the side strips, alternating from left to right. Fold up the bottom flap, pinching the corners to seal then finish folding in the last 2 side strips, pinching the corners to seal. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with silicone or parchment, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with coarse sugar, and bake at 400˚F for 18-22 minutes (mine was perfect at 20 min) or until top is golden brown.
To make the glaze, stir together 1/3 cup powdered sugar with 1/2 Tbsp milk. Once the braided apple danish is at room temperature or just warm, drizzle with glaze, slice, and enjoy!
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen
This apple danish is irresistibly yummy. Anything baked with apples and cranberries will warm your belly and make your house smell amazing. Enjoy this wonderful wintery treat 🙂
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
I have made this twice, and will be doing so again tomorrow. As suggested, doubling the recipe.
Natasha, when I am googling for recipes, and your site comes up, I am confident ignoring anything else. Your recipes are the best! I’ve made at least 20 of them.
The more I make, the more I bake. Requests for repeats are a constant.
Hi Shannon! That is amazing! Thank you for trying so many of my recipes. I’m so glad you love them.
Hi! I’m actually making this now and had a tough time with “coarse sugar”. But after reading through the comments it’s looks as though that should be coarse salt. Is this correct? Love your recipes
Hi Brandy, this recipe calls for coarse sugar. Coarse sugar has a larger crystal size than regular sugar and works perfectly to top danishes and other baked goods.
I made 2 of the Apple Danish for my husband’s office potluck and he got so many compliments how delicious they are compared to store bought and also I made the chocolate crinkle cookies to my colleagues at work, they were so delicious they couldn’t stop eating them. Thank you for your wonderful recipes you are keeping me busy in the kitchen this holidays.
You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Christine! Thank you so much for sharing that with me!
Absolutely love this recipe! Thank you! I’ve already made it a few times and it always turns out great. I was wondering if I can make this ahead of time, like a day before, cover and refrigerate raw, and then bake the day of our gathering. Do you think it’ll work?
Thank you for your advise.
Hi Alisha! Thank you, I’m glad you love it.
I have not tested refrigerating and then baking it the next day. I don’t know how the pastry would hold up with everything but I think it could work. You may check out the FAQs on the puff pastry website HERE to see recommendations. Let us know how it turns out if you try.
I’m looking through your apple recipes and they all look wonderful! I’d like to make your pie, turnovers, and this danish braid. Will Gravenstein apples work in the recipe’s? I have an abundance of them.
I haven’t tested that to advise. If you do it as an experiment, please update us on how it goes!
Bravo Natasha, I’ve been trying several of your recipes for about year now and every single recipe I’ve tried comes out perfect, so delicious! You are so good at this, I am so glad I found your videos!!!! Thank you so much. <3
Yay that’s awesome, Faye! I’m really happy to know that you’ve been enjoying my recipes.
Thank you for this recipe! I already made it many times, so so good. Everyone loves it❤️
That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Olesea!
I was wondering if I can make this recipe ahead of time? Like a day before, cover and refrigerate raw, and then bake the day of our gathering. Do you think it’ll work?
Thank you for your advise.
Hi Olesea! I have not tested refrigerating and then baking it the next day. I don’t know how the pastry would hold up with everything but I think it could work. You may check out the FAQs on the puff pastry website HERE to see recommendations. Let us know how it turns out if you try.
Hey Natasha……what are your thoughts on using this apple/ cranberry mixture to make a round pie with the puff pastry?
Hi Roman, I haven’t tested this recipe with a pie crust, with a few changes and adjusted bake time it may work. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe
The apple danish braid looks easy delicious and easy to make. If I make two braids, can I freeze one of them. I have used many of your recipe and each one turned out great
Hi Kenneth, I haven’t tested that to see, but I imagine it would work well. You probably wouldn’t want to add the drizzle until before serving, though. I don’t think that would hold up after thawing if you tried to reheat it in the oven.
Your recipes are excellent 👌👌👍.
Thank you for that wonderful compliment, Linda!
I’ve made this several times. So good! I use a pizza cutter rather than the scissors. What is coarse sugar? Does it go by another name? Suggested substitutes?
Hi Terri, Coarse sugar has a larger crystal size than regular sugar. I hope that helps!
Natasha, I realized that I have made this recipe so many times and I’ve shared with friends but I have not told you how much I love this recipe. It is so fun to make and is such a great gift. Thanks so much!
I’m so happy you enjoeyd that, Deb! That’s so great!
Natasha…absolutely love your videos and recipes!
Can I prepare the apple braid the night before, refrigerate, and bake the next day?
Hi Patti, you can make it the day before and keep it at room temp overnight, then serve at room temp or warm it up a little to serve.
Hi! Can I use dried cranberries instead? If yes, how much should I use?
Hi Evelyn, You can try that, but you might want to soak them temporarily in hot water to puff them up and add them into the apple mixture at the end. You can also omit them, and it will still work well
I stumbled on this recipe while trying to figure out what to do with my leftover thanksgiving fresh cranberries and it was delicious! And easy to make. Thanks so much for the step-by-step pictures of the braid. It was much easier than I expected and it not only tasted great but looked good too! 🙂
You are most welcome, Christina. Thank you for sharing your good comments with us, we appreciate it.
You’re so welcome, Christina. I’m glad you were still able to enjoy your leftover cranberries!
We don’t have cranberries. Any substitute?
Others shared that they used frozen raspberries and love it too!
Oh my goodness! This was AMAZING! Thank you for such an easy and absolutely delicious recipe. Will have to make it again tomorrow.
I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!
Hi, what other fruit can you use instead of cranberries
Hi Angela, I have not tested this with another fruit but some of our readers have posted great ideas using other berries, raspberries being one of them.
I would think that raisins would be nice. I would boil them for a few minutes to rehydrate them a little bit, but you can’t go wrong with raisins and apple together.
To freeze, which is better: freeze it raw or bake it first?
Hi Hilary, I haven’t tested that to advise, but I imagine it would work well baked. You probably wouldn’t want to add the drizzle until before serving though. I don’t think that would hold up after thawing if you wanted to reheat it in the oven.
Hi Iam vegan and have to do Everything from scratch can I make my own puff Pastry
Hi Iris, I haven’t made this from scratch to advise. If you experiment please let me know how you like that.
I honestly enjoyed touring your marvelous kitchen.I found it much easier and more convenient than some others.Thank you.
Thank you for watching the tour! I’m glad you enjoyed that experience with us.
Hi Ms Natasha, I’ve made this many times now and it is always a hit, and always so pretty! Making a few right now to pass out to friends for Christmas.
I made 6 of these once and donated them to my workplace’s Bake For A Cure auction and they sold out immediately. I shared the link to your website many times that day due to all the requests I received for the recipe ^.^
That’s just awesome!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Toshiko!
If I use fresh cherries would I caramelize the same as with the apple cranberry, which by the way, I love.
Hi Pam, I would suggest following the instructions for our Apple Danish Braid with Cranberries!
Hi Pam, Caramelization isn’t important with cherries, as it is for apples. So it should still work since all you need to do is cook the cherries a little bit. I would replace the butter with a splash of water to avoid caramelization, and add dash of cornstarch to get a sticky jell coating, if I were to try it though. But I would recommend draining the cherries out of a can of cherry pie filling leaving just a little of the “jell” – and you don’t even need to cook them. I’ve done this a few times, with and without a sweetened cream cheese base spread on the puff pastry first. Dad loved it!
What brand of puff pastry do you use…I purchased pepperidge farm puff pastry but it does not look doughy like your video…it has numerous paper thin sheets all.layered on top of each other…I tried rolling it to lengthen but it didnt increase because its luke paper….I’ve tried numerous recipes calling for puff pastry and it looks like dough…looks nothing like pepperidge farms
Hi Deborah, make sure the package says Puff Pastry and not Phillo or Fillo Dough. What you are describing sounds like phillo dough which is the type used for baklava.
I made this and it was easy and delicious. I added cinnamon, cloves and sliced almonds to the apple mixture
I’m so glad you enjoyed that, Sally! Thank you for sharing that with us!
Can I use your pie crust instead of puff pastry?
Hi Nana, I haven’t tested this recipe with a pie crust, with a few changes and adjusted bake time it may work. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe
I made the apple danish braid. Was very easy and looks yummy. Thank you for sharing.
I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us, Christi!
I so love your recipes and this one was so easy to follow. Definitely one I’ll put in my recipe box for future desserts!
That’s so great! I’m so happy you enjoyed that.
Everytime I use puff pastry to make this recipe the pastry inside is not cooked and it is raw dough. Not good.
Hi Julie, if you had parts of your pastry that were undercooked, it could be due to not all ovens being created equal. You could bake a few minutes longer, just keep an eye on it so the top and sides don’t turn too brown.
This is not helping my husband’s diet, haha Not crazy about cranberry, what can I use instead? Thanks!
Hi Ms Belle, I recommend reading through the comments. Some of our readers have posted great ideas using other berries, raspberries being one of them .
EXCELLENT! I’ve made this danish 5 or 6 times since discovering your recipe – for church, for work, for gifts. Photos make it so easy – tastes and looks perfect. I assemble the danish on parchment paper – then it all goes onto baking sheet, and then slides onto cooling rack. Easy!
I’m so happy you enjoyed that, Amy! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.
Ahhh, so many choices. I chose your recipe and it did not disappoint. I love the sweet and tart flavor of the Granny Smith apple. It was a perfect balance. I did add a bit of brown sugar for color and left off the course sugar. Love the coloring with the egg wash. I’m definitely adding this to my collection.
That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite!
Made this yesterday for my 4 kiddos. I doubled the recipe and they scarfed it down. I don’t care for cooked fruit, so I did not get to try it, but even my mother in law complimented it! It must be tasty!
The first one I made was nearly impossible to transfer to the pan. It expanded, the braid separated. It was messy looking (still tasted the same). The second one I built right on the pan, and it turned out beautiful. That would be my suggestion!
Thank you for that feedback Brooke!
Can I do the apple filling ahead of time? I wanted to make this for thanksgiving dinner but i was wondering if i can cook the filling and refrigerate for few days? My cranberries are will go bad in the fridge if i wait few more days, that’s why Im wondering if it can be made ahead of time or should i just freeze my fresh cranberries?
Hi Natasha, I think that should work fine to make the filling a few days in advance, cover and refrigerate. I hope you love the recipe! 🙂
Hi Natasha have just made this for our Pot luck tea for tonight so hopefully it works for me thanks it was easy to follow and i used raspberry’s in here as they are in season here in New Zealand
I hope you love it!
Natasha thank you again for another great recipe this looks real good thanks for walking us thru to make it right. I wil be making very soon and also making for thanksgiving for my friends and neighbors when they come for dinner I like that it’s easy to make.
You’re welcome Laurna! I hope you love it!
Love your recipe(s). My 5 year old son has enjoyed brading the Danish as much as he loved eating it. Greetings from Croatia!
Hi Ivana! Hearing this makes me sooo happy! Thank you for the great review!
I am always so excited when you present a recipe. I save all of them and they are wonderful. Thanks for sharing
I’m so inspired reading your review. Thank you!
Hi Natasha! I made this and the peach cream cheese braid to a family get-together and they were both favorites by kids and adults. I used dried cranberries and they plumped up really well when I caramelized them with the apples. Its true they were surprisingly easy to make yet taste so elegantly delicious! Again, thanks for this family-approved dessert! Your site is a gift!
I’m so happy to hear you are enjoying my blog! Thank you for sharing that with us, Kris 🙂
Can you tell me the weight of the pastry block you use, different sizes in NZ. Looks so yummy.
Hi Judy, 1 sheet is 1/2 pound. I hope you love hte recipe!
omg…I want to make this right now…does it have to be granny smith or would any apple work?
Hi Emelle, any crisp apple will work. We love the balance of sweet and tangy with the granny smith apples but you can use a different variety 🙂
Excellent! Easy to follow instructions, and in addition to wonderful taste it looks beautiful! Will definitely make this again. ( I had cinnamon sugar already mixed and so I used that instead of plain sugar.)
I’m happy to hear how much you enjoy the recipe. Thanks for sharing your excellent review Norann!
Second time making this, simply delicious! Quick question, I baked the pastry this evening for tomorrow’s thanksgiving dinner at 2pm. should i keep them at room temp the whole time or place them in the fridge?
Hi Diana, if it is overnight, you can keep them covered with plastic wrap at room temperature.
OMG, this is all I can say. I just made this, this morning and it’s already gone!!! (There’s only two of us…lol). This was so easy and oh so good. Thank you for a great, yet simple, recipe.
You’re welcome Linda! I’m glad to hear how much you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing your excellent review!
Hi, need to make this and have it fresh early Saturday morning. Would it work if I made it Friday and cooked it on Saturday?
Looks so delicious:) Love your posts!
Hi Trish, thank you! I would suggest baking it also the day before and keep it at room temp overnight then serve at room temp or warm it up a little to serve.
I haven’t tried this recipe yet but was wondering if you could use frozen blueberries instead of cranberries?
Hi Ava, I think that would work, but I would add the blueberries when the apples are nearly caramelized or even just stir them in after the apples are caramelized or it will discolor your apples.
I usually don’t follow recipes, but I always forget how to cut the pastry for the braid so I keep coming back here lol Thanks for the great visuals!
I usually don’t follow recipes, but I always forget how to cut the pastry for the braid so I keep coming back here lol Thanks for the great visuals!
You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for following and sharing your great review!
Excellent recipe. Thank you.
You’re welcome Lily! I’m glad you enjoy it!
Hi! Would love to try this but i do most of my baking on weekends and like to freeze things for later. Would this freeze well, and , if so, before or after cooking ? I use fresh puff pastry so I won’t have problem with refreezing a thawed frozen one.
Hi Kristin, I haven’t tested that to see, but I imagine it would work well. You probably wouldn’t want to add the drizzle until before serving though. I don’t think that would hold up after thawing if you wanted to reheat it in the oven.
Hi Chef is Very Easy Good Thanks Chef
You’re welcome! I’m glad you like it!
I made it tonight . The whole family was so impressed . came out fantastic .
Yay! I’m glad everyone loved it Nelly! Thanks for sharing!
So yummy, and my hubs was super impressed when he saw it (and ate it! Haha!)
I’m happy to hear that Jeanne! Thanks for sharing your awesome review!
Note to self. Roll out and fill puff pastry right on the lined baking sheet. It’s impossible to transfer it intact once it’s filled.
That is a great idea and would save the step of transferring! Thank you for sharing! Mine usually transfers OK though. Are you flouring the surface before you roll the dough? Also, I wonder if possibly you were roll your dough too thin? Anyway, I do like your idea of just rolling it out onto the lined baking sheet.
This so easy to make and delicious recepie! Thank you! My family could not get enough!
You’re welcome Tanya!! I’m glad to hear your family enjoyed it as much as mine does!! 🙂
My family love it, I do it mostly every other week!
Love to hear these types of reviews! Thank you for sharing Tatanya!
Excellent quick dessert recipe! I used walnuts instead of cranberries. It was was all devoured in the same evening. Thank you!!!!
I am so glad you like the recipe! Thanks for sharing 🙂
This recipe looks awesome ! I have one question. I always use water with the powder sugar for a glaze because I think if I use milk, the pastry would need to be refrigerated. You merited that it is safe to stay out over night but wouldn’t the milk go sour ? Thank you !PS have you tried Dufour pastry ? It is more expensive than Pepperidge Farm but well worth it ! It is an all butter puff pastry !
Hi Linda, because of the high sugar to milk ratio, the sugar preserves the glaze and it will not go sour. I haven’t tried that kind of pastry – where do you purchase it? I don’t believe I’ve seen it in grocery stores. Thanks for the tip!
Thanks for the tip for using milk in the glaze. I thought the high sugar content might be the reason it doesn’t go sour but I wanted to be sure.. I get DuFour pastry at Wholefoods. Do you have a Wholefoods around you? The only ingredients in the pastry are USDA Grade AA butter, unbleached unbromated flour, water, salt and lemon juice. It is the BEST! I hope you can find it !
That’s great to know! Thank you for sharing that with me!! 🙂
Just made this recipe but substituted blackberries and blueberries instead of the cranberries. It turned out SO GOOD. Thank you for another amazing recipe!
Victoria, thank you for such a nice review and you are very welcome 😁.
I added a layer of shredded coconut on top of the apple mixture before I closed the braid. It added a great flavor! Also – I used brown sugar instead of regular sugar. It was yummy & I’m making it again for a brunch tomorrow!
Marilyn, thank you so much for sharing such a great ideas! I’m itching to make one with shredded coconut right now 😋.
A little almond extract or flavoring also added a nice touch to the one I made yesterday for my brunch. Just another idea. 🙂
Thank you for sharing your tip!! 🙂
Natasha, i just made this and it came out delicious. Only thing is some parts of the dough was not baked through, it was still doughy. How can I make sure the dough cooks all the way through?
Hi Zoryana, if you had parts of your pastry that were undercooked, it could be due to not all ovens being created equal. You could bake a few minutes longer, just keep an eye on it so the top and sides don’t turn too brown.
Can I substitute cranberries for something else?
Hi Mary, even if you leave them out, the recipe will still work great 🙂
My family loves sweets, so I always look for new desserts recepies/ideas. This look delicious! Thank you!
Thank you Irena, you must give them a try 😁.
Can this be made and frozen?
Hi Dean, I haven’t tested that to see, but I imagine it would work well.
This looks beautiful!
Btw you don’t hve anything about the egg wash in the print out instructions..
Oh dear, I can’t believe I missed that! Thank you so much for pointing that out! 🙂
The step to sprinkle the coarse sugar is missing too. ( : I plan on making this, looks delish! Thanks for helping my uncreative self make such creative and yummy dishes.
Oh my goodness, I wonder if I accidentally deleted that whole step. ay ya yay!! Thank you!! 🙂
May I suggest instead of 1/2 Tsp of milk (in the glaze) use orange juice – the taste is somewhat fresher 🙂
Thank you again, Natasha!
Oh thank you for sharing!! 🙂
I made this the other day using my gluten-free pie crust recipe. It was a little tricky as my dough isn’t as forgiving as store-bought puff pastry, but I was really pleased with the way it turned out, I’ll come back and post a picture as soon as I can. I am wondering if I can post this recipe on our Grandpa’s Kitchen website and direct our visitors to your site for the directions, they were very helpful to me as I was trying to figure out how to fold the dough. Please let me know if that would be OK. I love your site and am always visiting for recipes I can make gluten free. Thanks for all of your hard work!!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I would love to see your gluten free version! Yes that would be fine. Here is my policy for sharing 🙂
Thanks for this recipe!!! Looks so delicious!!!!! God bless you!!!
Thank you so much Dana!! 🙂
I sincerely love this.
I write reviews for kitchen appliances and home improvement tools.
Can I republish this content on my blog with credits to you, of course?
Hi Shelby, thank you :). I have the answer to your question on my FAQ page here.
Hey Natasha! Love your site, I cant find fresh cranberries in my local stores. Can I use dried? Or what would you recomend? Thanks!
You can but you might want to soak them temporarily in hot water to puff them up and add them into the apple mixture at the end. You can also omit them and it will still work well 🙂
Okay, thankyou. I will have to soak some because my mom brought fresh ones but there arent enough. Where did you get your cranberries? Thx
I purchased them at Fred Meyer. Most grocery stores should carry them this time of year since Thanksgiving is approaching, but you can also use frozen cranberries.
I got an email from your blog and it says you are having a give away. I really want to enter into the give away but when I click the Giveaway button it takes me to your shop site.
Hi Veronica, first, thank you so much for subscribing!! If you received that email, that means you are already entered. It is for email subscribers only and you don’t have to do anything to enter. If you are a subscriber, you’re automatically entered! 🙂 I hope you have an amazing week!
Oh okay, thankyou! I really enjoy makeing maccarons and I really would like that prize. I made your raspberry ones, absolutely delish and full of flavor!
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made a double portion of it today. It was so easy to make and turned out so delicious that we finished a full log of danish. I didn’t have cranberries so replaced it with frozen raspberries. I don’t think it hurt the end result 😃
Continue the good work!
Hi Toosie 🙂 A double portion of apple raspberry Danish sounds amazing!! Thank you for sharing your awesome review!
I really like the small amount of added sugar….will make this ASAP…thank you for your wonderful recipes. I’m a 71 yr. old Hungarian who loves to cook & enjoy your take on Central Euro recipes.
We also appreciate sweets that aren’t overly sugary :). I hope you love this recipe!
Looks soooo yummy! I will definitely try it! Love your recepies, thank you!
Thank you Natalia! 🙂
Hi Natasha I love your recipe you explaig things so good I love it. May God Bless you and your family
You’re so sweet! Thank you Bernice and God bless you as well! 🙂
This is gorgeous!
Thank you so much Sara! 🙂
Hi Natasha, this looks good! I have tried the easy slab apple,and I might even try this one thank you for all your recipes!😊
Oh if you liked that one, you will LOVE this one! 🙂 The addition of cranberries is so good!
Thank you Vera! 🙂
Looks delish! I love thanksgiving, cause of all the food! My family trusts your recipies because they never go wrong and are always delish! Keep up the good work! God bless your family.
Thank you so much for that sweet compliment. It really is so encouraging! 🙂
Sometimes I wish I was you.;)