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Home » Recipes » Desserts » Cherry Cheese Sweet Bread {a holiday danish that’s been in my family for YEARS}

Cherry Cheese Sweet Bread {a holiday danish that’s been in my family for YEARS}

We all have a few traditions that we tuck away and only use during special occasions or holidays, right?  And because they are traditions, they have so many memories attached…..even if it’s just the mention of some random recipe.  Something that my mom has made for years and years and YEARS, is Cherry Cheese Sweet Bread.  It’s a recipe that she adopted from a close family friend and is something that was only made at Christmas-time in our home growing up.  And holy smokes…….the memories that this little danish evokes is something that I truly cherish.  I love it.

 

However, yeah, the whole gluten free has thrown a wrench in our holiday danish.  A good portion of our family eats gluten free (believe me,  not by choice. boo! ;) ) but the traditional cherry cheese sweet bread is something that my mom still makes.  Every year.  She makes it for the gluten eaters (ha….like it’s some club that they’re all in!) but it’s also something that she always makes in abundance and gifts to friends and neighbors.  It’s just something she’s always done.  And the tradition continues……even though she can’t even have a single bite of it anymore.  (And yeah, we’ve tried it with other GF dough recipes.  It’s just not the same.)  However, I like that my mom keeps the tradition strong because I want my kids to have some of those same memories of kneading, spreading, weaving, baking, etc……as they make these Sweet Breads to give away to friends/neighbors and also enjoy themselves.  Yum. 

 

So this year, I took pictures while my mom made our favorite holiday Sweet Bread.  And Elli and Connor got their little hands involved and helped a bit.  It made my heart so happy!

***Just because we ONLY make these at Christmas time, doesn’t mean you couldn’t make this any time of the year.  A baked treat is always a delicious way to tell a friend thanks or a great companion to a dinner invite.

 

 

One batch makes 3 twelve-inch sweet breads.  So, keep 1……and gift away the other 2.  Your neighbors will love you! 

 

 

See?  Wouldn’t you want your crazy neighbors knocking on YOUR door…..delivering a little bit of goodness?  (you’re not crazy mom, just me! when I made us pose with a plate of sweet bread slices. ha!)

 

 

And if you’re not a cherry fan, use raspberry/blueberry/lemon filling instead.  Mmmmmm, they’re all so good paired with that creamy cheesy filling!

 

 

See?  Don’t you kinda want a bite?  (I bet your guests will want a taste or two for your New Year’s bash!  Hurry…..there’s still time!!)

 

 

Thanks for such a warm (and delicious) Christmas-time memory mom!  I hope to pass on the same to my littles! :)

 

 

 

Do you want to adopt these little sweet breads as your own holiday tradition??

(Or do you want to just give the a try for your New Year’s Party??)

 

 

***To make this, it’s easiest if you have a heavy duty mixer.  You can still make this if you only have a hand mixer, or are just using a spoon and your 2 hands…..but the heavy duty mixer makes it a lot easier. :)

 

Okay, let’s get to it.

 

Here’s the infamous Silk family recipe:

 

Cherry Cheese Sweet Bread

  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 2 Tb yeast, plus a dash of sugar
  • 1/2 cup scalded milk (meaning hot, just before boiling)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (or margarine)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 4 1/2 – 5 cups flour

Filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 21-oz can of cherry pie filling (or filling of choice…..raspberry, blueberry, lemon, etc.)

Frosting:

  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 Tb softened butter
  • 1/4 cup milk (approximately…..always differs)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (add more if you like the flavor)

Topping:

  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts/pecans (optional)

 

 

First, combine yeast and warm water in a small bowl and add a dash of sugar.  Stir minimally but enough to help dissolve the yeast (my mom uses a toothpick).  Let it sit and foam up and grow while you continue onto the next step.

 

Scald the milk in a saucepan or in the microwave (really hot but just before boiling) and then add in the butter until it’s completely melted.  Pour into your mixer bowl and then add sugar and salt.  User your paddle to combine and let the mixture cool off a bit.  Then add your 2 slightly beaten eggs, yeast mixture, and 2 cups of flour……..mixing slowly as you add each one.  Then, if using a heavy duty mixer, mix for 3 minutes with a paddle.  (If you’re mixing by hand or using a hand mixer, mix really well until very well blended.)

 

Then switch to a dough hook and add 2 more cups of flour, a little at a time. 

 

 

Then, allow your dough hook to beat your dough another 5-7 minutes.  (If kneading by hand, knead until really well combined……could take up to 10 minutes.)  If the dough is not pulling away from the sides of the bowl, add another 1/2 cup of flour (or if  you’re kneading by hand and it just keeps sticking to your hands).

 

Now, grease the inside of a large bowl…

 

…and place the dough inside.

 

Cover with a small towel and place in a warm spot and let raise for 1.5 hours, or until double in size.  (my mom turns on her oven to low for a minute, then turns it off, creating a nice warm spot)

 

When the dough is ready……it will looks nice and full and doubled.

 

Next, punch down the dough with your hands and then divide into 3 even balls.  Let rest for 10 minutes.  (While resting, blend the cream cheese and powdered sugar for your filling, until smooth.)

 

Then, grab one ball and roll into a 12 inch square.

 

Then spread a 1/3 of the cheese filling into a 3 inch strip down the center of the dough.

 

And then spread 1/3 of the cherry pie filling (or whatever flavor you prefer) on top. (My mom said that the “Kroger” brand has the most cherries inside the can…….more than Comstock or other brands she’s tried.)

 

We also made a lemon one in this batch.  That’s just a little ol’ jar of lemon curd.  It was the favorite this year. :)

 

Then cut both sides into 1 inch strips.

 

Starting at one end, begin alternately folding over strips to the opposite side…..

 

……creating a nice woven look.  Be sure to push down the end into the dough just a bit with your finger, to help secure them in place.

 

Once you reach the end, tuck the ends under.

 

Use 2 spatulas to carefully lift the bread onto the back side of a tin foil covered LARGE cookie sheet.  Place the bread onto the cookie sheet sideways, so that all 3 sweet breads can fit.

 

Repeat with the other 2 balls of dough.  (If the sweet breads are too long, scrunch them in just a bit…..until they fit.)

 

Cover with a small towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. (use the oven trick from above again)

 

Then place into preheated oven, at 350 F, for 25-30 minutes……covering with foil for the last 15 minutes (so the top won’t burn).

 

Yum……look at all that puffy dough, stuffed with that sweet and creamy filling.  Mmmmmmm. 

 

 

Keep the sweet breads covered while you make the frosting. 

 

To do so, combine all frosting the ingredients in the mixer, until consistency is thin enough to spread on top.  (Or if you’d rather a thin glaze, add a little more milk to thin it out.)  Divide between the 3 breads and spread (or drizzle) on top.  Then sprinkle with about a 1/4 cup of the chopped nuts for each one.

 

Let frosting set for 30 minutes before covering with plastic wrap. (otherwise it will stick)

 

Then wrap and gift away……

 

 

Or slice and enjoy…….

 

 

And every time you take a bite, enjoy it for me!  I truly miss this stuff! :)

 

 

[print_this]

Cherry Cheese Sweet Bread

 

  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 2 Tb yeast, plus a dash of sugar
  • 1/2 cup scalded milk (meaning hot, just before boiling)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (or margarine)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 4 1/2 – 5 cups flour

Filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 21-oz can of cherry pie filling (or filling of choice…..raspberry, blueberry, lemon, etc.)

Frosting:

  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 Tb softened butter
  • 1/4 cup milk (approximately…..always differs)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (add more if you like the flavor)

Topping:

  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts/pecans (optional)

 

First, combine yeast and warm water in a small bowl and add a dash of sugar.  Stir minimally but enough to help dissolve the yeast.  Let it sit and foam up and grow while you continue onto the next step.

 

Scald the milk in a saucepan or in the microwave (really hot but just before boiling) and then add in the butter until it’s completely melted.  Pour into your mixer bowl and then add sugar and salt.  Use your paddle to combine and let the mixture cool off a bit.  Then add your 2 slightly beaten eggs, yeast mixture, and 2 cups of flour, mixing slowly as you add each one.  Then, if using a heavy duty mixer, mix for 3 minutes with a paddle.  (If you’re mixing by hand or using a hand mixer, mix really well until very well blended.) Switch to a dough hook and add 2 more cups of flour, a little at a time. Then, allow your dough hook to beat your dough another 5-7 minutes.  (If kneading by hand, knead until really well combined……could take up to 10 minutes.)  If the dough is not pulling away from the sides of the bowl, add another 1/2 cup of flour (or if  you’re kneading by hand and it just keeps sticking to your hands). Now, grease the inside of a large bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with a small towel and place in a warm spot and let raise for 1.5 hours, or until double in size.

 

When the dough is ready, it will look nice and full and doubled. Punch down the dough with your hands and then divide into 3 even balls.  Let rest for 10 minutes.  (While resting, blend the cream cheese and powdered sugar for your filling, until smooth.) Then, grab one ball and roll into a 12 inch square. Then spread 1/3 of the cheese filling into a 3 inch strip down the center of the dough. And then spread 1/3 of the cherry pie filling (or whatever flavor you prefer) on top. Then cut both sides into 1 inch strips. Starting at one end, begin alternately folding over strips to the opposite side, creating a nice woven look.  Be sure to push down the end into the dough just a bit with your finger, to help secure them in place. Once you reach the end, tuck the ends under. Use 2 spatulas to carefully lift the bread onto the back side of a tin foil covered LARGE cookie sheet.  Place the bread onto the cookie sheet sideways, so that all 3 sweet breads can fit. Repeat with the other 2 balls of dough. Cover with a small towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Then place into preheated oven, at 350 F, for 25-30 minutes, covering with foil for the last 15 minutes (so the top won’t burn).

 

Keep the sweetbreads covered while you make the frosting. To do so, combine all frosting ingredients in the mixer, until consistency is thin enough to spread on top.  (Or if you’d rather a thin glaze, add a little more milk to thin it out.)  Divide between the 3 breads and spread (or drizzle) on top.  Then sprinkle with about a 1/4 cup of the chopped nuts for each one. Let frosting set for 30 minutes before covering with plastic wrap (otherwise it will stick).

[/print_this]

 

 

-Ashley

 

Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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