Lemon-Lavender Danish

Last summer, my friend Sandie invited me to meet her at the public market early one Saturday morning.  There were some things she had discovered that she wanted me to taste which included a bite (or two…or three..) of a lemon-lavender sweet roll.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot surprisingly, when I was perusing the garden last week and saw the lavender in bloom it brought me right back to that moment and I knew I had to start experimenting.

I decided to use the same dough as I did for these cinnamon rolls with a twist!

I decided to use the same dough as I did for these cinnamon rolls with a twist!

Since I just made Cinnamon Rolls with a Trick and a Twist, I wanted to change things up yet still stick with my theme of keeping things simple.  “What if…” I thought aloud to Darrell, “I keep the simple dough that I love (and has never let me down!), take out the cinnamon, add in a little lemon-lavender filling, and shape it into a danish with a few slivered almonds on top?”

He assured me that, flop or not, he’d eat the entirety of what came out of the oven.

With that, I picked the lavender, squeezed and zested a lemon, added a few other essential ingredients and got to work on a filling.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABoth Darrell and my daughter, Cori, took some the danishes to work in search of unbiased opinions.  While everyone thought they were delicious, there was some disagreement about whether they were best topped with a lemon glaze or the lemon-lavender scented sugar I used.  The suggestion was made that another batch was in order just to make sure.


My first batch with turbinado sugar mixed with lavender and lemon zest

If you have a favorite pastry, comment in below.  I’m always on the hunt for something new to try!

Hope to see you around the bread bowl for some sourdough biscuits and scones at the Seymour Library on July 22!



Lemon-Lavender Danish

(This recipe makes eight large or twelve small danishes)


IMG_02112 cups all purpose flour

3 T sugar + 2 T, for topping

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

3 T shortening/butter

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup milk/soy milk/rice milk

1 egg


1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice with the zest from one lemon

2 tsp cornstarch

2 tsp fresh or dried lavender

2 eggs, lightly beaten

A tray of ice cubes for cooling the filling (important!  Don’t leave this step out!)

Sugar topping (optional): 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp lemon zest, 1/2 tsp lavender


Start by making the filling.  Place all ingredients except the eggs in a medium saucepan.  Lightly beat the eggs in another small mixing bowl and set aside.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHeat the ingredients in the saucepan over medium heat until they start to bubble.  Continue to boil, whisking constantly until it begins to look less opaque (just a minute or two) and begins to thicken a bit.  Work quickly to whisk 1/2 the lemon mixture into the eggs then transfer back to the saucepan. Continue whisking while you bring it back to a bubble.  Cook 2 additional minutes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlace ice cubes in a pie plate, put the hot saucepan on top and continue to whisk until the filling is cool.  Don’t be alarmed if it looks like it’s going to separate, keep whisking!  Once it’s cook, set it aside and make your dough.


Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl.  Combine shortening with liquids and heat to lukewarm (around 125 degrees; shortening doesn’t have to be completely melted.)  Stir into flour mixture then add egg.  Beat with mixer until smooth. (I confess I often only hand mix!)

If needed add a little more flour to make the dough easy to handle.  Knead on lightly floured surface about 5 minutes.  Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces (you can always divide the dough into smaller pieces if you’d like).

IMG_0196Roll each piece into a 6 inch circle.  Don’t worry about shape here, ovals and lopsided circles make equally delicious danish!) IMG_0133


Place one heavy tablespoon of filling in the center of each circle and spread to within an inch of the edge.  Make slits about every inch or so around the uncovered edge.

IMG_0198Lift and twist each piece that you’ve cut and place it over the filling.  Place on a piece of buttered parchment.

IMG_0204Brush the top of each pastry with egg wash and top with the sugar mixture.  Sprinkle on some slivered almonds. (note: if you’re going to glaze the rolls they don’t need the sugar mix on top!)

IMG_0208Allow to rest, covered, about 30 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  If they seem to be browning too fast, tent with some aluminum foil.

IMG_0165Cool on a wire rack and glaze, if desired, with a mixture of 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp softened butter, and enough lemon juice to make it a consistency you like.  You can sprinkle on a little more lavender once you’ve glazed them. IMG_0223

If you enjoyed reading or know someone who might like to give these a try, please share this post!  You might also enjoy the Maple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake that I originally created this dough for!  You also might also like to try my Rosemary-Sesame Seed crackers and take them along on a summer picnic!

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2 thoughts on “Lemon-Lavender Danish

  1. They look amazing! Love the almond addition, The “original” has lavender sprinkled over the top. Another recipe on my to bake list.

  2. Mary,
    This recipe looks amazing… it will be on my to-do list. Do I just pick the flowers off the lavender? I have never cooked with it before. I have a recipe I would like you to imitate… the first time I had it was when I was a kid at Sibley’s bakery downtown – you could buy a big square roll and they would put it in a little white box and tie it with a string. It is like a cinnamon roll… but with a little orange flavoring instead of cinnamon. The top was a “crumb” kind of like confectionery sugar… but not pure sugar. They have a similar smaller roll at the Holloway House on 5 & 20. Brings me right back to going downtown with my Grandmother. My other choice at Sibley’s was their Cheese Danish – it wasn’t a “Custard” cheese… it was more like a “Cheesecake” dry cheese filling. The top was like a bear claw… with a little browned cheese peeking through. They also put the powdered sugar topping on it. Ask my boys… I have eaten every cheese danish in town trying to find it again I think it is more like a brioche dough. Wegmans had one for years that was close… but now they changed to the custard filling. Replicate my childhood with my Grandmother… please? I would be happy to be an assistant!

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