Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry – The Healthy Way

Back in my former life – the one in which I innocently and cheerfully ate Chillsbury* dough from a can – I loved making a cream cheese pastry dish that always got rave reviews. It was simple. You spread a can of Whillsbury* crescent dough on the bottom of a pan, throw in some cream cheese filling, top it with another round of Gnillsbury* crescent dough, bake it, and eat. I loved that stuff, as did everyone else who ate it with me.

Gone are my days of eating biscuits or crescents from a can. Oh, and can I just pause to say this:  I do not miss that vulnerable and insecure feeling that always came from never knowing when the can would pop open and dough would ooze out. Maybe it is just me, but waiting for the biscuit can pop always put me slightly on edge.   Yeah, it was probably just me. I have can-popping-biscuit-bursting-forth issues, I think.

Anyway, I had forgotten all about this delicious dish, which is crazy, because hello? It does have cream cheese in it. It occurred to me recently that the perfect replacement for Billsbury* crescent dough would surely be my go-to whole wheat yogurt dough. Why I hadn’t thought of using it to figure out a new Cream Cheese Pastry dish, I have no idea. But I finally thought of it, tried it, and here it is. My family devoured it for breakfast this morning, which means that next time, I have to double it for sure!

*name changed to protect the innocent guilty


Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry


1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup plain yogurt


1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup real maple syrup (sugar, sucanat, or honey would work too)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice (optional)

Mix together all four dough ingredients and knead lightly to form a nice ball. Divide in half. Press one half of the dough into an 8×8 inch baking dish.

Whip together the cream cheese filling ingredients. Pour filling over the bottom crust.

Roll the second half of the dough into a square and place it on top of the cream cheese filling.

Bake in a 350° oven for 30-40  minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Allow pastry to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Tell me – am I the only one here with can-popping-biscuit-bursting-forth issues? I’ll admit it right now, it makes me jumpy just thinking about it. ;)

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  1. Dana says

    Do you think that adding sausage to this would work? Or would it be too sweet?


    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    It should work, at least it would be worth a try!


  2. Roxanne says

    I’m thinking a little peanut butter in place of the lemon juice would be even that much better!!! Surely, it would taste like peanut butter cheesecake for a healthy breakfast. Think I’m gonna have to give it a try very soon!


  3. Kareberry says

    This morning just had called for something like this to fill our bellies with. I made this for the first time and decided right off to double it and put it in a 9×13. It’s baking as we speak. Kids are drooling and can’t wait! I also sprinkled blueberries and raspberries on the filling before putting on the top. I will let you know how this turns out. Thanks again Laura for bringing us healthier alternatives and all your hard work you put into these recipes. I enjoy you site immensely! I visit it everyday.


  4. Kareberry says

    Have an update on that last comment…..YUMMY!!! It was a total hit and we all loved it. Worked out good being doubled and I think I may just put the other half in the freezer for a future morning. Hope that will work. We loved the berries in it too. It’s a keeper! :D


  5. Andrea says

    Um, no…you are not the only one! I’ve always been terrified of the pop! This recipe looks great – can’t wait to try it on my kiddos!!


  6. Karen S. says

    I have can popping issues too. I always turned my head away and closed my eyes. I think all normal people can relate. :)


  7. Stephanie says

    I hate the pop! I finally got smart and let my kids do it…our son especially loves it!
    I also don’t like the price you pay for the crescent rolls. You can pay $3+ for 8 rolls or make them yourself for under $.50 and it hardly takes much more time then sloowwllllyyyy opening the can, so you don’t jump or scream, and separating the thin little buggers.
    Thanx for the recipe Laura!


  8. Chelsea says

    Could I replace the butter with coconut oil? And what would. E a good substitute for yogurt?


    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    The coconut oil will work just fine. You could switch to buttermilk instead of yogurt. I would just use a little less since yogurt is thicker.


  9. Cristina says

    I made this recipe this morning, it was super tasty! I didn’t have yogurt on hand, so I subbed sour cream and buttermilk, it worked like a charm! I also put a layer of jam and some chopped pecans straight to the dough, before adding the cream cheese mixture. Yummy!!!


  10. Jenny says

    Ok someone please tell me how to make homemade crescent rolls!!!! Saw it mentioned in a comment above. Really new to grinding grain so still figuring things out, but my kids BEG for crescent rolls!


    Nia Hanna Reply:

    You could try this and see if it suits you.
    After reading the ingredients list on the blue can of crescent rolls I mixed up my favorite biscuit
    recipe & kneaded the dough in an attempt to get closer to the canned version. I have to say I can’t recal ever tasting the canned rolls, so I can’t compare them to homemade. I was however very pleased with the result.


  11. Amanda says

    Has anyone tried freezing this recipe? Would it freeze well?
    After baking would it be easier to slice into pieces then freeze, or freeze as a whole?
    Thank you!


    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    I wouldn’t recommend freezing it. It might come out mushy and not as flaky. :)


  12. Shauna says

    Made this pastry this evening, and the cream cheese filling was clumpy looking. Did I do something wrong perhaps? Tasted ok, but it didn’t look very pretty!


    Laura Reply:

    Sometimes the cream cheese is clumpy if it is an off brand (walmart cream cheese never smooths out for me). Or, it could be that it curdled somehow. So glad it still tasted okay!


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