The cheese danish is a pastry commonly found in hotel breakfast buffets, having evolved from the great pastries of Denmark. The word "cheese" has been loosely interpeted in this case. I am skeptical of the notion that the Danish people had anything to do with it.
It is a well-known fact that the Danes enjoy their cheese. They produce and consume cheese in abundance, especially varieties with pungent odors, and are also world-renowned for their pastries. Indeed, I have found that the average American knows what a "danish" is, but can not associate the word with the Scandinavian nation that is the home of ancient Vikings. However, the cheese danish could not possibly be the creation of a Dane. They have produced cream-filled pastries that bear a slight resemblance, but I do not believe them capable of joining the sweet and the odious in such a fashion. They are far too bland a people for that.
Instead, I will place the blame on the Swedes, or rather, the Swedish-Americans. Most of us are familiar with the brand of Svenson's, which mass-produces the pastries known as danishes in little plastic wrappers, especially the cheese danish. This in itself is a contradiction. No self-respecting Dane would spell his last name -son; it is the Danish way to spell one's name -sen. The Norwegians spell their names the same way as the Danes do, so the culprit has been deduced. To say Svenson's danishes is to say something like Smith's sushi, in a sense. Who would trust a man named Smith with their raw fish? Whether or not this Svenson fellow actually initiated this cheese danish fraud, the price has been payed. The Danish people, for as long as this corporate malady goes on, will continue to be mistaken for pastries by the ignorant American populace. And not just any pastry, but the infamous cheese danish.