What the heck is a Cronut? Well, here it is from the proverbial ‘horse’s mouth’ (I wouldn’t tell Chef Dominique Ansel that we referred to him as a horse, though. Deal?):
“The Cronut® is the unique pastry creation by Chef Dominique Ansel that many have described to be a croissant-doughnut hybrid … The Cronut® brand and product is a registered trademark of Dominique Ansel Bakery both in the US and internationally.” – Dominique Ansel Bakery.
So the Cronut® is trademarked … but that just means that you can’t make a doughnut-croissant hybrid, call it a ‘Cronut’ and sell it.
It doesn’t mean you can’t make ‘Cronuts’ from one of these recipes and eat them yourself!
Here are nine ‘fake’ Cronuts recipes that have been puzzled out by brilliant, at-home experimenters. Since the basic Cronut recipe doesn’t vary much — variations come from the flavors used for the glaze and the filling — these recipes are roughly arranged by culinary skill, from the easiest to most difficult.
Disclaimer: To me, any mention of yeast automatically puts cooking of any kind into the ‘master chef’ realm, so if you disagree with my hierarchy … you’re probably right.
This article details Kirbie’s kitchen experiments with Trader Joe’s croissants. Read and learn …
2. From Pillsbury: The Salted Caramel Crescent Doughnut
Caramel topping, vanilla pudding, Kosher salt, and Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls — what’s not to love?
3. The Easiest Homemade Cronut Yet
Here’s another recipe based on Pillsbury’s crescent dinner rolls, and it includes recipes for the classic cinnamon sugar topping, a vanilla glaze, and a lemon glaze. Note that for the easier recipes such as this one, to get the filling inside you simply split the pastry open, spread the filling, and then reassemble.
4. Vegan Cronut
This uses a premade puff pastry dough, so to me it still qualifies as ‘easy.’ With chocolate, banana, soy milk, and sugar cane, who said being vegan had to be boring?
5. Your Basic Glazed Cronut
This recipe mentions yeast, so we’re officially out of the ‘culinary moron’ level, and therefore way over my head in terms of the cooking skills needed. However, this page includes great videos and a ‘Kitchen View’ option for when you’re ‘on the job.’
Includes great how-to photos and detailed instructions on how to make a puff pastry and a maple glaze. Impressive!
These lovelies are actually deep fried in grapeseed oil, just like the real Cronuts. However, if you’re not up to discussions on the smoke point of grapeseed oil, you don’t know the difference between a Pasta Sfoglia Brioche dough and a basic croissant dough, and you don’t have three days to invest in this process, I’d stick with one of the easier recipes.
8. For the Purist: The Totally From Scratch Cronut
This recipe even includes instructions on how to make the filling, which you inject like you would at a real bakery! (Injected, not spread! Wow!) Definitely a recipe for the committed, experienced cook.
And one final recipe for seriously skilled cooks, using metric measurements for our friends across the pond (and everywhere else in the world).
A Final Word
I admit it: I’ve never actually eaten a Cronut. This fact makes me a complete hack who is utterly unqualified to be writing this article. I am, however, open to educational opportunities, so if one of you, my dear readers, should feel inspired to enlighten me, I’m quite available for coaching. I’m also happy to engage in any taste tests of your experiments; we can’t have you serving a substandard product to your guests, you know. Perhaps I could even write a future follow-up article to make up for my current lack of Cronut knowledge, pending further research … extensive research … lots and lots of research …
Featured photo credit: The Cronut/justjenn via flickr.com