Cronut: A Legend in the Baking

18 Jun 2013

Cronuts have got the New Yorkers lining up at the Dominique Ansel Bakery at 5am since its launch in May this year and the craze is sweeping the rest of the world like an epidemic. With the name being trademarked to Ansel, bakers around the world are coming up with alternative names like "doissant" "cray-nut" and I just heard that Adriano Zumbo over in Australia-land has come up with "Zonut".

What is a cronut? It's a half doughnut, half croissant treat that is first fried in oil, then rolled in sugar, filled with pastry cream and then finished off with an icing glaze on top.

Of course I wanted to try the cronut, but because I'm 14185kms away, there was no way I could try the real thing. With my confidence boosted from successfully making Red Velvet Cupcakes last week, I was ready to give the cronut-inspired recipe a go.

I chose Edd Kimber's recipe from The Boy Who Bakes as it looked easier and quicker than making a proper croissant dough (you'll see what I mean below). I wanted to try to recreate the lemon and maple flavour available at Ansel's bakery this month so I made my own pastry cream. Of course I had to complicate things a little more by making some "pink" so those were flavoured with a raspberry sugar and pink icing.

Here's Edd Kimber's recipe for the 20 minute croissant dough:

60 mls milk, body temperature
65 mls water, body temperature
125 g plain flour
125 g strong bread flour (not totally sure what this is but I used type 00 flour for making pasta and pastries)
6g dry active yeast
30g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
150g unsalted butter, diced and chilled

Place the milk, water and yeast into a medium bowl and mix to combine, set aside. Place the flours, sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the butter is in small pieces. This is the important stage, you are not making a bread or a pastry so don’t over-process the mixture. You need to see chunks of butter, around 1cm in size. 

cronut recipe, for baking, recipe, the boy who bakes, edd kimber

(I cut the butter into almost 2cm chunks to begin with but they weren't getting cut into 1cm chunks from mixing, so I chopped them smaller by hand. I think the key is to still see chunks of butter in your mixture).

cronut, butter, mixed, step by step, cronut recipe
Tip the mixture from the processor onto the liquid ingredients (I poured the liquid ingredients into the dry mixture as there was more dry mixture than liquid!). Using a spatula or bread scraper gently fold the dry goods into the liquid, trying to moisten everything without making the butter any smaller. Once the liquid is roughly combined, tip the mixture out onto the work surface and lightly knead together to form a ball of dough. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with clingfilm and pop in the fridge for a few hours. This first stage should only take 10 minutes.

cronut, dough, ball, step by step, cronut recipe, dominique ansel cronut
After allowing the dough to rest for a few hours place it on a well floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a roughly 20cm x 40cm rectangle (Yes you do need a rolling pin. Or you could try using a wine bottle like I did!) Fold the dough in thirds, like a business letter brushing off any excess flour, this is the first turn. Turn the dough through 90° so that the folds are facing you. Repeat the rolling and folding process two more times, giving the dough a total of three turns. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate overnight before using.

cronut, rolled, step by step cronut, step by step, fold cronut, fold, step by step
cronut, complete, step by step

That's the quick croissant dough done! If you're lazy, at this point you can just bake them into croissants! For the rest of us cronut hungries, let's prep the pastry cream and glaze:

Monica's vanilla and maple pastry cream:

3 egg yokes
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 3/4 cup milk
30g tapioca flour (you can use cornflour too I believe)
1/2-1 cup icing sugar (depends on how sweet you want it)
1/8 cup maple syrup
200g thicken cream (can also use whipped cream)

1. Heat the milk and vanilla until almost boiling
2. Combine the egg yokes, flour, sugar and maple syrup and whisk until thick and creamy.
3.  Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg yoke mixture while whisking.
4. Return the combined mixture to the heat, whisking continuously until thick.
5. Let the mixture cool, then fold in the thickened cream.

cronut, pastry cream, step by step

Lemon sugar:

Mix the zest of 1 lemon with caster sugar.

cronut, lemon sugar, stunning

Raspberry sugar:

Mix crushed dehydrated raspberry with caster sugar.

cronut, sugar, stunning

Lemon glaze:

Icing sugar (about 3/4 cup)
Lemon juice (half to whole lemon)

By this stage I was tired and wasn't measuring properly, so just mix the two together to get a thick consistency. You don't want it moving too much once piped.

Ok so now back to the cronut:

1. I followed Edd's instructions to roll dough out to about 1cm thickness. I had to roll it out a little bit thinner than suggested as I wanted to make 6 average size doughnuts. The rest of them I made into little munchkins and heart shaped cronuts.

2. Let the dough rest and proof at room temperature, or (as my dad does) leave them in the oven at 30-50 degrees celcius until risen to almost twice the height.

3. Fill a saucepan with oil and heat up (I couldn't be bothered buying grapeseed oil. That's what Ansel uses). I used rice bran oil.

4. The clever thing to do here is to test the frying time/temperature using the cut-offs from the dough, which I did. Also note that the temperature of the oil drops after you cook one batch. I found it better cooking these in a slightly lower temperature to avoid burning (because of all the butter in the dough).

cronut, dough, proof

Yay we're almost there!!

5. I then used a food syringe to inject the pastry cream into different parts of the cronut, about 8 different piercings to ensure there was cream all through the cronut. This step is quite hard, I found I couldn't do it with my little silicon piper and it was easier when I had my kitchen hand to help me. You should all acquire your own kitchen hand for this step!

cronut, syringe, inject, step by step

6. Once all piped, roll the cronut sides with lemon or raspberry sugar and pipe the glaze on the top.

heart, cronut
close up, step by step, recipe
cross section, cronut, filling, yum

Did it taste good? YES, AMAZING! Especially when freshly prepared. I tested them on myself and a few others and we all agreed they tasted like an exact cross between a doughnut and croissant. I can't imagine them tasting heaps different at the Dominique Ansel bakery except his dough may be lighter and flakier. Ansel recommends eating the cronuts as soon as possible and I would say this is true as its not as nice overnight after the cream seeps through the pastry.

Was it worth the work? Yes!

Would I make it again? Not for a few days, it takes 2 days to complete them on and off. A little bit too much work for lazy me.

Now after answering all the questions, I have one for you:

Could I sell these to my lazy-to-try-to-make-them friends and what would I call it?

cronut, finished, recipe


  1. This is fabulous....and you've made the process look so much easier than a lot of other recipes I've seen!! Am definitely going to re-post this :)

    1. Hi, thanks for the nice comment.

      I try to make the recipes I put on my blog as clear as possible so anyone can follow and succeed! Let me know how yours turn out if you do try it! Also thanks for the link, so kind.

      x Mon

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  4. This looks good. You said it's worth the work right?