Homemade Cronuts

Homemade Cronuts

The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Proof and Chill: 5 hrs 15 mins
Total: 6 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 12 cronuts
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
616 Calories
32g Fat
76g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 616
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 14g 68%
Cholesterol 124mg 41%
Sodium 435mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 76g 27%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 40g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 83mg 6%
Iron 2mg 14%
Potassium 148mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Invented by Chef Dominique Ansel in his New York bakery, cronuts are the lovable offspring of a flaky croissant and a pillowy doughnut. They're so addictive, New Yorkers stood in line for hours to get their hands on them, but now you can get a delicious copycat version at home without the wait, and without the many days of proofing that the original dough requires. Although our dough does need some rest, you can start the dough in the morning and have a crispy cronut a few hours later, ideal with a cup of strong black coffee.

Sweet and delicious, with a crispy outside, cronuts are shaped and fried like doughnuts but have the multiple layers of puff pastry when cut open. Cronuts can have a cream or fruit filling and are topped with cinnamon sugar or a sugar glaze. You can pick and choose what you like best but a simple dust of cinnamon sugar is enough to make cronuts your new favorite pastry.

This recipe has several steps and takes some time, but it's a fun weekend project and makes 12 wonderful cronuts that everyone is sure to remember.

"This was such a delight to combine two classic pastry techniques into one recipe to make an iconic dish." —Lauryn Bodden

Homemade Crocut Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  • 1 1/4 cups milk

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Cronut Dough:

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 tablespoon dry active yeast

  • 4 cups (480 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt

  • 8 3/4 ounces (17 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided

  • 5 cups peanut oil, or vegetable oil

For Assembly:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1 tablespoon water

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cronut is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Vanilla Pastry Cream

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vanilla Pastry Cream ingredients

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and 1/4 cup of the sugar.

    milk and sugar in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, flour, and salt.

    sugar, flour, salt and egg yolks in a bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  4. Remove the milk from the heat and very slowly whisk it into the egg and flour mixture. When all of the milk has been blended in the bowl, add the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is boiling and appears thick.

    Vanilla Pastry Cream in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. Stir in the vanilla extract, mix well, and pour the mixture through a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer into a non-reactive bowl. This will make your pastry cream smooth and lump-free.

    Vanilla Pastry Cream strained through a fine mesh strainer

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  6. Place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream so a skin doesn't form. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

    Homemade Cronuts in a glass bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Mix the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Homemade Cronuts dough ingredients

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the water and milk and heat just until lukewarm. Whisk in the yeast and let stand for 5 minutes until it starts to bubble.

    milk and water in a bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. Set a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and add the flour, sugar, salt, and 1 1/2 tablespoons softened butter to its bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, or about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for another minute.

    Cronut Dough in a bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  4. Form a ball with the dough and place it in a greased bowl. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and place it in a warm spot. Let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

    Cronut Dough ball covered in plastic

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. Once doubled, punch down the dough. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

    cronut dough in a white bowl, covered in plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  6. While the dough chills, place the remaining butter between 2 pieces of parchment or wax paper. Use a rolling pin to flatten and shape into an 8 x 8-inch square. Place in the refrigerator.

    Cronut Dough rolled out under parchment paper

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Shape the Cronuts

  1. Once your butter block is ready (chilled, but not too cold or stiff) and the dough is chilled, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12 x 12-inch square.

    Cronut Dough rolled out on parchment paper

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. Place the butter square on top of the dough square so that the corners of the butter block are pointing to the sides of the dough square.

    Cronut Dough with butter

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter block to meet in the center like an envelope. Use your fingers to pinch together the dough at the seams so the butter block is completely sealed.

    Cronut Dough folded into an envelope

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  4. Roll the dough out into a 20 x 8-inch rectangle. If the dough is too stiff, smack it a few times with the rolling pin to soften.

    Cronut Dough with butter rolled out on parchment paper

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. Brush off any excess flour and fold the dough into thirds from the top and bottom, like a letter. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Repeat the folding and chilling process 2 more times—this will give your dough the characteristic layers seen in puff pastry.

    Cronut Dough folded and wrapped in plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  6. Once the dough is chilled after its final fold, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 6 x 18-inch rectangle.

    Cronut Dough rolled out on parchment paper

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  7. Use a very sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into three 6 x 6-inch squares, and stack the squares on top of each other.

    Cronut Dough on a plate

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  8. Roll out the stack into a 6 x 18-inch rectangle.

    Cronut Dough rolled out on parchment paper

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  9. Using donut ring cutters, cut 12 donut shapes out of the dough and place them on a parchment-lined surface. Cover the donuts loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

    Cronut Dough shaped into donut shapes, on parchment paper covered in plastic wrap
    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Fry the Cronuts

  1. Add the oil to a large pot and heat to 350 F. Fry the cronuts for about 1 1/2 minutes, flipping them in the oil halfway through until they are golden brown all over. Don't crowd the pan. Fry in batches, if needed, allowing the oil to come back up to temperature in between batches.

    Cronut Dough frying in a pot of oil

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. Place the cronuts on a paper towel-lined plate to cool.

    fried Cronuts on a paper towel

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Assemble and Dust the Cronuts

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    cronut topping ingredients

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. In a bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.

    sugar and cinnamon in a bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. Fill a piping bag fitted with a long narrow tip with the chilled vanilla pastry cream.

    piping bag with vanilla cream

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and water. Add more water if necessary, but make sure the glaze is not too watery.

    whisk sugar and water in bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. Inject the cronut at 4 different points with the vanilla cream, roll in cinnamon sugar, and drizzle the glaze over the top. Enjoy!

    Homemade Cronuts on a plate

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Tips

  • Let the dough rise in a warm, but not hot, place. Since there is so much butter in the dough, excessive heat could cause the butter to melt and seep out, resulting in flatter, denser cronuts. Somewhere draft-free like an unheated oven would be perfect.
  • Temperature and humidity are major factors in how quickly the dough will rise and could vary depending on your location and the time of year. How do you know when the dough has risen enough? If you poke the dough and it springs back slowly, then it's ready. If it springs back right away, let it rise for 5 more minutes and check again.
  • Have your cinnamon sugar prepped and ready to go before you start frying. It's good to toss the cronuts in the sugar while they're still warm as the sugar will coat and stick to the cronuts better.
  • Be sure to save your dough scraps! You can fry them as well for yummy bite-sized treats.
  • You can also fry cronuts without the center cut out. They will take about the same amount of time to cook as their hole-y counterparts.

Shortcut to Cronuts

If you are craving a cronut and don't have time to fold and proof this delicious dough, there is a smart shortcut you can use. Although the cronuts won't be the same as in our recipe, and they won't be puffy enough to fill with pastry cream, they'll still be really tasty. You simply need a package of frozen puff pastry:

  • Roll out the frozen puff pastry and brush it with a beaten egg.
  • Fold it back again as it came from the package.
  • Cut out the cronuts with a doughnut cutter.
  • Fry in 350 F oil until brown on all sides.
  • Place on paper towels when ready to soak up excess oil.
  • Dust with cinnamon sugar.

How to Store Cronuts

Cronuts are best enjoyed freshly fried. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to a day. If your cronuts contain a custard filling, store them in the fridge. But the sooner you eat them the better texture and flavor they'll have.