Homemade Cronuts

Homemade Cronuts

The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  • Total: 80 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Resting and Chilling: 5 hrs 15 mins
  • Servings: 12 servings

Invented by Chef Dominique Ansel in his New York bakery, cronuts are a fun dessert craze popular in the baking world. A cross between croissants and donuts, cronuts are wonderfully flaky, sweet, and delicious.

To make cronuts, we make a buttery croissant dough that is cut into donut shapes and then fried. The cronuts have a cream or fruit filling and are topped with cinnamon sugar and a sugar glaze. This recipe has several steps and takes some time, but it's a fun weekend project and produces treats that everyone is sure to remember.

Ingredients

  • For the Vanilla Pastry Cream:
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (divided)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Cronut Dough:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons butter (unsalted, room temperature, divided)
  • 5 cups peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • For Assembly:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup powdered 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.

    heat milk and sugar in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the remaining 1/4 cup of the 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, add the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is boiling and thick.

    Vanilla Pastry Cream in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. Stir in the vanilla extract and pour the mixture through a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer into a non-reactive bowl.

    Vanilla Pastry Cream strained through a fine mesh strainer

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  6. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream so a skin does not form. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

    Homemade Cronuts in a glass bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Make the Cronut 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 for several seconds 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. Add the flour, sugar, salt, and 1 1/2 tablespoons softened butter to a stand mixer bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with the paddle attachment until just combined, 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. Press the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with a damp cloth or loosely with plastic wrap and place 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 cup of butter between 2 pieces of parchment or wax paper. Use a rolling pin to flatten and shape into an 8 x 8-inch square.

    Cronut Dough rolled out under parchment paper

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  7. Once your butter block is ready and the dough is chilled, roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12 x 12-inch square.

    Cronut Dough rolled out on parchment paper

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

    Cronut Dough folded and wrapped in plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  12. 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

  13. Use a very sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into 3 (6 x 6-inch) squares, and stack the squares on top of each other.

    Cronut Dough on a plate

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  14. Roll the dough into a 6 x 18-inch rectangle. All this folding and stacking creates layers and layers of buttery croissant dough.

    Cronut Dough rolled out on parchment paper

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  15. Using donut ring cutters, cut 12 donut shapes out of the dough and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 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

  16. 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, letting the cool come back up to temperature in between batches.

    Cronut Dough frying in a pot of oil

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  17. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to cool.

    fried Cronuts on a paper towel

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

For Assembly

  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 vanilla cream, roll in sugar, and drizzle the glaze over the top. Enjoy!

    Homemade Cronuts on a plate

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn