These Cheater Cronuts are a cross between a doughnut and a croissant. It takes New York bakeries days to make the originals, but you can make them homemade in minutes!
What is a Cronut?
If you’ve visited New York City in the last couple of years you have probably heard of Cronuts. If not, here’s the story: the Cronut was created by pastry chef Dominique Ansel in his bakery in SOHO. Basically, it’s a cross between a croissant and a doughnut, usually tossed in cinnamon sugar or and filled. To get an original Cronut be prepared to stand in line for possibly hours as soon as the bakery opens. Making one yourself isn’t any easier, Dominique Ansel actually released his secret recipe in a cookbook HERE and it’s a grueling three day process. I think he figured not many people would be crazy enough to attempt it! I definitely don’t have time for that. Hence, our version of the “cheater” Cronut.
Okay okay, this cheater version is probably not better than the original but it’s still really delicious! And if you’ve never had the original cronuts recipe then you won’t know any different! Our cheater cronuts are flaky layers of light pastry, golden brown, with delicious fillings and sugary coatings. Because this version comes together quickly, you can make several batches with different fillings and toppings to make each one unique.
Donut vs. Cronut
They may look similar from the outside, but inside the textures are completely different. Donuts are generally a bit more dense, and well, doughy. Cronuts are much lighter and flakier with the texture of puff pastry dough. However, both donuts and cronuts can be made in the same donut shapes with a donut cutter. You can also fold dough in a rectangle or triangle shape tucking the seams underneath. They can also both be topped with glaze, frosting, a sprinkle of powdered sugar, or cinnamon.
Main Ingredient for this Cheater Cronut Recipe
No need to fuss with yeast, flour or eggs for this recipe. We made this super simple by using cans of crescent roll dough. That’s right! This could not be easier! Once you have a couple of cans, you can use all kinds of sweet ingredients as fillings and toppings for more flavor.
Tips for Making Cheater Cronuts
- Use a donut cutter to make a donut shape, or just leave them as a rectangle.
- Fry cronuts in canola oil that is 350 degrees. Use a food thermometer to test the oil.
- After the cronuts are fried, lay them on a sheet pan lined with paper towels to add your toppings.
- Store leftovers tightly covered. You can pop them in the freezer for another day!
Topping and Filling Ideas
- Use a pastry piping bag to gently fill the cronut with vanilla pudding, caramel sauce, raspberry jam or any kind of jam you like.
- Make a simple glaze with powdered sugar, lemon juice, and a splash of buttermilk.
- Dip in powdered sugar or just give it a light dusting.
- Dip in cinnamon sugar.
- In a small bowl, melt milk or white chocolate chips in the microwave. Spoon over cronuts to create a chocolate coating.
Make It A Meal
If you’re looking to round out the cronut (as in make this feel a little more healthy) you can always pair it with our delicious Peaches and Cream Oatmeal Smoothie and call it breakfast. Or have the cronut on the side of some of our Easy Breakfast Casserole. Either way it’s delicious!
How To Make Cheater Cronuts
- vegetable oil (enough to fill a deep fryer or large sauce pan)
- 2 cans crescent rolls or sheets
- Heat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees or in a saucepan over the stove on medium. Open crescent roll cans and roll out.
- Pinch together the diagonal lines so you have 4 rectangles if using crescent rolls. If using crescent sheets, this step isn't necessary.
- For square shaped cronuts, stack all 4 rectangles on top of each other then cut in half so you have 8 squares. Cut a hole in the middle of each square to make 8 square cronuts.
- For donut shaped cronuts, use a donut cutter or cookie cutter to cut the dough into the shape of donuts. First cut the large circle, then a small circle in the center for a traditional circular cronut.
- Once the oil has reached 350 degrees, carefully place the cronut dough into the fryer. Fry until it is nice and golden on the first side then flip and fry the other side. Remove from oil and place them on a rack or paper towels to drain excess grease.
- Let them cool at least five minutes before adding filling or coatings. See ideas for fillings and toppings in post above.
- If you have a kitchen tool that you can use to inject pastries with fillings you can make 4 holes along the bottom and add filling. If you want to take the easy route, just cut the cronut in half and pipe the filling into the sides using a plastic baggie with a hole cut out of one corner.
- You can toss the cronut in sugar or top with chocolate sauce. Pictured here: A raspberry filled cronut tossed in powdered sugar, a plain cronut with vanilla glaze and sprinkles, a pudding filled cronut with chocolate topping.