DIY Food

Croissant Donuts, Made at Home

June 26, 2013

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Embrace the trend. Hop on that bandwagon. And make croissant donuts at home. Julie from Dinner with Julie shows us how.

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Yes, I made croissant donuts. I jumped on the bandwagon. Turns out, everyone’s right. I might pay $40 for one of these on the black market.

Not since Krispy Kreme have I seen this level of fried dough fanaticism. In the month since their inception tons of copycats have popped up -- since the name is copyrighted, others are calling theirs “Dossaints” or “CroNots” -- and in New York, lineups are going around the block for the things, which are also being sold on the black market. It’s full-on Cronut mania.

Madness, I tell you. But I’m always up for a challenge, and we really need to start warming up for Stampede. So I took out the deep fryer. (Note: you don’t need one. A pot works just as well.)

Puff pastry sounds daunting to make from scratch, but it's really a matter of mixing together a basic yeasted dough, slathering it with butter, and then folding it up like a letter a bunch of times, rolling and chilling between each fold. It isn't as finnicky as you might think, particularly when the end result is a batch of buttery, golden croissoughnuts. 

Homemade Croissant Donuts (a.k.a. Croissoughnuts)

Inspired by Dominique Ansel Bakery

Makes 1 dozen

3/4 cups milk, warmed
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature

Maple Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 to 2 tablespoons milk, cream or water

In a large bowl, stir together the milk and yeast. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla and mix well. Add a cup of the flour and the salt, then gradually add another 2 1/4 cups of the flour, stirring and then kneading for a few (or several) minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic, and still a little tacky.

Transfer your dough to a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap; chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat the butter and remaining 1/4 cup flour with an electric mixer for a couple minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until smooth.

When the dough has chilled, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle that is about 13 by 18 inches and 1/4-inch thick. Spread the butter evenly over the dough.

Fold it as you would fold a letter, in thirds. (Unlike a letter, the dough ends should line up, so that it’s folded exactly in thirds.) Cover the dough in plastic wrap and put it back into the fridge for 30 minutes.

Pull the dough out and put it back on the countertop, with the open sides to the left and right. Roll it out into another rectangle.

Fold the left third over the middle, then the right third over the middle. (This is referred to as a "turn”. To keep track of each fold -- or turn -- press your finger into the dough at the edge to make two marks -- you can do this each time you roll and fold so that you know how many times you’ve done it.) Chill the dough for another 30 minutes.

Roll, fold, and refrigerate the dough two more times, so that you’ve done it four times total. Cover and refrigerate for at an hour, or overnight.

Then, roll your dough out to 1- to 2-inch thickness, then cut it into rounds, or rings, or scraps.


In a heavy pot (or deep fryer), heat a couple inches of oil to about 350° F, or until it’s hot but not smoking, and a scrap of bread sizzles when you dip it in. Cook the doughnuts in batches, without crowding the pot (this can cool down the oil), flipping as necessary until deep golden. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a paper towel.

Meanwhile, whisk together the icing sugar, maple syrup, and enough milk, water, or cream to make a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the croissoughnuts while they’re still warm. Then try not to eat the whole batch.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Julie Van Rosendaal

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • joanna
  • Pauls22401
  • MRubenzahl
  • Kennedy Harrington
    Kennedy Harrington
  • Dolly
Food writer


joanna April 28, 2023
has anyone tried baking these rather than deep frying?
Pauls22401 October 28, 2017
Please, please, please publish these recipes with weights vice volume measurements.
MRubenzahl October 21, 2017
"Fold as you would a letter." No one under 35 will be able to make this recipe.
Kennedy H. October 21, 2017
I love the reading on this site, I learn so much from everyone here. I just really wish the recipes had weight measurements as well, I'm trying to get more accurate results and that's the best starting point.
Dolly July 18, 2015
I've never attempted anything like this but reading the recipe, I am thinking of trying to use my pasta maker to thin the dough. Any thoughts?
i March 18, 2015
This certainly looks like a yummy food! I'd like to know if you or anyone has tried baking these in the oven in lieu of frying them?
theundressedcupcake November 27, 2014
Can I freeze the dough (the cronuts) until I'm ready to fry them?
Jassemine May 10, 2014
Could the base dough also be used as puff pastry?
Cheryl B. April 25, 2014
I recently made this recipe. Well sort of. Instead of mixing the softened butter and 1/4 cup of flour together, I pounded out my butter into a square then placed it in the middle of the dough, and then folded the dough to meet in the center. I then pinched all dough together, rolled out and then folded it into thirds. Repeat 3 more times. When cutting the dough for frying, make sure your cutter has a nice sharp edge and don't twist the cutter. Just cut straight down. They were delicious. The one thing I'd like to know is, do you let the dough rest a little prior to frying? Anyone? I'm thinking not because the butter should be cold. Maybe let them rest in the fridge after you cut them. I'll keep trying.
Sarah F. February 21, 2014
I'm going to try this tomorrow for my local women's shelter dessert auction. But here's the thing. If you look at the pictures of the original cronuts, there is a very distinct larger layer between thinner dough layers. I think there's an extra butter layer- so maybe you do two turns, and then add in another butter layer, and do two more turns. That's where the filling goes. Either that or it's a cut in dough, like some other recipe sites suggest, that then only has a couple of turns. This recipe seems like the best bet with the egg enriched dough. Can't wait to try it!
Forkandstory January 31, 2014
Thank you for the recipe. I attempted it last weekend. Didn't get too tall, but tasted good. I will try again! :) Here's the result. Thanks for the inspiration
Forkandstory February 2, 2014
Take two looks much better! Thanks!
JIJI R. December 4, 2013
je pris de publier la recette en français :)
sheina September 24, 2013
i made these today and they came out DELICIOUS...the only thing i would do differently the next time i make them is after i cut out the cronuts, i would set them aside for about an hour or two to rise and then fry..otherwise- AMAZING. i rolled them in sugar and piped a simple icing on top. perfection
Banny September 12, 2013
Hi everybody, i made this last night and fry them this morning. When i cut the dough into doughnut's shape, it has beautiful layers. I heated my oil and it took like 10-15 minutes to the desired heat. I fried the leftovers first and they were beautiful, the layers are intact and is crispy and flaky. Then i fried the doughnuts one and it separated, hiks. Did i put them too long in room temperature? Or i didn't roll them tight? oh, when i rolled and fold, i didn't used any flour, i used cling wrap. Please help
Nani September 6, 2013
I noticed you don't let the dough rise after you cut it and before frying?
Amber D. August 19, 2013
What a fantastic recipe, thank you!
Melinda August 18, 2013
OMG! These are the best donuts ever! My daughter (a culinary student) made and fried them up for us. We had fun filling them with various goodies. I split mine and put cream and fresh peaches. My daughter made a PB&J, then filled one with my salted caramel mocha cream. I couldn't get enough of the crisp outer crust, followed by the tender flaky inside. Thanks so much!!
Grace's S. August 3, 2013
Hi MollyACZ if you click on the link in my comment it will lead you to the recipe for the cream.
Grace's S. August 3, 2013
Hi Julie, I went with a Vanilla Bean Creme Pat but a Crema Diplomatica would be nice too. The great thing about adding cream is that is gets into all the layers. I used a bismarck tip and it was perfect.
Sherman L. August 3, 2013
After mixing the butter & flour form this into a suitable rectangle, wrap it in plastic then chill it till it's more solid. If it's re-formed into more of a brick shape, simply take a rolling pin and give it [the block] a good bashing into the desired shape. Just remember, kitchens tend to get warm, even with the oven turned off. And the last thing you want to play with is uncooperative butter, especially when baking — even deep frying stuff!
Safta August 3, 2013
So the butter should be shaped and refrigerated before it is placed in the dough for folding?