The True Origin Of The Cronut

Grub Street put a spotlight on a pastry that was set to be unveiled at the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City, during 2013. Writer, Hugh Merwin, said the pastry was a bit of a game changer because it showcased a technique that hadn't actually really done before with much success and involved, at least to the uninitiated, the act of frying up croissant dough in a deep vat of oil and emerging with a donut on the other side. 

That creation, known as a cronut, was born out of Ansel's realization that his bakery didn't have the one staple everyone else did — a donut. And while Ansel explained that he'd had donuts before, CN Traveler also said he was more enamored with the light, buttery dough best represented by a croissant, than he was with the stogy ball of dough with a film of grease and granulated sugar that a badly made donut can be. And that was when he got to work.

It took chef Dominique Ansel many recipes to get the cronut right

As it turns out, marrying the shape of the donut with the dough of a croissant to create the cronut, wasn't as simple as it looked. As Ansel later revealed to CN Traveler in 2016, it took him three months and experimenting with more than 10 recipes before he was happy with the recipe he uses today. Every day, the cronut output at Dominque Ansel Bakery hovers at 500 to 600 (via YouTube), versus the 350 that he was producing before. However, making the cronut hasn't really evolved to become a more efficient process. 

It still takes three days — from start to finish — to prepare everything from the ganache and the pastry dough (day one), to the laminating process (day two), and then the cutting and frying (day three), according to Four. But Ansel's dedication to getting it right and keeping a strict eye on quality control, means folks that have traveled far and wide to have an original cronut, will know that their time and money is well spent. It also explains why, even after so many years, the popularity of the original cronut endures, even after the legendary pastry chef so generously opted to share his recipe in a book.