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What's Up With the Cronut Craze?

Updated on October 14, 2013
This is a cronut! It's the real deal from Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho, New York City.
This is a cronut! It's the real deal from Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho, New York City. | Source

On this dreary Sunday morning, my boyfriend and I grabbed Citi Bikes and made our way to Dominique Ansel Bakery, in hopes of finally trying the pasty that's created so much buzz, the cronut. Preferably, without the line. We arrived at around 8:15am, nearly 45-minutes before the bakery was to open and the line was winding around the block. What gives? After six months of cronut-mania, the craze is still going strong! We got in line, bonded with tourists standing in line, tried out mini Madelines given out by the bakery's employees, and didn't get our hands on four illustrious cronuts until an hour and a half later. It was totally worth it.

Waiting in line for a cronut

The line for cronuts was longer that I expected but it was totally worth it.  I even got to sample a yummy mimi Madeline!
The line for cronuts was longer that I expected but it was totally worth it. I even got to sample a yummy mimi Madeline! | Source

Cronut Copycats in the US and Beyond

The cronut is such an innovative concept that a plethora of imitation cronuts are now available around the US and the world. Below are examples of some and what they're being called:

  • the 'Doissant' in Washington D.C
  • 'CroNots' at Posh Bakery in San Francisco
  • the 'Frissant' in Vancouver
  • 'Doughssants' at Spudnuts, 'Crullants' at Semi Sweet Bakery, and 'DKronuts' at DK’s in Las Vegas
  • 'Donut Croissant' at Dunkin Donuts in South Korea and the Philippines

Have you tried a cronut?

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What is a Cronut?

A cronut is the brainchild of French-born pastry chef Dominique Ansel that debuted at Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC on May 10th, 2013. It's a sugary cross between a croissant and donut, deep-fried, and cream-filled. There's a flavor of the month and this month's flavor (October) is apple. It's yummy and has to be one of the trendiest foods to come out of New York since Carrie Bradshaw devoured a Magnolia Bakery cupcake years ago.

Ever since the cronut hit the market, all sorts of craziness has been happening for the sake of getting a cronut. Cronut scalpers came first in line (reselling the $5 pastry for up to $100), psycho guys on Craiglist exchanged cronuts for 'services', people have been posting cronut 'recipes' all over the internet, and knock-off cronuts popped up at venues around the world (FYI Dominique Ansel trademarked the term 'cronut' - wow, the guys's a genius!).

Yes, there's a lot of buzz around the cronut but why?

For starters, it's an innovative concept, creating a unique product. Yeah we'll all tried donuts and croissants but a concoction that's both, along with jam and custard creme? It's a creative reinvention that's pure genius!

Second, the real cronut is so recherché! Only 300 cronuts are made daily, keeping the supply limited on this short shelf-life goodie. With a short supply, there's a lot of demand and buzz with people sharing their cronut experiences on social media, driving others to want to try it.

Then there's social media. Just try looking up #cronut on twitter and facebook. Enough said. Oh and wait, there's also all those hot celebrities devouring cronuts.

There's also all these knock-off cronuts. I just had to try one so I went for a doissants at Chikalicious in my neighborhood, had the creme brule flavor, which was absolutely delicious, so I went back another day and had a caramel flavored doissant. Heavenly but made me want to try the real thing even more.

Lastly, the cronut craze is an excellent example of mass hysteria, where lots of people behave rather irrationally. I guess I'm one of those people. Oh well, I have no regrets. I ate a Cronut from Dominique Ansel's Bakery when it was still hot!

Knockoff cronuts, aka 'Doissants' at ChicaLicious Dessert Club

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Source
Source

Cronut Facts

  • The 'cronut' is a term trademarked by its creator chef, Dominique Ansel
  • It took the award winning chef ten different recipes to get the cronut just right
  • A genuine cronut from Dominique Ansel Bakery will set you back $5
  • Only 300 cronuts are made daily
  • You can only buy two cronuts at a time
  • There's a different flavor cronut every month
  • A cronut has a shelf life of just four hours
  • Expect to wait on line, especially on weekends so get to Ansel Dominique Bakery at least half an hour before opening time, which is 9am

At Dominique Ansel Bakery getting Cronuts!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
At this point I was finally inside the bakery, on line to pay and finally try a cronut.Dominique Ansel’s trademark desserts sport 'keep calm' signs at the Manhattan-based bakery when they originateSign outside of the Ansel Dominique BakeryThere they are, fresh cronuts!Cronuts come in these pretty golden boxesMy boyfriend and I got four cronuts between us :)Biting into the cronut... yummy!
At this point I was finally inside the bakery, on line to pay and finally try a cronut.
At this point I was finally inside the bakery, on line to pay and finally try a cronut. | Source
Dominique Ansel’s trademark desserts sport 'keep calm' signs at the Manhattan-based bakery when they originate
Dominique Ansel’s trademark desserts sport 'keep calm' signs at the Manhattan-based bakery when they originate | Source
Sign outside of the Ansel Dominique Bakery
Sign outside of the Ansel Dominique Bakery | Source
There they are, fresh cronuts!
There they are, fresh cronuts! | Source
Cronuts come in these pretty golden boxes
Cronuts come in these pretty golden boxes | Source
My boyfriend and I got four cronuts between us :)
My boyfriend and I got four cronuts between us :) | Source
Biting into the cronut... yummy!
Biting into the cronut... yummy! | Source

Yet another cronut knock-off in my NY neighborhood

Holy moly!  Even cupcake chain Crumbs is selling knock-off cronuts.
Holy moly! Even cupcake chain Crumbs is selling knock-off cronuts. | Source

Dominique Ansel Bakery

A marker Dominique Ansel Bakery -
189 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012, USA
get directions

The original cronut spot - come early!

What do you think of all the cronut hype? Leave your comments!

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    • C L Mitchell profile image

      C L Mitchell 2 years ago

      I recently watched a story on tv about Dominique Ansel's Bakery and its at the top of my list to visit when I get around to visiting New York. I didn't realise that he was the one to invent the cronut. I've had some great cronuts, but would love to be able to compare these to the original.

    • profile image

      Spayer 2 years ago

      I had what was sold as an original Cronut, purchased on 8th Ave, Sunday street fair, in NYC, last summer. (it didn't have any cream inside...was more like a glazed donut) I also had one, recently (a knockoff) at Dunkin Donuts (in Colorado). TWO BUCKS! I had to do it, but honestly, I don't see what all the hype is about, nor why people are lining up for hours in SoHo, or why anyone regularly pays that much for a friggin' donut! They aren't really that great!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Now I know what all the fuss is about cronuts. Also, I learned the meaning of recherche:).

    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 3 years ago

      Looks yummy, but there is probably too much buzz about them... Well, I didn't try them, so my word has no weight in this case. Can we all learn a thing or two from these marketing moves?

      Thanks for sharing this story!

    • profile image

      Jorge 3 years ago

      You should also try the Cretzel in the Breads Bakery near Union Square

    • Global-Chica profile image
      Author

      Anna 3 years ago from New York, NY

      Hi Mike Robberts! Yeah the cronut hype has been pretty big amongst foodies, especially in NYC. Perhaps, being in London, you've heard about the whole 'duffins' scandal that's going on - another victim of the hybrid pastry craze.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

      I haven't even heard about cronuts until I read you hub :) Seems delicious though and since it a combination of croissant and donut I can't see any reason why I wouldn't like it!

    • Global-Chica profile image
      Author

      Anna 3 years ago from New York, NY

      Drpennypincher, I didn't think they'd be a line when I went for one since it was half a year about the launch of the cronut but that craze amazingly hasn't died off. I suspect they charge $5 per cronut since that's the price they want to charge in the long run as well. The bakery with copycat cronuts by my house which sells 'doissant', also charges $5.

    • drpennypincher profile image

      Dr Penny Pincher 3 years ago from Iowa, USA

      Cronuts sound awesome, but I don't know if I could handle the line. I wonder why the price for a real cronut is only $5 since they are in such demand?