The 12 Weirdest Things We’ve Done to Croissants

A wooden cutting board topped with a cut in half

It appears that we are finally reaching a cultural peak in Weird Croissants. Once a humble, flaky viennoiserie that cost a scant euro at any boulangerie in France, the croissant has been abused and bastardized over the last several years to the point where the term “croissant” is really a loose title that can be applied to any trendy dessert, no matter its shape or flavor. Here are some of the strangest “croissants” we’ve seen recently.

1. Cedric Grolet’s Croissant King Cake

Okay, so we’re kind of into this one. Pastry legend Cedric Grolet recently made a Galette des Rois, or King Cake, for Epiphany, but he shook things up by topping it with a caramelized layer of mini croissants. Even better, he hid a gold croissant charm valued at €6700 in one of the cakes! Definitely the best fève we’ve ever heard of.

2. Croissant Cereal from L’Appartement 4F

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L’Appartement 4F, which started during the pandemic as a cottage food business run out of a couple’s apartment in Brooklyn, gained so much press from their mini croissant cereal that they were able to ride the momentum and open a brick-and-mortar store in May of 2022. Their flagship cereal costs $50 and sells out almost instantly. But man, is it cute.

3. Le Cube from Le Deli Robuchon

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Le Deli Robuchon in London went viral recently thanks to a box-shaped croissant known as Le Cube. But we’re just going to say it: this is not a croissant. Croissant literally means “crescent,” and this looks more like a tasty Rubix cube.

4. Lafayette’s Suprême Croissant

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Lafayette Grand Café and Bakery in New York isn’t going to get out of this one. They went viral on TikTok for their Suprême Croissant, which looks more like a hockey puck than a croissant. While less egregious than Le Cube, with flavors ranging from Corn Berry Crunch to Yuzu Coconut Mojito, you can bet August Zang is rolling in his grave.

5. Supermoon Bakehouse’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Cruffin

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Alright, there’s a lot going on here. First, there’s the Cruffin, a croissant-muffin hybrid that New York’s Supermoon Bakehouse has made a staple of their repertoire. But there’s also the PB&J of it all. Why? Who asked for this?

6. The Everything Croissant, Everywhere, All at Once

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The last couple of years have been an absolute bombardment of Everything Croissants, or croissants sprinkled with everything bagel seasoning. Honestly, it’s the perfect mix of Paris and New York (Parisians, don’t come for me). The best so far has been the Everything Croissant from Machine Shop in Philadelphia, which is filled with tangy goat cheese that fills in for an unassuming cream cheese dupe.

7. Chilaquiles, Pambazo, and Chicharron Croissants at Pan Artesanal

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Pan Artesanal in Chicago has done some truly questionable things to their croissants in the name of Mexican fusion. They have made croissants inspired by Chicharron (fried pork skin), Chilaquiles (corn tortillas cooked in salsa verde), and Pambazo (made with guajillo pepper sauce, chorizo, and potatoes).

8. Vive La Tarte’s Tacro

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Okay, this one must be committing some sort of OSHA violation. The Tacro, which certainly does not roll off the tongue, is a taco-croissant hybrid out of Vive La Tarte in San Francisco. Filled with pork belly and topped with radishes, cheese, and other taco fixins, it sounds like a weird dream you had that you’re now forcing your friend to listen to you talk about.

9. The Cragel (RIP)

This one goes out to the cragel, aka the croissant-bagel hybrid popularized by The Bagel Store. Better known for their famous Rainbow Bagel, this Brooklyn bagel shop closed permanently in 2022 after a Covid hiatus, but I will never forget the delicious blasphemy that was their jalapeño-cheddar cragel.

10. The Lasting Appeal of the Cretzel

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A post shared by Coyle’s Bakeshop (@coylesbakeshop)

The cretzel, a croissant-pretzel mashup, is arguably the oldest of the croissant Frankensteins. We can trace its origins back to 1996, when City Bakery debuted its croissant pretzel, though countless imitations have been spawned over the years. Coyle’s Bakeshop in Seattle serves a cretzel that is, appropriately, pretzel-shaped. Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer in the UK launched a much more boring, croissant-shaped cretzel in 2020.

11. The Brissant

Brissant: croissant and brioche hybrid
Angelina Bakery

Not to be overlooked, Angelina Bakery in New York (not to be confused with the French tea room and pâtisserie, Angelina) is offering their own croissant concoction: the brissant. A cross between a croissant and an Italian brioche, this fluffy, sugar-covered pastry proves that there will never be enough variance to satisfy our croissant cravings.

12. And of course, the Cronut

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We couldn’t forget the man who started it all: Nearly ten years ago, Dominique Ansel absolutely blew New Yorkers’ minds with his invention of the cronut, the OG mutt of the pastry world. And with flavors like Mandarin Kumquat, Pumpkin Pie, and Mango Milk Chocolate, it’s clear that despite already being a groundbreaker, Ansel will continue to push the croissant to the absolute limits of its croissantness.

Catherine Rickman is a writer and professional francophile who has lived in Paris, New York, and Berlin. She is currently somewhere in Brooklyn with a fork in one hand and a pen in the other, and you can follow her adventures on Instagram @catrickman.

This article was originally published on March 6, 2023.

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