The Cronut Turns 10 – Let’s Celebrate

The famed pastry treat, the Cronut®, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The croissant-donut hybrid premiered in New York City on May 10, 2013, in the lead-up to Mother’s Day. The flaky, buttery brainchild of Chef Dominique Ansel, the cronut was – and is — food porn personified, a fact documented in unfathomable volume on Instagram and beyond.

When Your Wife Wants a Donut (But You’re French)

Dominique Ansel CronutImage Credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery.

According to Chef Dominique, his wife had been in the mood for a tasty donut creation. In preparation for Mother’s Day, the French pastry chef decided to give the classic donut his own Parisian spin. He began fiddling with recipes and ratios, and after two months and 10 variations on the recipe, the Cronut® was born.

The Premier of The Cronut®

Dominique Ansel CronutImage Credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery.

He added the newly invented pastry to his 2013 Mother’s Day lineup at his Soho, NYC bakery, and it was sold out in just a few hours. More importantly, people started posting photos on Instagram, the new, hot social media app launched just three years earlier. As a result, word spread faster than butter on hot toast. By the third day, 150 people lined the sidewalk, waiting for the little four-employee bakery to open. Come August, that line was 300 deep – regardless of staggering summer heat or rain. Although production has increased, it’s still a labor of love, and the Cronut® consistently sells out each day.

It’s Not Just a Fried Croissant

Dominique Ansel CronutImage Credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery.

Chef Dominique didn’t simply make a croissant and deep-fry it. First, the French pastry chef labored to create a new riff on classic croissant dough – laminated, yes, but with a unique balance of ingredients and a thickness specific to the ultimate fried-goodness goal. Once out of the fryer, the next layer of magic happens – flavoring. There are three levels of flavoring for each Cronut® — the sugar coating, cream of jam fillings, and glaze and decorative elements. Far from the assembly line approach, the process takes three full days – a continuous cycle to ensure fresh Cronuts® are served daily.

Chef Dominique Ansel Never Repeats Cronut Flavors

Dominique Ansel CronutImage Credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery.

It’s hard to imagine that in the ten years Chef Dominique Ansel has been creating the Cronut® that he’s never repeated a flavor. The bakery’s first batch featured Rose Vanilla with a rose sugar coating, Tahitian vanilla ganache, and a light rose glaze with crystallized rose petals. Since then, he has consistently changed the monthly flavor without ever repeating a variety. Over ten years, that’s over 120 flavor profiles, including Blood Orange Almond, Rice Pudding and Pumpkin, and Blueberry Jam with Earl Grey Ganache. Madman or jam-obsessed genius? A little of both, perhaps – and thank goodness.

How To Celebrate 10 Years of The Cronut®

Dominique Ansel Bakery SohoImage Credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery.

The traditional way to celebrate is, of course, to visit Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho, NYC. However, it’s best to arrive before the shop opens if you have your heart set on a cronut; that waiting line is part of the experience. Plus, you might very well meet Chef Dominique in person.

Celebrate at Dominique Ansel Las Vegas

Dominique Ansel Bakery Las VegasImage Credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery.

As an alternative, visit Chef Dominique’s newly launched Las Vegas bakery, Dominique Ansel Las Vegas, at Caesars Palace. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Cronut® invention, stop by the roulette table, bet $10 on #10, and have a little fun. From there, visit the bakery for the latest flavor of Cronut® or his Las Vegas exclusive Lucky 7 pastries. Similarly, your visit wouldn’t be complete without getting a cookie shot from the one-of-a-kind cookie shot vending machine robot. Insider tip: it’s located at the entrance of the bakery. You can’t miss it, especially when the robot arm waves “hello.”

Chef Dominique’s Vegas Ice Cream Truck Pastry Collection

Dominique Ansel Bakery Las Vegas Summer Ice Cream Truck Pastry Collection Image Credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery.

Rounding out the top three ways to celebrate the Cronut® milestone, time your visit to his Vegas location in time to enjoy his celebratory Summer Ice Cream Truck Pastry Collection, which launches May 18. Each treat is themed to celebrate the nostalgia of the great childhood joy of summertime ice cream trucks; think riffs on classics like a Creamsicle popsicle, but with orange marmalade and yuzu curd.

Buy a Box of Anniversary Cronut® Holes

Anniversary Cronut® HolesImage Credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery.

In classic Cronut® tradition, the Special Anniversary Collection Box of Cronut® Holes is already sold out. The presale sign-up opened on April 24, but fans quickly swooped in to get the celebration box, which includes some of the most popular flavors from the past decade, including Popcorn & Caramel and Blackberry & Poppyseed. However, the website encourages customers to add their name and email address to the “Notify Me When Available” list at the bottom of the product page.

Multiple May 10 Celebrations

Dominique Ansel and SonImage Credit: Dominique Ansel.

The universe works in mysterious ways, and, as a result, Chef Dominique Ansel and his wife have two reasons to celebrate on May 10. Not only is it the anniversary of the Cronut® craze, but it’s also their son’s birthday. It turns out she didn’t have a bun in the oven; she had a lil’ Cronut® cutie, and she and Chef Dominique welcomed their baby boy into the world on the already special day. Join the fun by wishing him a happy birthday on Instagram, where the chef occasionally shares family videos. And, in case you’re wondering – no, he’s not named after the beloved pastry.

Celebrate by Taking a Virtual Class With Chef Dominique

Dominique Ansel baking classImage Credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery.

The chef’s website offers five virtual classes, which can be purchased individually or as a bundle. Each lesson is organized into segments for about 50 minutes of step-by-step instruction on pies, brioche, croissants, French classics, or gluten-free baking. Though the pricing is surprisingly reasonable – just $12 for each lesson bundle – it’s very much in line with Chef Dominique’s success story. His first formal cooking lessons were through a free culinary program designed to teach and engage children from low-income families.

Grab One of His Cookbooks 

Dominique Ansel Cookbook Image Credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery.

If you cannot jet off to Chef Dominique’s Vegas-based bakery at Caesars Palace or even pop into his NYC shop, no worries. You can channel all your Cronut® curiosity into a baking session of your own. “Everyone Can Bake” isn’t just the chef’s life philosophy but also the title of his cookbook. Lauded by The New York Times, Chowhound, Eater, Food & Wine, and Forbes, Everyone Can Bake pays homage to his humble roots in rural France while gently laying the stepping stones for beginner bakers.

Rent a Quaint Guest House in Chef Dominique’s Hometown in France

Guest House Le Jardin de Marie-JeanneImage Credit: Picardy Hotels.

Those who rank among the upper echelon of Cronut® connoisseurs can embark on a pastry pilgrimage to Beauvais, France, the working-class town just north of Paris, where Chef Dominique grew up. There’s a lovely guest house, Le Jardin de Marie-Jeanne, which is quintessentially French throughout and boasts a small pond. It’s the perfect setting to eat croissants and linger long into the day, surrounded by the garden beds flush with soothing lavender. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to make a Chef Dominique-inspired shortbread cookie with lavender glaze.

Raise a Cookie Shot Glass in Honor of The Invention of The Cronut®

Chocolate Chip Cookie ShotsImage Credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery.

Sure, the Cronut® is a pretty big deal; there’s no denying it. However, plenty of other superstars are in the chef’s lineup, including his iconic Chocolate Chip Cookie Shots. The edible cups, available on the website, are made from chocolate chip cooking dough and are the perfect way to enjoy milk and cookies. Grab a set and make a toast in honor of the May 10 celebration. 

Discover Your Cronut® Personality

Dominique Ansel CronutImage Credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery.

One of the coolest ways to celebrate the big day is also one of the easiest. Visit Chef Dominique’s Instagram page and take the Cronut® Personality quiz. Then, if you’re feeling sassy, you can make a video to congratulate him and use the tag #CronutTurns10 to share your quiz results. Last year’s Cronut® birthday wishes included shout-outs from celebrities like comedian Joel McHale and Queer Eye’s Tan France, who says he’s most likely a Chery Almond Biscotti Cronut®.