Cronut Copycat: the Dough’Ssant at ChikaLicious

I thought standing in line for 1.5 hours for a cronut indicated the craze was at its peak, but apparently not. The lines are only getting longer, no thanks to Dominique Ansel’s recent appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show. National exposure on mainstream media will only add fuel to the cronut fire. A friend of mine waited in line about two weeks ago on a Saturday–at 5:45 am, the line was already 70 people deep. Now my 1.5 hour ordeal almost makes me seem like a sane person.

Everyone’s looking to cash in on the cronut craze. A lot of bakeries have started producing copycat versions of the famous pastry, but do any of them live up to the original? When I heard that ChikaLicious’ Dessert Club was selling the “Dough’Ssant”, I thought that this version had potential to be a worthy contender. The Dessert Club is one of my favorite dessert places in the city, so I had confidence that the dough’ssant wouldn’t be a half-assed knockoff.

The verdict? The dough’ssant is good, but not cronut good. The dough’ssant reminded me of a soft creme puff in the shape of a doughnut. It lacked that crispy golden crust that you can only achieve when serving your product fresh, along with the chewy, flaky layers that you get from a delicious croissant.

chikalicious - dough'ssant 3
the dough’ssant – it looks like the real thing…
chikalicious - dough'ssant
…but the cronut it is not

Shelf-life was the kiss of death for the dough’ssant. I imagine that these pastries would be amazing if they were served straight from the fryer to the customer in minutes, but it’s pretty obvious that they were sitting in the display shelves for too long. Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that the dough’ssant wasn’t good. Soft creme puffs are clearly a time-tested favorite, but this is not what the cronut tastes like. Point is, you should not look to the dough’ssant to be a comparable alternative to the cronut. You’re going to have to suck it up and wait 2+ hours.

Dessert Club, ChikaLicious
204 E. 10th St (2nd and 1st Ave)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 475-0929
*The dough’ssant costs $5*


Epic Cronut Making FAIL

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Cronut mania…we’re about 3 months into the trend now. You would think that cronuts would have jumped the shark at this point, but the fad shows no signs of dying down. Lines are still wrapping around the block and scalpers are still selling cronuts for $35 a piece.

I’ve already checked the cronut line off my list, but I was tempted to wait in line again when I heard that Dominique Ansel had introduced a new blackberry flavor. But all the endless rain and humidity deterred me from a second attempt. So I came up with a genius idea–I would skip the line and make cronuts at home instead!

Except…my homemade cronuts were a pretty big failure. Everything from making the filling, to rolling the dough, to shaping the cronut, to frying the thing, it was a disaster. And it tasted bad too. Like soggy, uncooked refrigerated dough. Sigh. I used this online recipe as a guide–let me know if you have better luck following it. One quick tip–when the pudding mix says to use cold cow’s milk, don’t use almond milk. Your pudding will turn out watery and sad.

Inspired by “How to Make a Cronut at Home!” 
From, courtesy of Pillsbury

2 cups vegetable oil (I used like 1/2 a cup)
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 vanilla pudding from a Jell-O box mix
Almond milk

Make the pudding mix according to the Jell-O box instructions. Mine said to combine the mix with 2 cups of cold milk and whisk for 2 minutes. I didn’t have cow’s milk, so I used almond milk instead. This was a mistake, because my pudding never became firm and became a soupy mess.

1 cronut - pudding ingredients
Step 1 – gather ingredients for box pudding
2 cronut - mix pudding mix and 2 cups of almond milk
Step 2 – whisk everything for 2 minutes
3 cronut - whisk pudding mixture for 2 minutes
Step 3 – apparently after 5 minutes of whisking it solidifies…
4 cronut - chilled pudding
Step 4 – except it never did, even after being chilled for several hours

Set aside the finished pudding in the refrigerator. Now it’s time to make the cronuts. I recommend that you lightly flour your surface and use a rolling pin, as opposed to the ghetto chilled wine bottle I used as a substitute. The dough got a bit sticky and was hard to work with.

5 cronut - Pilsbury crescent rolls
Step 5 – take the package of Pillsbury crescent rolls out of the fridge
6 cronut - rectangles
Step 6 – unroll the dough. smooth out the serrated diagonal cutting across each of the four rectangles. Then separate the rectangles from each other, like so
7 cronut - stacked rectangles
Step 7 – stack two rectangles on top of each other, so that you are left with two thicker rectangles (originally you had four). fold the rectangles in half and roll them out. mine unfortunately kept getting stuck on the wine bottle I was rolling them out with
8 cronut - donut cutters
Step 8 – use a donut cutter to cut out the cronuts (you can buy these at a cooking supplies store like Williams-Sonoma)
9 cronut - uncooked cronut
Step 9 – wriggle out the dough from the donut cutter. mine managed to keep its shape
11 cronut - fry donuts
Step 10 – heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat. dip the cronuts in the oil and quickly cook each side for 90 seconds. i did not follow the 90 second rule and ended up burning them
10 cronut - cool the fried cronuts
Step 11 – let the fried cronuts cool for 5 minutes. yeah, these cronuts are looking a little tan…
12 - cut in half and decorate with puddings
Step 12 – cut the cronuts in half, lengthwise, with a serrated knife. spoon some of the vanilla pudding over the cut surface. place the two halves back together. spoon some of the leftover pudding on top of the cronut (mine was more of a drizzle)
13 cronut - finished product
Step 13 – voila, there you go! it doesn’t look so bad, but it tastes like crap

Conquering the Cronut

cronuts at Dominique Ansel

I finally jumped on the cronut bandwagon. And I’m totally glad I went along for the ride. These things are actually worth the hype. Imagine a fresh creme-filled cruller with the golden crust of a buttery fried croissant. That is basically what the cronut tastes like. I thought the lemon icing was too sweet, but could find nothing wrong with the rest of the pastry. I wouldn’t wait an hour and 20 minutes again anytime soon for one of these, but I could definitely be convinced to do it again in a month. Checking the whole cronut craze off your list is an itch you must scratch at least once. If you do want to get your hands on one of the hottest pastries in the WORLD, here’s a guide to planning your day so that one of the 200 cronuts that are made each day can be yours.

6:39 am, Tuesday – Arrived to find that the line was 22 people deep. I was definitely guaranteed a cronut at this point. I’ve heard that on weekends, the line can get to 75 people deep 1.5 hours before open. I probably could have arrived 10 minutes later and not be too far from my initial spot in line.

One guy arrived at 5:15 am for cronuts–cray cray!!

7:15 am – Line starts getting really long and stretches around the block. Wraps around from Spring Street to Sullivan, all the way down to The Dutch restaurant.

8:00 am – Bakery opens!! But they let in about 20 people in at a time. As the 22nd customer, I have to wait about 10 more minutes before I’m allowed inside.

8:10 am – Enter the store. Wait about another 10 minutes before I purchase my two cronuts (first you were allowed 6, then 3, and now 2).

Whole wait time from start to purchase was an hour and 40 minutes. Again, did not regret it, because the cronut was mighty tasty. And I can always point to the guy who waited at 5:15 am to not feel so bad about myself!

Best part – eating it

cronut - packaging
all good things come in pretty packages
cronut display v1
the cronuts–heaven on a plate

Dominique Ansel Bakery
189 Spring St. (and Sullivan St.)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 219-2773