Cronuts have swept the nation, the insanely decadent croissant donut craze seems like it’s here to stay! Well, at bakeries nationwide, lines are around the block but I’ve yet to hear of a vegan cronut and I’ve been dying to try one. So I played with my classic Croissant recipe from my cookbook, The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen, and came up with my own vegan variety of the newest sweet treat!
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups vegan butter, at room temperature
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1 cup soy, coconut or almond milk
- 1/2 cup vegan heavy cream
- Coconut oil, for frying
- 2 cups soy, almond or coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablesoon of agave
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup plain soy, almond or coconut milk
- Cinnamon Sugar
- Rainbow Sprinkles
- Crushed Oreo cookies
- Crushed Walnuts
Making the Dough (**Short on time? Check out the Chef Tip at the end of the post!)
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the butter and mix it together with your hands in a mixing bowl or on a work surface. Transfer the butter to a length of foil or parchment paper and pat it into a 6-inch square. Fold up the foil to make a packet and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
Combine 2 cups of the flour with the salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and set aside until frothy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, warm the milk and the heavy cream to lukewarm. Add the yeast, milk, and cream to the flour mixture and stir well. The dough will have a batter-like consistency. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup at a time to form a soft dough (you may not need it all to get the right consistency). It should no longer be sticky. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Place the dough in a mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
To begin the rolling and folding process, both the butter and the dough should be at a cool room temperature (the butter should be taken out of the fridge about an hour before this step). The butter should be bendable but not greasy or too hard. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it into a 10-inch square. Set the block of butter diagonally on the square dough. Bring each point of dough to the center of the butter square; the edges of the dough should overlap. Pinch the edges together to seal. Starting from the center of the square and working outward, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a rectangle. The butter should be pliable enough to roll smoothly with the dough; if it’s too soft and starts to ooze out the corners, wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate before going any further. Roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 8 x 18-inches. Fold the length of dough into thirds, like a business letter.
If the dough is still cool, you can continue with the next fold. Otherwise, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it warm up for about 10 minutes before you begin rolling it out again. Position the dough so that the open ends are at 12 and 6 o’clock (vertically laid out in front of you). Roll the dough into a rectangle, working from the center of the dough and pressing outwards. Reposition the dough as necessary to fit your workspace. You should have a long rectangle to make a “book fold.” Fold both ends of the dough into the middle; the ends don’t have to be touching, but should be close. Fold the already folded dough in half; it will look like a thick book. Wrap the dough well with plastic and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Roll the dough into a rectangle again and fold it into thirds, like a business letter. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
To shape the croissants, roll the dough into a 10 x 38-inch rectangle (or as close as you can) on a lightly floured, flat and dry work surface. It should be about 1/4-inch thick. Use a pizza wheel or sharp knife to trim the edges of the dough. Divide the rectangle in half so that you have two 5-inch wide strips of dough. Use a clean ruler to mark each strip into triangles that are 5-inches wide at their bases. Cut the triangles and place them onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill for 15 to 20 minutes, if necessary.
Frying the Cronuts
In 2-quart heavy saucepan, pour enough oil to fill at least 2-inch deep. Heat over medium heat to 350ºF.
When ready to use, remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll the dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle, working on a lightly floured, flat and dry work surface.
Use 3-inch round biscuit cutter to cut round from each rectangle stack and then a 1-inch round biscuit cutter to cut the hole in the center. Keep remaining dough and re-use to make more donuts. Place them onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill for 15 to 20 minutes, if necessary.
Fry dough in hot oil for 45-90 seconds on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool.
Making the filling
Mix a little of the milk with the cornstarch to form a paste.
Heat the rest of the milk gently to a simmer, then add in the cornstarch paste, agave and vanilla.
Stir until thickened and set aside to cool.
Making the glaze
In a medium-sized bowl, mix 4 cups powdered sugar and vanilla together and then add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a smooth, glaze-like consistency forms.
Assembling the Cronuts
Split a fried and cooled croissant doughnut in half and place 2 tablespoons of filling in center. Sandwich halves back together, and drizzle glaze over top. Top with decorations or toppings of choice and enjoy!
If you’re short on time, you can use 2 cans of Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough (it’s vegan!) Divide dough into sets of two triangles. Press perforations together on each pair to seal and form a rectangle. Stack 2 rectangles on top of one another, press them together, and then fold widthwise. Press down. Repeat with remaining dough.