Pumpkin Spice Caramel Cronut Recipe

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It wasn’t so long ago when cupcakes ruled the world, closely followed by macarons, cake pops and anything (literally) made from bacon. Food fads are so much fun to watch but I think I’ve just found my favorite…the cronut! If you’ve been living in one of those huts in Bora Bora – you know the kind that sits high up on sticks in the ocean – then you might have missed the cronut hoopla. So here goes.The cronut, a hybrid of a croissant and a donut, was invented by Dominique Ansel, a French baker and pastry chef, just this year. Dominique owns his own bakery in New York and wakes up each morning to his version of every business person’s dream – a line of customers stretching around the block, all wanting to trade cash for his cronuts. The cronut craze is indeed crazy, so crazy that he limits people to only two per purchase. You can buy six if you order them two weeks in advance. (Check out this really cool timeline of his week by Huffington Post.) 

When I visited Hawaii earlier in the year, I made a point of visiting Leonard’s Bakery. Some say Leonard’s Portugese malasadas donuts are the best in the world and I had to stand in line for 30 minutes to try them,  Ansel’s customers are waiting in line for 3 or more hours!What would you do for one of these yeasty nuggets? Well, you could make them at home like I did. Ever since I saw these flaky, puffy, gold-medal worthy examples of home made cronuts from Salt and Smoke, I knew I had to try them. The dough is the texture of croissant dough, packed with butter and folded over and over again to produce those flaky layers. If you’ve ever made croissants, you know how much labor goes into this. But it’s like a science experiment – if it goes right, then it’s soooo worth it. Of course, if it goes belly-up like mine did the first time, then it’s a kitchen full of flying flour and cuss words. I would have loved to achieved the layers from the Salt and Smoke offering, but I know why that didn’t happen and I’ll adjust for it the next time I make these. Umm, yeah I’ll be making them again because it was like stuffing a raised donut into my mouth while also relishing crispy layers of butter and pumpkin spice sugar. And as if that wasn’t enough sweet goodness, I dipped them all in caramel sauce. Let’s not forget the middle of the cronut. Those little puffy balls rolled in the sugar were more addicting than I imagine crack to be.

 

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Pumpkin Spice Caramel Cronuts
Yields 12
Print
For the dough
  1. 3/4 cups milk, warmed
  2. 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  3. 1/3 cup sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  6. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
  8. 1 tsp salt
  9. 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  10. Canola oil for frying
For the caramel sauce
  1. 1/2 cup sugar
  2. 1 tbsp water
  3. 1 tsp light corn syrup
  4. 3 tsp butter
  5. 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the sugar
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  3. 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Instructions
  1. Warm the milk and add the yeast to it. Gently whisk and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl combine the eggs, sugar, spice and vanilla extract. Add the milk mixture and mix well.
  3. Add 1 cup of the flour into the wet ingredients and mix. Gradually add the other 2 1/4 cups of flour and mix into a ball.
  4. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Beat the butter until smooth and add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour to it, whisking until smooth.
  6. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out into a rectangle shape about 12 x 18.
  7. Spread the softened butter all over the dough and then fold the dough into thirds. It will be folding a book.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and place back in the fridge for 45 minutes.
  9. Bring the dough back out and roll it into another rectangle shape folding again into a three fold pattern. Cover and place back in the fridge.
  10. Do this another two times making a total of four folds to the dough. Place back in the fridge for an hour or leave to rest overnight.
  11. Once it's ready roll it out one more time but making sure to roll it to about 1 1/4 inches. This is important as it's help give some lift to the layers when placed into the hot oil.
  12. Using a donut cutter, cut out the circles and place them on a floured baking tray along with the donut holes.
  13. Place the baking tray back into the fridge, always keeping it cold.
  14. Heat the oil to about 350 degrees F. Once the oil is hot enough place a few cronuts into it. Keep the rest of the cronuts in the fridge at this time.
  15. The cronuts will only take a few minutes to cook on each side. Scoop them out and transfer to a paper towel to dry.
  16. Continue until all of the circles have been cooked.
  17. Roll the cronuts in the sugar and top with the caramel sauce.
For the sauce
  1. Combine the sugar, water and corn syrup in a pan. Cook over a medium heat until it starts to turn a deep amber.
  2. Whisk in the butter until melted. Add the heavy cream and stir until sooth and shiny. Let cool before topping the cronuts.
  3. Mix the sugar and spices together and dust each cronut until covered.
Notes
  1. Fill the pan with about 2 inches worth of canola oil and use a thermometer to maintain steady temperatures.
Adapted from Salt and Smoke
Adapted from Salt and Smoke
Foodness Gracious http://foodnessgracious.com/
 

56 comments


  • Just made homemade cronuts!! Literally last weekend! So amazed!! Yours look killer! I love the pumpkin spice!

    September 12, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Thanks Tieghan!!

      September 13, 2013
  • These look awesome!

    September 12, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      I appreciate it Maria!

      September 13, 2013
  • You are fearless Gerry! These are not only beautiful but perfect. The flavor combination, the colors – all of it. Congratulations on a fantastic accomplishment! I recently declined $ to make these for a co-worker – haha!

    September 12, 2013
  • I am nearly speechless! The second I saw these on Facebook, I darted your way :) They are absolutely perfect!

    September 12, 2013
  • Holy cow, I almost have no words right now! These look like cronut perfection!!

    September 12, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Kelli, cronut perfection is good with me!

      September 13, 2013
  • My mouth is watering, Gerry…these are the perfectest autumn afternoon coffee accompaniment!

    September 12, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      We think the same Angie!

      September 13, 2013
  • WUT!? I am officially blown away- yours look just like the real thing! So flaky, so fried, so heavenly. Nicely done!

    September 12, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Thanks Ruthy!!

      September 13, 2013
  • Holy {{insert cuss words}} here that looks great! I followed your comment from Salt & Smoke (subscriber) and I thought these were made w/ pumpkin (as I’m loving the return to Fall flavors!). It isn’t but the pumpkin spice is a nice addition!

    I will be trying this recipe as the last one I used (Food52) produced several layers that did not plump up when fried. Oh wells. Like you, hit or miss the first time.

    September 12, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Try and try again is my motto :) Good luck!

      September 13, 2013
  • I have seen the word thrown about a lot lately but this is the first time I have understood what they were. GREG

    September 12, 2013
  • You are killing me with your posts this week! These cronuts look like a must try!

    September 12, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Thanks Laura, go for it!

      September 13, 2013
  • Forget New York… If word got out to your neighbors that you made these, I could see THEM lining up around the block, haha! Incredible flavor in these homemade cronuts, Gerry. They look divine!

    September 13, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Georgia, word is out :) Thanks…

      September 15, 2013
  • SHUT UP!!! I am flooooooooored, Gerry! I am… speechless. And P.S. I’ve actually had a real cronut before, and can say yours looks identical!!! Beyond impressed.

    September 13, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      I thought you had tried them before so your word is good for me! :)

      September 15, 2013
  • [...] his Pumpkin Spice Caramel Cronuts, Gerry of the food blog Foodness Gracious has combined caramel and the popular Fall pumpkin spice [...]

    September 13, 2013
  • Wow! These look amazing! Pinning these beauties!

    September 14, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Thanks Anna!

      September 15, 2013
  • Opening door and exiting hut in Bora Bora. I have somehow COMPLETELY missed the cronut, but plan on remedying that sooner than immediately.

    September 14, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      I dunno Sarah, Bora Bora is mighty fine looking, I’d just stay there :)

      September 15, 2013
  • I don’t think I could ever go back to a real donut after this!

    September 14, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Once you go cronut, you never go back :)

      September 15, 2013
  • You did it!!!! Way to go, Gerry. You totally rocked these and they look ten times better than the original. Wow.

    September 14, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Thanks Mary, I appreciate it!

      September 15, 2013
  • deelo

    These are a labor of love…for my mouth!

    I made them today – actually, I played the rolling game last night & fried them up this morning. I was nervous because, well you know, so often these don’t come out right…BUT these totally happened on my FIRST TRY!

    I made one (minor) modification: I added real pumpkin! I subbed out 1/4c milk & added 1/4c pumpkin to the eggs & sugar…be sure to remove excess liquid from the pumpkin by using a cheesecloth.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, my donut habit will never be the same. ;)

    September 14, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Awesome!! I’m so glad they turned out well for you! It’s life changing, huh?

      September 15, 2013
  • Whoa, these are all kinds of amazing! You totally got these down!

    September 14, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Thanks Steph!

      September 15, 2013
  • This is definitely a labor of love and if it doesn’t go well, there would be screams of frustration. Great recipe and beautiful photo. Love the Cronut in fall flavors. I’ve yet to try them but now you’ve tempted me.

    September 15, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Vicki, sometimes a labor of love is sooo worth it :)

      September 15, 2013
  • they look delish! great flavor!

    September 16, 2013
  • Gorgeous and A-Mazing!!!

    September 17, 2013
  • Liz

    Oh, boy, do these look terrific, Gerry!!!

    September 17, 2013
  • [...] H/T That’s Nerdalicious! + PicThx Foodness Gracious [...]

    September 18, 2013
  • Katerina

    Hi Gerry, I tried your recipe last night and wanted to ask you if your cronuts rose and doubled in size when resting. I fried the first cronut about 1 hour after the cronuts rested and even though the puff pastry part of it came out great, the layers did not rise properly(it came out of the fryer almost accordion looking). I let it rest over nigh and it the morning I took it out of the fridge and I let it rest some more and then it was better but not perfect. I expected the cronuts to rise more to give the puff pastry layers the right doughy consistency. So my cronuts are denser than I think they should be. The pumpkin spice flavor in the dough is heaven. I just dipped the cronuts in vanilla icing and it was perfect.

    September 22, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Hi Katerina, the dough dosen’t actually get a chance to rise. After the final rolling out and cutting the circles it goes back in the fridge to stay cold. Do this as you fry 2-3 cronuts at a time. The secret is keeping the dough cold so the butter does not melt before frying. Hope this helps!

      September 23, 2013
  • [...] I’m so tired just thinking about making these that I’m not even bothering to copy and paste all of the directions and ingredients here. Just visit the website for how to make them: http://foodnessgracious.com/2013/09/pumpkin-spice-caramel-cronuts/ [...]

    October 01, 2013
  • [...] Pumpkin Caramel Spice Cronuts / Foodness Gracious [...]

    October 09, 2013
  • I’m pretty sure this is food in heaven… whoa!

    October 15, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      I hope so Kristen!! Thanks.

      October 15, 2013
  • I have been wanting to make cronuts for a while so I was very happy to find this recipe on your blog. The flavors sound perfect!

    December 20, 2013
  • [...] recipe here [...]

    December 31, 2013
  • [...] Via foodnessgracious.com [...]

    January 05, 2014
  • Oooh these look amazingg~ :)

    http://cafecraftea.blogspot.com

    February 09, 2014
  • [...] Salted caramel eggnog pancakes || 6. Pumpkin spice caramel cronut 7. Acorn squash & pecan waffles || 8. Pumpkin cinnamon rolls with orange cream cheese [...]

    February 22, 2014
  • Hey!. This looks fantastic. Do you know if I can use another high heat oil such as Safflower Oil? Thanks :)

    March 10, 2014
    • foodnessgracious

      As long as it’s high heat I don’t see why it wouldn’t work :) Let me know how it goes!

      March 11, 2014
    • Everytime you take the dough out to refold the 3 fold pattern, am I spreading another layer of butter?

      March 18, 2014
      • foodnessgracious

        No, the butter is spread only once at the beginning, then it’s all about the folds :)

        March 18, 2014
  • […] Yummy Cupcakes                                  Recipe Here!! […]

    June 08, 2014

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