Cheesecake Croissant Buns = crispy, flakey cups made with croissant dough filled with a thick, luscious no-bake cheesecake filling and topped off with a raspberry glaze and crushed graham crackers. And with this recipe, you can learn how to make croissant buns which can be filled with literally anything you desire! Oof. Let's make these!
THE STORY BEHIND CHEESECAKE CROISSANT BUNS
This summer, I was traveling in London and came across a cute bakery called Buns From Home. They have multiple branches and sell rolls and buns of different flavors made with croissant dough. I tried their chocolate hazelnut, cinnamon and cheesecake buns, and they were all insanely delicious. The best, though, was the cheesecake croissant bun.
Immediately, I knew I had to recreate this recipe. I started going crazy obsessing over these, and brainstorming how to create the croissant cups.
If you know anything about croissant dough (or laminated dough), you know it is extremely trciky to work with. You can't just roll it up into a ball or form it into cups as you will ruin the lamination which gives it the flakey, butter texture.
I tried and tested a few different techniques (like vol-au-vents and pastel de nata) and had far too many disasters. But then, upon a follower's suggestion, I had my aha moment: use an upside down muffin pan!
I was finally able to create the cups. The cheesecake filling and toppings were the easy part. These buns tasted almost identical to the ones I had eaten in London, and I was over the moon for them!
HOW TO MAKE CROISSANT BUNS (OR 'CUPS')
I am not going to sugar-coat it: this is a complicated recipe. The toughest part is making the croissant dough, as it is not usually something you can buy pre-made (like puff pastry). So let's break it down.
1. Make the croissant (laminated) dough
This is the toughest part and requires signficiant patience. I have included my instructions in the recipe card below. Just remember: the key is to keep the butter and dough chilled throughout the process, and that requires being patient at every step.
If you're looking for a more in depth blog post on making croissant dough - I am working on it! I am on a journey to make the perfect croissants and have been researching different methods and recipes. So stay tuned.
In the meanwhile, you can check out Claire Saffitz's detailed youtube video in which she covers all the basics you need to know.
2. Shape and bake the croissant cups
Once your dough is ready, you are ready to shape the croissant cups! If you're following a different recipe for croissant dough, make sure you stop before shaping the actual croissants (for which you will have to cut the dough into triangles and roll them up).
In order to help you visualize how the cups are made, I recommend watching the short video below:
- First, coat the backside of a muffin tray with butter and chill it
- Then, roll out your croissant dough into a 9"x16" rectangle (if you're using a different recipe, roll it out into these dimensions at the last rolling step into the dimensions provided)
- Divide this into 2 rectangles: one that is 3"x16", and one that is 6"x16". Place the 3x16 rectangle into the fridge
- Now you're going to cut the 6"x16"rectangle into 9 strips along the length (each strip will be ~0.7"x16") each
- Carefully wrap these strips one by one around the edges of the muffin cups, starting from the bottom and working your way up. Wrap them tightly so there aren't any gaping holes. Use the heat of your fingers to gently press the strips together and seal them
- If at any time your dough starts to become too warm and melty, take a break and regirgerate it until it is fully chilled. It is best to work one strip at a time
- Now it is time to cover the bottoms of your cups using a pastel de nata technique. Take the other rectangle of dough and divde it into 2 3"x8" rectangles. Roll them into a log along the length, like a cinnamon roll. Then cut them into 9-10 equal circular pieces
- Working one piece at a time (keeping the rest in the fridge), flatten and roll out each circular piece with a rolling pin until it is slightly larger than the uncovered bottom of your muffin cups
- Place onto the muffin cups and seal with the strips we wrapped around them earlier using your fingers. You can also use some egg wash to seal together the pieces
- Repeat for all cups until they're covered
Once your cups are shaped, you are going to proof them at room temperature (75F) for about 2 hours until they look puffed up. If any pieces have slid around, seal them together into place again.
Lastly, bake the cups! I bake mine for about 20 minutes at 350F, and then cover the muffin pan with a light sheet pan and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the cups are golden brown. The weight of the second pan helps flatten the bottom of the cups.
HOW TO FILL THE CROISSANT BUNS
This is the easy and fun part! Yay.
Once the cups have cooled, remove them from the muffin pan and gently pull them apart. Place them onto your serving dish, and fill them generously with the no-bake cheesecake filling. Top off with raspberry glaze and crushed graham crackers.
Refrigerate for 2-3 hours to ensure the cheesecake filling is set, and then serve! Since we overbake the croissant cups just a touch, they should remain crispy even when filled with cheesecake.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is croissant dough?
Croissant dough is a laminated bread dough. Basically, you make a yeasted bread dough (called Détrempe in French), and laminate it with layers of butter (called Beurrage). The lamination creates the signature flaky layers in croissants as the water in the butter evaporates and creates air pockets in the croissants while baking.
Is croissant dough the same as puff pastry?
No, but they're not too different! Puff pastry and croissant dough are the two most commonly made laminated baked goods. Croissant dough uses a bread base (i.e., it has yeast) while puff pastry uses a pastry base which is not kneaded and is therefore a lot crumblier and flakier. As a result, puff pastry is a lot crispier than croissants when baked.
How do you make croissant dough?
First, you make the dough and let it proof. Then, you make a butter block, which is encased in the dough. Then you begin the process of rolling out and folding the dough two times (a single fold and double fold) to create layers of dough and butter ("lamination"). This process can be tricky and requires keeping the butter and dough very cold and at a similar temperature so you can roll them without the butter melting everywhere. Watch this video by Claire Saffitz for an overview of the process!
Can I use puff pastry instead of croissant dough to make croissant buns?
If you really don't have the patience to make croissant dough and want to buy puff pastry instead, go ahead! Just know the outcome will be a lot more crispy, and you will need to adjust the baking time according to the instructions on the package.
Feeling ready to tackle these bad boys? Let's do it!Print
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