Update 1: (28-Aug-2013) – Since publishing this guide, two more bakeries have announced they are making (or will be making) cronuts which brings the total to EIGHT bakeries. However, I haven’t tried either of the newbies yet!
CRONUT NEWS: Two new London bakers… @TheCrumbery, @Aubaine_UK
WHERE CAN I GET CRONUTS IN LONDON?
SIX bakers in Central London have recreated ‘cronut’ style pastries’ in London, and multiple outlets resell them. Here’s a handy guide to who makes your sugar coated, croissant-doughnut hybrid with rich filling fix.
I’ve spent the last few weeks trying them all except one. If there is another bakery in London which makes cronuts let me know. So far I have discovered Aston’s Bakery, Ayres the Bakers, Cocomaya, Duck & Waffle, Kooky Bakes and Rinkoff Bakery.
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- Best for… a fancy tea party : Coco Maya (Cro-dough) £3.70-4.50
- Best for… making a burger : Aston’s Bakery (CroDo) £2.50
- Best for… big and messy! : Rinkoff Bakery (Cro-dough) £2.50-3.00
- Best for… gourmet diners : Duck & Waffle (Dosant) £9.00
- Best for… early risers : Ayres the Bakers (Cronut¹) £1.30
- Best for… squares : Kooky Bakes (Dosant) £3.00
Note¹: I’ve not had confirmation of the Ayres the Bakers name so I’m calling it a ‘cronut’ unless I hear otherwise.
Cronut, Cro-dough, CroDo or Dosant?
Legally the word ‘Cronut’ has a pending global trademark filed by The Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York, so technically you can’t get them anywhere else. All the London interpretations are named by splicing the words “Croissant” and “Donut” (or “Doughnut”) in various combos. Hence the “Dos-ant” from Duck & Waffle and the “Crodo” from Aston’s Bread. The only exception I’ve seen is Wild & Wood Coffee (Holborn) who re-sell the Coco Maya ‘Cro-dough’ but call it a ‘Cronut’ in-store.
As with everything the best is all down to personal taste… my favourites have been the Duck & Waffle’s Dosants for decadence; Rinkoff’s, which are probably the largest and most satisfyingly messy of all that I’ve sampled; and Kooky Bakes who have also the mastered the ability to get nice the delicate laminated croissant pastry layers in the final product.
If you’re short on time, try visiting Brockley Market on a Saturday morning (10h00-14h00). You will usually find Astons Bakery and Kooky Bakes trading with the added bonus of Motherflipper Burgers and Spit & Roast who will ‘pimp-your-cronut’ and turn it into one huge buttermilk fried chicken and burger stuffed beast.
Best for… a fancy Tea Party : Coco Maya (Cro-dough)
These are the most ‘ornate’ looking examples of the London bunch, in fact they look like prop for a tea party in a TV show. The icing is perfectly shiny and smooth and they are topped with edible flowers. If cronuts were available in the 1800’s I’m sure that Astons cronuts would be featured in Jane Austin movie adaptations.
I tried mine at Wild & Wood Coffee who resell the Coco Maya ‘cro-dough’ but advertise them as ‘cronuts’. The owners tell me they started with a delivery of 10 cronuts a day which has recently increased to 30 a day arriving anytime between 10h00 and 11h00 in the morning. The dough is quite dense relative to the others and you can clearly see the fine layers of pastry on the edge. I arrived one morning just after delivery, 12 of the 30 had been reserved, 3 were already sold and an extra 5 were taken by in the next 10 minutes! (Hint: Wild & Wood Coffee allow you to phone ahead and reserve your tasty treat.)
This is the second most expensive cronut in London (behind fine dining restaurant Duck & Waffle), retailing at £3.70 take away or £4.60 eat in at Wild and Wood Coffee or £4.50 direct from Coco Maya’s Bakery store.
WHERE TO GET THEM
Best for… making a burger : Aston’s Bakery (CroDo)
At Brockley Market (every Sat from 10h00-14h00) you will find Astons Bread Bakery, Burger specialists Mother Flipper and Buttermilk Fried Chicken Kings ‘Spit & Roast’.
Spit & Roast and Motherflipper have collaborated before to give you the McGangBang Burger. A huge double patty Motherflipper burger with a piece of buttermilk fried chicken inside.
Using the Astons Bread ‘Crodo’ they take this up a notch by creating the “Vincent Gang Dough” Burger. A Motherflipper burger made with a crodo bun and again stuffed with buttermilk fried chicken. Probably about a day’s worth of calories, but according to a guy who ate it last week… “it’s well worth it”.
I tried my crodo without the added burger option. It was like a giant donut which split into two as I cut it, revealing a lemon curd filling. The base was slightly heavier in oil than others, quite dense and ‘al-dente’ like the thick puff pastry on the bottom of a sausage roll making it excellent base for a messy Motherflipper Burger. I don’t think any of the other cronuts would be robust enough to be used as a burger bun. The top half was much lighter with a croissant consistency and the standard donut-type icing
WHERE TO GET THEM
Check the Aston’s Facebook page for an up to date listing of their market activity.
Best for… big and messy! : Rinkoff Bakery (Cro-dough)
Rinkoff’s claim to be the first bakery to make their own version of the Cronut in the UK. Master baker Ray Rinkoff tells me that the lamination process is extremely time consuming and the whole cro-dough creation cycles takes 24h to complete. They have just released their fourth version, the “Toffee Apple Crumble” , which follows the earlier “Fresh Cream”, “Custard Cream”, “Raspberry Coolie”
I tried all three of the current range. (The “Fresh Cream” variety has been discontinued). These are huge Homer Simpson donut-sized beasts. Easily the largest of all the cronuts on this list, and difficult to eat elegantly. Especially true for the newest “Toffee Apple Crumble” which is filled and coated with a thick chunky sweet apple sauce. If you’re more concerned about looking ‘dainty’ try the Coco Maya version. If you want a satisfying ‘stuff-your-face-in-it’ cronut this is one for you.
Note: For more on the new “Toffee Apple Crumble” and Rinkoff’s Bakery see “NEW LONDON CRONUT: The ‘Toffee Apple Crumble’ CroDough by RinkoffBakery”.
WHERE TO GET THEM
BAKERY STORE: Rinkoff Bakeries
Raspberry Coolie £2.50 Toffee Apple Crumble £2.65 Custard Cream £3.00
Jubilee Street, E1
224 Jubilee Street, London, E1 3BS (map)
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 08h00-16h00, Sat (Closed), Sun 08h00-14h00
Vallance Road, E1
79 Vallance Road, London, E1 5BS (map)
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri (07h00-17h00), Sat-Sun (Closed)
Source: Twitter: August 14, 2013
Best for… gourmet diners : Duck & Waffle (Dosant)
Duck & Waffle is a fine dining restaurant at the top of the Heron tower with stunning views over London. Their off-menu ‘dosants’ are only available on a Sunday from 11h00 to those who enquire. I visited Senior Sous Chef Tom Cenci when Head Chef Dan Doherty was in New York (and trying out the original).
Unlike all the others, the Duck & Waffle ‘dosant’ looks nothing like the original cronut. It is more of a ‘re-interpretation’ resembling an mini iced croissant, split and piped with custard and decorated with chocolate pieces. Each portion is £9, and you get two of them. Sugar-glazed, with a nice bite and extremely decadent they’re more more ‘croissant-like’ than donut in texture. Originally mis-reported in The Thrillist as having 6,000 calories they are actually estimated to be approx 400 calories.
WHERE TO GET THEM
Best for… early risers : Ayres the Bakers (Peckham)
This is the one which I haven’t tried, it is reported that they open their doors at 06h00 and they are sold out by 07h00. (Source: Thillist). However, I haven’t found the urge to travel to Peckham from “North-of-the-river” at the crack of dawn for a pastry… even if they are reported to be only £1.30 each
For someone who has been crazy enough to wake up insantely early for a cronut see The Motley Spicer‘s blog for a first hand account. Hats off to you (or a straightjacket) for getting up at 06h00 for baked goods.
WHERE TO GET THEM
BAKERY STORE: Ayres The Bakers (£1.30)
Daily from 06h00… reportedly sold out by 07h00
Ad: 131-133 Evelina Road, London, SE15 3HB (map)
Ww: Unknown | Tw: @ayres_the_baker | Ph: 020 7639 0648
Best for squares – Kooky Bakes
Unlike almost everyone else the ‘Kooky Bakes’ have created square, rather than round versions of the cronut.
On my visit to Brockley Market I had a side by side comparison of the Kooky Bakes version against an Astons Bread crodo and some Hix’s Fish Dogs “Dog Nuts” (fried strips of donut dough). Relative to Astons, on the other side of the market, the dough was lighter and croissant-like with a light buttery oiliness to the touch. My version was generously filled with a rich salted caramel.
They can be currently found at Netil Market on Saturdays alongside Aston’s Bakery plus selected dates at KERB Streetfood Market at Kings Cross and Sunday Upmarket in Brick Lane. A selection of their cakes are also stocked in Selfridges.
WHERE TO GET THEM
Check the Kooky Bakes’ find us section of their website for an up-to-date market diary
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFO?
There are a few other people who have embarked on Cronut Crawls but the most complete seems to be The Motley Spicer – It look like he has tried four of the six versions I’ve listed here, including Ayres The Baker which is the only one I haven’t visited.