“Inspired by New York’s Cronut craze, we’ve brought this delicious treat to London for a limited time only.”
It had to happen. With the media attention on ‘cronut-mania’ and their high price tag, it was only a matter of time before the high street bakers would try to replicate Dominique Ansel’s ‘golden-egg’ of a pastry. But can budget baker Greggs really mimic the New York phenomenon for a stunningly low price of £1 each?
The Greggsnut is only available to Londoners at 13 of their Central London stores until the 01st of October. This makes me ask whether this is a publicity stunt. After all, the cheapest cronut is currently the £1.30 cronut from Ayres-The-Baker in Nunhead. If they are truly selling them at £1 each, wouldn’t it make sense to bring it to the rest of the country? Maybe this is a trial phase, who knows?
“Instead of the traditional fluffy dough inside, the Greggsnut is made with layer upon layer of soft, light pastry – just like a Yum Yum.”
STORE 1: SOHO
My first attempt to grab a Greggsnut was in Soho, unfortunately it seemed like someone had not understood what they were. I said to the monosyllabic guy behind the counter “I’ll have one of those cronut things” pointing to the sign that said “Greggsnuts” in front of the suspiciously ‘non-cronut-looking’ twisted dough sticks – Needless to say… it was a mislabelled Yum-Yum. Not impressed.
STORE 2: TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD
The next day I procured the actual product from The Tottenham Court Road store. There are two versions the “Summer Berry Crème” and “Caramel and Pecan”. The girl behind the counter is very friendly. She spontaneously chirps “They’re really good”. I tell her that I’ve heard that and I’m surprised that they’re only £1. She seems to go into shock when I tell her than some places sell them for £4.50 each (Cocomaya – London’s most expensive looking authentic looking cronut).
Summerberry & Creme Greggsnut
“Delicious layered doughnut with a cream cheese and apple and raspberry jam filling decorated with a strawberry flavoured icing and dried strawberry pieces”
This Greggsnut is covered in approx 2-3mm of glazed icing, garnished with a sparse red crumble which I assume are strawberry pieces. Slicing it into two you can see evidence of the laminated pastry effect which everyone associates with cronuts. It does look the part, however I would say it tastes like almost like a regular doughnut. The filling is a generous layer of dark jam resting on the white creamy filling. I can’t really taste the ‘cream cheese’ but the dark jam is extremely sweet. Reminds me of the jam filling from a pack of supermarket doughnuts.
Caramel & Pecan Greggsnut
“Delicious layered doughnut with a toffee flavour filling topped with white icing and pecan pieces, decorated with a chocolate flavour drizzle” – Gregg’s Description
Similar to its sibling, the “Caramel & Pecan Greggsnut” is covered in a thick icing layer (I assume it had a conveyer belt journey under a curtain of liquid icing). However is marked in what Greggs calls “chocolate flavour drizzle” (sic) (i.e. there isn’t enough chocolate in it to be called “chocolate”). It also has quite a reasonable garnish of nut pieces which I assume are actually real pecan as they’ve stated it in the description.
The filling is a thick extremely sweet gooey caramel. This variety seemed to have a lot more filling than the Summerberry & Creme, but maybe this could be the just the ones I picked out.
They have managed to recreate what looks like the ‘laminated pastry’ layering effect. However it doesn’t have the same mouth texture as many of the other London cronut variants. They taste like a donut and they are truly more iced, sweet jam filled doughnut, than cronut.
If I was given this without a description, I wouldn’t have known it was a cronut. However, at £1 each they’re not bad if you want a sweet treat… just don’t expect it to compete with any of the others already in the original London Cronut Guide. In this case, the old adage, “you get what you pay for” holds true.
GREGG’S THE BAKER
“Inspired by New York’s Cronut craze, we’ve brought this delicious treat to London for a limited time only.
“There are two flavours of Greggsnut – Summer Berry & Crème and Caramel and Pecan. Do you have a favourite? We recommend trying both. Especially since they’ll only be available until 1st October. Get in the queue, before they’re gone for good!”
NOTE: Many thanks to the local coffee shop who kindly let me dissect strange pastries on their tables.