DIY Cro-Nots! with Calamansi Glaze

DIY Cro-Nots! with Calamansi Glaze

“Hey there copycats, if we’re ever in a room together, I will be able to look you in the eye. Will you be able to do the same?”

That was the exact tweet sent by Cronut inventor Dominique Ansel as a stern warning to all the imitators that have been copying and profiting from his creation worldwide. With the term “Cronut” trademarked and closely guarded by Chef Ansel, countless imitations have been cropping up everywhere, from Zonuts, to Bronuts, to Croughnuts, to Crodough. The list getting longer by the day, it’s clear that the world’s gone crazy over Cronuts, and I can see why.

Though my first experience with a Cronut copycat didn’t blow me away, I can understand its appeal. When Ren first told me about it, just the thought of someone combining a croissant with a doughnut sent my imagination racing. A pastry with the flakiness of a croissant, but the fluffiness of a doughnut? Pure fucking genius man. And it didn’t hurt that the name Chef Ansel came up with is so darn catchy. Cronut. It just rolls off your tongue.

In honor of Dominique Ansel and his innovative creation, Ren decided to try her hand at making her very own Cronut, which we’ll call cro-not out of respect for the trademark (even though we’re not selling) and the fact that ours doesn’t have a hole. We didn’t have a proper donut cutter so we used the top of a martini shaker instead. 😆 A big thank you to for the recipe.

As for Chef Ansel’s mini-Twitter rant, I understand why he’s upset. From what I gather, he’s a true artist, so all this unoriginality must be infuriating for him, especially since he seems so dedicated to his craft. But the fact is, aside from trademarking the name, there’s little else he can do. As far as I know, no one stole his recipe (which you can’t copyright by the way), and everyone appears to be more than happy to give him full credit for being the Cronut’s inventor. Everyone knows that you can’t beat the original anyway, so if he wants to put all these pretenders to shame by going global as Kevin Roose of the New Yorker suggested, then by all means.

And besides, he’s partly to blame for all these imitations cropping up, not to mention for the black market created by the scarcity of Cronuts. Bottom line, people want these pastries, but not everyone lives in New York. Even if you do live in the city, the chances of you getting one are slim, with an imposed limit of just two Cronuts per person a day, all of which sell out within the first thirty minutes of opening. Obviously, it isn’t enough.

If I were him, I’d forget about all these imitators and just be happy knowing that I created something that’s brought so much joy to people worldwide. Keep being crabby like that, and people may just start calling him the Cro-Nazi. 😆


*Original recipe from

INGREDIENTS (makes one dozen)


  • 3/4 cups milk, warmed
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tsps calamansi, or to desired consistency


  1. Stir together milk and yeast in large bowl. Stir in eggs, sugar, and vanilla, then mix well. Add cup of flour and salt, then gradually add another 2 1/4 cups of flour. Stir and knead for several minutes until smooth and elastic, and still somewhat tacky.
  2. Transfer dough to baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Cronut

  4. Meanwhile, beat butter and remaining 1/4 cup flour with electric mixer for a couple of minutes, while scraping down sides of bowl, until smooth.
  5. After dough has chilled, turn it out onto lightly floured surface then roll into rectangle that is around 13″ x 18″, and 1/4″ thick. Spread butter evenly over dough.
  6. Cronut

  7. Similar to the way you would fold a letter before inserting into an envelope, fold dough in thirds. Cover dough in plastic wrap and put back in refrigerator for another 30 minutes.
  8. Cronut

  9. Pull dough out from plastic and put on countertop, with open sides to the left and right. Roll out and readjust shape into rectangle. Fold left third towards middle, followed by right third. This part can be tricky since the butter oozes out of the dough during handling. If that happens, you can just smear the oozed butter all over the dough. After folding, cover with plastic wrap and put back in refrigerator for another 30 minutes.
  10. Cronut

  11. Roll, fold, and refrigerate dough two more times, so you’ve done it a total of four times. Cover and refrigerate for another hour, or overnight.
  12. Roll out dough to 1- to 2-inch thickness, then cut into rings. As mentioned up top, we didn’t have a doughnut cutter so we cut them into rounds instead (without holes), using the top of a martini shaker. 😉
  13. Cronut

  14. In deep fryer, heat a couple inches of oil to around 350° F, or until hot but not smoking (a scrap of dough should sizzle when you drop it in). Cook doughnuts in batches without crowding pot, as this can cool down temperature of oil. Flip as necessary until deep golden, then transfer to baking sheet lined with paper towel.
  15. Cronut

  16. Meanwhile, whisk together powdered sugar and calamansi to make glaze. Drizzle over cro-nots while still warm.
  17. Cronut

    And voila! Meet the cro-not, the Cronut without a hole.

    After trying this recipe, Ren learned a few things: A) It’s best to punch a hole to ensure even cooking, so don’t do what we did. Use a donut cutter. B) If you live in a warm climate like we do, work as fast as you can so the butter doesn’t melt. C) Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes between turns instead of 30. This will help firm up the butter a little more so it doesn’t ooze out so easily.

    Pick your poison. A selection of spreads to enjoy with the cro-nots. :mrgreen:

There are 43 comments for this article
  1. Memoria at 6:58 am

    Interesting how very few people mention the other co-creator of the Cronut, Anna McGorman.

    Anyway, your cronut looks yummy! It is too hot in my kitchen to make laminated dough. I’ll have to try out this recipe in the fall/winter time. Yum!

  2. JB Macatulad at 7:46 am

    Thanks for bringing that up. I do remember reading something about Chef McGroman while doing research for this post. She was mentioned in, but only in passing and somewhat condescendingly I thought, and not as co-author to the Cronut.

    I Googled “anna mcgorman cronut” just now though and did see several articles referring to her as the Cronut co-creator. She was being interviewed together with Chef Ansel on Huffington Post as well. I hope she gets her due credit. :)

  3. leahcar at 1:19 am

    If you bake this dough could you make croissants? Would you add an egg wash? What temperature would you recommend?

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  5. JB Macatulad at 8:44 am

    Hi Leahcar, we haven’t tried it but it in theory, it should work. Ren will actually be making some kouign-amann soon, which is similar in process to this one, but baked instead of fried. It’s the other pastry that Chef Ansel was known for, so we’ll compare the two here. :)

  6. Angela T. at 1:31 am

    Please share your baked recipe too!

  7. Michael Logue at 3:45 am

    Hmmm….. How about Cronut Holes. Just use a smaller cutter so you don’t have to worry so much about them cooking in the center. Nice bite-sized pieces – perfect for an office party.

    Looks yummy!

  8. Averie @ Averie Cooks at 4:37 am

    These look insanely good! I saw Bon Appetit feature them in an email blast and wow, I want to make them. Or have someone make them for me…and then eat them :)

  9. emily at 5:06 am

    if you have a marble cutting board you could chill that and it will help keep the dough from warming too quickly – especially if you live in a warmer climate, or are doing this in the summer.
    my husband wants me to try making these. i’m bookmarking this – i’ll let you know how they turn out. :)

  10. JB Macatulad at 8:13 am

    Cronut holes do sound awesome Michael! We’ll try that next time as well. Absolutely must find a proper donut cutter though. The martini shaker top just won’t do. Haha! :)

  11. JB Macatulad at 8:14 am

    Good idea Averie! They are a bit labor-intensive to make, so if you can have someone make them for you, then all the better. :)

  12. JB Macatulad at 8:15 am

    Thanks for the tip Emily! That makes perfect sense. We don’t have a marble cutting board, but we do have a pizza stone. That would probably work too yes? That would really help a lot because the butter got pretty messy at one point.

    Please do let us know how it goes. Thanks! :)

  13. mypop at 11:48 am

    I’m making these right now. I might try to cut a hole out using some random implements i have (an apple corer?) or I might make them small. Maybe a test run of frying is in order.

    One thing about the pizza stone: Don’t use that!! You don’t want to get it buttery (or wet at all), that will cause it to crack very easily when you use it for baking.

    Thanks so much for the recipe. I don’t have access to calamansi or even know where one would get it, so i’m going to make a lime glaze.

  14. JB Macatulad at 12:49 pm

    Thanks for the tip about the pizza stone! Ren’s brother shipped it to us all the way from CA, so he would have killed us if it cracked. Haha! :)

    And yes, by all means, punch a hole through the Cronuts using whatever tool you can find. Use your finger if you have to! It’ll really help with the cooking, plus you’ll have Cronut holes to boot.

    Calamansi you can probably find in a Filipino grocery store, but limes should be just as awesome. Good luck! :)

  15. Maria | Pink Patisserie at 10:01 pm

    I made the Food52 version of these and I have to say they were crazy, crazy good. It was all I could do to limit myself to one. I have to agree though that they need longer than 30 min chill time. 45 min. sounds perfect.

  16. JB Macatulad at 10:40 pm

    Aren’t they Maria? So good! Kinda labor-intensive to make, but definitely worth the effort.

    And it’s important to point out as well that was just reposting that recipe from She deserves all the credit for the original recipe.

    Ren and I just checked out your blog and we both fell in love with your pictures. Absolutely stunning! She’s following you now on Pinterest and Instagram. :)

  17. Amy at 4:44 am

    Wow! Definitely gonna try and make it for my family today — i love baking and I’m only 14. Do you think I could freeze the dough to save and make a couple days from now? How long do you think it will last in the fridge? Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!

  18. JB Macatulad at 8:09 am

    Thanks for stopping by and trying the recipe Amy! To be honest with you, we’ve never tried freezing dough before, but a quick Google search reveals that you can do it. Here’s a link if you’ve never tried it – How to Freeze Bread Dough. I was just reading about it, and though some people don’t seem to think it’s a good idea, it would be interesting to see if it does work. Good luck!

  19. Elizabeth @ at 12:28 pm

    Whaaaaat?! These are so sexy! I love that you did them from scratch–I’ve seen so many copycats using shortcuts like biscuit dough, and no disrespect to them, but I totally bow down at your croissant-from-scratch feet.

  20. JB Macatulad at 2:08 pm

    Haha thanks for the compliment Elizabeth! It wasn’t easy, but it was well worth the effort. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  21. Dan at 12:22 am

    Being a professional baker for over 9 years, I am saddened by these attempts at complicated recipes like the cronut. I think the general public believes they can “wing it” when it comes to baking, but baking is an exact science. Improper mixing, the spreading of soft butter, the addition of vanilla to a croissant dough, the chilling of the dough without temperature control; all seem like a slap in the face to bakers who strive their whole careers to make wonderful breads. I could compare it to walking up to an artist with his master work and saying “I can do that.” Its all in the details. I suppose if you take enough well lit pictures and slather on enough glaze, people will think anything is good work.

  22. JB Macatulad at 7:51 am

    Hi Dan, it’s funny you bring up the analogy of the artist. I’m actually a trained fine artist with degrees from Georgetown University and The Academy of Art. Back when I used to paint full time, people would tell me that they were inspired by my work. Some even tried to emulate my style. I never felt threatened by it though. I never took offense, nor felt as if anyone was trying to undermine me. I always just found it flattering. I guess it’s because I always felt secure enough with myself and in my work, not to be offended nor feel threatened by it.

    In Dominique Ansel’s case, I think he’s upset by the people profiting off his work. I don’t think he feels threatened at all by home bakers like us. He knows he’s better, and it’s only right that he does. He’s a professional after all. I think I speak for all home bakers when I say that in trying these recipes, we’re not saying we’re better than Chef Ansel. We’re not trying to sell anything nor pass off what we’ve done as being equal to “master work”. We’re not even claiming to be professional. We do this as a hobby, to feed ourselves and our families, and it brings us much joy. I don’t see anything wrong with that, nor do I expect someone of Chef Ansel’s stature to be threatened by it. It would be like getting upset at Rachel Ray and Paula Deen for having cooking shows despite not having any formal culinary training. How dare they, right?

    The way I see it, life isn’t easy. It can often be quite difficult. If something like home baking or self-taught painting can give someone joy and reprieve from the grinds of daily life, then more power to them. There are just far worse things in this world to be saddened about than a home baker trying to make a Cronut, don’t you think? :)

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  24. Marsha Sturgill at 12:34 am

    Dan, quit being a pompous ass.

  25. Barbc at 2:55 am

    I also prefer to bake than to deep fat fry. Which is why I bought a donut baking appliance.

  26. JB Macatulad at 8:44 am

    Hi Barbc, baking would be ideal. Does it manage to stay moist though? We’ve bought baked Cronut imitations that were good, but unfortunately drier than fried versions. Does the donut baking appliance help in retaining moisture?

  27. Logan Reeder at 11:48 am

    Are you supposed to spread the butter/flour mixture over each time you fold it or only the first time?

  28. Melinda at 12:13 am

    OMG! My daughter (a culinary student) just fried these up. We had much fun filling them. We used maple glaze on some and ate those with bacon. I split some and topped with cream and fresh peaches (my favorite!). My daughter made a PB&J, and filled another with my salted caramel mocha cream! These are hands down, the best donuts ever! The crisp outer crust, then the tender flakey insides were to die for!! We’re finding it difficult to move. Thanks so much!!!

  29. JB Macatulad at 8:33 am

    Wow! Those sound so good Melinda! We made some yesterday too and just had them for breakfast today. Yum! Glad you enjoyed the recipe and had fun making them with your daughter. :)

  30. Marjorie Dominguez at 7:50 pm

    Hi ! :) Im doing your recipe now. My chilled dough retracts when I try to roll it in a rectangle. Is this normal. Dough feels elastic but a bit dry. It formed into a ball but can’t seem to roll it into a rectangle….keeps retracting :(

  31. JB Macatulad at 10:28 pm

    Hi Marjorie, thanks for stopping by and trying the recipe. Ren thinks that the dough may have been overmixed, as it should feel elastic but still tacky. She’s suggesting that you let the dough rest a little longer between turns, around 45 minutes to an hour. Hope that helps! :)

  32. Meridien at 5:34 am

    Hi! Where is the creamy filling inside each? How do you make and inject it?

  33. JB Macatulad at 8:08 am

    Hi Meridien, after frying and cooling, you can split it crosswise then just slather on the pastry cream! You can do it with a piping bag as well, so whichever method works better for you. Hope that helps. :)

  34. Christy at 2:57 am

    Thanks for the recipe! I didn’t have a donut cutter either, so I just cut up the dough in 1″ bites. I glazed half of them with a simple sugar glaze and the other half with a nutella glaze. Delish!

  35. JB Macatulad at 8:38 pm

    Glad you enjoyed them Christy! We used a makeshift doughnut cutter for our next batch and they turned out great. It really helps with even cooking. :)

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  37. Matt at 2:46 pm

    Started these yesterday and finished frying this afternoon. Everything worked out as planned but made a few tweaks. Instead of rolling them out to 1-2in, I rolled them out to 1/2-3/4in. Once fried, they expanded to about 2in. For cutting, I used a shaker and a narrow shot glass for the wholes.

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