New Trend Alert: Cronuts and Craffles

If you’ve never heard of a cronut, you’re missing out. Cronuts were created in 2013 by a New York City pastry chef, Dominique Ansel, and have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. What is a cronut you may ask? It is a croissant-donut hybrid, bringing you the best of both pastries into one.The cronut is baked by using croissant dough and frying it as you would a donut. This imbues the donut with a perfect croissant texture, allowing your donut to be fluffy and flakey at the same time. I guess you can call it an upgrade from your average Dunkin donut and it might give your favorite Krispy Kreme donut a run for its money. 

Although in theory, cronuts sound like the ultimate dessert, when I tried my first cronut, I didn’t fall in love with the pastry. Back in March, I had visited Dominique Ansel’s Bakery in New York and had gotten there early knowing their limited supply of cronuts often sells out before noon. Luckily, they were still in stock, so I ordered the only cronut they have on their menu: the flavor of the month, raspberry coconut. Was it perfectly crunchy and light? Yes. Were the flavors sweet and satisfying? Yes. Was it delicious? Yes.

But there was something missing to the cronut. Personally, it made me miss the denseness that comes with having a donut. The battle where the sugar rush tells your mouth not to have another WHOLE donut, but also makes you crave more, was no longer there. Something about it didn’t completely satiate my tastebuds. While I will agree that it is a great dessert to couple with a fancier occasion or a chat over coffee. I wouldn’t go to a cronut to give me comfort when I stress eat while studying or treat myself after a long day. For me, the lightness created from mixing a croissant and donut took away some of the innate warmth of a donut, leaving donuts unreplaced in my heart.

While cronuts are now well-known throughout the world, a new hybrid pastry is quickly gaining speed: craffles. Like cronuts, craffles are a mix of croissants and a breakfast favorite, waffles. Craffles blend croissant characteristics of being puffy and buttery in the form of the crispy-outside-chewy-inside waffle that we all know and love. Think of them as a waffle 2.0. Craffles seem to be fairly new to the pastry scene, and this summer was the first time I had heard of these scrumptious baked goods. Although they are not common, craffles can be found in cafes, bakeries, or even made at home. I’ve seen people sell craffle dough online. Since waffle machines are a fairly common kitchen appliance, these can easily be made right at home.

In Korea, the most popular craffle place is Saddler Haus, a fashion company with a cafe branch. My friends and I went to go check out the craffle craze and, let me tell you, it did not disappoint. 

The craffle kept true to the crunchy outside soft inside theme of a waffle–I mean just look at the color in the picture. The croissant creates a crisp outer layer, while also keeping the inside soft and dense. Even after carrying the craffles around all day to bring back home, they seemed fresh and new, without a hint of sogginess. The only detracting quality of craffles I could think of is that they tread on the sweeter side (they definitely do not need any extra syrup), so you might want to stay away from them for breakfast. However, other than that craffles seem to perfectly fuse the best parts of a croissant and a waffle together.

The cronut and craffle differed mainly by overall texture. The cronut was flakier and lighter than the craffle, causing the cronut to be more brittle, while the craffle reminded me more of bread. Each layer of the cronut was brittle and resembled the flakiness of cutting a croissant with a knife, while the craffle would pull apart fluffier like cotton candy. The nature of a waffle versus a donut also allows a waffle to be better complimented by the buttery texture of a croissant, which I preferred. Although I would happily eat both again, the craffle undoubtedly beats the cronut for me. 

Either way, most opinions will depend on personal preference in pastry, but the bigger trend we are seeing is a rise of hybrid pastries. What’s next? Crownie? Crone?