Have you tried the viral crunchy croissant sandwich yet? You may never look at a croissant the same again.
OK, let’s talk croissants. If you’re lucky enough to have tried a really good one, you know how its unforgettably crispy exterior shatters into hundreds of tiny flakes, revealing a puffy interior so tender it melts in your mouth. Even if you haven’t had a life-changing croissant, all those layers of buttery flavor are enough to keep you coming back time and time again.
This love for croissants has spurned several ingenious creations, like doughnut-shaped cronuts and muffin-tin-baked cruffins, but we were left a little speechless with the latest viral crunchy croissant trend. Flattening a flaky croissant with a rolling pin felt like blasphemy: Why destroy all the hard work that went into creating layers of dough and butter just to flatten it?
Of course, we had to try it to see what the hype was about, and we were pretty thrilled with the results. We might not recommend using this method with a freshly-baked, artisanal croissant from your local bakery, but it’s absolutely our new favorite way to use up leftover croissants.
What’s the Viral Crunchy Croissant Hack Everyone Is Talking About?
We learned about the viral crunchy croissant hack in a video that has received 5.4 million views from TikTok creator agoodtable. In the video, a croissant is flattened with a rolling pin to create a crispy “pancake” that caramelizes as it cooks in honey and sugar, creating a sweet, buttery disc that’s perfect for making a sandwich. While the creator admits that it feels “so wrong” to crush a freshly-baked croissant, they say the end result is reminiscent of a palmier, a French pastry that can be made sweet or savory depending on the toppings.
@agoodtableI know, I know….the things I do for recipe research! Today I made a Crunchy Candied Croissant Ice Cream Sandwich 🥐 After seeing a viral video of this creation circulating Instagram I had to try it myself. Admittedly It felt so wrong to squish a freshly baked croissant, but It tasted quite lovely, If not a little sweet. Sort of reminded me of a palmier. Upon reflection, I will continue to enjoy my croissants the traditional way, and that is for breakfast with a lovely cup of coffee or hot chocolate.♬ Cruisin’ – Tom Misch
When you think about it, this is a game-changing way to use up leftover croissants. Day-old pastries simply aren’t as glamorous as their fresh-out-of-the-oven counterparts. Croissants lose their light and crisp texture and become sad, soggy and chewy as they age. You can try to refresh them in the air fryer, but it’s much better to turn them into bread pudding or make something like croissant French toast instead. So why not flatten them to create crunchy sandwich bread?
How to Make a Crunchy Croissant Sandwich
You can make a sweet or savory version of this viral crunchy croissant sandwich, depending on your mood. If the ice cream sandwich below doesn’t pique your interest, try using the crispy croissant thins to make a sweet-and-salty approach to a classic grilled cheese & prosciutto.
- 2 croissants (homemade or store-bought—your choice!)
- Neutral cooking oil (like avocado oil)
- Honey or golden syrup
- Your favorite ice cream flavor
Step 1: Flatten the croissant
Working with one croissant at a time, flatten the pastry with a rolling pin. If you’re having difficulty, try working from the middle out before rolling from end to end. It doesn’t need to be perfect—we will weigh it down to make sure it stays thin as it cooks—but you do want to make sure it’s an even thickness.
Step 2: Preheat a skillet
Preheat a large, non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a splash of the cooking oil and swirl it to coat the bottom of the pan. You won’t need much here, just enough to keep the croissant from sticking.
Step 3: Weigh it down
Add the flattened croissants to the pan and cover them with a sheet of parchment paper. Add a heavy weight to the top of the croissants, like a Dutch oven or a foil-wrapped brick. Cook the croissants for 1 to 2 minutes, removing the weight and checking the bottom to see if it’s become browned and toasted.
Step 4: Glaze, flip and repeat
Drizzle a little honey or golden syrup on each croissant and coat them with a spoonful of sugar. Whatever sugar you have in the pantry probably works here—granulated, turbinado or light brown sugar would be our top choices. Then, flip the croissant like a pancake, replace the parchment paper and weight and cook the second side for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until caramelized and crispy.
Step 5: Build your sandwich
Remove the croissants from a pan, taking a moment to admire your sugary, glazed pancake creation. Allow the croissants to cool slightly before adding a few scoops of your favorite ice cream and pressing the top croissant into place. Be sure to use the ice cream straight out of the freezer so it will maintain its form for as long as possible.
Step 6: Eat quickly and enjoy
Two things will start happening as the ice cream sandwich sits: The ice cream will start melting when it hits the warm croissant and the croissant will begin to soften as it absorbs the melting liquid. You’ll want to be ready to eat as soon as this sandwich is assembled!
It will be messy. You may question your life choices. But your taste buds will be oh-so-happy, so it won’t really matter.
If you’re not ready to smash your croissants, we’re here for you. Try one of our other favorite ways to eat croissants.
Recipes to Make Using Croissants