Sweet or savory, plain or filled — when it comes to croissants, they’re all delicious, all the time. That said, there’s something special about a filled croissant. You can add that extra burst of flavor before proofing (so you put the filling in the dough before rolling, shaping, etc) or after baking (just slice and fill). Regardless of which you choose, it’s likely you’ll get a highly delicious result. Pick from any of the croissant filling ideas below and get ready to tickle your taste buds.
Pro Tip: While you can always buy croissants at the bakery, you could also make ’em from scratch — learn how in our class, Classic Croissants, Modern Techniques.
Slice your baked croissants in half and spread a thin layer of chocolate ganache on one side (or both). Bring the two halves together and you’ve got yourself a beautiful pain au chocolat, aka chocolate croissant. If you want, you can top it with chopped pistachios, chopped bits of dried cherries, your favorite dried fruit-and-nut combo or — why not? — chocolate drizzle.
Fun fact: almond croissants were originally developed as a way to rescue day-old croissants. To make them, you can either fill a plain croissant with almond paste (which is made with almond flour) or crème d’amandes (which is softer and super versatile). Both are insanely delicious.
3. Fresh Fruit and Nutella
Chop up some fruit — think strawberries, peaches, bananas — and make a batch of homemade Nutella or whipped chocolate cream. Split the baked croissant in half, add your spread and top with the fruit. Done!
4. Pastry Cream
This decadent filling adds sweetness and body to a plain or filled croissant (along with a whole bunch of other French pastries). Just slice, fill with that velvet-y smooth cream, then repeat. Heaven.
5. Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese
You can add this savory filling to your croissant before or after you bake it, but if you do so after you can use a ton more. Not to mention you won’t risk having the cheese melt into a gooey mess — unless that’s what you’re going for.
To make it, thinly slice a medium-sized onion and sauté over medium heat in a tablespoon of olive oil, adding salt and pepper to taste, until the onion has softened and caramelized. Split the croissant in half and spread a thin layer of goat cheese on one side. Top with warm caramelized onions and, if desired, toast in a 350 F oven for up to 15 minutes.
6. Pumpkin Pie
Fall-ify your croissants by filling them with pumpkin puree and a handful of autumnal spices and flavoring. Serve them for Thanksgiving dessert or enjoy alongside a morning pumpkin spice latte. We won’t judge.
No one expects ice-cold gelato to ooze out when they bite into a croissant, so this filling gets extra points for its surprise factor. Simply slice a croissant in half and hide a scoop or two inside, then immediately serve and watch guests go crazy with delight.
8. Brie, Bacon and Honey
Slice brie and lay the pieces on a split, open-faced croissant. Place the croissant under a broiler for 2 to 3 minutes until the brie melts. Top with two slices of thick bacon and a drizzle of honey. C’est magnifique!
9. Thanksgiving Leftovers
Eating leftovers can get oh-so-boring, so why not make them into an entirely new dish? Transform what’s in your Tupperware into savory, flaky bites — kind of like Cornish pastys.