It's no secret cronuts are delicious. With their sweet buttery taste and flaky texture, they are sure a guilty pleasure treat. With this air fryer cronuts recipe, you can indulge in the sweet and buttery goodness guilt-free! Made with canned biscuits or crescent rolls, these easy-to-make treats are crispy on the outside and airy on the inside. Plus, they contain fewer calories, fat, and sugar than traditional cronuts. Read below to learn how to make air fryer cronuts.
What is a Cronut?
A cronut is a delectable pastry that's a fusion of a croissant and a donut, earning it the name croissant donut or cronut. It's typically flaky and buttery like a croissant, yet airy and soft like a donut.
Cronut was first invented in New York City in 2013 by a French American pastry chef Dominique Ansel. People were lined up to get this cronut from his New York bakery when the word got out.
Cronuts are typically made with croissant-doughnut pastry or puff pastry sheets with croissant-like dough and deep-fried in grapeseed, canola, or vegetable oil. Some are even filled with flavored cream.
What You Will Need To Make These Air Fryer Cronuts
Puff Pastry Dough
Cronuts are typically made with croissant-doughnut pastry dough; some bakers make them with puff pastry sheets, crescent pastry dough, or croissant dough. You can make the dough from scratch, or you can purchase ready-to-use.
To make this recipe, I opted for canned biscuits as they are a convenient option. Canned biscuits and crescent pastry are very similar, except crescent pastry has way more butter and is airier than biscuits. On the other hand, biscuits don't contain yeast, so they aren't as fluffy as croissants. And because they contain less butter, they are also less flaky.
If you need a canned biscuit suggestion, I recommend Immaculate Baking Organic Flaky Biscuits, and is what I used for this recipe. Not only are they organic certified and made with real ingredients, but they also contain no bleached flour, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Plus, they're vegan-friendly, so there are no unsalted butter, eggs, or animal by-products. These biscuits are soft, buttery, and perfect for making delicious air fryer cronuts.
For those with a sweet tooth, you can customize your cronuts with any glaze you desire. In this recipe, I opted for a delectable cinnamon sugar coating. To make it, I combined coconut sugar with ground cinnamon, but feel free to experiment with other sugars like brown or maple sugar.
To create the donut shapes, you will need a large and a small cookie cutter. By using canned biscuits, it eliminates the need for a larger cutter. Use a small cookie cutter (1 inch round) to make "donut holes." If you don't have a small round cutter, use any shape cutter to cut the middle. In my case, I used a heart shape cookie cutter.
How is this cronut recipe healthier
Desserts are usually packed with calories, and cronuts are no exception. A cronut can arrange anywhere between a few hundred to even over a thousand calories! Isn't that insane?! After all, they are half of a croissant, which is packed in butter!
To make a healthier version of the cronut, I used canned biscuits instead. While puff pastry dough or crescent sheets can be used, biscuits are a healthier option as they contain less butter.
Canned biscuits I used to make eight biscuits, and each biscuit is 170 calories. To create the perfect thickness of the cronut, I split each biscuit in half. So this means each cronut is only 85 calories! With the addition of sugar and cinnamon, you are looking at enjoying a cronut that is about 130 calories! By saving hundreds of calories, you can enjoy a warm cronut with a scoop of vanilla ice cream—all without guilt.
Another reason why cronuts are packed with calories is that they are deep-fried! This means they are drenched in oil and rack up calories. With this recipe, instead of deep-frying, I used the air frying method. You will still get that crispy on-the-outside effect without drenching it in oil.
Air Fryer Cronuts Recipe
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Serving Size: 16
1 Canned Biscuit or uncut crescent sheets
1 Cup Coconut Sugar
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. The canned biscuit I used contains eight full-size biscuits. To make these cronuts, I split each biscuit into halves. So this means you will end up with 16 thinner biscuits. Then use your cookie cutter and cut the middle.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon together.
3. Toss the cronut into the bowl and toss, including the cut-out middle part. Don't waste all that delicious dough when you can turn the middle parts into bite-size cronuts. If the sugar mix is not sticking, gently pad it in, then flip over and repeat. Gently padding it with the mix on top will ensure your cronuts take on as much cinnamon sugar as possible.
4. Depending on the type of air fryer you use, you may need to spray your air fryer basket to prevent the cronut from sticking to the tray. Because the cronuts contain sugar, they will caramelize a little during air frying, and it is possible for them to stick to your air fryer basket.
5. Once your cronuts are dusted with cinnamon sugar, place them in the tray. Make sure they don't touch each other and provide some space in between, or else they stick together during air frying. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to air fry all of them in two sessions.
6. Air fry the cronuts at 350F for 7-8 minutes. Flip them over in 4 minutes. Keep your eyes on the cronuts as they should become golden brown.
7. Once the cronuts are finished cooking, sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar while they are still hot. This will help the sugar stick to any raised areas that may have missed the first coating. Another option is to coat them with melted unsalted butter and then dip them in cinnamon sugar for a richer flavor.
Yield: 16 Serving size: 1 Cronut
Amount per serving: Calories: 130 calories. Total Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat 3g. Cholesterol: 0mg. Sodium: 225mg. Total Carbohydrate: 25.1g. Dietary fiber: 0.1g. Total Sugar: 14.5g. Protein: 0g.
**The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.**
Baking: You can bake this cronut in a sheet pan instead of air frying. It will take longer to make, and you may not achieve the crispy texture that air frying can achieve.
Egg wash: To get cinnamon sugar to stick better, you can wash each cronut with a beaten egg. If you do decide to make an egg wash, this cronut will no longer be vegan-friendly.
How to make cronuts with crescent rolls
To make a cronut with crescent rolls, you need to unfold a crescent dough square or rectangle. Make sure the perforation is sealed and stack two rectangles on top of each other. Then fold in half widthwise. To cut into a donut shape, use a 3-inch biscuit cutter and a 1 inch round cutter. You can then coat it with cinnamon sugar and place it in an air fryer basket.
How to Store Cronuts?
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or plastic wrap at room temperature for 1-2 days. Or you can place them somewhere like an unheated oven. Do not place them in the refrigerator, as the humidity can make them soggy. If your cronuts contain a custard filling, store them in the fridge.