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Ten years of the cronut, the Mother’s Day that changed everything

Dominique Ansel so good #31

February 14, 2024
Ana Rodríguez
Dominique Ansel so good #31
Ten years of the cronut, the Mother’s Day that changed everything

In so good.. magazine 31 we interview Dominique Ansel, the inventor of the cronut, the most popular sweet in the recent, universal pastry history. 

Ten years after his creation, the chef continues to receive long lines of people every day who want to enter his New York establishment and continues to strive to make the wait pleasant with hot chocolate, lemonade, or madeleines. “More than ten years in, we’ve created more than 120 flavors in NYC alone, and with our other shops over the years, more than 250 flavors,” he says.

So good magazine 31

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Initial cronut idea: make something special for Mother’s Day

The Cronut first came about in May 2013 as something Ansel wanted to do for Mother’s Day weekend (that’s why the first flavor was rose vanilla).

“My girlfriend and business partner, who is now my wife, suggested a donut, but I’m French… I didn’t have a recipe for a donut.” After more than two months and ten different versions, he achieved a recipe with the croissant lamination technique, but with different proportions of ingredients and with the familiar donut shape. “We put it on the menu. A blogger friend of ours came by, took a photo, and posted it, and by day 3, there were 150 people outside before we opened. We weren’t prepared for it.”


Humility and work: Ansel’s formula

Dominique Ansel

Ansel acknowledges that the success of the cronut was unexpected and that, to this day, he does not understand how it became so viral. His formula for handling it? Humility and continuous creation.

“I only had four employees (two cooks, two baristas) and a 100-sq ft kitchen. And then suddenly there are 150, 200, or 250 people outside your door every morning, before you even open, it grounds you. We’ve gotten yelled at, spat on when we sold out, imitators, solicitors, you name it. But you have to show up for your guests, rain or shine, even before they walk through the door.” Little by little, the team grew, production increased and currently “we still welcome the line every morning with madeleines, hot chocolate, lemonade, and more.”


The recipe remains the same

The recipe has been the same since its creation. What has changed is production, “we’re able to make more daily – several hundred every day- now that we have a larger production kitchen and team.”

Ansel also remembers that each cronut is made fresh every day, it’s fried until golden and then it’s rolled in sugar, filled, and hand-glazed, and there’s a different flavor every single month, never repeating.


No to mass production

Cronuts by Dominique Ansel

Due to the great success of the cronut, so many people wanted to open Cronut® shops around the world, investors wanted to mass-produce it, franchise and build factories, among other things. But Ansel remained firm and preferred to preserve the quality of the production and give up quick money. “My dad worked in a factory. I saw that life. I never wanted it for myself. I was happy with my small kitchen in Soho, all the other pastries we had on the menu like the DKA. We have a saying: ‘Don’t let the creation kill the creativity.’ Don’t let one creation stop you from moving forward.”


Discover the full interview and these recipes by Dominique Ansel in so good.. 31