Latest recipes

Are Cronuts Dead? Not in LA!

Are Cronuts Dead? Not in LA!

All photos by Bun Boy Eats LA

While in New York City last week, I debated whether waiting in a two-hour line at Dominique Ansel’s Bakery for those infuriating Cronuts was worth my time. I ultimately decided it wasn’t.

Here’s why: last Saturday, I had already sampled six of LA’s best, buttery, gut-bomb knock-offs and quite literally, had my fill. Yes, I sampled them all in one day. Yes, by myself.

I discovered two things:

1. Cronuts (and their imitators) are NOT dead.
They are still alive, and folks are still seeking them out in droves. As much as we’re all sick of hearing about them (and shockingly, many folks still have not heard of them) apparently the general populous is still more than willing to stand in epic, Twilight premier-like lines for them.

2. Even a subpar Cronut knock-off is freaking delicious. I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can say to change this fact. Even the “worst” one I tried was still a really damn good donut. It appears the combination of croissant and donut (and future pastry amalgamations) is so basically appealing, it might be the new fro-yo. And yes, I meant to say it like that.

Dominique Ansel trademarked the name Cronut back in May 2013 (it seems like years ago, doesn’t it?) and yet, for us Angelinos, we must make do with its dozens of devilish doppelgängers.

I started my (faux) Cronut Crawl rather early in the day, but each store was already inundated with Cronut-seeking customers, happy to pay almost double the price of the regular donuts sitting right next to them. Each bakery and donut shops was making a killing off the hungry denizens coming to try each version of this omnipresent food trend. I grew paranoid they might run out.

While a few establishments had come up with a punny name for the sugary mashup, others just called their creation “Croissant Donuts.” No one’s in the mood for a lawsuit, I suppose.

Here are the six Cronut interpretations I sampled, in order of preference:

6. California Donuts – Koreatown

This one tasted the most like a regular donut. Albeit, slightly lighter and flakier (and still awesome) but definitely missing the point. That didn’t stop me from devouring every bite.

5. Rockenwagner – 3 Square Café & Bakery – Venice

This was one of the prettier ones but certainly proves the old adage “Don’t judge a donut by its pink glaze.” It was a bit tough to chew and the raspberry filling was tasty but kept squirting out in an obscene fashion.

4. SK’s Donuts & Croissants – Mid-City

This old-school donut shop near the Grove served very solid Cronut attempts. I tried the peanut butter filled, but I would definitely go back and try them all. Layers of flakey croissant dough, lovely filling, cholesterol spiking. Everything you’d expect.

3. Frances Bakery – Little Tokyo

Very similar attempt as SD’s but a little more simplistic take. I really enjoyed the chocolate ganache and the layers of croissant but did not enjoy the folks ahead of me who were quickly buying every cronut they could get their hands on. I feared a fight would be in my future.

2. Kettle Glazed Doughnuts – Hollywood

Kettle Glazed is a brand new donut fusion shop and its cinnamon-sugar, custard filled cronut was super moist, super croissant-y, and super delish.

1. Semi-Sweet Bakery – Downtown

The Crème Brûlée “Crullant” is most definitely my favorite. Extremely dense, as if deep fried in melted butter, this heavenly pastry was so packed with flavor I sometimes contemplate playing hooky from work to make the trek for another one. FYI, this daydream occurs daily.


5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

It’s easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I’ve eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica.

I’ve had the original Cronut, the “half-croissant, half doughnut” introduced in the spring by New York’s Dominque Ansel after two months and nearly a dozen recipes, using a proprietary laminated dough that is proofed then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. It’s rolled in sugar, injected with pastry cream and topped with glaze. It is a compact, crispy, sugar-crunchy buttery-layered croissant-doughnut filled with fresh silky pastry cream and topped with flavor-concentrated glaze. Ansel’s bakery makes 200 of them a day and sells out within minutes, eliciting a line down the street that begins to form at the crack of dawn.

Imitators soon followed (Ansel was prepared with a trademark for the Cronut name). One faux-Cronut seemed to spawn the next. Besides croissant-doughnuts, hybrids in L.A. include the brioche-doughnut (Confexion Cupcakes’ brioughnut) and cruller-doughnut (Semi Sweet Bakery’s crullant).

Here, in alphabetical order, are the 16 places whose faux-Cronuts and similar pastry hybrids I taste-tested: 3 Square Cafe + Bakery in Venice, California Donuts in Koreatown, Chimney Brick Toast in Chinatown, ConfeXion Cupcakes + Cake in Pasadena, Crumbs in Larchmont Village, DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica, Forage in Silver Lake, Frances Bakery downtown, Kettle Glazed Doughnuts in Hollywood, Paris Baguette in Koreatown, SK’s Donuts & Croissants, SemiSweet Bakery downtown, Spudnuts in Canoga Park, Sweets for the Soul, Tony’s Donut House in Huntington Park and the Village Bakery & Cafe in Atwater Village.

I tried every available flavor at each place, up to six if there were more than a half-dozen flavors, I randomly selected six to try (which I felt confident provided a full picture of the bakery’s ouevre). Because they’re so perishable, of course I ate them immediately.

Some were inedibly greasy, some tasted like a regular doughnut, some were split open and filled not with pastry cream but nondairy whipped topping, some were small, some were big, few were as well executed and flavorful as the original Cronut. But a handful stood out from the rest.


5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

It’s easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I’ve eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica.

I’ve had the original Cronut, the “half-croissant, half doughnut” introduced in the spring by New York’s Dominque Ansel after two months and nearly a dozen recipes, using a proprietary laminated dough that is proofed then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. It’s rolled in sugar, injected with pastry cream and topped with glaze. It is a compact, crispy, sugar-crunchy buttery-layered croissant-doughnut filled with fresh silky pastry cream and topped with flavor-concentrated glaze. Ansel’s bakery makes 200 of them a day and sells out within minutes, eliciting a line down the street that begins to form at the crack of dawn.

Imitators soon followed (Ansel was prepared with a trademark for the Cronut name). One faux-Cronut seemed to spawn the next. Besides croissant-doughnuts, hybrids in L.A. include the brioche-doughnut (Confexion Cupcakes’ brioughnut) and cruller-doughnut (Semi Sweet Bakery’s crullant).

Here, in alphabetical order, are the 16 places whose faux-Cronuts and similar pastry hybrids I taste-tested: 3 Square Cafe + Bakery in Venice, California Donuts in Koreatown, Chimney Brick Toast in Chinatown, ConfeXion Cupcakes + Cake in Pasadena, Crumbs in Larchmont Village, DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica, Forage in Silver Lake, Frances Bakery downtown, Kettle Glazed Doughnuts in Hollywood, Paris Baguette in Koreatown, SK’s Donuts & Croissants, SemiSweet Bakery downtown, Spudnuts in Canoga Park, Sweets for the Soul, Tony’s Donut House in Huntington Park and the Village Bakery & Cafe in Atwater Village.

I tried every available flavor at each place, up to six if there were more than a half-dozen flavors, I randomly selected six to try (which I felt confident provided a full picture of the bakery’s ouevre). Because they’re so perishable, of course I ate them immediately.

Some were inedibly greasy, some tasted like a regular doughnut, some were split open and filled not with pastry cream but nondairy whipped topping, some were small, some were big, few were as well executed and flavorful as the original Cronut. But a handful stood out from the rest.


5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

It’s easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I’ve eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica.

I’ve had the original Cronut, the “half-croissant, half doughnut” introduced in the spring by New York’s Dominque Ansel after two months and nearly a dozen recipes, using a proprietary laminated dough that is proofed then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. It’s rolled in sugar, injected with pastry cream and topped with glaze. It is a compact, crispy, sugar-crunchy buttery-layered croissant-doughnut filled with fresh silky pastry cream and topped with flavor-concentrated glaze. Ansel’s bakery makes 200 of them a day and sells out within minutes, eliciting a line down the street that begins to form at the crack of dawn.

Imitators soon followed (Ansel was prepared with a trademark for the Cronut name). One faux-Cronut seemed to spawn the next. Besides croissant-doughnuts, hybrids in L.A. include the brioche-doughnut (Confexion Cupcakes’ brioughnut) and cruller-doughnut (Semi Sweet Bakery’s crullant).

Here, in alphabetical order, are the 16 places whose faux-Cronuts and similar pastry hybrids I taste-tested: 3 Square Cafe + Bakery in Venice, California Donuts in Koreatown, Chimney Brick Toast in Chinatown, ConfeXion Cupcakes + Cake in Pasadena, Crumbs in Larchmont Village, DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica, Forage in Silver Lake, Frances Bakery downtown, Kettle Glazed Doughnuts in Hollywood, Paris Baguette in Koreatown, SK’s Donuts & Croissants, SemiSweet Bakery downtown, Spudnuts in Canoga Park, Sweets for the Soul, Tony’s Donut House in Huntington Park and the Village Bakery & Cafe in Atwater Village.

I tried every available flavor at each place, up to six if there were more than a half-dozen flavors, I randomly selected six to try (which I felt confident provided a full picture of the bakery’s ouevre). Because they’re so perishable, of course I ate them immediately.

Some were inedibly greasy, some tasted like a regular doughnut, some were split open and filled not with pastry cream but nondairy whipped topping, some were small, some were big, few were as well executed and flavorful as the original Cronut. But a handful stood out from the rest.


5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

It’s easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I’ve eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica.

I’ve had the original Cronut, the “half-croissant, half doughnut” introduced in the spring by New York’s Dominque Ansel after two months and nearly a dozen recipes, using a proprietary laminated dough that is proofed then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. It’s rolled in sugar, injected with pastry cream and topped with glaze. It is a compact, crispy, sugar-crunchy buttery-layered croissant-doughnut filled with fresh silky pastry cream and topped with flavor-concentrated glaze. Ansel’s bakery makes 200 of them a day and sells out within minutes, eliciting a line down the street that begins to form at the crack of dawn.

Imitators soon followed (Ansel was prepared with a trademark for the Cronut name). One faux-Cronut seemed to spawn the next. Besides croissant-doughnuts, hybrids in L.A. include the brioche-doughnut (Confexion Cupcakes’ brioughnut) and cruller-doughnut (Semi Sweet Bakery’s crullant).

Here, in alphabetical order, are the 16 places whose faux-Cronuts and similar pastry hybrids I taste-tested: 3 Square Cafe + Bakery in Venice, California Donuts in Koreatown, Chimney Brick Toast in Chinatown, ConfeXion Cupcakes + Cake in Pasadena, Crumbs in Larchmont Village, DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica, Forage in Silver Lake, Frances Bakery downtown, Kettle Glazed Doughnuts in Hollywood, Paris Baguette in Koreatown, SK’s Donuts & Croissants, SemiSweet Bakery downtown, Spudnuts in Canoga Park, Sweets for the Soul, Tony’s Donut House in Huntington Park and the Village Bakery & Cafe in Atwater Village.

I tried every available flavor at each place, up to six if there were more than a half-dozen flavors, I randomly selected six to try (which I felt confident provided a full picture of the bakery’s ouevre). Because they’re so perishable, of course I ate them immediately.

Some were inedibly greasy, some tasted like a regular doughnut, some were split open and filled not with pastry cream but nondairy whipped topping, some were small, some were big, few were as well executed and flavorful as the original Cronut. But a handful stood out from the rest.


5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

It’s easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I’ve eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica.

I’ve had the original Cronut, the “half-croissant, half doughnut” introduced in the spring by New York’s Dominque Ansel after two months and nearly a dozen recipes, using a proprietary laminated dough that is proofed then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. It’s rolled in sugar, injected with pastry cream and topped with glaze. It is a compact, crispy, sugar-crunchy buttery-layered croissant-doughnut filled with fresh silky pastry cream and topped with flavor-concentrated glaze. Ansel’s bakery makes 200 of them a day and sells out within minutes, eliciting a line down the street that begins to form at the crack of dawn.

Imitators soon followed (Ansel was prepared with a trademark for the Cronut name). One faux-Cronut seemed to spawn the next. Besides croissant-doughnuts, hybrids in L.A. include the brioche-doughnut (Confexion Cupcakes’ brioughnut) and cruller-doughnut (Semi Sweet Bakery’s crullant).

Here, in alphabetical order, are the 16 places whose faux-Cronuts and similar pastry hybrids I taste-tested: 3 Square Cafe + Bakery in Venice, California Donuts in Koreatown, Chimney Brick Toast in Chinatown, ConfeXion Cupcakes + Cake in Pasadena, Crumbs in Larchmont Village, DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica, Forage in Silver Lake, Frances Bakery downtown, Kettle Glazed Doughnuts in Hollywood, Paris Baguette in Koreatown, SK’s Donuts & Croissants, SemiSweet Bakery downtown, Spudnuts in Canoga Park, Sweets for the Soul, Tony’s Donut House in Huntington Park and the Village Bakery & Cafe in Atwater Village.

I tried every available flavor at each place, up to six if there were more than a half-dozen flavors, I randomly selected six to try (which I felt confident provided a full picture of the bakery’s ouevre). Because they’re so perishable, of course I ate them immediately.

Some were inedibly greasy, some tasted like a regular doughnut, some were split open and filled not with pastry cream but nondairy whipped topping, some were small, some were big, few were as well executed and flavorful as the original Cronut. But a handful stood out from the rest.


5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

It’s easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I’ve eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica.

I’ve had the original Cronut, the “half-croissant, half doughnut” introduced in the spring by New York’s Dominque Ansel after two months and nearly a dozen recipes, using a proprietary laminated dough that is proofed then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. It’s rolled in sugar, injected with pastry cream and topped with glaze. It is a compact, crispy, sugar-crunchy buttery-layered croissant-doughnut filled with fresh silky pastry cream and topped with flavor-concentrated glaze. Ansel’s bakery makes 200 of them a day and sells out within minutes, eliciting a line down the street that begins to form at the crack of dawn.

Imitators soon followed (Ansel was prepared with a trademark for the Cronut name). One faux-Cronut seemed to spawn the next. Besides croissant-doughnuts, hybrids in L.A. include the brioche-doughnut (Confexion Cupcakes’ brioughnut) and cruller-doughnut (Semi Sweet Bakery’s crullant).

Here, in alphabetical order, are the 16 places whose faux-Cronuts and similar pastry hybrids I taste-tested: 3 Square Cafe + Bakery in Venice, California Donuts in Koreatown, Chimney Brick Toast in Chinatown, ConfeXion Cupcakes + Cake in Pasadena, Crumbs in Larchmont Village, DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica, Forage in Silver Lake, Frances Bakery downtown, Kettle Glazed Doughnuts in Hollywood, Paris Baguette in Koreatown, SK’s Donuts & Croissants, SemiSweet Bakery downtown, Spudnuts in Canoga Park, Sweets for the Soul, Tony’s Donut House in Huntington Park and the Village Bakery & Cafe in Atwater Village.

I tried every available flavor at each place, up to six if there were more than a half-dozen flavors, I randomly selected six to try (which I felt confident provided a full picture of the bakery’s ouevre). Because they’re so perishable, of course I ate them immediately.

Some were inedibly greasy, some tasted like a regular doughnut, some were split open and filled not with pastry cream but nondairy whipped topping, some were small, some were big, few were as well executed and flavorful as the original Cronut. But a handful stood out from the rest.


5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

It’s easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I’ve eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica.

I’ve had the original Cronut, the “half-croissant, half doughnut” introduced in the spring by New York’s Dominque Ansel after two months and nearly a dozen recipes, using a proprietary laminated dough that is proofed then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. It’s rolled in sugar, injected with pastry cream and topped with glaze. It is a compact, crispy, sugar-crunchy buttery-layered croissant-doughnut filled with fresh silky pastry cream and topped with flavor-concentrated glaze. Ansel’s bakery makes 200 of them a day and sells out within minutes, eliciting a line down the street that begins to form at the crack of dawn.

Imitators soon followed (Ansel was prepared with a trademark for the Cronut name). One faux-Cronut seemed to spawn the next. Besides croissant-doughnuts, hybrids in L.A. include the brioche-doughnut (Confexion Cupcakes’ brioughnut) and cruller-doughnut (Semi Sweet Bakery’s crullant).

Here, in alphabetical order, are the 16 places whose faux-Cronuts and similar pastry hybrids I taste-tested: 3 Square Cafe + Bakery in Venice, California Donuts in Koreatown, Chimney Brick Toast in Chinatown, ConfeXion Cupcakes + Cake in Pasadena, Crumbs in Larchmont Village, DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica, Forage in Silver Lake, Frances Bakery downtown, Kettle Glazed Doughnuts in Hollywood, Paris Baguette in Koreatown, SK’s Donuts & Croissants, SemiSweet Bakery downtown, Spudnuts in Canoga Park, Sweets for the Soul, Tony’s Donut House in Huntington Park and the Village Bakery & Cafe in Atwater Village.

I tried every available flavor at each place, up to six if there were more than a half-dozen flavors, I randomly selected six to try (which I felt confident provided a full picture of the bakery’s ouevre). Because they’re so perishable, of course I ate them immediately.

Some were inedibly greasy, some tasted like a regular doughnut, some were split open and filled not with pastry cream but nondairy whipped topping, some were small, some were big, few were as well executed and flavorful as the original Cronut. But a handful stood out from the rest.


5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

It’s easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I’ve eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica.

I’ve had the original Cronut, the “half-croissant, half doughnut” introduced in the spring by New York’s Dominque Ansel after two months and nearly a dozen recipes, using a proprietary laminated dough that is proofed then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. It’s rolled in sugar, injected with pastry cream and topped with glaze. It is a compact, crispy, sugar-crunchy buttery-layered croissant-doughnut filled with fresh silky pastry cream and topped with flavor-concentrated glaze. Ansel’s bakery makes 200 of them a day and sells out within minutes, eliciting a line down the street that begins to form at the crack of dawn.

Imitators soon followed (Ansel was prepared with a trademark for the Cronut name). One faux-Cronut seemed to spawn the next. Besides croissant-doughnuts, hybrids in L.A. include the brioche-doughnut (Confexion Cupcakes’ brioughnut) and cruller-doughnut (Semi Sweet Bakery’s crullant).

Here, in alphabetical order, are the 16 places whose faux-Cronuts and similar pastry hybrids I taste-tested: 3 Square Cafe + Bakery in Venice, California Donuts in Koreatown, Chimney Brick Toast in Chinatown, ConfeXion Cupcakes + Cake in Pasadena, Crumbs in Larchmont Village, DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica, Forage in Silver Lake, Frances Bakery downtown, Kettle Glazed Doughnuts in Hollywood, Paris Baguette in Koreatown, SK’s Donuts & Croissants, SemiSweet Bakery downtown, Spudnuts in Canoga Park, Sweets for the Soul, Tony’s Donut House in Huntington Park and the Village Bakery & Cafe in Atwater Village.

I tried every available flavor at each place, up to six if there were more than a half-dozen flavors, I randomly selected six to try (which I felt confident provided a full picture of the bakery’s ouevre). Because they’re so perishable, of course I ate them immediately.

Some were inedibly greasy, some tasted like a regular doughnut, some were split open and filled not with pastry cream but nondairy whipped topping, some were small, some were big, few were as well executed and flavorful as the original Cronut. But a handful stood out from the rest.


5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

It’s easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I’ve eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica.

I’ve had the original Cronut, the “half-croissant, half doughnut” introduced in the spring by New York’s Dominque Ansel after two months and nearly a dozen recipes, using a proprietary laminated dough that is proofed then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. It’s rolled in sugar, injected with pastry cream and topped with glaze. It is a compact, crispy, sugar-crunchy buttery-layered croissant-doughnut filled with fresh silky pastry cream and topped with flavor-concentrated glaze. Ansel’s bakery makes 200 of them a day and sells out within minutes, eliciting a line down the street that begins to form at the crack of dawn.

Imitators soon followed (Ansel was prepared with a trademark for the Cronut name). One faux-Cronut seemed to spawn the next. Besides croissant-doughnuts, hybrids in L.A. include the brioche-doughnut (Confexion Cupcakes’ brioughnut) and cruller-doughnut (Semi Sweet Bakery’s crullant).

Here, in alphabetical order, are the 16 places whose faux-Cronuts and similar pastry hybrids I taste-tested: 3 Square Cafe + Bakery in Venice, California Donuts in Koreatown, Chimney Brick Toast in Chinatown, ConfeXion Cupcakes + Cake in Pasadena, Crumbs in Larchmont Village, DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica, Forage in Silver Lake, Frances Bakery downtown, Kettle Glazed Doughnuts in Hollywood, Paris Baguette in Koreatown, SK’s Donuts & Croissants, SemiSweet Bakery downtown, Spudnuts in Canoga Park, Sweets for the Soul, Tony’s Donut House in Huntington Park and the Village Bakery & Cafe in Atwater Village.

I tried every available flavor at each place, up to six if there were more than a half-dozen flavors, I randomly selected six to try (which I felt confident provided a full picture of the bakery’s ouevre). Because they’re so perishable, of course I ate them immediately.

Some were inedibly greasy, some tasted like a regular doughnut, some were split open and filled not with pastry cream but nondairy whipped topping, some were small, some were big, few were as well executed and flavorful as the original Cronut. But a handful stood out from the rest.


5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

It’s easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I’ve eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica.

I’ve had the original Cronut, the “half-croissant, half doughnut” introduced in the spring by New York’s Dominque Ansel after two months and nearly a dozen recipes, using a proprietary laminated dough that is proofed then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. It’s rolled in sugar, injected with pastry cream and topped with glaze. It is a compact, crispy, sugar-crunchy buttery-layered croissant-doughnut filled with fresh silky pastry cream and topped with flavor-concentrated glaze. Ansel’s bakery makes 200 of them a day and sells out within minutes, eliciting a line down the street that begins to form at the crack of dawn.

Imitators soon followed (Ansel was prepared with a trademark for the Cronut name). One faux-Cronut seemed to spawn the next. Besides croissant-doughnuts, hybrids in L.A. include the brioche-doughnut (Confexion Cupcakes’ brioughnut) and cruller-doughnut (Semi Sweet Bakery’s crullant).

Here, in alphabetical order, are the 16 places whose faux-Cronuts and similar pastry hybrids I taste-tested: 3 Square Cafe + Bakery in Venice, California Donuts in Koreatown, Chimney Brick Toast in Chinatown, ConfeXion Cupcakes + Cake in Pasadena, Crumbs in Larchmont Village, DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica, Forage in Silver Lake, Frances Bakery downtown, Kettle Glazed Doughnuts in Hollywood, Paris Baguette in Koreatown, SK’s Donuts & Croissants, SemiSweet Bakery downtown, Spudnuts in Canoga Park, Sweets for the Soul, Tony’s Donut House in Huntington Park and the Village Bakery & Cafe in Atwater Village.

I tried every available flavor at each place, up to six if there were more than a half-dozen flavors, I randomly selected six to try (which I felt confident provided a full picture of the bakery’s ouevre). Because they’re so perishable, of course I ate them immediately.

Some were inedibly greasy, some tasted like a regular doughnut, some were split open and filled not with pastry cream but nondairy whipped topping, some were small, some were big, few were as well executed and flavorful as the original Cronut. But a handful stood out from the rest.


Watch the video: Joshs Donut Tour of Los Angeles 12 Best Donut Shops in LA! (October 2021).