Fancy Donuts Are Not Cronuts

DK's Donuts - Nutella Strawberry Cresnut

Please forgive the informality of my title. It’s a new year and Dominique Ansel’s phenomenal Cronut® is now trademarked.

Those bakers currently mimicking the chef’s hybrid-pastry recipe may want to take heed.

As a consumer, I proceeded with my faux cronut quest, unabated by the news.

I drove to Orange, California to visit DK’s Donuts. This family owned shop has been in business for over 25 years and is opened 24 hours to satisfy their customers’ cravings.

Since faux cronuts were last year’s craze and I’m not an early morning person, I took my time getting to DK’s Donuts that Saturday.

As luck would have it, I arrived for the Noon rush. It seems everyone wanted a Cresnut, the name of their croissant-donut hybrid.

For a donut shop, the flavors weren’t over-the-top as I expected. There were only three – Original, Vanilla Glaze, and Nutella.

Prices ranged from $2 – $3 and fresh strawberries were 50 cents extra.

I hurriedly made my purchase and left with my prized pastries.

Sleeping in had almost cost me Cresnuts. Apparently, the faux cronut demand was alive and well in 2014.

Lesson learned.

Once home, I started with the Nutella and Strawberries. Now it was a given that I’d choose the Nutella. I mean the spread is magical. Then the strawberry upgrade was so reasonable, it was a no-brainer.

DK's Donuts - Vanilla Glazed Cresnut

My first bite was crispy, which caught me off guard. After the crunch, came the flaky, soft chew. I tasted the Nutella and strawberries, but I wasn’t impressed.

In the past, I’ve had to exercise restraint; lest I devour a faux cronut without fully appreciating its qualities.

With DK’s Cresnut, no self-control was necessary. It was just okay.

It was all in the dough. It had a hybrid pastry texture. However, no real flavor. The dough wasn’t sweet or buttery, just plain. It needed the Nutella.

Next I tried the Vanilla Glaze. This Cresnut wasn’t crispy like the other. It was soft, like a donut. In fact, if it weren’t for the croissant-like layers I saw, I’d swear I was eating a fancy donut.

Moreover, the dough was sweet like a traditional glazed donut and had a slight aftertaste – similar to what I’ve experienced with some donut shops.

I wasn’t sure what to make of DK’s Cresnuts. With the dough’s inconsistent texture and flavor. What kind of hybrid donut was this?

I give DK’s Donuts 3 out of 5 stars for their Cresnuts.

For the price, I’d rather have regular donuts or drive to Fullerton for the Best Faux Cronut Orange County 2013.

Admittedly, this disappointment has tarnished my quest. I may think twice before trying another donut shop’s hybrid pastry.

I wouldn’t want someone else calling their fancy donut a Cronut®.

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4 thoughts on “Fancy Donuts Are Not Cronuts

  1. I’ve been going to DK’s since I was kid. Love their donuts and Now it’s a family tradition with our kids when we go back to Orange. First stop DK’s, doesn’t matter if it’s 3 am or noon we always stop. For our wedding in Utah, Adam sent my brother up with 12 dozen donuts all of which were gone in 30 min. On my last visit my hubs and I tried all 3 flavors cresnuts all of which were really good. I say try them again you won’t be disappointed.

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  2. Great article. Sorry to hear the cresnut didn’t live up to its hype. I hate when visually something looks amazing but then is just “meh” when you bite into it.
    I just heard about the cronut being trademarked the other day. I’m a bit conflicted because although I understand the business aspect of this decision, (should a large company want to use the name it could equal to millions for him), from a cooking standpoint I think it’s a bit ridiculous. It would be as silly as the descendants of the pastry chefs who created “macaroons”, “tarts”, “tiramisu”, etc. etc. suing him for using their family’s creations.

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    1. Hey Trevor, thanks for your remarks. Yes, it was disappointing, especially since I look forward to faux cronut quests. But it’s always a gamble. I’m conflicted on the trademark as well. I do understand his right to protect his creation. Yet because it’s only available in NYC, I think others should be able to enjoy, even it’s via knockoffs.

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