The Cronut Domination: Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel restaurant tables overlooking cityscape
Photo courtesy Evan Sung

By Julia Bainbridge

Photo courtesy Thomas Schauer

Kronuts, Doughsants, Croughnuts, Doissants. These are just four of the country’s sugary handfuls of Cronut imposters. 

The Cronut, a confection so special it is protected by trademark and has its own reservation system, is made only by the fingers of a French-born baker named Dominique Ansel (or those of one of his team members) and can be purchased only at Dominique Ansel Bakeries in New York City and, now, Tokyo. The croissant-donut mash-up inspired all of the aforementioned rip-offs—just as it inspired these fighting words from Ansel himself on Twitter: “Hey there copycats, if we’re ever in a room together, I will be able to look you in the eye. Will you be able to do the same?”

Photo courtesy Dominique Ansel Bakery Tokyo

In case you forgot, we’re talking about a pastry. It’s five inches wide and five inches thick, with cream-filled layers, a sugared exterior, and a glazed top. Its flavors, which change each month, are inventive (Lemon Maple, Bosc Pear, and Sage), and the making of a Cronut is a laborious process. But it’s just a pastry that lies beyond the threshold of Ansel’s shop, not John Lennon reincarnate equipped with a Sharpie ready to sign your White Album.

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