Our latest Disney Dish was, originally, made famous in New York. People would line up around the block for a chance to sample this amazing combination of two pastry classics. Of course I’m talking about the Croissant Doughnut.
- You may know this item by it’s more abbreviated name but that’s been trademarked by its creator. So, just like Disney, we’ll be going be discussing this dish by it’s more formal title.
Eventually, the flaky, delicacy found its way out of The Big Apple to other pastry shops across the country. That included the Disney Parks. Yes, you can find this dish right in the middle of the Walt Disney World Resort in Epcot.
However, the location to order it has changed a couple of times. For quite a while, it could be found in World Showcase at the Refreshment Port just before you reached the Canada Pavilion. It has since moved. As of writing this, you can currently find it in the Electric Umbrella. That is likely to change fairly soon, as well. However I expect it won’t take it long to re-emerge in another location.
It’s just too popular to go away.
Soon, though, you won’t have to worry about the Croissant Doughnut’s fate in the Disney Parks. That’s because I’m going to show you how to make it right in you own kitchen. The best thing about this recipe is its easier than you might expect. Time consuming, yes; but not a difficult dish to pull off.
Enough talking! Let’s get our French on!
As complex as this dish may seem, the ingredients are all, fairly, simple. I’d be willing to bet that you have, nearly, all of them in your refrigerator and pantry right now. However, the most important item is the butter. It’s what creates the wonderful layers and richness you expect in your Croissant Doughnuts.
- I’ve discussed this before but it’s worth noting again. Although this dish is about as far as you can get from being “health food”, I always try to add a little bit of that to my dishes. So, instead of using traditional All-Purpose Flour, I’ll be using a Whole Wheat All-Purpose Flour. This will result in my dough being a little darker and having a little more “texture”. I’m by no means suggesting you need to follow my path. I’m just giving you a heads up in case you’re wondering why my dough may look a little different from yours.
Just call me Dough Boy!
Once again we are creating a yeast dough. Although this one won’t act, exactly, like it did with the dough for our Cheeseburger Pods or Mickey Pretzels. This dough will not be a rising dough. (At least not initially, that is) However, since it does use yeast as a key ingredient, you will still want to activate it. So, start by warming the Milk. Then mix in the Active Dry Yeast and let sit for about 5 minutes. When bubbles start to form at the top, you’re yeast is awake and ready to go.
Next, place the Milk & Yeast mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the Eggs, Sugar and Vanilla Extract and combine.
Now it’s time to start adding the All-Purpose Flour and Salt. Begin with just the first cup and combine using the dough hook attachment. Gradually add the other 2 1/4 cups of flour a little at a time until the dough comes together. Once the flour has been full incorporated, continue to knead the dough in the bowl for approximately 5 minutes. The dough should be mostly smooth while slightly tacky and fairly elastic.
- If you do not have an electric mixer with a dough hook, you can also knead the dough by hand for about 10 minutes to achieve the same result.
Roll, Roll, Roll your Dough
Now it’s time to start the work that will lead to all those wonderfully, flaky layers you expect from Croissant Doughnuts. Using your preferred roller, press out the dough to a “rectangular” shape that is about 1/4″ thick; like in the picture above. Take each end and fold over the middle like in the below photo. Cover in plastic wrap, place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the dough rest.
Butter makes everything better
While your dough is resting, it’s time to get the most important ingredient in this dish ready to go; the butter! Place the Butter and remaining 1/4 cup of All-Purpose Flour in the bowl of your electric mixer. (Oh yeah. I should’ve told you you’d need to clean it after making your dough. Sorry!) Whip the butter and flour together, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Once the dough has rested in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, it’s time for the next step. Remove the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Once again roll the dough into a rectangular shape that is about 1/4″ thick. Spread all of the butter evenly across the surface of the dough like in the picture above. Starting from left to right, fold the dough over the center once again like you did before the initial resting period. Cover again in plastic wrap, place on a baking ban and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Are you sensing a theme here?)
To everything, turn, turn, turn
The next several steps will be relatively simple but very repetitious. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, place on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a rectangular shape about 1/4″ thick. At this stage, some of the butter will “squirt” out from the dough. Collect as much of the escaping butter as you can and spread it on the top of the dough.
Now it’s time to fold once again. Starting with the left side, fold toward the center then follow by folding over the right side. The folds should go the opposite direction from which you made your last folds. This is what’s called the “turn”. Essentially, you’re “turning” the dough 90º each time you do this and (spoiler alert) you’ll be doing it a few more times.
- By folding the dough over and over itself, the butter is spread through the different levels which will eventually become the many flaky layers that make the Croissant Doughnut so special.
Again, wrap the dough in plastic, place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Wash, Rinse, Repeat) You will want to do exact process at least two more times. (Roll out to a rectangle; fold to the center from the opposite ends of the last time; wrap in plastic; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes) In all, you will want to make at least 4 “turns” of your dough.
- At this point you can cut and cook the dough immediately or you can let rest in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. It makes it a great dish for a brunch or party dessert because you can do most of the time consuming work ahead of the event.
What a cut up!
Once you’re done making your dough “turns”, it’s time to get your Croissant Doughnuts cooking. Roll out the dough into a rectangle one more time. (It’s the last time, I promise) This time, however, you want it to be a little thicker. It should be somewhere around 1/2″ thick.
Now it’s time to cut the dough into whatever shapes you prefer. I’m going with a standard doughnut shape using a 3 1/2″ and a 1 1/2″ cookie cutter. However, there are no rules here. Make them bigger! Cut them smaller! Make them square! Shape them into Mickeys! Do what you want!
If you’ve decided to follow along with me, place the larger cookie cutter as close to the dough’s edge, as possible. Then, place the smaller cookie cutter in the center and press down. Continue cutting the doughnuts, as close as possible to each other, until you no longer have space. Remove the cut doughnuts and their holes. You can then combine the remaining dough and roll it out again. (Okay, I lied. Sorry) Then cut out more shapes just like the first batch.
- Even if you end up with leftover dough that is not big enough to cut into the shape you want. Keep it and cook it. Just because it’s not pretty doesn’t mean it’s not as delicious as the perfect doughnuts. Plus, you will want to have as many pieces of these as you possibly can. They’re just that good!
Let’s get these babies cooking!
Place the Oil in a large pot and heat to 350ºF.
Carefully place the cut doughnuts into the oil a couple at a time, being sure not to overcrowd the pot. Fry on one side for about a minute then flip and cook on the other side for about another additional minute. The doughnuts should be golden brown when fully cooked.
Carefully remove the cooked Croissant Doughnuts from the oil and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. You’ll see that they have risen greatly and have several beautiful layers showing on their sides.
Meanwhile, combine the Cinnamon and Sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Once the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, add them to the bowl and toss them with the cinnamon/sugar mixture until well coated.
- Whatever you do, don’t forget to cook up those doughnut holes and dough scraps. As you can see from the picture above, they have the same flaky layers as their more attractive siblings and are equally as delicious.
There’s nothing that needs to be said about this Disney Dish other than than it is absolutely amazing! Our Croissant Doughnuts are crispy on the outside but light and airy on the inside. The layers of butter add the “fluffiness” you expect from something with “croissant” in the name. Meanwhile the cinnamon and sugar add a sweetness and spiciness that perfectly balances the pastry’s richness.
You won’t be able to stop with eating just one of this Disney Dish. So be sure to make plenty!
Croissant Doughnuts from Epcot
Makes approximately 10 – 3 1/2″ Doughnuts
For the Dough
- 3/4 cup – Milk – Warmed
- 1 tbls – Active Dry Yeast
- 2 – Large Eggs
- 1/3 cup – Sugar
- 1 tsp – Pure Vanilla Extract
- 3 1/2 cups – All-Purpose Flour – Divided
- 1 tsp – Salt
- 1 cup – Unsweetened Butter – At Room Temperature
- 3 cups – Vegetable Oil – For Frying
For the Coating
- 1/2 cup – Granulated Sugar
- 2 tbls – Ground Cinnamon
For the Dough
- Add the Active Dry Yeast to the warmed Milk, combine and let sit until bubbles begin to form on the top; approximately 5 minutes
- Add the Milk & Yeast mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer along with the Eggs. Sugar and Pure Vanilla Extract. Mix until completely combined
- Add 1 cup of the All-Purpose Flour to the Egg Mixture and combine. Continue to add the remaining 2 1/4 cups of flour a little bit at a time until fully combined.
- Knead the dough using the dough hook feature of your electric mixer for approximately 5 minutes or by hand for about 10 minutes, until the dough is mostly smooth, slightly tacky and is elastic.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a large, approximately 1/4″ thick rectangular shape.
- Folding the left side of the dough over the center followed by the right side of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap, set on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
- Add the room temperature Unsalted Butter and the remaining 1/4 cup of All-Purpose Flour to an electric mixing bowl and whip until light and fluffy; occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator on to a lightly floured surface and again roll out to an approximately 1/4″ thick rectangle.
- Spread the whipped butter evenly across the surface of the dough
- Once again fold the dough over the center, beginning with the left side then following with the right. Cover with plastic wrap, set on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
- Continue this process, at least, 3 more times.
- Add the oil to a large pot and heat to 350ºF
- After the dough has been “turned” and rested at least 4 times, remove from the refrigerator and roll out the dough to an approximate 1/2″ thickness. Cut the dough into whatever shaped doughnut you desire
- Carefully place the doughnuts into the heated oil one at a time being sure not to overcrowd the pot
- Cook in the for approximately 1 minute then turn over an cook for an additional 1 minute. The doughnuts are done when risen and golden brown
- Carefully remove and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels
For the Coating
- Thoroughly combine the Granulated Sugar and Cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl
- When the cooked doughnuts are cool enough to handle, add them to the bowl and toss with the Cinnamon/Sugar mixture until thoroughly coated
- Serve and enjoy
Be sure to check out our other Disney Dishes