Almond croissants are my favorite French bakery item, period. Little did I know, almond croissants are actually made with day-old croissants! Those stale croissants are revived by a dunk in simple syrup and a delicious almond cream filling. YUM. And the best news? They are ridiculously easy to make at home.
With a few stale croissants, simple syrup, and a basic almond cream recipe, we can have French bakery-style almond croissants in an hour. How cool is that?
Almond Croissant Components
- stale croissants – yes, I said it – stale! Stale croissants will be dry enough to soak up the syrup that we will dunk them in. So that pack of croissants you got from the store a few days ago? Those are perfect.
- almond cream (frangipane) – almond cream, otherwise known as frangipane, is a very simple mixture of butter, sugar, eggs, almond flour, and all-purpose flour.
- simple syrup – simple syrup revives the stale croissants and helps them caramelize in the oven. we take flavor up a notch in this recipe and add orange peel to the syrup for citrusy zing!
- sliced almonds – adds crunch and visual appeal to our almond croissants
- powdered sugar – adds visual texture and an ethereal French cafe vibe to our croissants
How to make almond croissants
Halve stale croissants
The most important aspect of this recipe is the stale croissants. Yes, I said it – stale! Stale croissants will be dry enough to soak up the syrup that we will dunk them in. So that pack of croissants you got from the store a few days ago? Those are perfect.
No one is probably asking this because it doesn’t sound fun, but I figured I’d address it: why aren’t we making croissants from scratch? It’s simple…homemade croissants aren’t worth the sweat and tears. Croissants are just one of those baked goods that aren’t worth the trouble, in my opinion. They aren’t very expensive at the store to begin with and the quality is pretty darn good.
Dunk in simple syrup
To revive the stale croissants, we dip them in simple syrup. They will feel way too wet at first, but after the croissants are baked, the texture gets super moist on the inside and crispy on the outside!
The simple syrup in this recipe is flavored with citrus peel, specifically orange and lemon. I just love the combination of citrus and almond, but you can leave it out if you don’t have any citrus peel. You can also add almond or vanilla extract if you want those flavors instead. For this recipe, I would suggest 1 1/2 tsp of extract for the syrup.
Fill with Almond Cream (aka frangipane)
The first time I heard of frangipane was on The Great British Baking Show. And the first time I made it was for this recipe! It’s a very simple mixture of butter, sugar, eggs, almond flour, and all-purpose flour.
Top with Almonds + Bake
To get the classic French bakery look, we will want to top these croissants with sliced almonds. Spread almond cream on the top of each croissant, then place the cream side down onto a plate of sliced almonds. The almonds will stick to the tops easily.
Finally, we bake the almond croissants to breathe life back into our day-old croissants! The end result is a moist, buttery, almondy, and super cripsy croissant that you will make over and over again.Print
Ridiculously easy almond croissants made with a citrus peel simple syrup, almond cream (frangipane), and sliced almonds.
Croissants + Toppings
- 8 stale croissants* (day-old, storebought croissants work great)
- 1 cup sliced almonds, for topping
- 1/4 cup (30 g) powdered sugar, more or less as desired
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- orange peel strips from half an orange, approximately 1″x4″ pieces
Almond Cream (Frangipane)
- 1 stick or 8 tbsp (115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cup (125 g) almond flour or almond meal*
- 2/3 cup (80 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
- orange zest from half an orange (optional)
- Make simple syrup and cool. Add water, sugar, and orange peel to a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering for 4-5 minutes, then pour the syrup with orange peel into a heatproof bowl. Place in the fridge or freezer to cool while you make the almond cream.
- Make almond cream. Add room temperature butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and orange zest to the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl and hand mixer). Mix until well-combined and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating and scraping the sides in between each addition. Add almond flour and all-purpose flour. Mix on low until combined. Spoon the finished almond cream into a bowl, piping bag, or ziploc bag. Place in fridge or freezer to cool while you prep the croissants.
- Preheat oven + slice croissants. Preheat oven to 350º F. Using a serrated knife, slice the croissants in half horizontally (like for a sandwich), and place the cut croissants on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Dip croissants in syrup. Remove simple syrup from the freezer or fridge, and make sure it’s cooled off enough to at least room temp. Pour syrup into a bowl large enough to dip a croissant. Dip each croissant, cut-side down into the syrup, then flip over and lightly dip the outsides. Hold the croissant halves above the bowl for a few seconds to allow excess syrup to drip down. Place on the baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the croissants.
- Fill with almond cream. Open each croissant and fill with 2 tbsp of almond cream on the bottom half of the croissant, spreading it over the entire cut side. Place the top half on and press down lightly. Repeat for the rest of the croissants. Spread or pipe 1 tbsp of almond cream on the top of each croissant. Dip the topsides onto a plate of sliced almonds so that the almonds stick securely on top. Repeat for the rest.
- Bake. Bake the croissants for 18-22 minutes in the center rack until golden brown. Make sure to check that the almonds are nice and toasty, not too dark. Cool the croissants for 15-20 minutes before serving.
- Serve. Dust croissants with powdered sugar and enjoy! I occasionally pair these croissants with a swipe of orange, apricot. or peach jam, too!
- Croissants – if you have fresh croissants, leave them uncovered in the fridge overnight to quicken the drying process.
- Almond meal – if you don’t have almond flour for this recipe, you can replace it with almond meal by processing almonds in a food processor. Add the 125g (or 1 1/4 cups) of almonds into the food processor and run on high speed until almonds are fine. Then add the 80g (or 2/3 cup) of all-purpose flour to the processor, and pulse both together on high until the mixture resembles a fine but slightly coarse meal. The flour helps dehydrate the almonds and gets you a finer texture. Add this almond + flour mixture in the frangipane recipe as instructed.
Keywords: almond croissants, croissants, almond, leftovers