Falling for Apple Cider + Cronuts

For me fall means football, cross-country, soccer games, crisp air, pumpkins, chili, and apple cider.  These are all things I grew up with and things that defined my childhood and even high school life.  Fall at college was relatively uneventful as we didn’t have a big sports program.  However, I will say our soccer was – and continues to be – AMAZING!

Since I’ve moved back east, I haven’t been able to check off much on my “California Fall List” but there are new things to do and places to go.  For example, I’ve been good about going to Central Park every weekend to see the leaves change and watch people all bundled up head off to pick pumpkins.  I would say that I’ve been excellent about my pumpkin consumption between pumpkin overnight oats, pudding, banana-pumpkin bread, biscottis, cookies, pull-apart bread, and more.  In terms of apple cider, there’s the delectable donuts you can find at your local farmer’s market as well as regular and hard apple cider, which also can be found at the local farmer’s market.


Well, it was about time to up my apple cider game and what’s better than an apple cider infused cronut?  Awhile back I mentioned something about the cronut, a relatively new phenomenon that combines a donut and a croissant.  Apparently the creation originated out here in New York, but I’ve been unwilling to wait in the endless line to eat one.  So, we took it upon ourselves to create our own with this wonderful apple pecan pie cronut recipe.

There are only three of us and I knew having leftovers wouldn’t be the best idea so I recommended we cut the recipe in half.  I’ve never really been a huge leftovers fan and I would rather not tempt myself with these delicious concoctions.


Apple Pecan Pie Cronuts w/ Apple Cider Caramel Drizzle
~3-4 cronuts (increase as you please)


    • 1 (8-ounce) canister Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
    • 1 Tbsp butter
    • 3/4 cups honeycrips or pink lady apples, cored and chopped
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Apple Cider Caramel
    • 1 cups apple cider
    • 1/8 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup cream
    • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 oz Neufchâtel (or cream cheese), at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider caramel sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp milk

You could be overly ambitious and make your own croissant dough, but we were being realistic for our first go-around.


  • If you are making croissants from scratch, follow this recipe.  Otherwise proceed to step 2.
  • DOUGH: Open the Pillsbury (or generic) crescent dough and divide dough into two sets of triangles.  Press 2 triangles together to make a rectangle and repeat until the remainder of the dough has been used.


  • Stack 2 rectangles on top of one another and fold.  Take a cookie cutter or empty glass and cut the dough into circles.  Repeat with remaining dough and use the leftover dough to make additional cronuts.
  •  Place cronuts on a cooking sheet topped with parchment paper.  Cover and set aside in a warm area for about 1 hour.


  • CARAMEL:  Add the apple cider to a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil (15-20 minutes or until has been reduced to about <1/4 cup and is relatively thick.  Lower the heat add the brown sugar, butter, cream & cinnamon.  Increase to a boil, reduce and simmer ~5-10 minutes or until the caramel appears darker in color.  Remove from heat and add in vanilla.  Set aside and allow to cool.


  • FROSTING: Take a medium bowl and beat together the butter and Neufchâtel cheese until smooth and fluffy (~3 minutes).  Add in powdered sugar and caramel sauce and beat until smooth and fully incorporated.  Beat in milk and set aside to cool.


  • PECAN PIE TOPPING: Heat a medium skillet and add butter.  Add chopped apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, cook, stirring for ~5 minutes. Add the pecans and cook an additional 5 minutes until pecans are toasted and apples appear caramelized. At the last point, add the vanilla and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.


  • Set oven to about 350F (or as indicated on Pillsbury package) and cook cronuts for about 15 minutes. *We skipped the frying part, so if curious, check out the original recipe. 
  • Once cool, drop a good amount of frosting onto each cronut and top with apple and pecan pie topping. Lastly drizzle with the caramel sauce and serve warm.


We had some leftover apple cider, so I’ve taken to warming up a mug during dinner or in the late afternoon.  Who knows, maybe in the next month or so I’ll get around to make additional apple cider recipes.  Or I’ll resort to picking them up at the farmer’s market. 🙂

What are some of your fall favorites?  Pumpkins or apples?


9 thoughts on “Falling for Apple Cider + Cronuts

  1. Oh, this is dangerous. I was telling my boyfriend about cronuts the other day and he decided he has to have one now. I love that you used Pillsbury crescent rolls, because I was not about to make my own croissants by hand. Crazy amount of steps involved, and I know I would mess something up along the way.

    This looks amazing, and I’m really impressed that you pulled it off! I’m not good with pastry at all. And I’m definitely way more into apples than pumpkins, not just in the fall, but all year long. Love this!

    • See we had heard about cronuts for so long, but there’s only so much patience I have, thus the use of Pillsbury 🙂

      If you are an apple fan, this would be good at all parts of the year! I’ll certainly have to make some other apple recipes!

  2. This recipe is straight up crazy! Can I say both pumpkins and apples? Well I love apples plain but not so much pumpkin plain. For some crazy reason it totally transforms in baking though. So yeah I’d go with both. In cronut form please!

  3. Uh, YUM!! Anything that slightly resembles a donut sounds wonderful to me. I’ve never actually had a cronut before.

    Pumpkin and apple are both great but I think I actually like apple more!

  4. Pingback: Where to Begin on Thursday Ramblings? | California Endless Summer

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