The croissant lends itself to creativity because it features a buttery, flaky bread that accommodates both sweet and savory flavors. Ever since Dominique Ansel opened the doors with his innovative hybrid croissant donut, the Cronut, bakers have looked for exciting ways to make the pastry stand out from the crowd.

In November 2019, a new bakery debuted in Houston, Texas that quickly made a name for itself with a special croissant. Koffeteria, from former Top Chef contestant Vanarin Kuch, made sure its opening would be highly anticipated thanks to a Hot Cheetos-crusted croissant.

The spicy take on the beloved pastry is one of several over-the-top croissants available at Koffeteria. Another croissant initially offered at the bakery was crusted with sour cream and onion chips.

Also in November of last year, Nathaniel Reid, a James Beard Award nominee for Outstanding Baker, teamed up with another top chef in the St. Louis, Missouri area for a crossover menu featuring croissants. Chef Reid and Chef Loryn Nalic of acclaimed restaurant Balkan Treat Box worked together to create new croissant-based menu items, including the baklava croissant.

The baklava croissant combined Chef Reid’s popular almond croissant with Chef Nalic’s recipe for baklava, which is topped with salted mixed nuts and uses a syrup made with orange and rose.

On the East Coast, a major innovator in the croissant category is New York City’s Supermoon Bakehouse. The bakery’s imaginative flavors are so decadently sweet that they have even been featured at the popular Dessert Goals festival in the past.

The bakery’s Hot Apple Pie Twice-Baked Croissant is filled with caramelized apple chunks, apple cider vinegar, almond cream, and cinnamon spiced creme custard, then topped with an oat crumble and baked again. It’s served with butterscotch sauce and fresh cream to top.