10 Easy Croissant Fillings for Your Next Baking Spree

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Sweet or savory, plain or filled — when it comes to croissants, they're all delicious, all the time. That said, there's something special about a filled croissant. You can add that extra burst of flavor before proofing (so you put the filling in the dough before rolling, shaping, etc) or after baking (just slice and fill). Regardless of which you choose, it's likely you'll get a highly delicious result. Pick from any of the filling ideas below and get ready to tickle your taste buds.

Pro Tip

While you can always buy croissants at the bakery, you could also make 'em from scratch — learn how in our class, Classic Croissants, Modern Techniques .

1. Chocolate

Slice your baked croissants in half and spread a thin layer of chocolate ganache on one side (or both). Bring the two halves together and you've got yourself a beautiful pain au chocolat, aka chocolate croissant. If you want, you can top it with chopped pistachios, chopped bits of dried cherries, your favorite dried fruit-and-nut combo or — why not? — chocolate drizzle.

Some croissants are made from squares of dough, rather than triangles. Colette wraps things up with two square croissants: pain au chocolat (literally chocolate bread) using chocolate batons, and ham and cheese made with Gruyère and finished with dough "belts."

2. Almond

Fun fact: almond croissants were originally developed as a way to rescue day-old croissants. To make them, you can either fill a plain croissant with almond paste (which is made with almond flour) or crème d'amandes (which is softer and super versatile). Both are insanely delicious.

Almond croissants look the same as the classic version, but inside they have a sweet, nutty filling. See how to make the filling for this eye-catching treat in two ways: one using almond paste and the other with almond meal.

3. Fresh Fruit and Nutella

Chop up some fruit — think strawberries, peaches, bananas — and make a batch of homemade Nutella or whipped chocolate cream . Split the baked croissant in half, add your spread and top with the fruit. Done!

Warning: after you try this recipe for chocolate hazelnut butter from our class The From-Scratch Kitchen, you'll never buy a jar of Nutella again. It's honestly that good and the recipe yields a bonus jar of homemade chocolate syrup. Seriously, could life get any better?!

4. Pastry Cream

This decadent filling adds sweetness and body to a plain or filled croissant (along with a whole bunch of other French pastries ). Just slice, fill with that velvet-y smooth cream, then repeat. Heaven.

Gale explains the pros and cons of various starches for making pastry cream, or crème pâtissière, and the science behind the thickening process. This silky vanilla pudding can fill éclairs or be a lighter dessert with whipped cream folded in. Or try a favorite variation: authentic butterscotch pudding.

5. Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese

You can add this savory filling to your croissant before or after you bake it, but if you do so after you can use a ton more. Not to mention you won't risk having the cheese melt into a gooey mess — unless that's what you're going for.

To make it, thinly slice a medium-sized onion and sauté over medium heat in a tablespoon of olive oil, adding salt and pepper to taste, until the onion has softened and caramelized. Split the croissant in half and spread a thin layer of goat cheese on one side. Top with warm caramelized onions and, if desired, toast in a 350 F oven for up to 15 minutes.

6. Pumpkin Pie

Fall-ify your croissants by filling them with pumpkin puree and a handful of autumnal spices and flavoring. Serve them for Thanksgiving dessert or enjoy alongside a morning pumpkin spice latte . We won't judge.

Croissants are delicious on any table, but this recipe calls for a sweet surprise — there's pumpkin pie hiding inside! So not only do these deliver on the light-and-flaky texture you love in a croissant, but they also have a heartier punch to kick-start your seasonal celebrations. Pair them with a cup of coffee on a chilly autumn morning, or serve them as part of a tasty Thanksgiving dinner — either way, your taste buds are in for a treat.

7. Gelato

No one expects ice-cold gelato to ooze out when they bite into a croissant, so this filling gets extra points for its surprise factor. Simply slice a croissant in half and hide a scoop or two inside, then immediately serve and watch guests go crazy with delight.

Learn how gelato is different from ice cream and how less fat and denser texture help lighter flavors shine through. You'll also make delicate stracciatella, pistachio and chocolate.

8. Brie, Bacon and Honey

Slice brie and lay the pieces on a split, open-faced croissant. Place the croissant under a broiler for 2 to 3 minutes until the brie melts. Top with two slices of thick bacon and a drizzle of honey. C'est magnifique!

9. Thanksgiving Leftovers

Eating leftovers can get oh-so-boring, so why not make them into an entirely new dish? Transform what's in your Tupperware into savory, flaky bites — kind of like Cornish pastys.

There's nothing better than digging into a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, but no matter how hard you try, there always seems to be a ton of leftovers. And while there are plenty of creative ways to use those leftovers — no microwaved turkey and congealed gravy for you! — this recipe, inspired by Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City, transforms them into delicious Thanksgiving croissants. Bon appétit!

10. Ham and Cheese

Turn your croissant into an entire breakfast meal by stuffing it with ham and cheese. Gruyère is a classic for ham and cheese croissants, but you can use any cheese variety you love.

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10 Easy Croissant Fillings for Your Next Baking Spree