Leftover Croissant Dough? 7 Genius Ways To Use It Up

Marria Beklavac By Marria Beklavac

Anyone who has made croissant dough from scratch knows how time-consuming and difficult it is. Considering that, ditching even an ounce of the dough is not even considerable! 

Croissant dough is not for croissants only, there are many other desserts and savory options to use it up for! Here are 7 genius ways to make the best of it!

Mini croissants are an obvious choice, but there are a few ideas for sweet and salty filling to upgrade them. Don’t sleep on savory options, as aromatic breadsticks, flatbread, and crackers are top-notch! Pair them with various cheeses, veggies, and dips for an amazing, flavorful bite. Cinnamon rolls, palmiers, and Danish fillings are just a few ideas to make the best of leftover dough.

I love croissants, but I can’t eat them for days in a row. Puff pastry is so versatile, though, and it can be turned into different appetizers, sweet or savory. Scroll down for inspiration!

7. Mini Croissants

The only thing better than croissants are mini croissants. When making them, do the usual steps as for standard-size croissants, just cut them smaller.

The perfect size is 3×5 inches for bite-size pastries, that’s about half the size of standard ones. If you want them supermini, like for those viral cereal croissants, cut the dough for minis in half. 

You can bake them empty or choose any filling, whether it is sweet or savory. Chocolate croissant is one of the most popular pastries in the world, so it’s a staple. 

For minis, cut about 2 x 0,5 inches pieces of chocolate. You can tuck the ends inside, to make sure chocolate doesn’t drip. You can go for any type of chocolate you like, but dark chocolate has the best taste.

Instead of standard chocolate, you can also go for some cocoa-hazelnut spread, like Nutella. About a teaspoon of it would be more than enough.

The next staple is, most definitely, jam. It is homey, super versatile, and inevitable when making homemade dough. You can use any variety you have on your hands, from berries to mango, anything is amazing.

Just for the heads up, keep an eye on the consistency. Too runny jams tend to drip out completely from the dough as they are heating up. So, it is better to choose thicker ones, like marmalade.

Almond paste filling will give you that Parisian touch no matter where you are! It offers a nutty flavor, that is surprisingly not too sweet, but a tad bitter. 

It pairs so well with a dough, as it balances the sweetness. Also, don’t forget to sprinkle some almond flakes on top, for an additional crunch!

Savory croissants are just as good, especially if you like some sugary-salty combo! Dice some ham and use it as a filling. To go a step further, use maple syrup to glaze the crescents, for a Christmassy touch.

Cheese filling is a classic and super versatile, too. You can opt for melty, cream, or fresh, grainy cheese – anything you like. If you’re not planning to eat croissants warm, stretchy cheese is not the best option, though, as it tends to become gummy.  

Spinach is also a good idea, solo or mixed with cottage cheese or ricotta. These make fabulous party appetizers, as they are in grab-and-go size and super delish!

Roll them up into a crescent shape as always and arrange on the baking sheet. Make sure to leave enough space between them, because they will double in size. 

Of course, you need to reduce baking time, too. Standard croissants take about 25 to 30 minutes to bake, while mini ones need somewhere between 10 to 15 minutes. Wait for them to puff and remove them from the oven when they are golden brown on top.

6. Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls in flaky crust? Yes, please! When you have a leftover croissant dough, cinnamon rolls are a superb and quick idea.

You can, undoubtedly, go with a classic butter and cinnamon combo for the filling, but you can also spice things up a notch. If you’re a fan of the warm, cozy notes and aromas, sprinkle some cardamom, nutmeg, or cloves along with cinnamon.

Also, ginger is a fine addition to standard cinnamon rolls, as it offers a gentle heat. You can use grounded ginger, or massage fresh, grated one into sugar and cinnamon blend.

For a citrusy touch, massage some lemon, orange, or lime zest into sugar, as well. With cinnamon rolls comes the glaze, as well. The cream cheese-based frosting is a staple – just mix together cream cheese, heavy cream, and powdered sugar.

Also, lemon glaze is smashing in any of these combinations. It is simple to make, just combine lemon juice, sugar, and a sprinkle of cornstarch to thicken things up. 

Simmer them together for a moment and the glaze is ready! It brightens up the taste impeccably.

The best thing is, you can make these cinnamon rolls in a batch and freeze them for later. Freeze them unbaked, so you can always have freshly baked pastry ready in no time!

You don’t have to defrost them at all, just pop them in the oven frozen and bake for an additional 5 minutes (30-35 minutes). 

5. Cruffins

Cruffins are a lovechild of muffins and croissant. Made in the shape of cupcakes with puff pastry, you get beautiful, airy, and flaky layers of melt-in-mouth pastry.

You need two sheets of dough for the best look. Flatten them both out in the same rectangle shape and, optionally, sprinkle sugar with cinnamon, crushed freeze-dried berries, or citrus zest.

Roll the dough lengthwise from both sides, so you get two roulades. Dethatch them and slice them through the middle, for layers to show. Cut each in half to get 8 pieces of dough. This is the best way to shape them, to get the signature layers.

Now, roll them up with the layers showing into muffin-size cruffins and arrange them into a cupcake tray. If you’re using homemade dough, leave them to proof for about an hour or bake immediately with a store-bought one. 

Perfectly baked cruffins will be golden and incredibly flaky, so they are easy to fill, just pop the top with a spoon. You can fill it with simple vanilla custard, pistachio, hazelnut or almond cream, or chocolate ganache.

You can mix in some roughly chopped nuts for a crunchy texture. Before serving, drizzle some chocolate or caramel on top for a complete experience.

4. Palmiers

If you have a leftover croissant, you only need one more ingredient to make this French pastry! It is basically a rolled-out pastry heavily sprinkled with granulated sugar. They are super crunchy because sugar caramelizes completely.

Depending on how crispy you want them, use ¼ to 1 cup of sugar to coat the dough. The more sugar it has, the more it will caramelize. If you want it super caramelized, use even more than a cup.

Plain sugar is amazing, but if you want to incorporate a tad more flavor, try out mint, citrus, chai spice, bourbon vanilla, or rum sugar. Also, if you making the dough at home, you can spice it up a bit.

Try adding cardamom, ginger, or cinnamon to the dough. It turns out terrifically aromatic

When making palmiers they will be crispier the tighter you roll them. If they are a tad loose, the pastry will turn out a tad softer, but not significantly.

3. Crackers

Who doesn’t like crackers? This is a super quick, last-minute idea for appetizers everyone will love. Just roll the dough out thinly and shape the crackers as you like.

Adding some toppings is crucial, otherwise they will be plain and boring. You can go with a simple seed mix, or choose something more aromatic.

Rosemary, thyme, garlic, and cream cheese are fantastic four to top the crackers with. Lavender and Pecorino Romano cheese is an elegant bite, that will indulge all your senses.

Goat cheese is a staple topping for crackers, but when you sprinkle chives or dill on top, it becomes a real treat! Cheese and herbs combinations are endless and super flavorful!

Besides crackers, leftover croissant dough is amazing as a quick substitute for pizza dough. It will, indeed, have a different texture, but it is still tasty.

You can make mini pizzas and choose any topping you fancy. This is such a good idea for big parties, as the effort needed is minimal.

Also, if you’re craving some aromatic bread, use the puff pastry you already have on your hands. Top it with anything, herbs, garlic, fresh or dried tomatoes, asparagus, bell peppers – the list is endless and very tasty!

To keep your crackers crunchy for a long time, don’t leave them lying on the countertop. Instead, store them in airtight containers or bags to keep the crispiness locked.

2. Breadsticks

There is no good cheese board without aromatic breadsticks! Croissant dough is a flawless and quick way to achieve the best taste.

Spread the sheet out, slice about inch-thick stripes, and twist them clockwise a few times, so they look like a braid.

To make the breadstick super aromatic, coat them in garlic butter before twisting. You can also sprinkle them with some Mediterranean herbs, garlic salt, or parmesan cheese.

Shredded mozzarella and cheddar are also top-notch if you want that stretchy moment. Finely diced dried tomatoes or chili peppers are a fine twist, as well, just make sure to serve a dip along.

For a tad more pungent toppings, go for fresher dips, like tzatziki or any other yogurt-based one. If you want to make it special, marinara with cheese breadsticks has no competition!

Also, there are many unusual, but amazing dips to go with: roasted eggplant dip (pair it with goat cheese bread sticks), muhammara, caramelized onion, and buffalo blue cheese. 

1. Danish Filling 

At least once, everyone had a load of leftover scraps and cuts of croissant dough. After you spend two days making it, you won’t just ditch it all, right?

In that case, Danish fillings are the right choice! The more imperfect they look, the more charm they have.

No matter how you scrap look, twist it and shape it as you can. You can even layer it in a bread pan with the filling in the middle!

Whatever you do, you will be left with a flaky and crunchy crust. Just fill it with a fine pastry cream to match.

You can go for your favorite one, but Martha Stewart’s recipe is really simple and delish. Make sure to make a good one, as it makes these pastries pop.

If you fancy the tang more, you can make cream cheese filling, as well. Either way, they call for something juicy for a finishing touch.

You can go for a jam, canned, or fresh fruit. Any berries are a top-notch and obvious choice. Also, cherries, kiwis, and clementines offer a superb contrast!

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By Marria Beklavac Owner
Hey there! I'm Marria Beklavac, a barista by trade and a cook by heart. My culinary journey started at 12, inspired by my grandpa, who first introduced me to the wonders of cooking. His passion sparked mine, leading me to a life where each meal is an adventure. In Terra's Kitchen, I blend my love for coffee with my zeal for cooking to share my culinary exploits with you. This blog is my space to share the joys, discoveries, and lessons from my kitchen to yours. Welcome aboard – let's cook up some magic together!