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Delicious Vegan Croissant Recipe – Easy 5-Steps Guide!

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With its golden, flaky layers, a Vegan Croissant Recipe offers a delightful twist on the classic French pastry. Crafted from plant-based ingredients, it presents a crisp exterior that gives way to a tender, buttery interior minus the butter. Ideal for those pursuing a vegan lifestyle, it retains the luxurious essence of its traditional counterpart, making it a guilt-free indulgence for breakfast or snack.

Why Does It Work?

  • Uses high-quality, plant-based butter, ensuring a rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • Incorporates almond milk for a tender crumb, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  • Employs a meticulous layering technique, guaranteeing flaky, airy layers in every bite.
  • Offers a compassionate choice without sacrificing the classic croissant experience.
  • Perfect for all, providing a delicious option for vegans and non-vegans alike.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO THE RECIPE HERE!

Finding a vegan croissant recipe that doesn’t skimp on its traditional counterpart’s buttery, flaky texture often feels like searching for a needle in a haystack. As someone who has transitioned to a plant-based diet, I know the struggle well.

The disappointment of biting into what promises to be a delectable, vegan pastry, only to be met with a dense and lackluster substitute, is a common plight.

However, the quest for the perfect vegan croissant is not in vain. After much experimentation in my kitchen, I’ve discovered a recipe that mirrors the classic French delicacy in texture and taste and aligns with vegan dietary preferences.

This vegan croissant recipe is a game-changer, offering a solution to all plant-based dieters craving this iconic pastry without compromise.

vegan croissant recipe

What Is A Vegan Croissant?

A vegan croissant is a plant-based version of the traditional French pastry, known for its buttery layers and rich flavor. Unlike regular croissants, which rely on butter and sometimes milk for their texture and taste, vegan croissants use alternatives like plant-based butter and milk.

These ingredients are carefully chosen to mimic the flakiness and richness of non-vegan croissants, ensuring that the end product is just as indulgent. Aimed at those following a vegan lifestyle or anyone looking to reduce animal products, vegan croissants offer a delicious, ethical, and environmentally friendly option for enjoying this beloved bakery staple.

Fact– The classic croissant, dating back to 17th century France, traditionally requires meticulous layering of dough and butter, a technique that vegan versions skillfully replicate with plant-based ingredients.

vegan croissant

Recipe Directions

Preparing The Dough

  • Proof the Yeast: Mix lukewarm water and yeast in a stand mixer bowl, letting it sit until foamy (5-10 minutes).
  • Mix Ingredients: Add sugar, flour, salt, and vegan butter, mixing until a rough dough forms. Switch to a dough hook and knead until smooth (8-10 minutes).
  • First Rise: Place dough in an oiled bowl, covering for a rise until doubled (1-2 hours).

Preparing For Lamination

Laminating The Dough

  • Envelope the Butter: Roll the dough into a rectangle, place the butter slab in half, fold over, and seal the edges.
  • Double Turn: Roll out and fold the dough to create layers, chilling briefly between folds. After the final fold, refrigerate for 1 hour.

Shaping The Croissants

  • Divide the Dough: Cut in half, working with one portion at a time.
  • Shape: Roll out, cut into triangles, and roll each into a croissant shape.
  • Proofing: Let shaped croissants rise on a baking tray until doubled (1-2 hours).

Baking

  • Preheat Oven: Set to 400°F.
  • Bake: Start at 400°F for 10 minutes, then reduce to 350°F, continuing for 12-15 minutes until golden.
  • Cool: Allow to cool slightly before enjoying.

Recipe Directions

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

Variations

  • Chocolate Croissants (Pain au Chocolat): Insert vegan chocolate bars or spread vegan chocolate inside before rolling.
  • Almond Croissants: Fill with almond cream (frangipane) and top with sliced almonds before baking. A second bake with more frangipane and a dusting of powdered sugar after the first baking adds extra indulgence.
  • Spinach and Vegan Feta Croissants: Incorporate spinach and vegan feta filling before rolling for a savory twist.

Add-Ons

  • Herbs and Garlic: Mix finely chopped fresh herbs and minced garlic into the vegan butter for a savory dough lamination.
  • Seeds and Nuts: Sprinkle seeds (sesame, poppy, or sunflower seeds) or chopped nuts on the dough just before the final folding step for added texture and flavor.
  • Fruit Compote: A dollop of fruit compote can be added inside the dough before shaping, offering a sweet, tart surprise in each bite.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

Toppings

  • Vegan Glaze: A mix of agave or maple syrup with a little water or lemon juice can create a sweet glaze to brush on top of the croissants before the final baking.
  • Vegan Cheese: For a cheesy, savory croissant, sprinkle grated vegan cheese before baking. Vegan parmesan is excellent for a crisp, flavorful crust.
  • Sugar Topping: Sprinkle coarse sugar on the croissants just before they go into the oven for a crunchy, sweet finish.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

Vegetable Substitutions 

  • Sweet Potato Puree: Use in the dough for added moisture and a subtle sweetness.
  • Pumpkin Puree: Similar to sweet potato, it offers moisture and a hint of flavor without overwhelming.
  • Spinach: Finely chopped and sautéed spinach can be added into savory fillings, offering a nutrient boost.
  • Zucchini: Grated and squeezed of excess moisture, it can be mixed into fillings for a subtle texture.
  • Caramelized Onions: Adding depth of flavor, perfect for savory croissant variations.
  • Sun-dried Tomatoes: Chopped and mixed into the dough or fillings for a tangy kick.
  • Roasted Red Peppers: Pureed and used in dough or chopped for fillings, providing sweetness and color.
  • Artichoke Hearts: Chopped and added to fillings for a Mediterranean flair.

Quick Tip– Ensure your plant-based butter is cold before incorporating it into the dough for lighter, fluffier vegan croissants. This helps create those signature flaky layers.

Vegetable Substitutions 

Best Side Dishes 

  1. Fruit Salad A refreshing mix of seasonal fruits complements the richness of the croissants.
  2. Vegan Scrambled Eggs Made from tofu or chickpea flour, adding a savory balance.
  3. Roasted Vegetables Seasonal vegetables roasted with herbs offer a savory counterpoint.
  4. Avocado Toast Simple, creamy avocado on crusty bread for a healthful side.
  5. Vegan Cheese Platter A selection of vegan cheeses with nuts and dried fruits.
  6. Smoothie Bowls Nutrient-dense and colorful, perfect for a wholesome breakfast.
  7. Soup A light vegetable or tomato soup pairs well for brunch or lunch.
  8. Mixed Green Salad With a light vinaigrette, adding freshness to the meal.
  9. Vegan Yogurt with Granola For a quick, nutritious side or dessert.
  10. Vegan Sausages Grilled or pan-fried for a hearty, savory complement.

Best Side Dishes 

How To Serve?

  • With Gourmet Jams and Preserves: Raspberry, strawberry, or apricot jams complement the buttery layers.
  • Almond Butter or Hazelnut Spread: For a nutty, rich spread that enhances the croissant’s flavor.
  • Fresh Fruit Platter: Seasonal fruits like berries, sliced peaches, or melon add freshness and a slight acidity.
  • Vegan Cheese and Charcuterie Board: Vegan cheeses, mock meats, and olives for a savory complement.
  • Avocado Spread: Mashed avocado with a sprinkle of salt and lemon juice makes a creamy, healthy topping.
  • Herbed Vegan Cream Cheese: Adding herbs to vegan cream cheese brings flavor.
  • Soup or Salad: Serve alongside a light vegetable soup or a crisp salad for a balanced meal.
  • Coffee or Tea: A classic pairing, the richness of the croissant complements both beverages beautifully.
  • Vegan Chocolate or Caramel Sauce: For a decadent dessert, drizzle over warm croissants.
  • Agave or Maple Syrup: A simple, sweet drizzle can transform the croissant into a sweet treat.

Quick Tip– When proofing yeast for vegan croissants, use lukewarm water—not too hot or cold—to ensure the yeast activates properly for the best rise.

How To Serve

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Cool Completely: Allow your vegan croissants to cool down fully before storing to prevent sogginess.
  • Room Temperature Storage: Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • Refrigerate for Longer Freshness: Wrapped in plastic wrap or an airtight container, they can last up to 5 days in the fridge.
  • Freezing: For long-term storage, freeze individually on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag. They keep well for up to 2 months.
  • Reheating: Revive your croissants in the oven at 350°F for 5-10 minutes.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the dough and shape your croissants a day in advance. Keep them refrigerated, then proof and bake the next day for fresh, warm croissants anytime.

Fact– The key to the classic flakiness of croissants, including vegan versions, lies in the technique of laminating, which involves folding and rolling the dough multiple times.

Storage & Make Ahead

Time-Saving Tips 

  1. Pre-measure Ingredients: Before starting, measure out all your ingredients. This streamlines the process.
  2. Use Store-Bought Vegan Puff Pastry: If you’re short on time, a high-quality vegan puff pastry can be a quick alternative.
  3. Make Dough in Advance: Prepare your dough the night before. Overnight refrigeration can also improve flavor and texture.
  4. Freeze Butter Slab: Freeze your vegan butter slab briefly before incorporating it into the dough to keep it cold and firm, making lamination easier.
  5. Limit Proofing Time: Dough proofing can be quicker in warmer weather. Keep an eye on the dough and adjust proofing times to prevent overproofing.
  6. Preheat Oven During Second Proof: Turn on your oven as your shaped croissants go through their final proofing to save time.
  7. Make Large Batches: Doubling the recipe allows you to freeze extra croissants, which are ready to bake on demand, saving time in the future.
Delicious Vegan Croissant Recipe - Easy 5-Steps Guide!

Delicious Vegan Croissant Recipe – Easy 5-Steps Guide!

Recipe by Julia

Vegan croissants offer a delightful twist on the classic French pastry. Crafted with plant-based ingredients, these croissants achieve the same buttery texture and flaky layers as their traditional counterparts. Perfect for vegans and those looking to reduce dairy, they provide a guilt-free breakfast or snack indulgence without compromising taste or texture.

Course: Snacks, Breakfast
0 from 0 votes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

300

kcal
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredient List

  • For The Dough
  • 4 1/2 Tsp 4 1/2 Active dry yeast

  • 1 Cup 1 Lukewarm water

  • 3 1/2 Cups 3 1/2 Bread flour

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Granulated sugar

  • 2 Tsp 2 Salt (reduce to 1 tsp if your butter is salted)

  • 6 Tbsp 6 Vegan butter (softened)

  • For Lamination
  • 1 Cup 1 Vegan butter (slightly softened)

  • Vegan Egg Wash

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Nondairy milk

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Maple syrup or agave

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparing The Dough
  • Add lukewarm water to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle yeast over the top and allow it to proof until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Once the yeast is bubbly, add granulated sugar, bread flour, salt, and softened vegan butter. Mix with the paddle attachment on medium speed until the dough comes together in one large mass. Initially, it will look rough.
  • Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead at medium speed for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Use the windowpane test to check if it’s properly kneaded.
    vegan croissant recipe
  • First Rise
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover it, and allow it to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until it has slightly more than doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Fold it into a rectangular shape, then wrap it in plastic or place it in a sealed container and refrigerate overnight.
  • Make The Butter Slab
  • Shape 1 cup of softened vegan butter into a 6″x 6″ square, using parchment or a sandwich bag. Refrigerate overnight.
    vegan croissant recipe 2
  • Laminating The Dough
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle, place the butter slab on one half, fold the dough over, and seal the edges.
  • Roll out to 24″x9″ and perform a double turn. Chill the dough for 15-20 minutes, then do another double turn and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Shaping The Croissants
  • Cut the dough in half. Work with one half at a time, rolling it out and cutting it into triangles or rectangles. Roll each piece starting from the base.
  • Place on a lined baking tray. Optionally, brush with a vegan egg wash made from agave or maple syrup mixed with plant milk and allow to rise until doubled size.
  • Baking
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the croissants again with the egg wash if using.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 400°F, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for another 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

    vegan croissant recipe 2
  • Equipment List
  • Stand mixer
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking sheets
  • Parchment paper or silicone baking mats
  • Sharp knife
  • Pastry brush
  • Wire cooling rack

Notes

  • Proofing Yeast: Ensure water is lukewarm to activate the yeast without killing it.
  • Windowpane Test: A critical step to check gluten development in the dough.
  • Butter Temperature: Keep vegan butter cold for flakiness; too-soft butter will integrate into the dough, losing layers.
  • Rise Time: Ambient temperature affects rise times; warmer environments speed it up.
  • Chilling: Essential for handling the dough and maintaining distinct layers.
  • Baking Temperature: Start high for rise, then lower to ensure thorough cooking without burning.
  • Storage: Best enjoyed fresh but can be stored or frozen later.
  • Customization: Experiment with fillings and toppings for variety.

vegan croissant recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Vegan Croissants Without A Stand Mixer?

You can make vegan croissants without a stand mixer, although it requires more effort. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, until the dough starts to come together.

Then, knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10-15 minutes or until it becomes smooth and elastic. Follow the rest of the recipe as directed, remembering that the texture and effort involved in kneading by hand might slightly alter the result.

How Do I Know If My Dough Is Properly Kneaded?

The windowpane test is good for checking if your dough is properly kneaded. Take a small piece of dough and gently stretch it between your fingers to form a thin membrane. If the dough stretches without tearing and you can almost see through it, it’s properly kneaded.

If it tears easily, continue kneading for a few more minutes. This test ensures that the gluten in the dough has developed enough to give the croissants their characteristic layers and flakiness.

vegan croissant recipe

Why Do My Vegan Croissants Not Have Flaky Layers?

The flakiness in croissants comes from laminating, where dough and butter are layered together. Common reasons for lacking flakiness include:

  • The butter was too soft when folded into the dough, causing it to be absorbed rather than creating distinct layers.
  • There needs to be more chilling between folds to allow the butter to stay solid enough to create layers.
  • Overworking the dough after lamination can destroy the layers.
  • Roll out the dough thinly enough or perform more folds.

Can I Freeze Vegan Croissants Before Baking?

Yes, you can freeze vegan croissants before baking. Shape the croissants and place them on a baking sheet. Freeze until solid, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag. When ready to bake, allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator,

then let them rise at room temperature until doubled in size before proceeding with the baking instructions. This method can be particularly useful for planning and enjoying fresh croissants without starting from scratch.

How Can I Make My Vegan Croissants More Flavorful?

To enhance the flavor of vegan croissants, consider the following tips:

  • Use high-quality, flavorful vegan butter for a richer taste.
  • Incorporate a small amount of apple cider vinegar into the dough to add depth without imparting a vinegar taste.
  • For sweet or savory variations, experiment with fillings like chocolate, almond paste, or vegan cheese.
  • Add a pinch of turmeric to the dough for color, or sprinkle the croissants with seeds or herbs before baking for added texture and taste.
  • Allow the dough to cold ferment in the refrigerator overnight, which can develop more complex flavors.

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VIE DE LA VEGAN!

Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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