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Vegan Almond Croissants

Vegan Almond Croissants

Quick and easy vegan almond croissants filled with almond cream to transform plain croissants (store-bought or homemade!) into French bakery-style pastries in the comfort of your home!

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What Are Almond Croissants?

There really is nothing like a fresh croissant – buttery, laminated, yeasted dough cut into triangles, rolled and then baked up to flakey perfection. The bit of moisture in the butter creates steam and puffs the dough during baking, creating delicate flakey layers. The catch is they don’t stay fresh long – after a day, they become dried out. 

French bakeries came up with a genius idea to revive and sell their day-old stale croissants by reinventing them:

Simply cut each croissant in half, brush with a light syrup for added moisture, and fill with a creamy almond custard (frangipane.) Next, spread a bit of the frangipane on the top of the closed croissant and sprinkle it with sliced almonds. Bake them to set the filling and crisp the outside pastry, and dust with powdered sugar before serving.  

And so stale croissants….become double-baked almond croissants. Leftovers never looked or tasted so good!

A cream platter filled with almond croissants, beside a stack of cream plates, a vase of spring cherry blossoms and a cup of coffee.
An Effortless Yet Impressive Addition to the Vegan Brunch Table

How to Veganize Almond Croissants?

Dairy-free and egg-free croissants are available in many local bakeries these days, as well in mainstream supermarkets. Croissants are increasingly available as “accidently vegan” – the dairy butter replaced with plant-based fats. Check the ingredient lists and you may be pleasantly surprised to discover products which are not advertised as “vegan” yet contain no animal products. And, of course, you can always make your own homemade vegan croissants.

Frangipane, or almond cream, is a pastry filling traditionally made with almond meal (finely ground almonds), butter, sugar, and eggs. Here we make a vegan almond croissant filling by replacing the eggs with custard powder (or cornstarch) as our thickener and using plant-based butter (or refined coconut oil.) And don’t save this almond filling for just croissants – it’s amazing in the classic Bakewell Tart!

This vegan almond croissant recipe is so simple to make, and the final result is set to impress! No one will guess that these almond pastries are eggless, and dairy-free!

A cream plate filled with a whole vegan almond croissant and a partially eaten one revealing the creamy almond filling.
The Vegan Almond Filling Has Just the Right Sweetness

Feature Ingredients & Substitutions

Vegan Croissants

Stale croissants, so about a day or two old, are ideal for vegan double-baked almond croissants . They have dried up a bit and readily accept a light coating of simple syrup. Older croissants are also easier to slice open.

Only have fresh croissants? Dry them out overnight by leaving them unwrapped on the counter under a clean, dry tea towel. 

Short on time? Pop fresh croissants directly onto the middle oven rack at 325°F/165°C/gas mark 3 for about 5-8 minutes to dry out a bit, then allow them to cool.

Almond Meal

Use blanched almond meal or almond flour so that the almond filling is creamy without any dark specks of almond skins. 

If you have whole blanched almonds, you can make your own almond meal. Combine the almonds, sugar, custard powder (or cornstarch) and salt in a food processor (or a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec.)  Process until the almonds are finely ground, but stop once smooth so the filling doesn’t split and become greasy.

You may be wondering if you could use marzipan instead of frangipane in the croissants. Marzipan is a sweet almond paste – it is not the same as the frangipane filling. Marzipan is quite firm, making it very difficult to spread and is much sweeter than almond custard/cream (frangipane). I don’t recommend using marzipan in lieu of frangipane for this almond croissant recipe.

Additional Flavorings

Almond or cherry liquor (amaretto or kirsch, respectively) is a really nice addition to the simple syrup. If you don’t have any liquors you can use ⅛ teaspoon of almond extract. Liquor or almond extract are optional, but recommended.

Vegan Butter

Vegan butter helps create a creamy almond pastry filling. Foil wrapped or block-style vegan butter is best for the creamy almond filling. It has less water in it than spreadable vegan tub butter or margarine. 

If you don’t have any vegan butter, you can use room temperature refined coconut oil. Refined coconut oil has had the coconut flavor removed so the fat is neutral tasting. 

Custard Powder

I use Bird’s custard powder which is a very old brand of egg-free custard powder. It’s mostly cornstarch, with a bit of added color and flavoring, and is perfect for veganizing frangipane. Custard powder is readily available online and in many grocery stores. If you don’t have any custard powder, you can simply use an equal amount of cornstarch. The almond custard filling will naturally be a bit paler but delicious all the same! 

Sliced Almonds

Sprinkled on top, sliced almonds provide a bit of added crunch and a pretty topping. Save a bit of the frangipane to spread over the top of each croissant for something for the sliced almonds to stick to. 

How to Make Vegan Almond Croissants

1. Make the Simple Syrup

A simple sugar syrup (sugar and water brought to a simmer) brushed over the sliced croissants adds some moisture back to stale croissants. The syrup also creates caramelization on the outside of the croissants for a nice crunch.

A small white pot with simple syrup in it. In the background there's a cream platter filled with croissants, beside a pastry brush.
Simple Syrup Can be Flavored with Rum or Other Liquors, If Desired

2. Make the Vegan Frangipane (Almond Filling)

This creamy vegan almond custard couldn’t be easier to make – simply combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. 

A food processor filled with a creamy yellow almond filling, or frangipane.

3. Assemble the Vegan French Almond Croissants

Slice the croissants in half like you would a bagel, and arrange on a baking sheet.

A bamboo cutting board topped with 8 plain croissants which have been sliced in half.
Slice the Croissants, Like You Would to Make a Sandwich

Brush the sugar syrup on the inside, top, and sides of each croissant half. The syrup provides some moisture, but also caramelizes during baking and provides a nice thin crisp exterior. 

A pastry brush is brushing simple syrup onto the sliced surface of a croissant.
Brush the Croissants with Simple Syrup On All Sides Except the Bottom

Spoon 2 tablespoons of frangipane filling into each croissant, spreading it evenly. Place the croissant tops back on. 

An offset spatula spreading frangipane onto the bottom cut side of a croissant.
Spread the Frangipane onto the Bottom Half of Each Croissant

Spread the remaining frangipane onto the tops of each croissant – each one should have about ½-1 tablespoon.

An offset spatula spreads a small amount of frangipane to the top of the almond croissant.
Spreading a Bit of Frangipane Over the Top Gives the Almonds to Stick To

Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top of the frangipane.

Sliced Almonds on Top of the Croissant Give a Nice Added Crunch and Nuttiness

Bake on the center rack in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the almond cream on top is golden brown. 

A baking sheet filled with 6 assembled vegan almond croissants.
Assembled Vegan Almond Croissants Ready for the Oven

Let the almond stuffed croissants cool for a few minutes, then dust with powdered sugar just before serving. Delicious! 

Cooling the Croissants on a Rack Helps Preserve Crisp Bottoms
An almond croissant on a cooling rack being dusted with powdered sugar.
A Dusting of Powdered Sugar Adds the Perfect Sweetness

Make-Ahead Suggestions & Storage Instructions

The syrup and almond cream filling can be made ahead of time. 

Simple syrup can be made up to a month ahead of time, kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

The almond custard filling can be made about 5 days ahead of time and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will firm up once chilled, so bring it to room temperature before you begin assembling the pastries so it’s easy to spread. 

Leftover frangipane can be used to stuff French toast, fill mini pastry tarts, tucked into the center of muffins before baking, etc!

Room Temperature Storage: Store the almond croissants at room temperature for up to 3 hours – wrap them individually in foil or store in an airtight container. After 3 hours, they should be refrigerated for food safety considering their high-moisture custard filling. 

Refrigerator Storage: Store the almond croissants individually wrapped in foil or plastic wrap, or in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Freezer Storage: Store individually wrapped in foil or plastic wrap, or in an airtight container for up to 6 months in the freezer. You may wish to freeze them in a single layer on a baking tray for 2 hours, and then transfer them to an airtight container to help retain their shape. 

How to Reheat Croissants

Reheating From Refrigerator: Heat the croissants directly on the oven rack at 350°F/177°C/gas mark 4 for ~5 minutes. 

Reheating From Freezer: Thaw the frozen croissants in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter at room temperature for an hour or so. To crisp up the exteriors, heat the croissants directly on the oven rack at 350°F/177°C/gas mark 4 for ~5 minutes. If they are reheated frozen, the filling may not thaw before the outside pastry begins to burn.

Do not reheat croissants in the microwave. They will lose their crispiness, and will become chewy.

From Plain Stale Croissants, to French Bakery-Style Pastries in the Comfort of Your Home!

More Vegan Brunch Recipe Ideas:

If you make these Vegan Almond Croissants, please give them a rating in the recipe card and leave a comment below! Follow along on Instagram and Facebook where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes! You can also follow me on Pinterest for vegan recipe inspiration. Thank you for reading!

Two almond croissants on a cream plate, one is broken open to reveal the creamy filling.

Vegan Almond Croissants

Quick and easy vegan almond croissants filled with almond cream to transform stale croissants (store-bought or homemade!) into French bakery-style pastries in the comfort of your home!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin
Course: Brunch
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Eggless Almond Croissants, Vegan Double-Baked Croissants
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 591kcal
Author: Bronwyn

Ingredients

  • 6-8 medium/large plain vegan croissants, stale (>1 day old)

Simple Syrup

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp amaretto, kirsch or rum (optional)

Vegan Frangipane

  • 1 ½ cup finely ground blanched almonds (or 1 rounded cup whole blanched almonds)
  • ½ cup unsweetened plant-based milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter, block style, not from a tub, softened
  • 3 tbsp vegan custard powder (or cornstarch)
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • tsp salt

Toppings

  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • confectioners' sugar

Instructions

Simple Syrup

  • Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove from heat. Stir in the liquor or extract if using. Set aside while you prepare the frangipane.

Vegan Frangipane

  • Place all of the frangipane ingredients into a food processor, and blend on high until smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally. The frangipane should be creamy – stop once you've achieved. Over processing can cause the mixture to become greasy.
  • If using whole blanched almonds, combine the almonds, sugar, custard powder (or cornstarch), and salt in a food processor (or a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec) Pulse until the almonds are finely ground. Add in the plant-based milk, vegan butter and almond extract (if using), processing on high until well blended. The frangipane should be creamy – stop once you've achieved. Over processing can cause the mixture to become greasy.

Assembling the Vegan Almond Croissants

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C/gas mark 4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice the croissants in half (lengthwise, like you would to make a sandwich.)
  • Brush the syrup all over each croissant half, placing them on the baking sheet as you work.
  • Spoon about 2 tablespoons of frangipane filling onto each croissant base, spreading it evenly. (This will vary depending on the size of your croissants.) You should have a few tablespoons of filling left to spread on the top.) Place the croissant tops back on.
  • Spread the remaining frangipane onto the tops of each croissant – each one should have about ½ tablespoon.
  • Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top of the frangipane (it will help the almonds stick to the croissants).
  • Bake on the center rack in the preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes, or until the almond cream on top is golden brown and the filling is very hot (if you have a kitchen thermometer, it should read 165°F/74°C in the center.)
  • Remove the croissants from the oven. Let them rest for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack.
  • Dust with powdered sugar just before serving. These double-baked vegan almond croissants are best enjoyed the same day they are made, and are delightful served warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Info:

Calories: 591kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 413mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 3mg

Notes:

Make-Ahead Suggestions & Storage Instructions
The syrup and almond cream filling can be made ahead of time. 
Simple syrup can be made up to a month ahead of time, kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
The almond custard filling can be made about 5 days ahead of time and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will firm up once chilled, so bring it to room temperature before you begin assembling the pastries so it’s easy to spread. 
Leftover frangipane can be used to stuff French toast, fill mini pastry tarts, tucked into the center of muffins before baking, etc!
Room Temperature Storage: Store the almond filled croissants at room temperature for up to 3 hours – wrap them individually in foil or store in an airtight container. After 3 hours, they should be refrigerated for food safety considering their high moisture custard filling. 
Refrigerator Storage: Store individually wrapped in foil or plastic wrap, or in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Freezer Storage: store individually wrapped in foil or plastic wrap, or in an airtight container for up to 6 months in the freezer. You may wish to freeze them in a single layer on a baking tray for 2 hours, and then transfer them to an airtight container to help retain their shape. 
How to Reheat Croissants:
Reheating From Refrigerator: heat the croissants directly on the oven rack at 350°F/177°C/gas mark 4 for ~5 minutes. 
Reheating From Freezer: thaw the frozen croissants in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter at room temperature for an hour or so. To crisp up the exteriors, heat the croissants directly on the oven rack at 350°F/177°C/gas mark 4 for ~5 minutes. If they are reheated frozen, the filling may not thaw before the outside pastry begins to burn.
Do not reheat croissants in the microwave. They will lose their crispiness, and will become chewy.
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The Nutrition Information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the Nutrition Information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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