Food sin or win? Flat croissants are the latest TikTok food trend

Yes, the buttery layered pastry has lost its perfect puff.

April 15, 2024, 8:00 AM
A pressed croissant sandwich with crispy exterior.
A pressed croissant sandwich with crispy exterior.
Kelly McCarthy

If you feel confused by the latest trend where croissants are being smushed into a two-dimensional version of the typically perfectly puffy, layered pastry -- which bakers spend hours achieving by the way -- then you're not alone.

Earlier this year social media feeds started filling up with photos and videos of a fresh culinary conundrum: flattened croissants. The term "flat croissant" has amassed more than 13.5M views on TikTok alone.

The beautifully laminated layers of butter and dough served flattened instead of puffy, was popularized in Korea and eventually the trend took off in the U.S.

The now-viral offerings range from simple, flat and coated in a crispy caramelized sugar exterior, to breakfast sandwiches flattened like a panini to achieve a buttery, toasted crispy bite.

It's not the first time foodies or cafes and restaurants have tried to get creative with the beloved French pastry. Iterations include the cronut, cruffins, croffles and even the newly viral crookies.

How to make flat croissants

While there are hundreds of iterations of the pastry concept floating around from home cooks -- from using freshly baked croissants and pressing it with a rolling pin, to baking the dough in between two sheet pans -- there's a method to the madness for everyone.

Sheet Tray Method

By sandwiching the uncooked dough that's been coated in sugar and pressing it between two parchment lined quarter sheet trays, the croissant emerges from the oven flat and crispy like the ones seen at bakeries.

Rolling Pin Method

Some users are taking pre-made croissants and rolling them thin on a cutting board using a rolling pin. From there, add butter to a skillet to melt, add the croissant and top with a drizzle of honey. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top and using a glass mixing bowl or heavy bottomed surface, let the croissant cook while flattened. Once caramelized, flip and repeat.

The at-home versions can be dipped in chocolate, topped with whipped cream or even chocolate candies.

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