Back in June we reported about the Cronut craze sweeping New York (“a flaky, yet inherently sweet marriage between a croissant and a doughnut”). Since then, it seems like the world can’t get enough of portmanteau patisserie, surely the foodie trend of 2013.

Just before we start to get confused with whatever cruffin-mookie-downie concoction is most ‘in’ at the moment, here’s our overview of the biggest trends hitting cafés (and headlines) this year.

The Duffin is a combination of a doughnut with a muffin. (Photo Credit: Starbucks UK)
The Duffin is a combination of a doughnut with a muffin. (Photo Credit: Starbucks UK)

Cronut (croissant-doughnut)

Probably the first case of a viral pastry, the Cronut seemed to take over blogs and social media within a month of its launch in May 2013. Chef Dominique Ansel, owner of the Dominique Ansel Bakery and creator of the Cronut, developed the recipe for this croissant-doughnut hybrid. These days, queues at their New York-based bakery snake around the block – and they even have their own scalpers!

If you fancy getting your hands on an original (!) Cronut, then find the end of the queue somewhere down the road from here:

189 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012

'Duffingate' was sparked off by the launch of Starbuck's new Duffin pastry, which was contested by Bea's of Bloomsbury in London. (Photo Credit: Bea's of Bloomsbury)
‘Duffingate’ was sparked off by the launch of Starbuck’s new Duffin pastry, which was contested by Bea’s of Bloomsbury in London. (Photo Credit: Bea’s of Bloomsbury)

Duffin (doughnut-muffin)

After the popularity of the Cronut, sweet treat heavyweight Starbucks jumped on the bandwagon, introducing and immediately trademarking the newest addition to their calorie-laden offering: the Duffin. A cross between a doughnut and a muffin, the Duffin made headlines after the launch in October 2013 when Bea Vo, the American owner of a small café based in London, claimed to have created the Duffin before Starbucks (there was even an article published about the invention).

Even before ‘Duffingate’, British television chef Nigella Lawson had published a recipe in The Guardian’s How to Eat section for jam doughnut muffins, although she called them just that, and now you can find countless numbers of similar recipes filling cookery websites across the Internet.

Townie (tart-brownie)

Originally created by Bea Vo (of ‘duffingate’ fame), the townie is a brownie cupped inside a crispy tart casing. The story goes that Bea was challenged by food writer Victoria Stewart in the Evening Standard to create a new kind of fusion dessert to rival the Cronut. While the ‘crapjack’ (croissant-flapjack) didn’t really take off, the townie (and the duffin, incidentally) proved to be a big hit with her customers.

Bea’s of Bloomsbury
44 Theobalds Road

Brookie (brownie-cookie)

Winging back across the Atlantic to North America, it was only a matter of time before this combination worked its way on to café counters. Otherwise known as the Brookster by Brooklyn-based bakery Baked, a chunky chocolate-chip cookie is nestled on a bed of all-American brownie. Even Martha Stewart approved!

Pick one up at:

359 Van Brunt Street
Brooklyn, New York 11231

Crookie (croissant-cookie)

This seemingly impossible creation – combining the flaky crispy dough of croissant with the crunchy snap of an Oreo biscuit – was lovingly invented by Toronto’s Clafouti patisserie and café. With a tagline of “Serving butter wrapped in dough & other goodies on Queen West since 2003”, there’s little not to love at this bakery.

Find them at:

915 Queen Street West, Toronto ON, M6J 1G5

Coming to a café near you?

They might not have made the headlines just yet, or even reached bakery shop-fronts, but these lesser-known mash-ups might well be the next big thing.

Racing across the globe and back through time to 2010, Sydney-based food blogger Raspberri Cupcakes published her recipe for the ‘macanut’, a combination of the ever-popular macarons with donuts.

In part muffin batter, the muffle is cooked in a waffle iron to create the typical waffle shape, but with a crumblier appearance. If you want to have a go yourself, Canadian recipe website Rock Recipes published this recipe for strawberry muffles – although I’m not quite sure if it is a breakfast or a cake!

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About Emily McCullough

Originally from Northern Ireland, Emily came to the Netherlands for her boyfriend and a masters degree in Physical Geography. She enjoys photography, baking, and her cats… preferably not all at the same time.


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One Response to "Much Ado About Duffin – Attempting to Top the Cronut"

  1. Pingback: Time to Celebrate: The Chimney Cake (aka kürtőskalács)

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