These easy Gruyère Croissants are just what every dinner table needs. We’re skipping the 3-day process and making croissants start to finish in under 2 hours with zero stress. By skipping multiple folds and chill times and using plenty of butter, we’re able to create the perfect light, buttery, super soft in the middle, and extra flaky outside, croissant. These are YUMMY. Perfect for the holidays when served warm with sweet, salted cranberry honey butter.
Every holiday table, Thanksgiving or Christmas, needs a roll. Most years, and especially for Thanksgiving, I make my honey butter parker house rolls. Everyone loves them and they’re easy.
But this year I wanted a croissant – but not the work of making croissants, so I cheated. And while technically these aren’t classic croissants, you can see from all the layers that they’re going to be GOOD.
So call them cheater’s croissants or whatever you like, but they’re now my favorite.
If you’ve ever ventured to make croissants, most recipes are a 3-day process. Way too much work if you as me. I just can’t do that.
Instead of multiple folds, chill times, and rise times, we’re basically skipping all that by using super thin slices of butter, layered throughout the dough.
It’s simple. But before you get confused, let’s get into the details.
Start with the dough. Simply mix flour with instant yeast and a pinch of salt. I use instant yeast to keep the rolls really quick and easy so we don’t need to worry about rise times.
That said, you can easily use regular yeast too. I gave directions within the notes. But I actually think the instant yeast works wonderfully for this particular recipe.
Next, add warm milk, a touch of honey, and salted butter. Then lots of grated Gruyère cheese. Mix until smooth, and let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes or even a few hours. The dough will not get super puffy, but that’s OK since we’re using instant yeast. We get to skip an entire hour-long rise time, which is helpful for holiday meals and busy nights!
Shaping the croissants are fun. First, roll the dough out into a rectangle, then layer the top of the dough with thin slices of cold butter.
THIN COLD SLICES OF BUTTER.
All capitals are needed because the cold butter is how we will create layers of flaky deliciousness throughout the dough. The butter is folded, then rolled into the dough. Try to keep the butter as cold as possible. I like to freeze my sticks for 15 minutes, then slice and use.
Fold the dough once, roll it out, then roll it out once more. Rolling the dough twice helps to really distribute the butter into the dough.
Now roll the dough out once more into a super long rectangle, then cut into long, thin triangles. Top each triangle with more Gruyère cheese and roll it right on up and into a croissant shape.
This ends up actually being a pretty fun process if you enjoy baking. And if you don’t enjoy baking, at least it’s not stressful. Nothing here needs to be done perfectly!
Now that the croissants have been formed, I stash them in the freezer to chill the butter before baking. Just 15-20 minutes is all you need!
Brush the croissants with an egg just before baking, then bake away! I shot as many photos as possible to help you see the process. I created a video too.
The cranberry butter
While the croissants bake, I mix up a cranberry butter using salted butter, dried cranberries, and honey. It’s so delicious slathered over each savory, cheesy croissant.
Especially when topped with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
What I love most about these croissants is that you really can’t mess them up. The dough and process are so easy and very forgiving. They’re SO GOOD every time, because, how can anything layered with butter and Gruyère be bad? It just can’t.
Make these for Thanksgiving. They’re perfect for soaking up all that gravy and then eating for breakfast the next morning. There’s nothing not to love.
You can also make these ahead of time, then bake just before serving. Or, if you need to be conscious of oven space, pre-bake these a day ahead of time, then just warm them up before serving, no oven needed.
Again, flaky on the outside, soft, buttery, perfectly sweet, and cheesy inside with so many delicious, buttery layers.
What every dinner roll should aspire to!
Looking for other holiday bread recipes? Try these.
Lastly, if you make these Easy Gruyère Croissants be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Easy Gruyère Croissants
Servings: 14 croissants
Calories Per Serving: 428 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 3 1/2– 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) Rapid Rise yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups Gruyère cheese, grated
- 1 cup warm whole milk
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4) cup cold salted butter, sliced into thin pieces
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, beaten together, for brushing
- 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add 1 cup of cheese. Mix with a fork to combine.2. Pour in the warm milk, honey, 1 egg, and butter. Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is incorporated, 4-5 minutes. If the dough seems sticky, add the remaining 1/4 -1/2 cup of flour. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or up to a few hours at room temperature.3. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, creating a large rectangle that’s about 12×18 inches. Layer the thin slices of cold butter down the middle 1/3 of the dough, creating a rectangle of butter (see above photo).4. Fold 1/3 of the dough over the butter, then fold the other 1/3 over top of the first layer so you have 3 dough layers (like an envelope). Roll the dough out again into a large rectangle, fold into thirds. 5. Next, roll the dough out in a large, long 25×9 inch rectangle (it does not need to be exact/perfect). Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife cut the dough into 14-16 long triangles, about 3 inches wide. Sprinkle each triangle with the remaining cheese. Roll the croissants up. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Cover and freeze 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can let the rolls sit in the fridge overnight. 6. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Brush with the rolls with the beaten egg. Bake the croissants for 16-20 minutes, until deeply golden. Serve the croissant warm, with cranberry butter and sea salt7. To make the cranberry butter. Combine the butter, cranberries, honey, and a pinch of salt together in a small bowl.
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To Make Ahead: prepare the rolls through step 5. Do not let the rolls rise at room temp. Cover the rolls and place in the fridge (up to overnight). When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the fridge 30 minutes prior to baking, then bake as directed. To Prepare and Freeze: assemble the rolls through step 5, then cover the pan and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the rolls overnight in the fridge or on the counter for a few hours. Once thawed, bake as directed. To Bake and Freeze: bake the rolls as directed and let cool completely. Cover well and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and warm before serving. To Use Active Dry Yeast: Mix 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast with the warm milk and honey. Let sit 5-10 minutes, until bubbly and foamy on top. Add the flour and follow the directions as listed for the remainder of the recipe.