Confession: I didn’t get a chance to try one of the wildly popular Baked Apple Croissants before they left the Starbucks menu, so while I know mine are delicious, I’m not sure how they stack up. I don’t drink coffee, so my visits there have always been next to never outside the years I spent working at Target and consumed way too many Iced Lemon Loaf slices on breaks. Speaking of Lemon Loaf Cake, have you tried my recipe? It’s perfect!
I read Starbucks’ Baked Apple Croissant description on the website, and looked at enough pictures to where I felt like I could make something similar at home, and here we are. If you got a chance to try one of theirs, and you make this recipe, leave a comment and let me know how these babies compare!
Baked Apple Croissants Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Baked Apple Croissants recipe:
- Puff pastry: I used a box of Pepperidge Farm’s frozen puff pastry, getting 6 rectangles from each 9.75” X 10.5″ sheet, so you’ll want to have similarly sized sheets to fill all 12 tins, or else they’ll be too small to hold any more than a bite of filling.
- Granny Smith apples: I only cook with Granny Smith or green apples, because all others break down too much. If you opt for another kind of apple, I recommend heavily decreasing the amount of time you cook the apple filling on the stove top, or skipping it altogether. This of course depends on the texture you want inside your Baked Apple Croissants.
- All-purpose flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, lemonade, vanilla extract, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon: Lemonade is kind of my secret ingredient, but can be substituted by a teaspoon of lemon juice and an added amount of water, as needed. We use it to toss the apples so they don’t oxidize, and also to loosen the caramel-like sauce that forms as we cook the apples down. Vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon for that nice apple pie spice. Flour thickens and suspends, sugars sweeten.
- Egg, water, turbinado sugar: Sprinkling raw sugar in the bottom of each muffin well and on top of the Baked Apple Croissants before baking gives them a sheen and crunch. After we fold the puff pastry over the top of the apple filling we’ll brush it with egg wash for sheen and color, and to keep them pinched together as it bakes.
How to Make Baked Apple Croissants
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Baked Apple Croissants recipe:
- Make the Apple Pie Filling. In a mixing bowl – or directly in the medium-sized saucepan you’ll be cooking the filling in – stir together the diced apples, lemonade, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Place the saucepan with the apples over medium-high heat and bring to a noisy simmer, stirring frequently until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover with a lid. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples have just begun to soften and the sauce coating them has thickened and reduced – about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Prepare for Baked Apple Croissants. Coat the wells of a 12-cup muffin tin liberally with baking spray or pan grease. Use a paper towel to make sure the inner edges are coated, and to remove any excess. Sprinkle a small amount of turbinado sugar into the bottom of each well, just enough to lightly cover it. Slice your sheets of puff pastry into three long rectangles – down the seams if the sheet came folded into three even sections, then slice the rectangles in half horizontally, leaving you with 6 rectangles. Preheat your oven to 400°F. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and water until slightly frothy and no streaks remain.
- Build the Croissants. Take a rectangle and pull the ends together, dropping it into a muffin well and using your fingers or a blunt tool to press the puff pastry down into the pan and against the sides. We want to mold the center of each rectangle to the shape of the muffin tin, leaving the outer edges overlapping the sides. Repeat with all twelve pieces of puff pastry. Spoon a small amount of apple pie filling into each muffin well, making sure not to overfill. You want a heaping amount, but not so much you can’t pinch the edges closed, or that it makes the puff pastry soggy. Make sure to gather any of the sauce from the sides and bottom of the saucepan and spoon that over the top of the apples. Grab one edge of the exposed puff pastry and bring it over the filling, pinching the two sides together. Repeat with the other edge, and continue until you’ve pinched together the puff pastry over all the pies. It’s fine if they don’t appear to cover the filling, and also fine if they do.
- Bake the Apple Croissants. Use a basting brush to lightly baste the tops of each apple croissant with egg wash. Make sure to coat each petal of puff pastry evenly. Sprinkle a generous pinch of turbinado sugar over the tops of each croissant, then place the muffin tin on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until the tops are golden browned and the filling is bubbling out over the edges of the croissants. If at 20 minutes they don’t seem ready lightly cover them with a sheet of aluminum foil and continue baking for 5 more minutes.
- Cool and eat. Or Store. Allow the Baked Apple Croissants to rest in the muffin tin for 1–2 minutes, then use a knife to pop each one out – they should slide out easily. Transfer them to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool as long as you can before you devour them. These can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container, for 2–3 days. Reheat in the microwave in 20 second intervals, or place in a cold oven and turn it on to 250°F until it’s as warm as you want.
Variation: Apple Croissant Bake
If you don’t have or don’t want to use a muffin pan to make this, the recipe also works well as a single dish you slice or pull apart instead of individual servings. Check out the latest issue of my Weekly Newsletter or join my Twitter community for instructions!