Explore Las Vegas

The History of the Cronut

We talked with world-renowned Chef Dominique Ansel about the pastry that took the world by storm. 

If you’re a lover of pastries and sweets, you’ve definitely heard of the Cronut. The Cronut, created by Chef Dominique Ansel in 2013, quickly became a worldwide sensation. Combining a croissant’s flaky layers with a donut’s flavor and shape, the Cronut offers a unique and indulgent treat for dessert lovers. You can find Ansel’s delicious creations in Las Vegas at Caesars PalaceNew York, at two locations, and at Dang Wen Li in Hong Kong. We talked with Chef Dominique Ansel at the grand opening of Dominique Ansel Las Vegas and got the full scoop on the origins of the Cronut.

The Story Dominique Ansel’s Cronut

Creating Something New

“My wife and I opened the business together in 2011. In 2013, we challenged ourselves to create new pastries for the weekend. And my wife suggested I create a donut. I was like, no; I was laughing. I was like, I’m French. Then she asked me again, and I said no. And then she asked me again, of course, she asked me enough time. So I said, “yes, I’ll do something.” Let’s do something creative or something fun. I grew up in France; I love croissants. I want to add the texture of the croissant inside the donut. So I decided to work on it for a few months until I was happy with the result.” 

Chef Dominique Ansel | WHERE Traveler®
 Chef Dominique Ansel (©Palm + Ocean)

The Cronut Goes Viral

“So we called it the Cronut, and we put it on the menu. A friend of ours was a blogger; they came by and randomly snapped a photo of a Cronut on the table and put it on his blog. And he called me a few hours later and said, “my article went viral.” At the time, I only had four employees at the bakery—two in the kitchen and two baristas and the two of us. He told me his article went viral, and I was like, “I’m happy for you; I worked 20 hours today; I need to get a bit of sleep.” He explained to me that he had an increase of traffic of 300% on his website and over 140,000 links to his article that same afternoon after just a few hours. He said, “you don’t understand; it’s going to be crazy for you.” And I said, “I’m happy for you; I’m going to go to sleep.”

The Cronut is a Hit

“The next day, I woke up, and there were 150 people waiting in line before we opened the doors. It was just madness; with only four employees, we were so stressed out. So panicked. People were coming unhappy and complaining about us not making enough. My kitchen was like 10X12 feet, with one table only. And I could only do so much. So we worked nights and tried to ramp up production slowly. And there was just madness; people came from all over the city. People were picking fights and yelling and screaming at each other the line started at two o’clock in the morning, and we opened at eight. It was just insane. I had to hire security just to make sure to keep everything in order.” 

The Newly Opened Dominique Ansel at Caesars Palace Las Vegas | WHERE Traveler®
The Newly Opened Dominique Ansel at Caesars Palace (©Palm + Ocean)

Maintaining the Quality of the Cronut

“A lot of people are going to the factory and doing thousands of Cronuts every day and ship them for them. I didn’t want to do this at all. I didn’t want to kill the creativity of our creation. It was important for me to stay true to ourselves, focus on the quality, and slowly increase the quantity of however many we could do. Probably a month or two into it, we had decided to work with charities to fight against hunger in New York City. We raised over 4100,000, auctioning off twelve Cronuts. And all the money went to charity to fight against hunger in New York City. That’s something that’s very important for me because I didn’t always grow up with enough food at home, and I wanted to be a part of the community.”

No Two Flavors Are Alike

“We have changed the flavor of the Cronut every single month since we created it. We have never, ever repeated the same flavor at any location. So we have created hundreds of different flavors, and we will never ever repeat the same one.”

Chef Dominique Ansel’s Favorite Cronut

“I think, probably the first one, which was vanilla. That was for Mother’s Day. It was simple; there was some simplicity and some innocence to it because we didn’t know where it was going to go.” 

 If you’re a lover of pastries and sweets, you’ve definitely heard of the Cronut. The Cronut, created by Chef Dominique Ansel in 2013, quickly became a worldwide sensation. Combining a croissant’s flaky layers with a donut’s flavor and shape, the Cronut offers a unique and indulgent treat for dessert lovers. You can find Ansel’s delicious creations in Las Vegas at Caesars PalaceNew York, at two locations, and at Dang Wen Li in Hong Kong. We talked with Chef Dominique Ansel at the grand opening of Dominique Ansel Las Vegas and got the full scoop on the origins of the Cronut.

The Story Dominique Ansel’s Cronut

Creating Something New

“My wife and I opened the business together in 2011. In 2013, we challenged ourselves to create new pastries for the weekend. And my wife suggested I create a donut. I was like, no; I was laughing. I was like, I’m French. Then she asked me again, and I said no. And then she asked me again, of course, she asked me enough time. So I said, “yes, I’ll do something.” Let’s do something creative or something fun. I grew up in France; I love croissants. I want to add the texture of the croissant inside the donut. So I decided to work on it for a few months until I was happy with the result.” 

Chef Dominique Ansel | WHERE Traveler®
 Chef Dominique Ansel (©Palm + Ocean)

The Cronut Goes Viral

“So we called it the Cronut, and we put it on the menu. A friend of ours was a blogger; they came by and randomly snapped a photo of a Cronut on the table and put it on his blog. And he called me a few hours later and said, “my article went viral.” At the time, I only had four employees at the bakery—two in the kitchen and two baristas and the two of us. He told me his article went viral, and I was like, “I’m happy for you; I worked 20 hours today; I need to get a bit of sleep.” He explained to me that he had an increase of traffic of 300% on his website and over 140,000 links to his article that same afternoon after just a few hours. He said, “you don’t understand; it’s going to be crazy for you.” And I said, “I’m happy for you; I’m going to go to sleep.”

The Cronut is a Hit

“The next day, I woke up, and there were 150 people waiting in line before we opened the doors. It was just madness; with only four employees, we were so stressed out. So panicked. People were coming unhappy and complaining about us not making enough. My kitchen was like 10X12 feet, with one table only. And I could only do so much. So we worked nights and tried to ramp up production slowly. And there was just madness; people came from all over the city. People were picking fights and yelling and screaming at each other the line started at two o’clock in the morning, and we opened at eight. It was just insane. I had to hire security just to make sure to keep everything in order.” 

The Newly Opened Dominique Ansel at Caesars Palace Las Vegas | WHERE Traveler®
The Newly Opened Dominique Ansel at Caesars Palace (©Palm + Ocean)

Maintaining the Quality of the Cronut

“A lot of people are going to the factory and doing thousands of Cronuts every day and ship them for them. I didn’t want to do this at all. I didn’t want to kill the creativity of our creation. It was important for me to stay true to ourselves, focus on the quality, and slowly increase the quantity of however many we could do. Probably a month or two into it, we had decided to work with charities to fight against hunger in New York City. We raised over 4100,000, auctioning off twelve Cronuts. And all the money went to charity to fight against hunger in New York City. That’s something that’s very important for me because I didn’t always grow up with enough food at home, and I wanted to be a part of the community.”

No Two Flavors Are Alike

“We have changed the flavor of the Cronut every single month since we created it. We have never, ever repeated the same flavor at any location. So we have created hundreds of different flavors, and we will never ever repeat the same one.”

Chef Dominique Ansel’s Favorite Cronut

“I think, probably the first one, which was vanilla. That was for Mother’s Day. It was simple; there was some simplicity and some innocence to it because we didn’t know where it was going to go.” 

Lucky Cherry Chambord & Caramelia Cronuts at Dominique Ansel Las Vegas | WHERE Traveler®
Lucky Cherry Chambord & Caramelia Cronuts at Dominique Ansel Las Vegas (©Palm + Ocean)

*Interview edited for clarity.