Matcha Cruffins

matcha cruffins fork to belly

Hiya! Well this post took me a week.
p.s. it’s a long one

Remember when we were in San Francisco last month? I happened to be browsing Buzzfeed and noticed an article about a San Francisco bakery having their recipe book stolen. They’re big seller: cruffins.

Cruffins?! You mean, a croissant muffin? I’m not one for fads (e.g. I still haven’t had a proper cronut), but I mean, I just so happened to be in San Francisco that week. And when life gives you lemons…

matcha cruffins fork to belly matcha cruffins fork to belly

So the following morning, I woke up early and braved the Tenderloin to stand in line at 1042 Larkin Street for the infamous pastry at Mr. Holmes Bakery. I had spent the previous evening picking apart Yelp for tips on the best time to get your hands on a cruffin before they sold out. When I arrived, there was a small line out front which I eagerly joined. As I neared the bakery counter, I noticed there was only one row of cruffins left. They’d had the cruffins out for only 30 minutes, there was no way that was the last of them… right? As I waited, my eyes searched for a hint or some sign of a second batch. As I waited in line I whispered prayers under my breath and crossed my fingers, hoping against all hope there’d still be just one delicious cruffin sitting there as the baker turned to me, asking what I would like. The woman in front of me asked for the last two cruffins, and all was lost.

matcha cruffins fork to belly

So, I went home cruffinless. I walked from the bakery with a box full of croissants (I couldn’t not get something… plus the packaging was really cute) and spent the next few hours sulking over my failed cruffin escapade. Roy and I met on his lunch break and we munched on said croissants as I explained to him my horrible morning. After I was done, he looked at me and said, “couldn’t you try making one yourself?”

matcha cruffins fork to belly

I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about it before. Maybe because all I’ve heard about croissants is they’re REALLY REALLY HARD, meaning the process takes 3 days and lots and lots of practice. When I got back to LA, I watched Youtube videos and read blog posts and magazine articles, researching how to achieve a great croissant. My first go went horribly wrong because my butter was so cold is broke when I attempted to roll out the dough. The second time, I experimented with the placement of the dough inside the tall muffin tin to get the right shape. In the end, I came up with this recipe for Matcha Cruffins.

matcha cruffins fork to belly

Like any croissant, these cruffins are flakey and buttery, and at least one should be enjoyed right from the oven. I’m a huge fan of mixing French and Japanese tastes. Matcha was an easy choice here and a favorite of my friend who I’ll be gifting a giant bag of these to as a going away present! Though all kinds of fillings would pair well here, such as fruit jam, vanilla pasty cream, or chocolate.

matcha cruffins fork to belly

Croissant making isn’t out of this world difficult, but then again it kind of is. The process is simple, but the time it takes to make the croissants, plus the little things that can mean the difference between a decent croissant and a bakery worthy one is what makes this stressful. I’ve done a lot of research online and here are some great tips and resources I’ve found:

1. For a great basic overview of croissant making, check out this amazing video from Laura in the Kitchen.

2. Many of the recipes I found stressed the importance of keeping everything as cold as possible during the rolling process of the dough and suggested freezing the dough between turns. I followed this initially and ended up breaking the layer of butter beneath the dough because it was too cold. I tried again with the method Laura uses of refrigerating the butter between folds rather than freezing. Depending on the temperature in your house and the climate, you will want to freeze or refrigerate the dough between folds accordingly. When working with the butter, make sure it is malleable enough to roll out smoothly but cold enough to hold its shape.

3. European butter is recommended (I’m honestly not sure why–UPDATE: a reader mentioned that this is because European butter is higher in fat content than American butter). On my first try, I used Plugra which might have also resulted in the butter layer breaking when rolled out. I noticed that another brand of european butter, Vermont Creamery, was slightly squeezable while in the fridge while the Pulgra was rock hard. I used the Vermont Creamery butter for my second try and had better success with it. Again, choose between brands accordingly but make sure that it’s european (I still don’t know why).

4. Here are some other really great blog posts and articles I’ve read with great photos and information. If you’re making croissants for the first time, I highly suggest reading these!
My Diverse Kitchen
Simply A Foodblog

5. Pastry cream is also a bit tricky. Here’s a great step-by-step video from Everyday Food, which is the recipe I based the matcha cream one used here off of.

6. You can use regular muffin tins, but I liked the way the cruffins looked baked in taller muffin tins. I used popover tins, which I bought off Amazon! I only bought one which was a real pain when I started baking the croissants. After cutting and placing the dough in the tins, they have to sit out and proof for 2-3 hours. Which means it took me forever to bake all 24 cruffins. Buy two popover tins!

I did not get a successful cruffin until my third batch, so don’t be discouraged if your first try doesn’t turn out. Even then, I am no croissant expert by far. But once you finally start to get it right, these cruffins are amazeballs. Seriously. You need to try these!

matcha cruffins fork to belly matcha cruffins fork to belly

Matcha Cruffins

Recipe makes around 20 cruffins
For step-by-step photos, check out My Diverse Kitchen

For the croissant dough:
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups whole milk
4 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
4 1/4 cups (21 1/4 oz or 602g) all-purpose flour (King Arthur preferred)
1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz or 50g) sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the butter layer:
12 oz (24 tbsp) unsalted European-style-butter, cold (european butter recommended)

1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from the pan and immediately add the milk. Whisk in the instant yeast and transfer the entire mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.
2. Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl. Knead on low speed for 2-3 minutes until a dough forms. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead for another minute.
3. Flour a pie dish or flat plate and drop in the dough. Use your fingers to spread the dough out slightly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

4. Fold a 24 inch of parchment paper in half lengthwise. It will look like a book cover.
5. On all the three open ends of the paper, fold the loose ends inwards to create an 8 inch square. Make sure all sides are sealed. I started with the two sides opposite one another and then did the last one.
6. Remove butter from the fridge. Unfold your parchment square. Place your butter on top of one of the sides of the 8 inch square. I like to cut the butter in 1/2 inch slices and place them next to each other to form a square shape inside the parameter of the square. Fold the sides over again to seal the butter inside and flip the packet so the loose ends are on the bottom. Use a rolling pin to roll out the butter to one smooth 8 inch slab. Return the butter to the fridge for another 30 minutes to harden up.
7. After 30 minutes, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Deflate it slightly with your fingertips and flour your work surface. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and use a rolling pin to shape the dough into a 10×10 inch square.
8. Take the butter slab from the fridge and unwrap it from the parchment paper. Place the slab in the center of the dough, but at an angle so the butter and dough look like a diamond sitting on top of a square. Make sure your butter is not too stiff that it cannot be rolled out or too soft that it will not hold its shape. Fold each corner of the dough over the butter slab and seal together in the middle so the butter is fully encased.
9. Roll out the dough into an 8×24 inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds and make sure to brush off any excess flour with a pastry brush. Cover in plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the butter to harden again.
10. After 30 minutes, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Turn the dough 90 degrees so the longer side of the dough is vertical to you. Roll the dough out to another 8×24 inch rectangle and fold into thirds. Return to the fridge for 30 minutes. Repeat this step (turn, roll, fold) again one more time. After all three turns, cover the dough with plastic wrap and place it back in the fridge to rest overnight or for 24 hours maximum (overnight is best).

11. The following day, remove the dough from the fridge. Cut the dough in half and place the second half back in the fridge until ready to use. Roll out the first half of the dough into a 8×15 inch rectangle.
12. Use a knife to make small cuts in 3 inch increments down the longer side of the dough. Cut the dough into 3×8 inch rectangles, then cut rectangle in half at an angle to create a triangle-like shape.
13. Roll the triangles up starting from the larger side, making sure to keep one side flat as you roll. Place the cruffin in the popover tin, flat side down. Try to place it as evenly as possible so the cruffin will be able to stand once it is baked. You can use a toothpick to help push the edges down into the tin to create a stable base. Cover the cruffins with a kitchen towel and let proof for 2-3 hours. The cruffins will not double in size but be significantly larger.
14. After proofing, preheat your oven to 400F and place a rack in the middle position. Create an egg wash by whisking one egg and a splash of milk together. Brush the egg wash on top of the cruffins. Bake them for 20-25 minutes until completely browned.

For the Matcha Pastry Cream:
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 cups whole milk, room temperature
4 egg yolks, room temperature
2 tsp matcha powder, sifted
35g butter, cut into cubes
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1. In a metal saucepan, whisk the caster sugar and cornflour together. Add in a pinch of salt.
2. Measure the milk out into a bowl. Whisk in the eggs yolks and sifted matcha powder, making sure everything is evenly combined.
3. Pour the milk mixture into the saucepan with the dry ingredients, whisking constantly.
4. Add in the butter and heat the saucepan over a medium heat. Keep whisking until the pastry cream begins to boil. The cornstarch will not activate until it reaches a boil. After one minute, add in the vanilla bean paste.
5. Use a mesh sieve the mixture into a separate bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic touches the top of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until ready to use.

1. Use a knife or chopstick to create a small hole and tunnel inside the cruffin. It’s best to make the tunnel as vertical as possible.
2. Fill a large bowl with a cup or so of granulated sugar. Roll each cruffin in the sugar. You can also use your hands to sprinkle the sugar over hard to reach areas.
3. Fill a piping bag with the chilled pastry cream. Once all the cruffins have been coated in sugar, pipe the cream into the opening you created until it is filled. Then pipe a small swirl on top. A small sprinkling of cocoa powder can be added to the top of the cruffin.



About Courtney C.

  • Stunning photos as always! They looks so fluffy and delicate! And matcha flavor? Sign me up! Great post, Courtney!

  • These look wonderful! I’ve only made croissants once, and it was so much work I’ve been too lazy to try them ever since…lol. Maybe I’ll have to give croissant dough a shot again to make something like this! I like the idea of baking croissant dough in muffin tins. The pastry cream sounds delicious πŸ™‚

    • Thanks June! It is definitely a lot of work, I’ve never spent so long with a recipe! Cruffins add a bit more fun to it though, and are quite forgiving since they’re baked in a muffin tin πŸ™‚

  • Woah! I just came across your blog and I’m in love. These matcha cruffins are so amazing – I love everything about them. And your whole blog – your photos are gorgeous! I’m so sorry your trip to SF ended cruffinless, but if it led you to these, then it was a happy ending after all!

    • Hi Sarah! Thank you, you’re so sweet! Maybe soon the cruffin hype will lead to more bakeries selling them where I live πŸ™‚

  • Cruffin great. These look amazing I’ve not come across a cruffin yet but yours have sold them to me. A brilliant post Courtney.

  • Wow Courtney. Just, wow. I have never heard of cruffins but that one photo you posted on instagram instantly made me crave it. The photos are everything!! I don’t know if I”m patient enough to spend three days on a recipe… but you do tempt me, lady!

    • Thank you, Betty πŸ™‚ maybe cruffins will be taking the eastside soon! I know what you mean, I didn’t think I had that kind of patience either but it is definitely worth the result!

  • This is seriously amazing, like I have no words amaizng.. obsessed with these matcha cruffins!

  • Loved this post! I couldn’t stop giggling at the word “cruffin.” So dang cute. I’ve never heard of them before but they sound awesome. I love taking on fun from-scratch baking tasks like this!

    • I’m still surprised that so many people have yet to hear of cruffins! I ended up giving most of them away because I was in danger of eating them all!

  • Those cruffins look stunning! They look AMAZING, and I bet they taste that way too! Also, that matcha filling and topping looks so tasty!! Pinned πŸ™‚

    • Hi Christina! I must admit, they taste just as good as they look… Maybe even better?? πŸ™‚

  • J.L.

    Omg! I just started a strict diet but I think I’m gna have to cheat. Hopefully I can execute it as gorgeous as you did. Doubtful. πŸ˜‰

    • A cheat meal is 1000% necessary for these babies unless you have a self-control of steel! Croissants/cruffin making takes some practice but I think everyone should give it a try!

  • These look amazing! It sounds like you handled that situation a lot better than I would have- if I had just missed the “cruffins” I probably would have thrown a small tantrum (at least to my boyfriend) about my failed attempt…


    • Thank you, Kelsey! If we hadn’t been in public I probably would’ve had a mini-tantrum but the croissants from the bakery were so good I was happy to have at least gotten my hands on those!!

  • Sabrianna

    Wow! This is a bucket list recipe. Must and WILL make! Stunning photography, too. My mouth is watering. Only change I would make is the use of either a caramel or coffee flavored pastry cream as I am not a huge fan of the flavor of matcha.

    • Hi Sabrina! Caramel and coffee sound like excellent cruffin fillings, great idea!

  • Your cruffins look amazing. I bet they give 1042 Larkin Street a run for their money.

    I just got back from Morocco where chocolate croissants were always served at breakfast. I will be earmarking this recipe for use when I become brave enough to tackle the croissant in remembrance of our trip.

    • Hi Lynn, Morocco sounds amazing! Especially with fresh croissants for breakfast… If you start craving them, then I totally recommend trying to make some from scratch! Even if they don’t turn out pretty on the first try, they’ll still taste great πŸ™‚

  • I still haven’t gone to Mr. Holmes yet, but I’ve been hearing good things about that place. These cruffins look like SUCH a dream!

    • Hi Lisa! If you plan on going make sure to get there early! The croissants were great so I can only assume the cruffins even yummier πŸ™‚

  • These sound amazing Courtney! I can never quite commit myself to making croissants, but these cruffins are so freaking cute! And I love the matcha filling- yummmmm. Gorgeous photos as always!

    • Hi Maya! A fresh croissant is sooo worth it, maybe you’ll feel a little more excited about cruffins though and finally get around to it!

  • SBO

    Nice picture!!

  • Prague

    European butter has a higher fat content than most American butter. At least, that’s what a pastry chef told me once.

    • Thank you! I’ll add that in to the post πŸ™‚

  • Val

    I made these today and they grew like crazy and then I reread the recipe and I think you mean 4tsp instead of 4tbsp?? haha πŸ™‚

    • Hi Valerie, I’m so sorry about the typo!! I’ve changed it in the recipe. If the cruffins are still rising a lot, make sure each croissant triangle is cut in 1.5 inch increments. They look small at first but then they puff up a ton!

      • Val

        No problem, it was a great recipe though! Thanks!

  • Nice. Looks very delicious πŸ™‚

  • Tammy

    Hello Courtney,

    I was searching online for a nice cruffin recipe and yours caught my eye – love at first sight (the cruffins, of course)! I want to try your recipe during this festive season, however I am not confident in shaping these babies.

    Is there some photos I could refer to shape the cruffins to look exactly like yours? I can’t visualize it based on the method described above.

    Thanks and Cheers,

    • Hi Tammy! I don’t have any photos of the process but I hope I can explain it better here. I cut the dough like you would if making regular croissants. The only difference was instead of rolling the triangles straight down the middle, I rolled them up keeping just one side of the triangle aligned. This way when placed inside the muffin tins (aligned side down) the cruffins will have a stable base and won’t tip over when standing on their own. You can also email me through my contact link if you have more questions. Hope this helps, happy holidays and good luck!

  • Paula Garcia

    Hi Courtney! Let me congratulate you because your cruffins are the most similar-looking to those from Mr Holmes out there in the web! But Can you explain to me how did you achieve the cruffin form? Sorry but i didn’t understand the step of making triangles and placing on the tins. How do you fold and cut the dough when putting it in the muffin tins so the croissant layers are viewable from the top?

    • Hi Paula! Another reader asked this same question and here was my response: I cut the dough like you would if making regular croissants. The only difference was instead of rolling the triangles straight down the middle, I rolled them up keeping just one side of the triangle aligned. This way when placed inside the muffin tins (aligned side down) the cruffins will have a stable base and won’t tip over when standing on their own.

      Let me know if you still need any help!

  • I had the same idea to use a popover tin as well! They look so great, the tips will be super helpful when I attemp making these at home! Thanks!

    • Glad to hear you had cruffin success, Sydney!!! xx