Learn how to make bakery-style Vegan Croissants in the comfort of your own kitchen. This easy-to-follow guide teaches you the ins and outs of this once complicated, now home baker-friendly pastry!
The thought of learning how to make homemade croissants can be daunting in itself. This classic French pastry made with lots of butter and a laminated dough isn’t a task for the faint of heart… until now!
I usually like to make my baking recipes as easy as possible (hello one-bowl vegan chocolate cake!), but this recipe for croissants is a bit fussy. However, most croissant recipes take days to complete and are not nearly as easy as this one. I’ve simplified it the best I can so you can have incredible vegan croissants in less than a day!
Just like my Vegan Eclairs and Cream Puffs, I tested this recipe for Vegan Croissants until they were big, fluffy, and buttery! I share the detailed step-by-step process and plenty of tips and tricks to help you through this not-so-easy pastry. Plus, the ingredients list is short and there’s no special equipment needed.
It goes something like this:
- Make the dough and let it rest
- Roll and fold (or “laminate”) the dough
- Slice it into triangles
- Roll them into crescent rolls
- Bake and enjoy!
Once you master a vegan croissants recipe, you’ll be making them for weekend breakfasts and brunch. You can even prepare the night before and bake the next day! After all, there’s nothing quite as good as waking up to a batch of freshly baked buttery croissants.
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- All purpose flour – I like baking croissants with all purpose flour because it lends an excellent structure and chewy, mouthwatering texture. Most French croissants are made with pastry flour, which produces more delicate results, and others use bread flour. The higher protein content in bread flour yields sturdier croissants but works best as a substitute for all purpose flour.
- Granulated sugar
- Instant dry yeast – Yeast is a must when baking giant, fluffy croissants. As the yeast in the dough ferments, it causes the dough to double in size, thus giving you the most bountiful vegan croissants! The recipe should work with active dry yeast as well.
- Vegan butter – I’ve had the best luck making these with vegan butter sticks rather than a spread. I like Miyoko’s for its flavor but other brands will work, too.
- Soy milk – Or you can use any other kind of unsweetened plant milk instead.
- Maple syrup – Brushing a mix of soy milk and maple syrup over the crescent rolls helps them brown in the oven.
How to make vegan croissants
Find the complete printable recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.
Step 1: Make the dough
Whisk the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add the sliced cold butter and toss them into the dry mix with a spatula, then pour in the milk. Gently stir until you have a rugged dough with chunks of butter.
Step 2: Chill and laminate the dough
Wrap the dough in a tight layer of plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge. Afterward, take it out of the fridge and roll it into a rectangle.
Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter. Roll it out into a large rectangle, then turn it 90 degrees and fold it again.
Continue rolling out then folding 5 more times. The dough should be smooth but you should see large streaks of butter in each layer. Place it back in the fridge to chill.
Step 3: Form and bake the croissants
Divide the dough in half, then roll one half into a large rectangle. Trim the uneven edges with a pizza cutter.
Slice the rectangle into smaller rectangles, then slice each rectangle into skinny, long triangles. Cut a small slit at the wide end of the triangle.
Starting at the wide end, tightly roll each triangle into a crescent shape, making sure to tuck the tip underneath.
Transfer each crescent roll to a parchment-lined baking sheet, then cover it with plastic and set aside so they can rise.
Meanwhile, stir the soy milk and maple syrup together in a small bowl. Brush the syrup/butter mixture over each crescent roll.
Bake the croissants until they’re puffy and golden brown. Enjoy!
Start your day with a freshly baked batch of vegan croissants by preparing the dough overnight. Once the dough is folded, wrap it in plastic and leave it to chill in the refrigerator overnight. Continue the recipe as written the next day, then enjoy your warm and buttery croissants!
Note: The dough will be cold before baking, which means the crescent rolls could take a little extra time to rise at room temperature (about 2 hours if possible).
Tips for success
- Try not to make too many or any substitutions to the ingredients, otherwise, your croissants may not be as big and fluffy.
- The colder the vegan butter, the better! The cold butter will slowly melt as the vegan crescent rolls bake, which leads to layers of flaky, melt-in-your-mouth pastry.
- If the butter starts to soften while you’re working or folding the dough, return the dough to the refrigerator or freezer until it’s stiff again.
- The time it takes for the dough to rise will depend on the temperature in your kitchen. Colder environments will be slower and warmer kitchens will speed up the rise time.
Frequently asked questions
I’ve only tested the croissants with all purpose flour but bread flour will likely work well as a substitute.
This likely happened because your yeast is old or expired. If this happens, it’s best to start over with fresh yeast.
If the croissants didn’t come out of the oven looking puffy and a bit crisp on the outside, then it’s likely because the butter was too warm in the dough. Warm butter will melt quickly and leak out of the dough, causing the croissants to be heavy or soggy. Make sure your butter is very cold from the start and if it feels too warm, place the dough back in the fridge or freezer.
The croissants are best eaten fresh, but the leftovers can be stored for 2 to 3 days at room temperature.
Yes! After baking, place the croissants in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Let them defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating or enjoying the next day.
Want more vegan bakery favorites?
- Add the flour, sugar, yeast and salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Slice the cold vegan butter into slices (about 1/8 inch thick) and toss in the flour mixture with a spatula. Don't use a mixer; this will break up the butter too much. You want to simply toss it into the flour mixture.
- Pour in the milk and and stir until a stiff, rugged dough with chunks of butter forms. Do not use your hands too much, you don't want to melt the butter at all.
- Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap (or other eco-friendly wrap) and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- After an hour, take the dough out of the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a long rectangle-type shape. It will be messy and not look smooth at first, but it will get smoother as you fold and roll the dough.
- Fold the dough into thirds like you would fold a letter (see photos above for reference). Roll it out into a large rectangle, then turn the dough 90 degrees, and repeat the rolling/folding process 5 more times. You should see large streaks of butter but the dough should be smooth. If the butter starts to soften in the middle of this, return to the refrigerator or freezer until stiff again.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap again and chill in the refrigerator for another hour.
- Divide the dough in half (this makes it easier to work with) and roll one half into a large rectangle (about 20 inches long, 10 inches wide and 1/8 inch thick). With a pizza cutter, trim away an uneven edges to make a clean rectangle.
- Slice the dough into smaller rectangles, then into triangles (see photos in post above). Cut a small slit at the wide end of the triangle, then tightly roll up into a crescent shape, making sure the tip is tucked underneath.
- Place on a parchment lined pan and cover loosely. Allow the croissant dough to rise for 1 hour at room temperature, then place in the freezer or refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- While the croissants are chilling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, stir the maple syrup and soy milk together.
- Gently brush the syrup/milk mixture onto the dough, then place in the center rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puffy and golden brown. Remove from the oven and enjoy.
Overnight Croissants – After folding the dough (when you would refrigerate it for an hour), refrigerate overnight instead. In the morning, continue on with the recipe as written. Once shaped into croissants, they may need a little extra time to rise at room temperature (about 2 hours if possible).
- Croissants are best when fresh, but will last up to 3 days at room temperature. They can also be frozen.
- You may use active dry yeast instead.
- You must make sure the vegan butter is cold when you begin, and at all times when laminating the dough. Do not let it get melted at all, return to the refrigerator or freezer if it gets warm.