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A row of spiral croissants topped in green or brown glaze from Marvel Cake in Campbell, California. Marvel Cake

The Ultimate Guide to Every Kind of Viral Croissant You Can Find in the Bay Area

Round, square, smashed, or deep-fried, Bay Area bakeries offer trendy croissants of all shapes

In croissant trend reports, 2023 will go down in history as the year that spiral croissants spun out across the Bay Area. Originally credited to Lafayette in New York City, spiral croissants feature a tightly furled round of croissant dough, pumped full of pastry cream and dripping in glaze.

Imitations have rolled across the South Bay starting with Marvel Cake in Campbell, a previously quiet bakery now slammed with long lines. The trend then popped up at Fancy Flavors in San Jose, which was once known for cute macarons and now has a dedicated FAQ page to deal with the voracious demand for its spiral treats. Even the elegant Alexander’s Patisserie in Mountain View and Cupertino has them for $10 per puck.

“Have you tried them?” “Did you like them?” Croissant obsessives interrogate their friends. Let’s be honest, it’s delicious to have a hot trend to rip into. We’ve seen this kind of crumb frenzy before: It’s giving Mr. Holmes Bakehouse circa 2016, when the cruffins glowed under the hot pink neon “I got baked in San Francisco” sign. It’s giving Vive la Tarte a la 2017, when everyone was talking tacros — a hybrid of taco and croissant — at the Ferry Building.

The point is that San Francisco is a pastry town, and we’ll never lose our appetite for fresh shapes. So if you love chasing croissant trends, let’s roll. Round, square, smashed, or deep fried, here’s where to find every shape of viral croissant in the Bay.

Spiral Croissants at Marvel Cake

Spiral croissants were the hottest croissant trend to roll out this year after a TikTok went viral and SFGATE called it. Originally hailing from New York, Lafayette debuted what they call the Suprême in 2022. Marvel Cake clearly took inspiration with their spiral croissants later that year, spinning out pistachio, hazelnut, strawberry, chocolate, and matcha flavors ($7.50). That tight furl can prevent the layers from fully expanding, but flipping and baking on both sides does create a pretty cross-section. Marvel Cake, 1614 West Campbell Avenue, Campbell

Cube Croissants at Croissanté

A cube-shaped croissant from Croissanté in Santa Clara. Croissanté

Around the same time, Le Deli Robuchon in London smashed the internet with Le Cube. Cube croissants have since popped up across the U.S., and the new Croissanté is one of the few to hop on the train in the Bay Area, also spotted by SFGATE. Croissanté refuses to share the name of their pastry chef, instead focusing on having nice butter, which is intriguing. But that hasn’t stopped content creators from gleefully ripping into their large and plain cube croissants ($10). The critics say they can run dry, but tear one for yourself to find out. Croissanté, 2908 El Camino Real #100, Santa Clara

Cronuts at Donut Savant

A square shaped doughnut made of fried croissant dough and topped in a glaze from Donut Savant in Oakland. Donut Savant

The pastry trend of the decade may be the Cronut, or croissant dough fried like a doughnut. This one was trademarked by Dominique Ansel in New York in 2013. So while Cronuts remain popular around town, they go by many other names: Crodoughs, CroNots, and more. Many doughnut shops offer one or two, but Donut Savant has committed to no fewer than 12 Cron’ts ($2.75), including cute little Cronettes. Round or square, glazed or dusted, they don’t disappoint. Croissant dough magically inflates and only gets more golden after a dip in the deep fryer. Donut Savant, 3000 38th Avenue, Oakland

Cruffins at Bake Sum

A muffin-shaped croissant dusted in sugar and topped in torched meringue from Oakland’s Bake Sum bakery. Bake Sum

Of course, there’s the croissant slash muffin, still standing tall after at least half a dozen years. This one’s homegrown in San Francisco, where Mr. Holmes wildly popularized the cruffin through savvy social media. But despite Mr. Holmes filing for bankruptcy, and unlike other pre-pandemic trends like skinny jeans, cruffins are still cool, okay? Bake Sum now has a lovely version, which they simply call a bun ($6), but it’s a twist of croissant dough with plenty of puff. That means there’s room to fill and top it with Asian flavors, like yuzu cream and torched meringue. Bake Sum, 3249 Grand Avenue, Oakland

Tacros at Vive la Tarte

Three hands hold up tacros, a taco made of a croissant dough shell with meat, veggies, and thinly sliced radish on top from Vive La Tarte in San Francisco. Vive la Tarte

Oh, did you forget about the Tacro? Well, it’s still here. Vive la Tarte introduced the croissant taco when they expanded to the Ferry Building in 2017, and yes, it’s trademarked. Some diners were skeptical, but people love savory croissants, so why not fold and bake dough in the shape of a hard shell? As Vive la Tarte closed locations, the hype died down. But it’s still possible to get a Breakfast Tacro ($13) for weekend brunch in Noe Valley, fully loaded with scrambled eggs, bacon, pickled cabbage, and cotija. Vive La Tarte, 4026 24th Street, San Francisco

Croffles at Powder

Four Croffles — waffles made of croissant dough — are in takeout boxes and topped in cereal, powdered sugar, and more, from San Francisco’s Powder. Powder

Perhaps less popular than spiral croissants, at least locally, croffles nevertheless have their own following. The Chronicle tried to trace this croissant-waffle mashup to either Ireland or South Korea, and they report that Powder, the Taiwanese shaved snow shop, was the first to flatten a croffle in San Francisco in 2020 ($5.50 for half, $10 whole). Smashing croissant dough in a waffle iron kind of obliterates the laminated layers, but it does create a caramelized crust for topping with sweet milk glaze, fresh strawberries, or Fruity Pebbles cereal. Powder, 260 Divisadero Street, San Francisco

Croissant cones at Miller & Lux Provisions

A croissant with one end sliced off and filled with ice cream, held inside a paper cup, from Miller & Lux Provisions. Miller & Lux Provisions

We see what you’re up to, Tyler Florence. The Food Network star seems to be making a viral croissant play this season at his new patisserie downtown. The team’s sawing off the end of a croissant, flipping it upright like an ice cream cone, and filling it with vanilla soft serve, sprinkled with pops of chocolate pearls ($9). They call it a croissant cone, but as the first to spot this trend contender, could we please call it the “crone”? You read it here first. Miller & Lux Provisions, 225 Stockton Street (Union Square), San Francisco

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