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Chocolate Croissants (Pain au Chocolat)

You can make Chocolate Croissants (aka Pain au Chocolat) at home. They’re totally worth the effort. Proof the dough overnight and have a freshly-baked chocolate treat breakfast or brunch.

a hand holding a chocolate croissant sprinkled with powdered sugar

Chocolate Croissants, also known as Pain au Chocolat, can be made with either yeasted Croissant dough or, if you’ve got an active starter, you can make Sourdough Chocolate Croissants. Either way, they’re crazy delicious.

Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make Chocolate Croissants at home:

four photos showing how to cut and fill chocolate croissants
1. Roll the dough and cut into 4″ squares. 2. Place chocolate batons into the center of a square and fold the dough over. 3. Pinch the dough to enclose the chocolate. Place the croissant, seam side down.
1. Set the croissants onto a sheet pan. They can be refrigerated overnight at this point. 2. Brush the proofed croissants with egg wash. 3. Bake until golden brown and crisp.

A timeline for making Chocolate Croissants:

  • The dough can made be in the morning or early afternoon of day 1.
  • If you’re making Sourdough croissants, make the dough in the morning and set it aside to ferment for 3-5 hours.
  • While the dough is rising, prepare the butter packet and chill.
  • Begin laminating the dough after the first rise.
  • By early evening, the dough should be laminated, chilled and ready to roll.
  • Roll and cut the croissants and set them onto two parchment lined baking trays. (At this point you can set some of the croissants on a tray in the freezer for longer term storage.)
  • Cover the tray in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • The morning of day 2, take the tray out of the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven while the chocolate croissants come to room temperature, then bake as directed.
  • To make and bake in one day skip the overnight refrigeration. As soon as the croissants are assembled, cover the trays and leave them at room temperature to rise.
  • The croissants are best the day they are baked. Leftovers (lol) can be frozen.
an interior view of a chocolate croissant

You can use the same croissant dough to make Almond Filled Croissants. I make one batch of dough and use half to make Chocolate Croissants and half plain or almond croissants.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

an interior view of a chocolate croissant

Chocolate Croissants (Pain au chocolat)

Yield: 24 croissants
Prep Time: 1 hour
Chilling & Rising Time: 3 hours
Bake Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes

You can make Chocolate croissants (aka Pain au Chocolat) at home. They are totally worth the effort. Refrigerate the dough overnight and have a freshly-baked chocolate treat for breakfast or brunch.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Prepare the croissant dough through step #9 in the recipe. After the dough is chilled for 2 hours proceed with rolling and forming the Chocolate Croissants.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Roll the chilled dough to a 24” long x 16” wide rectangle.
  3. Working from left to right, measure and mark 4” increments along the top and bottom edge of the dough. Use a ruler to line up the top and bottom marks and use a pizza cutter to cut 6 strips of dough. Cut each strip into four, 4" squares. You should now have a total of 24 four inch squares.
  4. Place 4 chocolate batons in the middle of each each square. Fold the dough over the chocolate and pinch the bottom seam to close.
  5. Set the croissants, seam side down, onto the prepared baking sheets, 3” apart. You should fit a dozen croissants per half sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator overnight. (see note)
  6. In the morning. Take the croissants out of the refrigerator. Allow them to proof at room temperature for 1-2 hours. The exact time needed for proofing will vary depending the temperature of your kitchen. They should be at least 50% larger than they started and feel airy and puffy. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the croissants with egg wash. Bake the croissants until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature. Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar, if desired.

Notes

Chocolate chips or chocolate squares can be used in place of the batons.

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