This Mexican Croissant Recipe (Cuernitos Pan Dulce) is so buttery, fluffy and soft and perfect to serve with almost every meal.
These cuernitos are one for the books. They are made with flour, yeast, milk, sugar, sourdough, and butter. Sugar is added but the final result isn't too sweet. It compliments the butter perfectly.
What are cuernitos?
Cuernitos are very similar to a croissant, especially the ingredients. They both have layers of dough and butter. The only difference is the shape of the pastry, where the ends of the sides meet together.
Why you will love this recipe
Full of flavor: The combination of the sourdough, butter and sugar make this fluffy bread so full of flavor.
Kid Friendly: You should make this with your kids. I loved eating these when I was a kid.
Great for any Weather: You can enjoy these in the summer and winter months. When I have leftovers, I love making sandwiches out of them.
Mexican Croissant Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Active dry yeast
See recipe card for quantities for this Mexican Croissant Recipe (Cuernitos Pan Dulce).
How to make Croissants
Add the flour in a large bowl and make a well shape in the middle. In that well, add the 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the yeast, the sourdough starter and 2 tablespoons of the milk. Slowly mix this area with your hands and slowly integrate the rest of the flour. When you feel the flour gets dry, add the rest of the sugar, milk, eggs, and butter. Keep mixing and then add onto a surface.
Knead the dough for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the dough isn’t sticky and it becomes elastic. Alternatively, you can add all these ingredients in a Kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead for 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place seam-side down into a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for an hour. You do not want the dough to rise so you have to keep the dough cool.
Take the dough out and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 12 inches long. Remember to periodically lift the dough and make sure it’s not sticking to the surface. Try your best to maintain straight, parallel sides. If at any point in the process you see air bubbles in the dough while rolling, pierce them with your hand or a knife to deflate and proceed. Flour a baking sheet and add the dough sheet onto it. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Melt the stick of butter. Take the dough out and lay on a floured surface. Make sure the dough is flattened with a pin and the sides are parallel. Brush the melted butter onto the dough and let it cool. Fold one side of the dough halfway, and then the other side over it completely. Roll the dough out again into a 12 inch long rectangle. Repeat the same process: Brush more melted butter on the dough. Fold one side of the dough halfway, and then the other side over it completely. Add this in the refrigerator again for 15 minutes. It is important to keep the dough stay cool at all times.
Take the dough out and roll it out one last time, so it maintains its rectangular shape, lightly dusting underneath and over top with more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Rather than applying pressure downward, try to push the dough toward and away from you with the pin, which will help maintain even layers of dough and butter. By now, your dough should be about 16 inches long and 8 inches wide. Use a long knife and ruler to cut the shorter sides, trimming any irregular edges where not all the layers of dough fully extend and creating a rectangle that’s exactly 16-by-8 inches. Cut into four 4-by-8-inch rectangles.Separate the rectangles, then use the knife to slice a straight line from opposite corners of one rectangle to form two long, equal triangles. Repeat with the remaining rectangles to make 8 triangles.
Working one triangle at a time, grasp the shorter side of the triangle, and tug gently outward to extend the points and widen the base to about 4 inches. Tug the base to lengthen. Roll up the dough, keeping the point centered and applying light pressure. Keep rolling until you create a crescent or croissant looking pastry, then fold the corners. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the rest. Allow them to rise for another 30 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the egg yolks, milk, and sugar. Brush each pastry with the mix to prevent them from burning. Bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may need to bake more or less time, so watch closely. Remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
How should I know my dough is kneaded well?
You will know when your dough is ready when it stop sticking to you and it becomes elastic. A trick is to rub a little bit of oil on your hands when the dough is almost ready, and it will help the dough not stick. Once it fully isn't sticking, it is ready.
Flour: I used all-purpose flour but feel free to use whole wheat flour instead.
Yeast: I used active dry yeast. If you use fresh yeast, just double the amount of dry yeast.
Milk: I used whole milk but feel free to use almond, oat or skim milk.
Sugar: You will need both granulated sugar and powdered sugar. For the granulated sugar, you could brown, raw or caster sugar.
Butter: Butter gives these crescent rolls such a delicious taste. You could use margarine or shortening instead.
Cooking is a chance to be creative! Have fun with it and feel free to make your own variation.
- Feel free to make sandwiches out of these rolls. You could even stuff them with banana and Nutella.
- With the dough you can make pigs in a blanket.
Check out my Rosca de Reyes Recipe.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Stone bakeware takes longer to heat up than metal pans, and also retain heat for longer, which could make the recipe more watery, or burnt on the outsides.
I love using my Caraway pots, pans and baking sheets for best quality.
How to store your Croissants
This will be good in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
You can freeze these croissants before baking them. When you are ready to use them, let them come to room temperature and bake for the same time.
Cuernitos Recipe Tips
Use a kitchen scale for best results to measure ingredients in grams.
Read all the instructions completely before starting.
Ingredients must be room temperature before baking.
Make sure the oven is completely preheated before adding the rolls.Print
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove