Croissant vs Puff Pastry: What’s the Difference

If you’re strolling through your local bakery, you’ll run into many delicious food items. But with so many similar options, you might get confused – especially when it comes to croissants and puff pastries. What’s the difference between these two popular choices?

Croissants and puff pastries utilize different ingredients. Croissants are crescent-shaped goods made with milk and yeast to produce a richer flavor and flakier texture. Puff pastries are less flaky and drier and hold their shape better. They’re also less indulgent than croissants.

Hey! I’m Michelle, a self-taught baker who has enjoyed baking for the past ten-plus years. I have made so many different yummy concoctions, including croissants and puff pastries. I teach plenty of different things on this blog, but today’s focus is on the differences between two iconic food items.

Curious about the differences between croissants and puff pastries? Find out their dissimilarities below!

5 Differences Between Croissant and Puff Pastry

Although croissants and puff pastries look alike and use many of the same ingredients, they’re not the same thing. These two food items have many distinct differences, from how the dough is made to how they taste.

Let’s take a closer look.

1. Ingredients

The first difference between croissants and puff pastries is the ingredients.

Croissants tend to use these basic ingredients: flour, salt, butter, water/milk, and yeast. This blend of ingredients ensures that the croissant doubles in size, creating a chewier yet flakier texture.

Puff pastries, on the other hand, are made with flour, salt, water, butter, and sugar. Together, these ingredients help the puff pastry rise high. However, it also creates a drier dough. In the end, puff pastries end up being less flaky and chewy than croissants.

2. Kneading/Resting Time

Like bread, puff pastries, and croissants “knead” to be kneaded

However, they are not kneaded for the same amount of time.

Puff pastries need only a few short minutes of kneading – about three minutes tops. Croissants require much more kneading, with many recipes calling for up to eight minutes of kneading time. The extra kneading ensures the correct rise and texture.

Resting times are also very different. Puff pastries only need about 30 minutes to an hour, while croissants can rest in the refrigerator overnight. 

3. Flavor

If you take a bite into a croissant and then a puff pastry, you’ll notice a clear difference.

Because croissants are created with milk, butter, and yeast, they tend to have an evidently rich and buttery flavor that is impossibly indulgent. You will notice a decadent buttery taste the second you bite into a croissant.

Puff pastries also utilize butter but to a lesser extent. That said, taking a nibble of a puff pastry, you’ll find a subtle butter flavor that’s enjoyable but not overwhelming.

4. Texture

The ingredients used in puff pastries and croissants don’t just affect the flavor – it also affects the baked good’s overall texture.

Let’s start by discussing croissants. Croissants have a noticeably flaky texture. You’ll notice that it readily falls apart when you bite into a croissant. It’s tender, delicious, and delicate, all at the same time.

Puff pastries are slightly hardier and not as flaky. Their drier texture allows them to hold onto their shape better. 

5. Appearance

Lastly, let’s talk about their appearance.

Croissants are well-known for their crescent shape. When you see a flaky baked good in the form of a semicircle of a half-moon, it’s evident that it’s a croissant.

Puff pastries tend to be square, although they can be other shapes like triangles. However, you’re not likely to find a puff pastry in a crescent shape simply because of the way the dough is formed before baking.

So, take a look at the shape, and you should be able to tell which is a croissant and which is a puff pastry.


Croissants and puff pastries are pretty alike, but they share some apparent differences – and now you know their differentiations! Before you leave this article, though, I implore you to take a look at these frequently asked questions. You might learn a few more things!

Can I use croissant dough instead of puff pastry?

If you don’t have any puff pastry on hand, you can use croissant dough instead. The results may be slightly different, though, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Does puff pastry work for croissants?

Puff pastry can work for croissants in a pinch.

Is puff pastry the same as Pillsbury crescent rolls?

While the puff pastry is relatively similar to Pillsbury crescent rolls, they aren’t the same thing. Croissant rolls contain milk and yeast, providing a flaky texture and rich buttery flavor. 

Puff Pastries and Croissants Are Both Delicious, But Different!

Although puff pastries and croissants have many similarities, apparent differences set them apart. The most significant difference is that croissants contain milk and yeast, allowing for a flakier overall texture and rich buttery taste. Puff pastry is slightly drier and not as indulgent. 

Do you like puff pastries or croissants better?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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