Brioche Croissant Layered with Cacao

Cacao layered croissants made at home with an easy and light brioche dough.

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Let’s get right into it: making croissants requires time, patience, and a lot of rolling. The long recipe directions and all these step-by-step photographs seem intimidating, but trust me it’s harder said than done.

There’s resting time between most steps, which means most of the time is hands off. Croissant dough needs to rest in the refrigerator often to allow it to chill and develop its beautiful layers.

So make sure to have some time on hand and lots of patience.

Ingredients (makes 8 croissants):

for the mix of aroma

  • 1 orange, only the zest
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean

combine all the ingredients together and let marinate for at least 4 hours

for the dough

  • 130 g flour type 0
  • 100 g flour type 00
  • 75 g natural yeast
  • 125 ml milk
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 50 g butter, softened (take it out of your fridge 4 hours before starting)
  • 5 g salt

for the lamination

  • 80 g butter
  • cacao powder


  • 1 egg yolk
  • milk

Before starting this recipe, make sure to have fed your yeast at least 2 times, it needs to be strong and ready!
Dissolve the natural yeast into the milk

Add in flours, sugar and aroma mix

Knead though until it starts to come together, add in the egg white and mix until it is all absorbed. Add the salt and knead a few more minutes. Next start incorporating the softened butter, wait for it to be absorbed completely into the dough before adding more. Knead until you get a smooth and elastic dough.

Transfer into a clean container and let it double in size at room temperature.  How this will take really depends on the strength of your natural yeast and on the room temperature. I suggest to create a warm environment. I turn on my oven to bring the temperature up to 40C, then turn it off, let the temperature drop to 30C and only then I place the bowl with the dough inside the oven, with the light on. (I left my dough for 8 hours to double in size). Next move it into your fridge for 4 hours.

Roll out the chilled dough into a rectangular shape, spread the top with 50g softened butter

Fold now into 3. Turn it 90 degrees

and fold into 4. Move the dough into the fridge for 1hour then repeat the folds of 4 for 3 more times, with 1h in the fridge in between each fold.

Divided the dough into 4 equal parts, roll each into a circle. Melt the remaining 30 g of butter and brush it on top of each circle. Dust with cacao powder. Stuck the circles of dough on top of each others. Refrigerate for 1 hour

Gently roll out the dough to slightly flatten it out. Cut it into 8 triangles

Roll each triangle from the wider edge toward the narrowest one.

Let rest at room temperature for 2 hours or until almost doubled in size. Brush with a mix of egg yolk and milk

Bake in preheated oven at 180C for 20-30 min or until the croissants are nice and golden-brown in color.

These are absolutely amazing! Served up with a hot cup of cappuccino or coffee they make a great breakfast!

If you make this recipe, tag me on IG @the_fit_mediterranean

Try also my recipe for vegan croissants!



About the author:

An Italian living in China with a strong passion for cooking! Browse my 'left-overs' session for many tasty grub!. Follow her on Twitter / Facebook.