Coffee croissant with a coffee pastry cream filling Picture: Deb Lindsey
Coffee Crumble Croissant (Topping)

8 servings (makes enough for 8 croissants)

Make ahead: The crumble can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

  • 1/2 packed cup plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, flour and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on low speed until blended, then add the salt and espresso powder. Increase the speed to medium, beating to form a coarse, crumbly mixture.
  3. Spread the mixture out on the prepared baking sheet, using your hands to break up any remaining larger bits. Bake (middle rack) for 20 to 30 minutes total, rotating the pan and stirring the crumbs halfway through. Cool on the baking sheet.
  4. Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, use your hands or a fork to break it up into crumbly chunks.

Coffee Pastry Cream (Filling)

24 servings (makes a generous 3 cups)

The pastry cream could be flavoured with jam, peanut butter, Nutella or matcha powder instead of coffee.

Make ahead: You will have about a cup of pastry cream left over, which can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Scrapings from 1 vanilla bean, plus the pod
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coffee extract (may substitute strongly brewed/cooled espresso coffee)
  1. Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the vanilla bean scrapings and the pod. Remove the pot from the heat, cover it, and let the mixture cool and infuse for 20 minutes. Discard the pod and stir the milk to distribute the vanilla evenly.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Place the egg yolks in a separate, larger bowl. Whisk in the sugar-cornstarch mixture until smooth and thoroughly incorporated. The mixture should be fluffy and pale.
  4. Whisk a small amount of the still-warm, vanilla-infused milk into the egg yolk mixture; this is called tempering. Then, whisk that mixture into the saucepan of vanilla-infused milk. Place over medium heat; cook, whisking constantly, to form a thickened custard. A trail left by the whisk should hold.
  5. Transfer to a large bowl; gradually add the cubes of cold butter to the custard, whisking constantly, until they are completely emulsified and the custard is glossy. This is your pastry cream.
  6. Whisk in the coffee extract until well incorporated. Place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream. Refrigerate until well chilled before using.