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Exactly How To Reheat Croissants [I Test 9 Methods]

There’s nothing I love more than a freshly baked croissant in the morning. But let’s be real, croissants take way too long to bake on a regular basis.

If you’ve got a few croissants leftover, you may be wondering how to keep them and reheat them later without them being all stale and horrible.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. I have conducted an experiment using 9 different croissants to find out what method truly is best for a flakey, crumbly fresh-tasting croissant. Even if it is a couple of days after being baked.

In a rush? Use these links to skip to the section you need:

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

A note on my experiment

I ordered several croissants from my local bakery and left them overnight. The following day I tested 9 different methods of reheating them to see which one worked best.

I tested:

  • The microwave (with and without a damp paper towel)
  • The oven (with and without foil, and two different temperatures)
  • The air fryer
  • The toaster
  • The stovetop (with butter)

I also tested two different storage methods and reheating a pain au chocolat.

Psst: the oven at a lower temperature (300°F/150°C) was my favorite method, followed by the stovetop and the toaster.

The air fryer and the microwave were disappointing. However, the microwave does have its place for really stale croissants.

How to reheat croissants in an oven/toaster oven

To reheat a croissant in the oven, preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C and put the croissant on an oven-proof tray. Heat the croissant for 6-7 minutes (less in a toaster oven) or until it’s completely warmed through. If you want a less flaky texture, then cover the croissant in foil.

The oven is the best method for reheating croissants because the results are most similar to a freshly baked croissant.

To reheat a croissant in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C.
  2. Cover the croissant with foil (optional, see notes below).
  3. Heat the croissant for 4-5 minutes in a conventional oven or 2-3 minutes in a toaster oven.
  4. Remove the foil for the last 2 minutes of cooking (optional, see notes below).

The oven heats the whole croissant equally and doesn’t melt the butter as the microwave does. This means the croissant keeps its structure, and you can still see all the layers when you bite into it.

Should I use foil or not?

Using foil traps any steam the croissant produces and results in a moister croissant, but the crust of the croissant won’t be crispy or flaky (like it is without foil).

Instead, the crust is soft. You can always combine the two methods and cover the croissant with foil at first, then uncover it for the last few minutes to crisp the exterior. This is my preferred method because you get the moist inside and the flaky outside.

I also tested reheating the croissant to 350°F/180°C degrees, but I found the croissant to be quite a bit dryer after this. Croissants are delicate, so a lower heat works better.

My verdict

The oven was definitely my favorite method. The outside of the croissant was crisp and flaky, while the inside was soft and warm.

It’s also ideal for big batches because you can fit several croissants in at one time.

How to reheat croissants in the toaster

The toaster is a great alternative to the microwave when you’re at work and have limited options. 

You have to cut the croissant in half, so you don’t get the joy of biting into the middle of a big fluffy croissant, but it tastes just as good.

To reheat a croissant in the toaster:

  1. Cut your croissant in half so it will fit in the toaster slots. A bread knife works best.
  2. Set the toaster to a low setting (if you can, not all toasters are adjustable).
  3. Toast the croissant for around a minute before checking on it. Toast for longer if you think the croissant needs it.
  4. Remove from the toaster, butter, and serve.

I’m a plain kind of girl, so butter is the perfect topping for me, but you can go wild here! Nutella, jam, cream, marmite, or even cheese are all tasty options.

A bread knife makes it very easy to cut the croissant cleanly. If you try to use another type of knife, you’ll find it very hard to get a clean cut without completely squishing the croissant.

You could also use the croissant slices like bread and make a sandwich. 

My verdict

The toaster crisped both sides of the croissant, so it had a crunchy outside exterior and a soft, warm inside. The texture had changed slightly from being cut in half, but it was delicious smothered in butter.

The perfect option if you don’t have access to an oven.

How to reheat croissants on the stovetop or in a sandwich press

I raised my eyebrows when I first heard about this method. But my friend encouraged me not to judge it until I’d tried it. 

When I did try it, I was pleasantly surprised.

You need some butter for this method, and it results in a very indulgent croissant (don’t worry, you deserve a treat).

How to reheat croissants on the stovetop:

  1. Cut the croissant in half lengthways using a bread knife.
  2. Melt some butter in a pan on a medium heat.
  3. Put the croissant face down in the pan and heat it for 3-4 minutes until the cut side starts to turn golden brown.
  4. Remove the croissant from the pan and serve.

The croissant soaks up all the butter, making it even more decadent than it already is. And you get a nice crispy texture on the cut side.

You have to cut the croissant in half, so lose the satisfaction of biting down into it. But this is more than made up for by the moist crust the butter forms.

I was worried the tops of the croissant wouldn’t get hot enough because they weren’t touching the pan but they warmed up well.

Make sure you have a bread knife on hand because it’s very hard to cut a croissant cleanly without one.

If you don’t want to use the stovetop, you can also use a sandwich press. Remember not to close the lid, or you’ll end up with a very squished croissant.

My verdict

If you like a buttery croissant, you’ll love this. It’s not the healthiest, but you can use as little or as much butter as you want. You just need enough to moisten the pan so the croissant doesn’t burn.

How to reheat croissants in the microwave

To reheat a croissant in the microwave, put the croissant on a microwave-safe plate and heat it for 10-15 seconds. The result will be a soft, slightly greasy croissant. Any flakiness will be lost. Eat the croissant straight away because it will start to dry out after a few minutes. 

The microwave sacrifices quality for speed. It’s super quick and convenient – and the croissant will be edible – but it won’t be anything like a fresh croissant. 

To reheat a croissant in the microwave:

  1. Put the croissant on a microwave-safe plate.
  2. Cover the croissant with a damp paper towel (optional, see notes below).
  3. Put the croissant in the microwave and heat it for 10-15 seconds.
  4. Eat the croissant immediately.

The microwave melts the butter in the croissant, which is why the result is a little greasy. The melted butter also means the croissant collapses and you lose the signature layers. There won’t be a flake in sight with a microwaved croissant. 

That said, some people like the greasiness of melted butter. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, don’t be afraid to try the microwave. 

Also, one instance where the microwave is useful is for re-moistening incredibly stale croissants. You’ll need to put them in the oven afterward to crisp them up, but the microwave is an excellent first step. More about this in the next section.

Should I use a damp paper towel when reheating my croissant in the microwave?

The damp paper towel acts as another source of moisture for the microwave to target. 

This means the butter doesn’t melt as much, and the croissant had a slightly dryer, chewier texture. I personally preferred the croissant with a damp paper towel, but my co-tester liked the croissant without the paper towel. 

When you heat a croissant in the microwave, it’s important to eat it as soon as possible because, within a few minutes, the croissant will start drying out and will quickly become an inedible brick.

My verdict

I’m not a big fan of greasy food, so I wasn’t impressed with the croissant’s texture. 

The microwave changed the whole essence of the croissant from something flaky and layered to something compacted and greasy.

But if the microwave is your only choice, the croissant still tasted nice enough.

Can you reheat croissants in the air fryer?

You can reheat a croissant in the airy fryer, but I wouldn’t recommend it because it’s really easy to overcook the croissant and dry it out.

An air fryer works by blowing around hot air in a small space. It’s a harsh cooking method and can be really drying if you’re not careful.

How to reheat a croissant in an air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 250°F (120°C).
  2. Place the croissant in the air fryer basket.
  3. Heat the croissant for 1-2 minutes.

The lower temperature and short cooking time protects your croissant from drying out completely. 

For my first test, I reheated my day-old croissant for 2 minutes at 300°F/150°C, and the croissant came out tasting like cardboard. It was the least edible croissant out of all my tests.

When I lowered the temperature, the croissant was better but still a bit dry.

My verdict

I would avoid the air fryer when it comes to reheating croissants. It’s just too drying.

How to reheat incredibly stale croissants

If you have VERY stale croissants, a helpful trick is to reheat them in the microwave for 5 seconds before transferring them to the oven. 

Once a croissant gets past a certain level of staleness, the oven will no longer work to ‘refresh’ it. Instead, the oven will dry the croissant out even more.

The microwave helps to re-moisturize the croissant before the oven so this doesn’t happen. Make sure you transfer the croissant from the microwave to the oven quickly, or the croissant will dry out again.

How to store croissants

The best way to store croissants is to wrap them in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep them at room temperature. Pick a cool, dry place for maximum freshness. The croissants will stay fresh for up to 2 days. For longer-term storage, you should freeze the croissants.

If you’re going to eat the croissants within a day, then it’s okay to keep them rolled up in whatever packaging you got them in, even if it’s just a paper bag.

Can I refrigerate croissants?

You can refrigerate croissants, but it should be a last resort. They’ll dry out a lot quicker than they would if you kept them at room temperature. However, refrigerating them does extend the shelf life, especially if you live in a humid climate where the croissants would mold. 

You’ll need to reheat the croissants. 

There’s only really one scenario where it’s sensible to use the refrigerator. And that’s if you have day-old croissants that you’ve suddenly realized you won’t eat before they go moldy. 

There’s little point in freezing already staling croissants, but putting them in the fridge will increase their shelf life by a few days.

If you have fresh croissants and want to store them for more than 1-2 days, skip the refrigerator and freeze them. They’ll maintain their freshness much better in the freezer.

I was intrigued to see what happen to a croissant in the fridge, so I did a test. I kept most of my croissants rolled up in paper bags in the cupboard. 

But I wrapped one in foil and put it in the refrigerator. 

When I checked on the croissants the next day, the refrigerated one was much harder than the room temperature ones and wasn’t really edible. I thought it was a lost cause but tried reheating it anyway to see how well it fared.

And (for the second time in this article), I was pleasantly surprised with the results.

I reheated the refrigerated croissant in the oven at 300°F/150°C (because this was my favorite reheating method) and it came out very similar to the unrefrigerated version. It was a little drier but nothing that some butter or jam couldn’t fix.

However, this test was after a day in the fridge, so I’m unsure how a week-old croissant would fare! In that instance, I would probably use the microwave first, oven technique second.

How to freeze croissants

It’s best to freeze croissants when they’re still fresh so you can retain their flaky texture. Wrap individual croissants in plastic wrap, then put them in a heavy-duty freezer bag with all the air squeezed out. The croissants will stay at best quality for a month. 

Packing each croissant individually with a double-layer provides the best protection against freezer burn, which is a real risk with delicate pastries. It eliminates as much air as possible from the croissants’ environment, which is the main cause of freezer burn.

To get as much air as possible out of the freezer bag, I use a straw. I close the bag leaving a tiny hole where the straw is, suck all the air out and then quickly close up the gap as I pull the straw out. It works a treat!

The fresher the better when you’re freezing croissants. But make sure the pastries are completely cool before you put them away. Any residual heat can cause condensation, which will drip back onto the croissant and make it soggy.

You can thaw the croissants overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for a few hours. Thaw them still wrapped up to stop them from drying out.

How to reheat a croissant from frozen

You can reheat your croissants straight from frozen. Unwrap them while preheating the oven to 350°F/180°C. Then heat them in the oven for 7-8 minutes. If you want to thaw them first, leave them wrapped in your refrigerator overnight before refreshing them in the oven for 4-5minutes at 300°F/150°C.

It’s best to leave your croissant to thaw in its wrapping because this traps moisture and stops the pastry from drying out too much. The oven will be able to revive a slightly soggy croissant, but if it’s too dry, there’s less you can do.

If you have a huge croissant you want to heat straight from frozen, a good tip is to microwave it for 5-10 seconds before putting it in the oven. This will soften the croissant a bit and make sure the middle heats up before the outside burns. 

A few seconds will be more than enough. Any longer than this and the texture will be ruined. Also, make sure you move the croissant from the microwave to the oven straight away.

How to reheat a chocolatine (chocolate croissant)

The best way to reheat chocolatine is in the oven. Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C and put the chocolate croissant on a cookie tray. Reheat the chocolatine for 4-5 minutes in a conventional oven or 2-3 minutes in a toaster oven. If you want a less flaky texture then cover the chocolatine with foil.

How to reheat a ham and cheese croissant

The best way to reheat a ham and cheese croissant is in the oven. Preheat it to 300°F/150°C and put the croissant in for 4-5 minutes (or 2-3 minutes in a toaster oven). The croissant will crisp up and the cheese will become nice and gooey again. For a less flaky croissant, cover it in foil.

What to do with stale croissants

Is your croissant too far past it’s best to be salvageable?

Don’t panic. Not all is lost.

You just need to get a little creative. You can use stale croissants in a lot of the same ways as you’d use stale bread. Here are some recipe ideas for using up leftover croissants:

  • Croissant bread pudding. Chocolate croissants work perfectly for this idea.
  • Croissant french toast. Take your french toast to the next level! French toast is great with strawberries and cream.
  • Croissant croque madame. The finest ham and cheese sandwich you’ll ever have.
  • Croissant toasties. Ham and cheese is the obvious one, but a tuna melt is also delicious!
  • Croissant brittle. Thinly sliced stale croissants covered with sugar and then baked in the oven until they’re hard and caramelized. A little slice of heaven.

The BEST Way To Reheat Croissants

I have tested countless different methods to find out what does the best job at keeping croissants, fresh, flakey and buttery.
Even when they've been in the cupboard for a couple of days. Here's the best way to reheat your croissants.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 7 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine French
Servings 1 person
Calories 406 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 1 piece croissant
  • 1 piece pain au chocolat etc

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
  • Cover the croissant with foil (optional, see notes below).
  • Heat the croissant for 4-5 minutes in a conventional oven or 2-3 minutes in a toaster oven.
  • Remove the foil for the last 2 minutes of cooking (optional, see notes below).

Notes

Should you use foil?
Using foil traps any steam the croissant produces and results in a moister croissant, but the crust of the croissant won’t be crispy or flaky (like it is without foil).
Instead, the crust is soft. You can always combine the two methods and cover the croissant with foil at first, then uncover it for the last few minutes to crisp the exterior. This is my preferred method because you get the moist inside and the flaky outside.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 406kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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