Trader Joe's Frozen Croissants, Ranked

Trader Joe's frozen croissants

Cheapism/Maxwell Shukuya

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Trader Joe's frozen croissants
Cheapism/Maxwell Shukuya

A (Frozen) Taste of France

The French are spoiled. Walk down any street corner in France, and you'll stumble upon an independent bakery selling flaky, buttery crescent-shaped gems for pocket change. In the U.S., most people have two choices: Either buy a croissant from a chain such as Starbucks (terrible), or find some posh bakery called C’est La Vie that charges $8 for a madeleine (equally terrible). There is a third, often-overlooked option in frozen grocery store croissants: Trader Joe’s frozen versions, which superfans of the store, at least, regularly praise. I tasted all three Trader Joe’s frozen varieties to see if they’d scratch my croissant itch. Here they are, ranked.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: Discontinued Trader Joe’s Products That Shoppers Miss the Most

Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants
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Trader Joe’s Chocolate Croissants

Price: $5 for four

Calories Per Serving: 320

Overnight Proof: Yes

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

After an overnight proof — letting the product sit overnight so the dough can rest and rise — and 25 minutes in the oven, Trader Joe’s pain au chocolat emerged with a brown, flaky exterior, though lacking the pastry’s characteristic egg-wash sheen. Biting into the croissant was pleasant, at least at first. The outside texture, while airy, crisp, and buttery, was marred by the inside’s undercooked, mushy dough; and apart from this gummy layer, the croissant was nearly hollow, lacking the springiness of a well-layered croissant. But I’m being harsh. Compared with, say, a Starbucks croissant, Trader Joe’s chocolate pastry was an enjoyable, sweet morning snack that's lovely alongside a cup of coffee, especially enjoyed fresh out of the oven.

Related: Best Store-Bought Desserts from Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's Almond Croissants
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Trader Joe’s Almond Croissants

Price: $5 for four

Calories Per Serving: 340

Overnight Proof: Yes

Overall Rating: 3/5

Topped with sliced almonds and filled with a sweet, marzipanlike filling, these croissants are a nuttier version of the retailer’s chocolate variety. The dough is likely the same, but the heavy almond filling — which spilled out of the pastries as they baked — seemed to make it mushier. Texture aside, the filling tastes convincingly homemade and the croissant itself looks appetizing with its toasted almond topping.

Related: We Tasted 13 Frozen Pizzas and This Is the Best

Trader Joe's Mini Croissants
Cheapism/Maxwell Shukuya

Trader Joe’s Mini Croissants

Price: $5 for eight

Calories Per Serving: 160

Overnight Proof: No

Overall Rating: 2/5

While the directions say explicitly they don’t need to be proofed, these teeny-tiny pastries might have benefited from an extra rise. Unlike the chocolate and almond croissants, these shrunken pastries came out of the oven pale and deflated. Even after a few extra minutes in the oven, they remained flat, giving the dough a gooey texture unbecoming of a croissant. We'll pass on these.

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