Frozen Finds: 3 Trader Joe's 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 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 croissants, 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.

Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants
Cheapism/Maxwell Shukuya

1. 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 frozen chocolate croissants 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, crispy, 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.


  • It's a passable chocolate croissant
  • Buttery, airy, crispy exterior
  • Filling doesn't tend to spill out like the almond croissants 


  • Mushy interior
  • Needs to proof for 6-7 hours (or overnight) before cooking, so you have to plan ahead
Trader Joe's Almond Croissants
Cheapism/Maxwell Shukuya

2. 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 marzipan-like filling, these sweet almond 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.

Cooking tip

Since the filling tends to spill out, be sure to use parchment paper if you're baking them in an oven. 


  • Good, homemade flavor
  • Filling is sweet, but not overpowering


  • Filling spills out during cooking, creating a mushy texture
  • Needs to proof for 6-7 hours (or overnight) before cooking, so you have to plan ahead

Trader Joe's Mini Croissants
Cheapism/Maxwell Shukuya

3. 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.


  • They don't need to be proofed overnight


  • Disappointing texture inside and out

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


The Verdict

It's no surprise that frozen croissants from Trader Joes don't stack up in terms of the quality of flavor and texture that you might find at a great French bakery. But for those not lucky enough to have one nearby, the chocolate and almond croissants are great value for the money and will totally itch that crescent pastry shaped itch. 

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Trader Joe's
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Frequently Asked Questions

How long do Trader Joe's almond and chocolate croissants need to rise (proof)?

The boxes suggest 6-7 hours, but it's best to let them rise overnight. Prepare to be blown away by how big they grow!

How do you cook Trader Joe's almond and chocolate croissants?

  • Leave uncovered croissants out overnight (see above)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Place them on a baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes or until script and brown (If you remove it while it's light golden brown, it won't be thoroughly baked)
  • Allow croissants to cool for 10 minutes and sprinkled with powdered sugar

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