Mexican Croissant Recipe (Cuernitos Pan Dulce)

Emily Johnson
June 25, 2023
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These cuernitos are one for the books. They are made with flour, yeast, milk, sugar, sourdough, and butter. Sugar is added but the final result isn't too sweet. It compliments the butter perfectly.



- 4 cups (500 grams) All-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) active dry yeast or ¼ cup fresh yeast

- 2 eggs

- 1 cup milk

- ⅔ cup (75 grams) granulated sugar

- ¾ cup (90 grams) sourdough starter

- 6 tablespoons (80 grams) butter

- Pinch of salt

For layering:

- One stick of butter, melted

- Egg Wash:

- 2 egg yolks

- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

- 2 tablespoons milk


1- Add the flour in a large bowl and make a well shape in the middle. In that well, add the 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the yeast, the sourdough starter and 2 tablespoons of the milk. Slowly mix this area with your hands and slowly integrate the rest of the flour. When you feel the flour gets dry, add the rest of the sugar, milk, eggs, and butter. Keep mixing and then add onto a surface. 

2- Knead the dough for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the dough isn’t sticky and it becomes elastic. Alternatively, you can add all these ingredients in a Kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead for 10 minutes. 

3- Form the dough into a ball and place seam-side down into a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for an hour. You do not want the dough to rise so you have to keep the dough cool. 

4- Take the dough out and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 12 inches long. Remember to periodically lift the dough and make sure it’s not sticking to the surface. Try your best to maintain straight, parallel sides. If at any point in the process you see air bubbles in the dough while rolling, pierce them with your hand or a knife to deflate and proceed. Flour a baking sheet and add the dough sheet onto it. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. 

5- Melt the stick of butter. Take the dough out and lay on a floured surface. Make sure the dough is flattened with a pin and the sides are parallel. Brush the melted butter onto the dough and let it cool. Fold one side of the dough halfway, and then the other side over it completely. Roll the dough out again into a 12 inch long rectangle. Repeat the same process: Brush more melted butter on the dough. Fold one side of the dough halfway, and then the other side over it completely. Add this in the refrigerator again for 15 minutes. It is important to keep the dough stay cool at all times. 

6- Take the dough out and roll it out one last time, so it maintains its rectangular shape, lightly dusting underneath and over top with more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Rather than applying pressure downward, try to push the dough toward and away from you with the pin, which will help maintain even layers of dough and butter. By now, your dough should be about 16 inches long and 8 inches wide.

7- Use a long knife and ruler to cut the shorter sides, trimming any irregular edges where not all the layers of dough fully extend and creating a rectangle that’s exactly 16-by-8 inches. Cut into four 4-by-8-inch rectangles.

Separate the rectangles, then use the knife to slice a straight line from opposite corners of one rectangle to form two long, equal triangles. Repeat with the remaining rectangles to make 8 triangles. 

8- Working one triangle at a time, grasp the shorter side of the triangle, and tug gently outward to extend the points and widen the base to about 4 inches. Tug the base to lengthen. Roll up the dough, keeping the point centered and applying light pressure. Keep rolling until you create a crescent or croissant looking pastry, then fold the corners. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the rest. Allow them to rise for another 30 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the egg yolks, milk, and sugar. Brush each pastry with the mix to prevent them from burning. 

9- Bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may need to bake more or less time, so watch closely. 

10- Remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving. 


-Use a kitchen scale for best results to measure ingredients in grams.

-Read all the instructions completely before starting.

Ingredients must be room temperature before baking. 

-Make sure the oven is completely preheated before adding the rolls.

*Recipe From Maxine Dubois

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