From cronut to zonut, pastry fever comes to Sydney

Inga Ting
Adriano Zumbo's twist on the cronut...introducing the zonut.
Adriano Zumbo's twist on the cronut...introducing the zonut. Photo: James Brickwood

The croissant-doughnut hybrid that has New York in a spin has finally come to Sydney, crafted by none other than celebrity pastry chef, Adriano Zumbo.

Just don't call it a cronut.

The 'zonut' is Zumbo's interpretation of the US pastry sensation, born of the happy marriage between buttery, flaky croissant and deep fried doughnut. Introduced in May in New York, cronut mastermind Dominique Ansel has customers lining up from 6am every day for their cronut fix, two hours before his tiny Manhattan bakery even opens. Despite the six-cronut limit, the daily run of 200 sells out within minutes, with queues so long some savvy New Yorkers are already scalping boxes of the delicious treats.

Unsurprisingly, a social media frenzy led to cronuts going viral, spawning imitatations across the globe. Ansel's decision to trademark the name in the US - he is reportedly considering the international equivalent too - has clearly done little to dampen enthusiasm for the Frankenstein pastry, even in Australia. As well as the zonut, Melbourne's Movida Bakery launched the 'dossant' at the end of May.

An indignant Ansel last week sent a disappointed message to the “copycats" via Twitter, asking if they would be able to look him in the eye if they were ever in a room together. But Movida Bakery's head chef Michael James is the first to acknowledge the original creator.

“It's definitely Dominique Ansel's idea,” says James.

“We're not trying to hide that fact. If anyone asks about it at the bakery, we'll definitely tell them the inspiration came from New York. I don't know what his recipe is; we just make it our way and finish it off with our own interpretation.”

Zumbo, too, says he hasn't tried to replicate the cronut, preferring to come up with his own version.

“I'm kinda happy in a way that I haven't chased the cronut. It makes what I've done mine and gives us a bit of difference.”

Besides, he adds, Ansel should take it as a compliment.

“Who created the macaron? Who created apple pie? Everything starts somewhere,” he says.

"And it's a big world. It'd be a stressful life, chasing down everyone who [copied what you did]. You should just be happy.”

Available at his Rozelle café from today and Star City from next week, Zumbo describes his zonut as “our apple pie interpretation”. Shaped like a doughnut, the multiple layers of pastry are deep-fried and filled with apple custard before being topped with fondant glaze and finished with a smattering of smashed salted shortbread pieces. He will make a different flavoured zonut every week.

This morning, customer Jen travelled 20 km from Sydney's south to be among the first to taste the zonut. She had heard about Zumbo's interpretation on Facebook.

“I thought, I need that in my life right now … I love croissants and doughnuts, they're my favourite food.” she says.

The verdict?

“Amazing,” she says, of her first taste. “It's like a croissant and a doughnut had a baby.”

-with Olivia Riordan