Apparently 2019 is the year of the hybrid baked good renaissance, because guess what? We’ve got another to add to the list: Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Croissant Loaf. It joins Trader Joe’s Pancake Bread and Godiva’s Croiffle™ as the first frankenpastries to have emerged within the first month of 2019 — a concentration of such items we haven’t seen since the Cronut’s peak popularity circa 2013-2014. Who knew that breakfast this year would turn out to be so exciting?
To be fair, the Cinnamon Croissant Loaf isn’t brand new — it’s been around at least since November of 2018 — but TJ’s just featured it in the “Dig In” section of their website on Jan. 23, drawing attention to it all over again. Was the choice to feature it inspired by the recent viral popularity of Trader Joe’s Pancake Bread? Maybe. We don’t know for sure, but it would stand to reason that seeing the unexpected success of one hybrid bakery item might prompt a reexamination of others. Just sayin’.
Described as what might happen “if Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread and a buttery, flaky croissant had a baby,” Cinnamon Croissant Loaf is the result of TJ’s commissioning a baker to make cinnamon croissant dough, but then bake it in a loaf pan instead of as individual croissants. The resulting bread is pre-sliced before packaging, making it ready for you to toast, turn into a sandwich, or simply snack on as is. The loaves are 15 ounces each and can be found in the bakery section at a price of around $5.99 per loaf.
The most extensive review I’ve been able to find comes from Brand Eating, who noted in November that the loaf “veers more toward the croissant end rather than cinnamon swirl bread”; according to the food review and news site, the cinnamon flavor is quite light, with the buttery, savory notes taking the spotlight. Both toasting slices and pan-frying them in butter yielded fantastic results, apparently, with toasting “[giving] you a wonderful array of crispy, flaky layers” and pan-frying preventing it from “[crisping] up as much,” but “[turning] out super rich with the extra butter.”
Meanwhile, one Redditor who recently gave the bread a shot, wrote on the r/traderjoes subreddit that it’s “perfect for French toast.” Additionally, an Instagrammer writing in Japanese, but based in New York, said that it was “delicious if … warmed up slightly, rather than just … sandwiches.” The general consensus seems to be that, while the Cinnamon Croissant Loaf is pretty good right out of the package, it really shines after being heated up in some way, shape, or form.
Not unlike pancake bread, croissant loaf does appear to have already been a thing before TJ’s got to it. There’s quite an active Instagram hashtag for the stuff, as well as a bunch of recipes for it floating around the internet. So, hey, if your local TJ’s doesn’t carry the Cinnamon Croissant Loaf, the good news is that you might be able to find something similar elsewhere (Beurrage bakery in Chicago makes a croissant loaf, for example) — or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you might even be able to make it yourself.
Making it yourself will, however, be more complicated than making pancake bread is. Some recipes use ready-made dough, which can make it a bit easier; this recipe from British grocery chain Sainsbury’s, for example, swirls it liberally with Nutella, while this one from food blog Not Without Salt dusts it with cinnamon. But if you’re feeling up for tackling the challenge of making buttery, yeasted croissant dough from scratch, Food52 has you covered here.
You can find your nearest Trader Joe’s here. Don’t forget to call ahead before you go to see if they’ve got the Cinnamon Croissant Loaf in stock!