Consumers all over the world have a soft spot for hybrid bakery goods: traditional patisserie and bakery classics, but with an innovative twist. A new shape, a new combination of tastes, or a new texture – anything that gives a well-known classic a surprising new twist. Back in 2017, we shared 16 popular hybrid concepts like the townie, the bruffin, the cronut and the donnoli. What hybrids have we discovered since? Get inspired by these nine hybrid treats.
Scone-like dough with a dense, crumbly texture, formed into a muffin shape and filled with a treat of fruit preserves: that’s the scuffin. Frog Hollow Farm invented the scuffin using fruit that was too ripe or not aesthetically pleasing enough to meet the demands of retailers. They couldn’t stand off-grade fruit being disposed of as waste. So they turned the fresh fruit into purees, which they used to create some great new products. One of these was the scuffin, which became an instant hit: not too sweet and very filling.
The brookie is the lovechild of the cookie and the brownie. Combined, you get either a brownie with a crunchy cookie on top, or a cookie topped with gooey brownie. It is unclear who invented brookies, but Jovon English of Milk + Brookies in Los Angeles is credited with popularising the treat. He pitched the brookie on the television show Shark Tank. The brookie is so popular that a lot of supermarkets even sell a boxed baking mix for the snack.
Not to be confused with the scuffin, the cruffin is a crossover between a croissant and a muffin. We spotted this snack back in 2017, but recently we’ve seen the cruffin pop up a lot on social media. This flaky, crispy, muffin-shaped piece of patisserie is having a moment again, partly because there’s a new popular twist on the hybrid: the sourdough cruffin. The fun of the cruffin is the option to either go sweet, with a cinnamon and sugar coating for instance, or savory with bacon and cheese bits.
The New York Crumbs Bake Shop introduced the baissant. This is a tasty mash-up of bagel and croissant dough, which is interwoven and baked. Unlike the bagel, this snack can be eaten on its own, without any spreads or toppings. Other bakeries offer a similar mash-up and call it a cragel.
5. Pake – or chake
Consumers who have a hard time choosing between a pie and a cake can now go for a pake – a pie baked inside a cake – or a chake: a pie baked inside a cheesecake. Pakes and chakes are inspired by the ‘turducken’, the Thanksgiving favourite in which a chicken is roasted inside a duck that’s inside a turkey. The ultimate pake is probably the three-layered ‘cherpumple’: a cherry pie baked inside a white cake, a pumpkin pie inside a yellow cake and an apple pie inside a spice cake. These layers are then stacked and frosted, so you can’t tell there’s pie in the middle of the cake until you slice it open.
This croissant-éclair hybrid is made from croissant pastry and filled with flavoured cream. On top there’s chocolate, icing or more cream. Some bakeries, like South Africa’s Jason Bakery, opt for a classic long éclair shape, while the Kosovan Mullí Bakery retains the classic crescent croissant shape. Either way, the end result is an interesting mix of flaky, airy pastry and dense, rich cream.
Some years ago, American baker Bea Vo crossed a doughnut with a muffin, creating a doughnut with a cakey twist to it, filled with jam. It was made with raspberry jam, buttermilk and nutmeg, and proved really popular with her customers, who named it the ‘duffin’. It was so popular that, some years later, Starbucks provoked a social media storm dubbed ‘Duffingate’ by launching the duffin in their stores and presenting it as their own invention.
The ‘cr’ stands for croissant and the ‘etzel’ comes from pretzel. The cretzel is a chewy, dark croissant with a firm crust. The pretzel elements are the pretzel-shape, the lye that creates the characteristic crust (because it enhances the Maillard reaction on the outside of the dough) and the flakes of salt that are sprinkled on top. Coyle’s Bakeshop is the bakery that is most associated with the cretzel, but there are other bakeries who do their own versions.