Kouign-amann (pronounced [ˌkwiɲ aˈmãn]; pl. kouignoù-amann) is a Breton cake, described in the New York Times as "the fattiest pastry in all of Europe."[1] The name comes from the Breton language words for cake (kouign) and butter (amann). It is a round multi-layered cake, originally made with bread dough (nowadays sometimes viennoiserie dough), containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry albeit with fewer layers. The cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough (resulting in its layered structure) and the sugar caramelizes. The effect is similar to a muffin-shaped, caramelized croissant.

Kouign amann pastry
Place of originBrittany
Region or stateDouarnenez, Finistère
Main ingredientsYeast-leavened dough, butter, sugar


Kouign-amann is a specialty of the town of Douarnenez in Finistère, Brittany, where it originated around 1860. The invention is attributed to Yves-René Scordia (1828–1878).[2]


Individual cake

The strict recipe of Douarnenez requires a ratio of 40 percent dough, 30 percent butter, and 30 percent sugar.[3] Traditionally, kouign-amann is baked as a large cake and served in slices, although recently, especially in North America, individual cupcake-sized pastries (kouignettes) have become more popular.[citation needed]

The name derives from the Breton language words for cake (kouign) and butter (amann). The Welsh equivalent is the etymologically identical cacen menyn, literally 'cake (of) butter'.


In 2014, episode 7 of series 5 of the BBC's The Great British Bake Off [4] featured the kouign amann. In 2015, notable bakeries in New York,[5] Washington D.C.,[3] Boston[6], Salt Lake City[7] and San Francisco began to sell the pastry.[8][9][10] The Dominique Ansel Bakery, home of the trendy cronut, sells a version of kouign amann called the DKA. Village Baking Co.'s Boulangerie offers a chocolate kouign amann in Dallas. In Denver, several bakeries offer varieties; some shorten the name to "queen." [11]. They can also be found at Faria Bakery in Sacramento, CA, Little Gourmand in Nashville, TN, and in bakeries across the island of Oahu.

Kouign-amann is also available in Canada at the Pâtisserie au Kouign Amann in Montréal,[12] Macarons et Madeleines,[13] La Maison du Kouign-Amann in Ottawa, the Blacksmith Bakery in Langley, B.C.,[14] and at The Bench Bakehouse in Vancouver.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Spiegel, Brendan. "A Pastry From Brittany Making Waves Stateside". In Transit Blog. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  2. ^ Gunther, Caitlin Raux. "The Story of France's Most Extraordinary Pastry". Food52.com. Retrieved 2019-12-29.
  3. ^ a b Krystal, Becky. "Meet the kouign-amann, the caramelized French pastry we're loving right now". Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  4. ^ "Episode 7: Pastries | The Great British Baking Show". Pbs.org. February 1, 2015.
  5. ^ "Better Than a Cronut: How to Master Kouign-Amann". Eater. Feb 27, 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  6. ^ Zwirn, Lisa (30 June 2015). "A 150-year-old pastry no one ever heard of - The Boston Globe". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  7. ^ "The Neelys on Kouing Amann". Best Things I Ever Ate: Kouing-amann. Food Network. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  8. ^ Irwin, Heather (9 July 2015). "BiteClub: Meet the new cronut, the Kouign Amann". The Press Democrat. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  9. ^ Lucchesi, Paolo (19 June 2015). "B. Patisserie will be full of kouign amann on Saturday". Inside Scoop SF. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  10. ^ Alburger, Carolyn (October 3, 2011). "Croissant, Dethroned; All Hail Kouign-Amann | 7x7". 7x7.com. Retrieved 2015-08-22. Now San Franciscans can find the rare treat at several cafes around town, and Wood has had to put a hold on new accounts because his little bakery can't keep up with the demand. So what the heck is kouign-amann, you ask? Let's start by saying your morning croissant is about to get upstaged in the pastry case.
  11. ^ Antonation, Mark (December 28, 2016). "Five Mini-Trends That Brought Big Flavors to Denver Menus in 2016". Westword.
  12. ^ "Dominique Ansel NY" (PDF). Dominique Ansel New York (Soho) based Bakery of Pastries. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  13. ^ "DESBRISAY DINES: Kouign Amann at Madeleines et Macarons". Ottawamagazine.com. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  14. ^ "Our Menu". Blacksmith Bakery. 2017-08-25. Retrieved 2019-09-07.

External linksEdit