My experience with cronut wannabes lately is that the high-end bakeries are trying to grab a piece of the donut with this food fad. So when I see a smaller, lesser known shop come out with their version, I want to cheer them on. When a trip to Riverside brought me close to Peterson’s Donut Corner in Escondido, I was excited to see their interpretation of a cronut. I had been wanting to check them out for a while and this made the long drive even sweeter.
Peterson’s Donut Corner is majestic. There are countless varieties of donuts on display and prices start at $0.95 for cake and old fashioned. They make no intention of naming their cronut anything but “cronut.” It’s a cronut. And their version comes topped with maple, chocolate (both available during my visit), strawberry, cinnamon-sugar and glazed.
The first thing evident about Peterson’s cronut is the shape. It’s square with a slight hole in the middle as evidenced by the divot where the frosting sinks in. If cronuts are sold by weight, this one has all the other ones in San Diego beat. It’s heavy in the hand and costs a mere $2.95.
The pastry is deep fried and not at all greasy. Splitting their cronut shows their flaky layers crushed by the sheer weight of frosting. What should be a light pastry is made dense. No filling is seen inside the donut and the frosting more than makes up for it. The frosting alone makes the entire thing tooth-achingly sweet. Even with my legendary sweet tooth, it took more than two days and two people to finish this off. (The cronut stays surprisingly fresh overnight.) As a final resort I remedied the situation by taking off the frosting layer and ate the remainder. The cronut was reduced to a deep-fried croissant. I hope for better things for the cinnamon version.
It’s a nice effort on Peterson’s part and it’s refreshing to see no frenzied people other than other Saturday morning donut afficionados out to satisfy their sweet fix. The people at Peterson’s tell me that they’re perfecting the recipe so it’s still a work in progress. Peterson’s Donut Corner’s cronut is currently only available on the weekends but will soon be available every day.
Peterson’s Donut Corner
903 S. Escondido Blvd.
Escondido, CA 92025