Difference between Crescent Rolls and Croissants
By Laura Lee - January 27, 2023

Crescent rolls and croissants seem so similar that they may be confused. Furthermore, the French term croissant translates into “crescent” or “moon crescent,” implying a connection between the name and look. The similarities, however, end there.

Chart Summary
  1. Preparation is relatively easy
Preparation is very time-consuming
: Crescent bread rolls in a bowl.

Getty images/Boston Globe/Boston Globe / Contributor


A croissant is a crescent-shaped pastry with light and flaky dough typically consumed for breakfast. While virtually everyone believes croissants were invented in France, they are Austrian.
Crescent rolls are fluffy rolls that have a visible crescent form. These rolls have a fluffy texture and a more handcrafted appearance and feel than croissants.

Crescent Rolls vs. Croissants

Croissant dough is a form of laminated dough. Lamination is the technique of mixing butter into dough several times, resulting in layers of flaky dough when baked. Crescent roll dough is more bread-like than croissant dough, which belongs to the pastry group of baked products. This is because crescent roll dough is not laminated. Croissants are flaky and crispy on the outside, whereas crescent rolls are softer on the outer. Both rolls are soft on the inside, yet croissants are noticeably lighter due to their laminated dough.

Baked croissants have distinct layers and a flaky texture, whereas crescent rolls lack layers and appear considerably smoother. Traditional croissants have a highly buttery flavor due to the layers of butter in them. These pastries are also mildly sweet. Crescent rolls are buttery as well, although not as elegantly as croissants. They have a somewhat sweet taste with notes of yeast and salinity.

Crescent rolls and croissants are made in quite distinct ways. It is typical to make basic croissants and fill them with sweet or savory contents. In the case of crescent rolls, baking them already packed is more convenient and frequent. Making croissants requires more effort since you must fold layers of butter into the dough. Making croissants takes many hours as well.