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How many calories in a grocery store croissant?

A croissant is a buttery, flaky, viennoiserie pastry inspired by the Austrian kipferl but made with a yeast-leavened dough. Croissants are a popular bakery item found in many grocery stores, cafes, and bakeries. But with their rich, flaky texture, many wonder just how many calories are in a typical croissant purchased from the grocery store bakery section.

The Origins and History of the Croissant

The origins of the croissant can be traced back to Austria in the 13th century. The kipferl, a crescent shaped baked good, became popular across Europe over the next several centuries. However, it was not until the 19th century that the croissant truly took shape. In 1839, August Zang opened a Viennese bakery in Paris, France. There, he introduced his take on the kipferl, influenced by French ingredients and techniques. This resulted in a puff pastry dough that was layered with butter and shaped into the crescent form we now recognize as the croissant. The croissant proved immensely popular in France, quickly spreading to bakeries across the country. Today, it remains an iconic French pastry and a regular part of French bakery culture. The croissant’s popularity has also spread across the globe, where it can be found in grocery stores, cafes, and bakeries.

Calories in Bakery Croissants

When purchasing a plain croissant from the bakery section of a grocery store, the number of calories can vary depending on the size and specific ingredients used. Here is a look at the typical calorie count:

Small croissant

A small croissant may weigh around 1.5-2 ounces (40-55 grams). This would contain approximately:

– 140-190 calories

Medium croissant

A medium sized croissant weighing 2-2.5 ounces (55-70 grams) contains roughly:

– 190-240 calories

Large croissant

Large croissants are around 2.5-3 ounces (70-85 grams). This size has about:

– 240-290 calories

As you can see, a plain croissant can range from 140 to 290 calories depending on the size. Many packaged croissants found in the bakery aisle may also list nutrition information on the label indicating calories per croissant. This provides an accurate number based on that specific product.

Croissant Calories from Fat and Carbs

What accounts for all these calories in a croissant? The main sources are fat and carbohydrates:


Croissants get their signature flaky texture from layers of butter rolled into the pastry dough. A croissant can contain around 10-15 grams of fat, the majority of which comes from the butter. Since fat provides 9 calories per gram, the fat content makes up 90-135 of the total calories.


The remaining calories come from the carbohydrate-based dough, which is made from wheat flour, milk, sugar, yeast, and sometimes eggs. A small to medium croissant provides around 20-30 grams of total carbohydrates. With 4 calories per gram of carbs, this equates to 80-120 calories.

So between the high-fat butter layers and the carbohydrate rich dough, croissants end up being quite a calorie dense pastry!

Ways to Reduce Calories in a Croissant

For those wanting a lower calorie croissant, there are a few options:


Choosing a smaller croissant is one of the easiest ways to reduce calories. A petite 1.5 ounce croissant may only have 140 calories versus 240 in a large one.

Fillings and flavors

Plain, butter croissants tend to be highest in calories. Opting for a flavored croissant with fruit, cheese, chocolate or other fillings can be lower in fat and calories. For example, a chocolate croissant may have around 180 calories versus 240 in a plain one of equal size.


Certain bakeries may offer lighter recipes with less butter that cut down on calories. For example, some cheese or fruit filled croissants may be 100 calories less than their butter-centric counterparts. Checking nutrition info can identify better options.


Making croissants at home allows control over ingredients. Substituting a portion of whole wheat flour can increase fiber. Reduced fat butter or oil can also lower fat and calories versus a traditional French butter croissant.

The Calorie Composition of a Typical Croissant

To summarize, here is an overview of the typical calorie composition in a medium 2 ounce croissant from a grocery store bakery:

Nutrient Amount Calories
Total Fat 12 g 108
Carbohydrates 26 g 104
Protein 3 g 12
Total Calories 224

As shown, over half the calories in a croissant come from fat, while carbohydrates make up the bulk of the remaining calories.

The Best Options for Low Calorie Croissants

When looking for a lower calorie croissant, consider these tips:

Check labels

Look at nutrition labels on pre-packaged bakery croissants to identify options lower in fat and calories based on the size and ingredients.

Choose smaller sizes

Stick to petite or mini croissants. Or, ask for a demi or half sized portion.

Pick fillings carefully

Fruit, cheese, chocolate or other filled croissants tend to be lower in calories than plain butter croissants.

Ask about low-fat recipes

Inquire if the bakery offers any croissants made with less butter or with added fiber from whole grains. These can reduce calories.

Share your croissant

Splitting your croissant with a friend or saving half for later automatically cuts the calories in half.

Savor every bite

Being mindful and enjoying each bite allows you to satisfy a craving without overdoing calories.

Should You Eat Croissants If Trying to Lose Weight?

Croissants are high in calories and fat, so they may not be the best option for those limiting calories for weight loss. However, croissants can still fit into a balanced diet in moderation. Here are some tips for enjoying croissants on a weight loss diet:

Watch portion sizes

Stick to a small or demi-sized croissant. Avoid eating multiple croissants in one sitting.

Balance with other meals

When you plan to indulge in a croissant, balance it out by choosing light, nutrient-focused meals for the rest of the day.

Savor slowly

Take small bites and really enjoy the experience rather than mindlessly eating the whole croissant quickly.

Pair with protein

Eat your croissant with a hard boiled egg, Greek yogurt, or other protein source to help fill you up.

Stay active

Burn extra calories by getting in a workout to offset your special treat.

Limit frequency

Only enjoy a croissant occasionally as a special indulgence, rather than every day.

With mindful eating habits, croissants can be incorporated into an overall healthy pattern of eating for weight management or weight loss.

Healthier Homemade Croissant Alternatives

For a healthier croissant alternative at home, consider baking your own using these substitute ingredients:


Substitute up to half of the refined white flour with whole wheat flour. You can also experiment with almond flour or oat flour for more nutrition.


Instead of butter, use a mild oil like avocado or olive oil. You can also do half butter, half oil.


Use reduced sugar jams, fresh fruit, ricotta cheese, figs, or other filling instead of chocolate, custards, or creams.


Cut back on any sugar in the dough by 25-50%. Also use cinnamon, vanilla, or almond extract instead for flavor.

Portion control

Make mini homemade croissants for perfect single serve portions. Or slice larger croissants in halves or quarters.

With homemade adjustments to ingredients and sizes, you can definitely lighten up the average croissant!

Should You Avoid Croissants on a Diet?

On very strict diets like paleo, keto, or low carb, croissants are often advised to limit or avoid due to being high in carbohydrates. However, for most balanced diets, wholesome croissants can still be enjoyed in moderation. Here are some tips:

Read labels

Check carb and fiber content, especially if limiting carbohydrates. Look for higher fiber options like whole wheat croissants.

Mind portions

Stick to a demi or mini croissant. Or, split a larger one with a friend. Portion control is key.

Savor slowly

Take small bites and really enjoy each one rather than scarfing down a whole croissant mindlessly.

Pair with protein

Eat alongside eggs, nut butter, Greek yogurt or other protein to balance out the carbs.

Limit frequency

Only indulge in a croissant occasionally rather than daily for carb control.

Overall, most healthy eating plans can include an occasional croissant when eating mindfully. Talk to your doctor or dietitian for specific advice tailored to your nutrition needs and health goals.


A croissant from the grocery store bakery contains anywhere from 140 to 290 calories, depending on size. The majority of calories come from the high fat butter layers, while the carbohydrate-based dough also contributes significant calories. To lighten up croissants, opt for smaller sizes, filled varieties that are lower in fat, or bake your own using healthier ingredients. While croissants are high in calories and fat, they can be enjoyed occasionally on most diets when proper portion sizes are respected. Practicing mindful eating habits is key to enjoying croissants in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet.