Few Australian pastry items have captured attention like Lune’s croissants. Kate Reid’s flaky, crisp bundles have become not only globally renowned but, a decade on, people continue to sacrifice sleep to be first in Lune’s long lines to get theirs hot out of the oven.

The croissanterie was born in the south-east Melbourne suburb of Elwood in 2012 before moving to Fitzroy, then expanded to the CBD. Then Reid took it interstate, opening a shop in South Brisbane and its CBD, and there’s a Sydney store planned for 2023.

Reid (who before Lune was a Formula One aerodynamicist) now wants to spread the Lune message worldwide with a global release of her new cookbook, Lune: Croissants All Day, All Night.

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The centrepiece of the book is a croissant-dough recipe Reid fine-tuned for the home cook, and includes step-by-step techniques for rolling and shaping them. There's also 60 other recipes, plus what to do with croissant pastry leftovers, and our favourite part, a clever chapter on twice-baked croissants.

Reid tells us that almond croissants were the original twice-baked variety, invented in France as an austerity measure. Croissants left over at the end of the day became next-day’s almond croissants, after being soaked in sugar syrup, filled with an almond frangipane, topped with nuts and then baked again. She writes in the book, “Before Lune, I had never experienced or witnessed a twice-baked croissant that wasn’t an almond croissant.”

When she and fellow co-owner Cam Reid were transitioning from wholesale bakery into a retail shop, she had the idea to expand on the concept. “I posed the question to Cam, ‘Why is it that day-old croissants are only ever filled with almond frangipane?’ Given the myriad of different nut meals, to me it seemed obvious that there was an opportunity to create an entirely new range of flavours, all from a humble day-old plain croissant. And for a business essentially founded on one pastry, it had the added bonus of drastically increasing the product line-up,” says Reid.

For a home cook, this shortcut means you can transform any croissant into a triumphant Lune creation.

“The whole chapter is certainly designed for people that want to make something from the book but don’t have three days to dedicate to making croissant pastry from scratch, or perhaps aren’t a hardcore technical home baker,” Reid tells us.

This year Lune celebrates 10 years. “It’s a big one – 10 years old,” Reid says enthusiastically. “I feel like it’s a pretty significant milestone to achieve with a hospitality business. I’m very proud of Lune making it to 10.”

To celebrate the milestone, we wanted to publish the twice-baked birthday cake frangipane croissant recipe. Reid says it’s an ode to one of her idols, pastry chef Christina Tosi who, at her New York Milk Bar, plays on childhood memories. “I love how she innovates to create edible experiences that trigger delicious memories from more innocent times.”

This recipe does involve several steps but isn’t too complex to make. She does say though, “Not all sprinkles were created equal. Firstly, where you live, they may be known instead as ‘Hundreds and Thousands’, ‘jimmies’ or ‘hagelslag’ (hi there, Netherlands). They also come in a couple of different forms; my personal favourite, the long, thin miniature baton shape, which have a slightly softer musk-stick-like texture, and the tiny, much crunchier spherical variety.”

Twice-baked birthday cake frangipane croissant
Makes 6
Preparation time: 2 hours

Cooking time: 25 minutes

6 day-old croissants
Milk syrup (see below)
Birthday cake frangipane (see below)
Crumble topping (see below)
Vanilla buttercream (see below)
Coloured sprinkles, to garnish
Icing (powdered) sugar, for dusting

Birthday cake frangipane
200g butter
120g brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
70g buttermilk
120g plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
100g blanched almond meal
Pinch of salt

Crumble topping
250g butter, softened
230g plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
100g custard powder, sifted
90g icing (powdered) sugar, sifted
1 tbsp sprinkles

Milk syrup
500g milk
250g caster (superfine) sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Vanilla buttercream
2 egg whites, at room temperature
200g caster (superfine) sugar
60g water
250g butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract

To make the birthday cake frangipane, beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, waiting until each one is incorporated fully before adding the next, adding the vanilla with the second egg. Scrape down the bowl after the incorporation of the first egg.

Mix in the buttermilk with the flour and almond meal with the mixer on low speed. Once again, scrape the bowl down well, giving it a final mix by hand (with a spatula) to ensure all the ingredients are well incorporated. The frangipane will be a little softer than normal, due to the addition of buttermilk, so cover the bowl with cling film and transfer to the fridge for an hour to firm up. Just before assembly of the croissants, transfer the frangipane into a piping bag fitted with a size 11 star nozzle.

To make the crumble topping, put the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater and beat until pale and creamy. Add the flour, custard powder, icing (powdered) sugar and sprinkles and mix on low speed until the ingredients start to bind together, forming a chunky crumble consistency. You’re looking for small pebble-sized pieces of crumble. Transfer to a container and store in the fridge until required.

For the milk syrup, place all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat.

And finally the vanilla buttercream. (Note: this buttercream is made using the Italian meringue method.) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to soft peaks.

Meanwhile, bring the sugar and water to the boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar and create a syrup. Using a candy thermometer, take the syrup to between 115 and 118°C.

Once the syrup has reached this temperature, remove from the heat and, in a slow and steady stream, carefully pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites while they are still whisking on low speed. Once all the sugar has been added, increase the speed of the mixer and whip until the bowl has cooled down to body temperature.

Cut the room-temperature butter into 2cm pieces and begin gradually adding the butter to the whisking meringue, two or three pieces at a time, whisking well between each addition of butter to ensure that it is fully incorporated. Once all butter is in, add the lemon juice and vanilla, and beat well to combine. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a size 11 star nozzle.

Now with assembling, baking and finishing.

Preheat your oven to 180°C fan and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Using a large serrated knife, cut the croissants in half. Brush the cut side of both halves of each croissant generously with the warm milk syrup. Pipe a generous wiggle of birthday cake frangipane on the bottom half of each croissant. Before replacing the lids of the croissants, distribute a generous pinch of sprinkles over the top of the frangipane.

Replace the top half of each croissant, cupping your hand and gently securing each top. Finish off each croissant by piping a seam of birthday cake frangipane across the top, then press chunks of crumble topping into the seam of frangipane, all the way along the top of the croissant.

Place the prepared croissants on the lined baking tray and bake for 20–25 minutes, until the frangipane inside is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature. Once cooled, dust with icing (powdered) sugar.

Finally, pipe 6 or 7 kisses of vanilla buttercream randomly over top of the pastry, then garnish the buttercream kisses with yet more sprinkles. It is important that this is done when the croissant is completely cool, otherwise the buttercream will melt.

This is an edited extract from Lune: Croissants All Day, All Night by Kate Reid, published by Hardie Grant Books, $55, with photos by Pete Dillon. You can buy it here.

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