Food Adventures: The Cruffin

by Sarah

in Desserts, Eats Around Town

Hello! Instead of the usual recipe post today, I wanted to share an exciting food adventure I went on over the weekend. These.

Mr.Holmes Cruffins

What is that crispy goddess, swirled like a french chignon, dusted with snow and oozing chocolate walnut lava?

The Cruffin. The Cruffin. A croissant + muffin hybrid.

A few weeks ago, I read a news article about a bake-shop in San Francisco that had been broken in to. The burglar stole a copy of the cruffin recipe, but luckily that recipe was incomplete and therefore not very useful. As a preface, this shop is located in a somewhat questionable area of San Francisco (the Tenderloin), so when I heard the burglar did not take any money and just the recipe – I did a double take. What about these cruffins was so good that someone would break in for the recipe?

Mr.Holmes Cruffins

After following the Cruffin makers: Mr. Holmes Bakehouse on Instagram, I was convinced I had to see this urban legend in person. Since San Francisco is a 45 minute drive from Palo Alto, I saved the trip for a long-overdue study-break day and made my way to Mr. Holmes Bakehouse early (7:20AM!) on Saturday morning.

Arriving at 8:10 AM, the cruffin line had already wound around the corner. And the cruffins don’t even come out until 9AM! It was about 55 degrees F, people were wearing winter coats (SF is very cold, year round … Bog the Fog likes to hide the sun). I stood there hot tea in hand, tissues for my runny nose in the other, and waited.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

At the front of the line, I eagerly purchased 2 cruffins. The flavor of the day was chocolate walnut. The Spork and I made our way to Fisherman’s warf to pick up delicious dairy-free donuts for him (more on that later!) and sat on the docks to enjoy our breakfast desserts. Unwrapping the cruffin, I heard the *crinkle crinkle* of the crisp flaky crust. It was crispier than any croissant I had ever had, and fell to pieces as I bit in.

Mr.Holmes CruffinsThere were layers upon layers, and in the middle – chocolate cream filling with walnut bits. A perfectly roasted walnut topped it all off. I felt I had never had a dessert so decadent, clearly a lot of thought had been put into the crafting of these cruffins. I suddenly understood why people were lining up in the cold San Francisco morning, in a particularly seedy part of town in order to purchase these. It’s the first time I’ve gotten up early and lined up to eat something, and needless to say the experience did not disappoint. As the seagulls lined up at the docks waiting for me to drop a piece of cruffin, I made a mental note to fight them for it should any hop onto my lap for a bite.

Mr.Holmes CruffinsIf you want to try the Cruffin at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, here’s what I recommend you do:

  1. Arrive by 8AM – 8:15 AM to be guaranteed a cruffin (if you are driving, there is ample parking along the street in the metered areas. It’s $2/hr for the meters).
  2. Bring warm clothes, gloves, it’s cold in SF! You’ll most likely be waiting till about 9:20 AM if you arrive at 8:10. The Cruffins start coming out at 9 AM. They can sell out as early as 10 AM.
  3. You are limited 2 cruffins per person, so bring a posse if you want to buy more.
  4. You will be handed a sticker while you are in line to denote that you can purchase 2 cruffins when you get to the front. Hang on to the sticker! You need it to prove you did not cut the line.
  5. Purchase your cruffin, snap some glamor shots of it, and enjoy! The cruffin tastes best eaten on the day of purchase. I ate the second cruffin the next morning and while still yummy, it was no longer crispy.

The rest of the day, we visited Pepple’s donuts on Embarcadero St. by the wharf. They make vegan donuts, and we tried the vanilla and cinnamon flavors. Both were very delicious and tasted like non-vegan donuts. The cinnamon was particularly good – soft inside with a sugar dusted outside.

Pepples Donuts FarmWe walked through the farmer’s market at Embarcadero after, and found an amazing assortment of treats. There were particularly beautiful mushrooms (so pretty, I don’t know if I could eat them!) – even one colored like pink lemonade.

Embarcadero MushroomsIt was one of the best, most fun study breaks I have ever taken. The Cruffin has a special place in my heart.

Leave a Comment

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Connie June 1, 2015 at 7:11 am

Such beautiful photos, Sarah!! I love this food adventure (: I am so glad you’re getting study breaks in! I want to buy a plane ticket to fly back to Cali just to try these cruffins :p


2 Sarah June 1, 2015 at 9:48 am

Thanks Connie! You and Karl should visit next time you are visiting the bay area :) It’ll be perfect because you will be on Eastern time and Karl will be used to waking up early for clerkships, so you two can be first in line right when these come out!


3 Beeta @ Mon Petit Four June 1, 2015 at 10:57 pm

How fabulous! These look so amazing. I had never heard of the cruffin either until maybe a month ago when I spotted a photo of them on pinterest. I’d love to try my hand at them – they look irresistible! Good for you for getting up and snagging a couple – you deserve it, Sarah! <3


4 Sarah June 2, 2015 at 1:29 pm

Thanks Beeta! I also heard about these relatively recently. The bakery in SF opened last November.


5 Joanne June 3, 2015 at 5:21 am

Oh. Em. Gee. I kind of feel like I need to hop on a plane RIGHT NOW to get one!


6 Sarah June 3, 2015 at 7:58 am

If these were on the East Coast I’d feel the same!


7 Lynn | The Road to Honey June 3, 2015 at 5:38 am

Wow! It sure likes like you had one amazing food adventure. I will be dreaming about your photos of those cruffins for months. As a matter of fact, those cruffins alone might prompt a trip to San Francisco in the not so distant future. And can we talk about those mushrooms. . . stunning!


8 Sarah June 3, 2015 at 7:58 am

Thanks Lynn! :)


9 Amanda June 4, 2015 at 4:55 am

These are gorgeous! Sounds like you had a great weekend!


10 Sarah June 7, 2015 at 6:26 pm

Thanks Amanda!


11 Natalie @ Obsessive Cooking June 7, 2015 at 7:50 pm

Ahh, this is going on my food eating to do list (still also got hit the cro-nut). Thanks for sharing Sarah. These photos all look amazing – esp that pink mushroom shot. What a fun study break :)


12 Sarah June 8, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Yayy! My to-try list also includes the cro-nut.


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