HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Ham and Cheese Croissant Question?

I grew up eating ham and cheese croissants about every other weekend in southern california. Since then ham and cheese croissants have been my all time favorite break fast -and that's saying a lot because I usually don't eat before 10am. Now I have wanted to replicate that recipe so I can have them basically whenever I want and to share with company.

Where I live now there isn't any donut shop for miles. I did manage to go to one but the croissants they had came with the wrong cheese and didn't taste the same. That sort of brings me to my question.

I have attempted to make ham and cheese croissants but I never seem to get the right cheese. To be honest no cheese that I have come across has the same taste and consistency that I remember. It's definitely white and it melts beautifully into a milky savory almost sauce-like consistency. Its so milky that it often soaks into the bread.

I have searched all over the internet for a recipe or even an exited foodie-blog post about croissants that mention the right type of cheese. I have heard scattered advice to use Gruyere and then American but I've made batches with them and they aren't the right ones. They are good, don't get me wrong, but they aren't the same. I am thinking of trying swiss or maybe baby swiss next.

I have asked shop owners many times and they seem leery about giving me the right cheese - I have no idea why since different shops use the same cheese- I did once manage to get a nice shop owner to tell me she used mozzarella after some heavy flirting, but I am hesitant to try it since I know mozzarella well and I have never seen it taste the same or have the same consistency.

So, does anyone know the right cheese for those ham and cheese croissants that I love so much?

Oh and I am NOT talking about ham and cheese sandwiches. I am talking about the ones that have the ham and cheese baked inside.

Here is a pic of the what looks like the closest consistency that I am talking about.


Any good suggestions on which cheese to try next are appreciated. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I worked in a bakery for a few years and we used provolone or swiss. They did not have a milky consistency but those croissants were tasty! The picture you provided looks like a cheese sauce, perhaps mascapone or cream cheese based. If you try a sauce or melted cheese mixture, let it cool enough so you don't melt the butter in the croissant dough.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mojoeater

      Swiss is high on my list of cheeses to try but I don't know why I never thought of trying provolone. That's definitely going on my list. I actually have considered that it might be a sauce but It always seems wrapped around the ham as if it were a slice. And it isn't sweet or tangy like mascarpone/cream cheese, but If I run out of cheese Ideas I definitely will try a sauce.

    2. I would bet it was a cheese bechamel sauce that is typically used for a croque monsieur sandwich. I'm sure you can Google that.

      1 Reply
      1. re: escondido123

        Yes I have considered that it might be a sauce, however like I said to another reply it always seemed like it was wrapped around the ham as if it were a slice. And also I can't see it being common for ever corner donut shop to make a b├ęchamel sauce for their croissants. And it seems like it would be difficult to wrap a sauce inside a croissant when it's rolled up. Either way this is definitely an option I am considering.

      2. I'm going to go the other direction and suggest that it was Kraft Swiss-style singles, or something similar. Basically a Swiss Cheese version of American Processed cheese.


        I worked in a few fast food places as a kid and that's close to what we used for similar items. Nothing else melts like a processed cheese, and yes, it's 100% real cheese.

        2 Replies
        1. re: acgold7

          This is actually what's next on my list. It seemed like the best bet since it seems readily accessible to any and every non-fancy donut shop. And their american cheese was the closest I got to the right consistency so I have high hopes for this. I actually don't know why I haven't tried this sooner, I just seem to forget that Kraft does make a swiss cheese. Thanks for reminding me.

          1. re: lmno101

            Well.... it's not much like an actual Swiss cheese, although Kraft does make one of those as well, and not a bad one. It's more of a White American. Don't get Kraft's actual sliced Swiss with the holes, because they won't taste or melt the same as the Singles.

            Let us know if and when you find the right cheese in your quest.

        2. I like to use Emmentaler in mine.

          1 Reply
          1. re: KateCross

            Hmm, I've never heard of Emmentaler I'm definitely going to look it up.

          2. I think u need to mix miracle whip with a little bit of mayo with the mozzarella cheese

            3 Replies
            1. re: Skittles13

              Thanks for the suggestion, and honestly that sounds awful. (It's not a criticism it could taste amazing for all I know). Can you explain where you got the idea?

              1. re: lmno101

                Haha yes it doesn't sound to good ..but when my friend came over(loves trying new things) and we were making a snack for the park and he found a recipe for a ham and cheese sandwitch and he cooked it and I though it tasted just like A ham n cheese from a donut shop .don't put so much were it looks gross lol. I'm gonna call him and ask him I'll get back to u on exactly what he did :)

                1. re: Skittles13

                  Yeah do get back to me if you can, no worries. I'd actually like to try this out just for the heck of it since you say it tastes right.

            2. Maybe try monterey jack cheese if its real cheese they used vs processed cheese spread or something.

              3 Replies
              1. re: ROCKLES

                That would probably taste different but good too.

                Hmm I tried the kraft Swiss cheese but that wasn't quite what I was looking for. I saw a vid on youtube of a bakery/donut shop making them and I managed to catch a glimpse of a cheese packet. I could barely make out that it was white american cheese so next time I make some I'll post the result.

                1. re: lmno101

                  another idea may be laughing cow cream swiss cheese?? I am not sure of the flavor you are looking for, but its processed and I bet close to a lot of commercial processed "swiss" chese

                  Thanks for letting us know what happens.

                  1. re: ROCKLES

                    Yes, that's a really good suggestion by the looks of the OP's picture. There are many kinds of Laughing Cow -- I would think the "Original Creamy Swiss" variety is what you mean--it comes in wedges.

                1. re: splatgirl

                  It's definitely not Brie, it has a totally different taste, BUT if I were to do a gourmet version I think that would definitely pair well with the butteryness and saltiness of the croissant/ham. Great suggestion.

                2. It just hit me, Southern California and the consistency of the melted cheese, it could very well have been Queso Blanco.

                  3 Replies
                    1. re: Skittles13

                      Yeah, it's mexican white cheese. It melts really smooth.

                    2. re: PotatoHouse

                      Hmm, the only Mexican cheese that I've noticed around here is Queso Fresco, and from google it looks pretty similar. But that cheese doesn't melt the same, it sort of warms into a soft tofu like consistency. But It does sound like a good lead so I'm going to look for it the next time I go to a grocery store.

                    3. Half cup of Swiss cheese half cup of miracle whip dressing and some ham steak .mix it all up together .(u can add a vary small amount of some fine chopped onions if u want) I know how it sounds but don't knock it till u try it . Let me know what u think.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Skittles13

                        Hmm I will have to try that, if only to just be thorough in my search. I am wary of miracle whip since I barely stand mayo let alone sandwich 'spreads'. But hey, it never hurts to try. I'll actually be in Socal for a while soon and I'll hound every donut shop I see till I get to the bottom of this.

                        1. re: Skittles13

                          I think the Miracle whip will make ur cheese nice and gooey :)(maybe what ur missing)

                          1. did you ever figure it out?! I crave this ALL the time!

                            1. I live in So Cal and just had one of those very things for breakfast this morning. I'm going to say it was a white American cheese.