Kouign-amann (pronounced [,kwiɲˈamɑ̃nː] Breton pl. kouignoù-amann) is a Bretoncake. It is a round crusty cake, made with viennoiserie dough containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry albeit with fewer layers. The resulting cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough (resulting in the layered aspect of it) and the sugar caramelizes. The effect is similar to a muffin shaped and caramelized croissant. The name derives from the Breton words for cake ("kouign") and butter ("amann"). Kouign-amann is a speciality of the town of Douarnenez in Finistère, Brittany, where it originated around 1860. The strict recipe of Douarnenez requires a ratio of 40 percent dough, 30 percent butter, and 30 percent sugar. The more traditional method of serving is as slices from a large cake, although recently especially in North America, individual cupcake sized pastries are becoming more popular.
The Welsh equivalent is the etymologically identical Cacan menin, literally 'cake, butter'.
In 2014, the BBC aired an episode of The Great British Bake Off featuring the kouign amann. In 2015, it had also increased in popularity in the United States with notable bakeries in New York, Washington D.C., Boston and San Francisco highlighting the pastry. The Dominique Ansel Bakery, home of the trendy Cronut, sells a version of kouign amann called the DKA.
^Alburger, Carolyn (October 3, 2011). "Croissant, Dethroned; All Hail Kouign-Amann | 7x7". 7x7.com. Retrieved 2015-08-22. Now San Franciscans can find the rare treat at several cafes around town, and Wood has had to put a hold on new accounts because his little bakery can't keep up with the demand. So what the heck is kouign-amann, you ask? Let's start by saying your morning croissant is about to get upstaged in the pastry case.