Making crescent rolls is simple; you just remove them from the packaging, arrange them on a sheet pan, and pop them in the oven, right? While that is the standard way of doing it, it’s not the only way. In fact, people have gotten quite creative with the product, and there are numerous foods you didn’t know you could make with crescent rolls, many of which are downright delectable. You can make pastries like turnovers, crescent rings, cronuts, and dessert bars, but that’s only the beginning. No matter how you prepare your crescent rolls, though, there is one thing you shouldn’t skip out on: The toppings.

Although garnishes are not mandatory, they add flare to otherwise ordinary food. Some decorations add a crunchy texture that perfectly enhances the tender pastries. Other toppings improve the presentation, which makes the sweet treat appear lavish. Most importantly, though, all toppings add flavors that complement the buttery and rich essence of the baked good. So, don’t disregard toppings and serve the desserts plain: Instead, try one of the scrumptious topping options that instantly make the confections captivating.

Cinnamon sugar

Cinnamon sugar gives your sweet treat a simple yet delicious makeover. When you think of cinnamon sugar, you likely think of churros. However, it works for all sorts of crisp and flaky baked goods.

For instance, this recipe for fried apple dumplings is a crescent treat that takes advantage of cinnamon sugar; the recipe recommends you dunk the whole dessert in a coating. If that seems like a bit much for you, sprinkle a small amount on the dessert instead. You’ll be surprised by how just a pinch makes such a difference in taste.

This topping is undoubtedly one of those foods where taste preference comes into play; feel free to make the sugar as light or heavy in cinnamon as you like. When you make the mixture, it’s a wise idea to add a small amount of cinnamon and slowly add more to avoid an overpowering cinnamon taste; this makes it easier to get the flavor just right.

Caramel sauce

Drizzle caramel sauce onto your confection; it gives it a more elegant look and adds sweetness. For instance, these salted caramel crescent doughnuts do just that, and the recipe only calls for a couple of tablespoons worth of caramel. It doesn’t take much product to decorate your bakes with this topping.

If you’re up to making homemade caramel sauce, you only need 20 minutes’ worth of time and a handful of ingredients. But the fantastic thing is that if you don’t want to make it from scratch, there are numerous options for caramel sauce available at the average grocery store. Some sauces come in jars, while others come in squeeze bottles for more straightforward application.

This garnish tastes heavenly with ingredients like apples, peaches, nuts, bananas, and baking spices. So, if the crescent dessert recipe you try out contains any of these components, then you know that caramel is the right choice.

It doesn’t stop there; since caramel’s base is cooked sugar, it pairs well with other fillings too. And if the sweet treat doesn’t have a filling, the flaky pastry still benefits from the richness of the caramel.

Vanilla glaze

No matter what type of dessert you craft with your crescent dough, a simple vanilla glaze benefits it in several ways. Firstly, since vanilla glaze has such a simple (yet delicious) flavor profile, it makes for a versatile topping. Typically, glaze only requires a bit of vanilla extract, milk or water, and some powdered sugar. These components taste pleasantly sweet and pair with all sorts of desserts, whether your baked good burst with fruity flavors like mango or warmer flavors like nutmeg.

Aside from adding flavor to your dessert, the glaze is a gorgeous garnish. Simply use a spoon (or a piping bag if you want to get fancy-schmancy) and drizzle the glaze atop your crescent treat. Another option, if you plan to serve the dessert in individual portions, is to take it and turn it upside down, then dip the top part in the glaze. After a while, the glaze sets. So, whether you make super crescent cinnamon rolls or an utterly different goody, a vanilla glaze is an all-star option.

Chopped nuts

Although sauces are valuable in making your pastries stand out, you should consider adding elements that provide texture, and chopped nuts are a perfect way to do so. The crunchy nuts combined with the flaky pastry are a match made in heaven. Lucky for you, there are numerous types of nuts out there (not to mention that many can benefit your health as well). Peanuts, almonds, walnuts, and pecans are just a few options to top your crescent rolls with.

One method is to use a variety of nut blends, as apparent in the magic marshmallow crescent puffs recipe. If you use both chopped nuts and a glaze or sauce, scatter the nuts directly after you apply the sauce to make they stick. If you wait too long, the nuts might not be able to bond to the sweet treat. Additionally, it is up to you whether you use raw or toasted nuts; toasted nuts typically have a deeper flavor.

Maple syrup

For desserts with comforting flavors like spices, cinnamon, and brown sugar, drizzle maple syrup atop the sweet treat. In fact, real maple syrup not only has a pleasantly robust flavor but it also offers health benefits too. The sticky liquid holds over 50 types of antioxidants, which is just one of the things you didn’t know about maple syrup. If you don’t want to use plain maple syrup, turn it into a sauce, such as a quick sticky bun sauce (butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and lemon juice) which only takes a matter of minutes to make.

People often use maple syrup to adorn fluffy pancakes and waffles, which might as well be dessert because of how decadent they are. So, naturally, if you use maple syrup with other baked delights like monkey bread, cinnamon twists, and fritters, it is just as flavorsome. Whichever way you go about it, the rich taste of maple perfectly collides with the fluffy crescents.

Whipped cream

The ever-famous whipped cream is definitely one of the best toppings out there. It works so well for crescent-style confections because it perfectly balances the crisp texture of the pastries; the combination of the creamy topping and the buttery baked good is out of this world. Apart from that, it’s a versatile garnish because spooning on a dollop, piping a rosette, or simply smothering the whole dessert are all routes you can take with whipped cream.

Another option is to add flavor to the whipped cream, like the pumpkin ravioli with salted caramel whipped cream recipe. Adding a dash of cocoa powder or spices to the whipped topping gives it a flavor boost. Having said that, there’s no going wrong with a classic whipped cream made from heavy whipping cream, sugar, and a touch of vanilla extract. And, of course, canned whipped cream always comes to the rescue when you don’t have the time to make it from scratch.

Powdered sugar

Stack of crescent pastries

Powdered sugar is the clever solution if you want a garnish that requires little effort. This sugar adds just a hint of sweetness to your crescent treat while lightly creating a blanket of white dust. Depending on the variety of confectioners’ sugar that you are using, you might need to sift it, but that’s the only obstacle you have to worry about. First, examine your powdered sugar; if it’s lump-free, dredge the rolls to your heart’s content.

If the sugar has clumps, run it through a sieve to ensure your dessert looks as top-notch as possible. Or, run a fork or whisk through the confectioners’ sugar; it is equally effective if you don’t own a sifter.

This is a suitable embellishment for virtually any crescent treat, from fruity to chocolatey ones. For example, these fried peanut butter crescent bombs hold a peanut butter filling, and the powdered sugar garnish enriches the taste and appearance. As the recipe says, wait until your sweet treat has cooled before you introduce the confectioners’ sugar.

Melted chocolate

Person melting dark chocolate

One of the absolute best ways to upgrade a dessert is to get chocolate involved. Decorating your sweet treat can be as easy as melting some chocolate melts or even just good-old chocolate chips. Drizzle it over top of the food to give a hint of chocolatey goodness and a polished look. Before you do so, ensure you know how to melt chocolate perfectly without burning it. Because while chocolate is delicious, it’s pretty delicate when you introduce it to heat. Use a double boiler on your stovetop for a safe strategy.

Once you melt the chocolate, use a spoon or pastry bag to draw lines of chocolate onto your sweet creations. These air fryer s’mores are a perfect example of utilizing chocolate drizzle as a way to enhance the food’s presentation. As another option, place the chocolate in a bowl and individually dip the top of the desserts into it so that they have a gorgeous coating.

Melted peanut butter

Have you ever thought about using melted peanut butter to embellish your pastries? It’s a fantastic method because no sauce-making is required since the peanut butter becomes liquified when melted. Luckily, there is a simple way to melt peanut butter in the microwave: just place it in a heat-resistant bowl and microwave it in 30-second intervals until you’ve thoroughly warmed it. Heating it on the stovetop is always feasible, too; however, not everyone has time to babysit a hot pan.

Crescent pastries that you fill with jam taste outstanding with peanut butter smothered on them, which provides a nostalgic peanut-butter-and-jelly feel. On the other hand, everyone knows that peanut butter is divine when combined with flavors of chocolate or banana, so all sorts of crescent desserts are a fit for this topping. If you prefer other types of nut butter, for example, almond butter, use the same approach of melting it down to create a sauce-like consistency before you apply it to your baked goods.

Fruit preserves or jam

Crescent pastries with jam

Cozy and soothing ingredients like cinnamon and maple are undoubtedly worth savoring, but if you want your bakes to have lighter and fruitier essence, allow fruit preserves and jam to take the spotlight. Some may wonder what the difference is between jam, jelly, and preserves. It’s not unheard of for people to use the terms interchangeably. While all of them have a fruit base, they have their distinctions. Think of it this way: You make jelly with fruit juice, and you similarly make jam with preserves, but with fruit pieces involved (preserves are much chunkier).

All these fruit spreads taste glorious with freshly baked eats, so it’s just a matter of which type you prefer. Unquestionably, classic flavors like strawberry, grape, raspberry, and apricot don’t disappoint. Try to think outside the box and experiment with other varieties of jam. Rhubarb, pineapple, fig, and banana jam are just a few places to start. Set a decorative drop of preserves on your confection or smother the whole top; it’s your move.

Colored sanding sugar

Scoop of yellow sanding sugar

Have you ever worked with sanding sugar before? There are various types of sugar, but this specific one is a superb way to enhance the looks of baked goods. Companies make it in all sorts of different colors that range from pastel to neon shades. The granules of sanding sugar are more significant in size than the regular cane sugar, almost appearing as tiny gems. Therefore, when you top crescent turnovers or other sweet treats with this type of sugar, it adds texture and color. You have the power to create unique designs or customize the sweet treats to fit an occasion.

It’s a perfect decoration if you host a themed birthday party or want your dessert to match a color palette for a holiday. For example, this king’s cake recipe utilizes sanding sugar to embody the colors of Mardi Gras perfectly. If you don’t have a specific color scheme to follow, try to use a variety of colors or purchase plain white sanding sugar. In any case, the slight crunch and the delectable taste of the sugar add pizzazz to your creations.

Shredded coconut

Bowl of coconut flakes

Both raw and toasted shredded coconut taste lovely with buttery crescent pastries. Coconut especially complements desserts that involve chocolate, mango, caramel, pineapple, or even bananas. Use sweetened coconut flakes without baking them to provide a bright white adornment, or use toasted coconut for a gorgeous golden brown color. If you are unfamiliar with how to toast coconut, there are a couple of ways. The stovetop and the oven both supply fantastic results, and each method takes roughly ten minutes to fulfill the task. Just be sure to keep an eye on the coconut no matter how you cook it, as it tends to burn if you don’t stir it periodically.

Alternatively, try to find a recipe like this chewy crescent bar formula which has you toss the coconut on the goody before you bake it. This way, the oven toasts the coconut simultaneously as the bars are baking. Ultimately, it’s up to your discretion if you want to use toasted or untoasted coconut; it depends on how you want the texture and appearance to turn out. However, both are tasty variations that make your bakes look extra enticing.

Sprinkles

Bowl of colorful sprinkles

Sprinkles are a classic dessert topping that make any dessert whimsical. Nowadays, many kinds of sprinkles are available in stores and online. Some are unique shapes, while others are elegant-looking spheres that resemble pearls; Other types symbolize certain holidays with their colors and designs. And if you don’t have any sprinkles on hand, you’ll be happy to learn that making homemade sprinkles is more than viable. All you need is powdered sugar and a few other ingredients. However, it does take some forethought because you need to allow time for the sprinkles to harden efficiently.

Whichever the case, scatter these adorable decorations onto your sweet treat to instantly transform a plain dessert into a playful one. If you want to go all out, use glaze or icing as a foundation for the sprinkles to sit on. Alternatively, rather than throwing a dash of decorations onto the dessert, thoroughly coat the top by dipping it in sprinkles after frosting it (give it a few taps to release any excess). This trick works wonderfully for donuts or other single-portioned sweet treats and provides an eye-catching presentation.

Lemon curd

Jar of lemon curd

If you are a fan of citrus, use lemon curd as a topping for crescent pastries to instantly make your tastebuds dance. While it functions as a filling in many recipes, it doubles as a topping. For example, British folks often use it to accompany their scones. If you’ve never tried it, you might wonder what lemon curd is and what it tastes like. Lemon curd is a silky-smooth spread commonly made with sugar, yolks, lemon juice, and a couple of other components; its sweet and tart flavor is sure to upgrade desserts.

The zesty topping is compatible with numerous ingredients like honey, cream cheese, berries, and more, so if your crescent treat carries any of those elements, you know what to do. Try to make your version of a classic lemon curd or pick up a jar from the store; it is likely in the baking aisle or mixed in with the jams. In addition to its lovely tang, lemon curd also adds a dash of color to your confection. The lemon-yellow hue is much too lively and delightful to overlook.

Butterscotch sauce

Homemade butterscotch sauce

Draw lines of rich butterscotch sauce over your delicious bakes for a sophisticated feel. Butterscotch is quite similar to caramel in terms of flavor and appearance, but it is distinct because you make it with brown sugar rather than white cane sugar. People confuse the two so often that we had to set it straight with an ultimate guide to butterscotch. But, hey, at least now the difference is clear. When thinking of butterscotch, some might assume it’s a candy and nothing more. However, it comes in many forms, from butterscotch chips to butterscotch pies and sauce.

If you make butterscotch sauce on the stovetop, just remember that it doesn’t fully thicken until it starts to cool. Therefore, it might run off the baked goods if scooped onto them prematurely. Miniature pies, dessert dumplings, and pumpkin twists are just a few of the sweet treats that butterscotch sauce is perfect for. Foods like apples, bananas, cinnamon, almonds, and pistachios are prime ingredients to unite with butterscotch. Nevertheless, don’t be scared to go out of your comfort zone and try new ingredient combinations for your bakes.