In the middle of a non descript strip mall near old town Tustin sits Cream Pan Bakery & Cafe which serves a variety of baked goods as well as Japanese savory eats such as katsu sandwiches and curries. Although I haven’t had a chance to try any of their hot food, I doubt anyone would disagree with my proclamation that the real masterpiece of their offerings is the strawberry croissant.
We made our way over to pick up some croissants to bring over for dessert at our friend’s house that evening, and we were greeted with a long line out the door. It was the day before Christmas Eve but I suppose that only supported the reason for the line. We weren’t the only ones with a the bright idea to pick up some sweet eats.
It’s kind of funny, because although the bakery has a cream pan, it seriously pales in comparison to their strawberry croissant. I haven’t had a chance to try anything else, but I’ve been told the Azuki Cream, which is filled with red bean, is quite good as well. The best part of pretty much everything here aside from the taste is everything is pretty inexpensive. Each strawberry croissant is only $1.40! You’d be hard-pressed to find a regular butter croissant at any other bakery for that price.
Once you’ve tried the baked goods here, it isn’t hard to understand why people wait in line. In the handful of times I’ve been, I’ve always had to wait and one time, they even ran out of strawberry croissants. The line does move relatively quickly, but it definitely isn’t a place you can expect to run in and out with your treats very quickly.
The croissants, slightly less buttery than the typical croissants, are cut in half and filled with a lightly sweetened cream filling and 2 slices of strawberries and then finished off with some sprinkling of powdered sugar. They are light and delicious and small enough where you could engulf one on your own and go for another one without feeling too guilty.
I would definitely make a visit to this cute little place if you’re in the Orange County area. You’ll be rewarded with some tasty treats that will hardly make a dent in your wallet.
Cream Pan Bakery & Cafe
602 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92780
PAFO Ratings for Cream Pan Bakery & Cafe:
Ambiance 2½ stars
Food 4 stars
Overall rating 4½ stars