Chef Alina Eisenhauer of Sweet Kitchen & Bar in Worcester, Massachusetts, claimed that she was the first to fry croissant dough and has been serving her "dosants" since 2008. Baker Roy Auddino says he has been doing "doughssants" since 1991.
Imitations and other takes on the cronut recipe have sprung up all over the United States and has also spread to many other countries including Australia, China and Japan. Make-at-home recipes have also been developed.
Due to its limited production and exclusivity, the Cronut spawned a black market with scalpers selling them for up to $100 each. The original pastry price is $5.
At the 2013 Canadian National Exhibition, bacteria from "cronuts" sold at Epic Burgers, a Toronto-based eatery, caused food poisoning in over 200 patrons. Toronto bakery Le Dolci supplied the "cronuts" and bacon jam topping responsible for the contamination.
The Swiss retailer Migros started selling "cronuts" in August 2013. Ansel had previously announced that he intended to register "cronut" as a Swiss trademark. In October 2013, Migros announced they will no longer be using the name, now a registered trademark of Ansel's bakery. Migros renamed their item the "Big O".
In July 2013, Dominique Ansel Bakery launched a series of charitable campaigns with their Cronut product to benefit the Food Bank for New York City. The campaign The Cronut Project, sponsored by Dominique Ansel and three interns at BBH, benefited the Food Bank for New York City by raising over US$6,000 in six days with only twelve Cronuts.
In September 2013, Dominique Ansel Bakery partnered with Shake Shack to offer Cronut Hole Concretes, featuring Cronut Holes and brown butter caramel custard. Hundreds lined up as early as 4 a.m. for a chance to purchase one of the 1000 Cronut Hole Concretes. All proceeds, over $5,300, went to the NYPD Widows and Children Fund and Madison Square Park Conservancy.
At a live auction in October 2013 benefited City Harvest (a New York City food rescue organization) Dominique Ansel, with auctioneer Nicholas Lowry and Questlove, auctioned a dozen freshly baked Cronuts for $14,000 in less than twenty minutes.