As a child, Cinnamon Toast was my slumber party breakfast of choice. My mom would make huge pans of it for all my friends and me, and it felt extremely special and luxurious. I mean, what’s not to love about buttered bread with a crackling layer of melted cinnamon-sugar on top?!
I still think Cinnamon Toast is pretty special and luxurious—it’s still mostly reserved for weekend breakfasts, but I will occasionally have it for dinner on days where nothing goes right. Being able to eat whatever you want for dinner is one of the great advantages of being a single childless adult. But I digress…
I always assumed Cinnamon Toast was one of those things that everyone knew how to make, like scrambled eggs or grilled cheese. But it turns out that not everyone has/had someone to teach them how to make the simple things, so please allow me.
Cinnamon Toast is wildly easy to make. Start by laying four slices of bread on a dry baking sheet. You can use whatever bread you have on hand, but I prefer good quality white sandwich bread or the sliced brioche you see here.
Next up, mix some vanilla extract into melted butter and whisk together a tiny batch of cinnamon-sugar. To assemble, brush each slice of bread with what seems like entirely too much vanilla butter and then sprinkle on what seems like entirely too much cinnamon-sugar. Don’t overthink this—Cinnamon Toast is a special treat, not health food.
Once all the slices are assembled, bake them in a 350F oven until the cinnamon-sugar has melted and the underside of the bread is turning golden, then broil it for a minute or so, until it’s the sugar is bubbling and caramelized, but not burnt. I like the edges of the bread to be a little charred, but that’s strictly optional.
After a couple minutes of cooling, the Cinnamon Toast will be ready to eat. Well-toasted, soft and buttery in the middle, and topped with a shattering layer of melted cinnamon-sugar, this breakfast treat is a classic for a reason. And the fact that it can make a batch as big or small as you need without any huge adjustment in time commitment makes it all the better. I regularly quarter this recipe for myself (read: 1 slice bread, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon), but if I ever need to feed a crowd at the crack of dawn, I know I can multiply it no problem. How luxurious.
makes 4 slices
4 slices brioche, challah, white sandwich bread, or similar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional, but recommended)
Preheat oven to 350F. Arrange bread slices on a dry rimmed sheet pan.
Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl; use a fork to whisk them together.
In a separate small bowl, stir together melted butter and vanilla (if using).
Use a pastry brush to spread vanilla-butter evenly over each of the bread slices. Make sure to get it edge-to-edge. Use all the butter, even if it seems like it’s too much.
Use a spoon to sprinkle a thick layer of cinnamon-sugar over each slice of bread. Some will soak in and it may look uneven—this is normal.
Bake bread for 12-14 minutes, until the cinnamon-sugar is melted and the bottom of the bread is beginning to turn golden.
Turn on the broiler. Broil slices 30-90 seconds, until deep brown and bubbly. Watch these very closely, as they can go from brown to burnt in seconds.
Let toast cool on the pan for a 2-3 minutes, until the topping has hardened and you can handle the warm toast. Serve immediately.