Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cinnamon toast

When I woke up yesterday morning I had a strong sweet craving but alas there wasn’t a single sweet thing in the house. How could that happen? Well, it was one of those rare occasions, enough to make me a little crazy nevertheless. My craving was bad and I had to tackle it as soon as possible.

I remembered I had once tasted cinnamon toast at an American friend’s house and I loved it. I didn’t quite remember how to make it, so after I made sure I had white bread and ground cinnamon at hand, I winged it.

I quickly took the butter out of the refrigerator to soften while I mixed together some cinnamon, sugar and a dash of vanilla. I used a fork to cream the butter together with the other ingredients and immediately I knew I was in for a treat.

I smeared my bread with the smooth, reddish-brown concoction, making sure to cover every inch of its surface, and placed it in the oven. What came out minutes later was a wonderful surprise. It was crunchy and crispy and sweet and filled with the heady flavor and aroma of cinnamon, of caramelized sugar and of melted butter.

It was reminiscent of the cinnamon cookies my mom makes and those being sold at bakeries all around Greece. And I was delighted by that. What I realized was that I had actually made a cookie without actually making a cookie. I know it sounds weird, but sometimes food can do that to you. It takes us to unexpected places and it brings up images, smells and flavors hidden somewhere inside us, in our unconscious mind. Isn’t food wonderful like that?

Cinnamon Toast with Vanilla

Make this for breakfast or in the afternoon and have it with a strong coffee, a cup of hot chocolate or cocoa.

Some of my American friends may disagree with the fact that I take the cinnamon toast to a very crispy and crunchy stage when I bake it in the oven, but this is the way I actually prefer it for reasons stated above.
I used tijgerbrood, which is a type of Dutch bread with a crunchy crust that resembles a tiger pattern. Come to think of it, I must share a recipe for this soon.

Yield: 4 toasts

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
4 Tbsp caster sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large slices of white bread

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius / 350 Fahrenheit.

Using a fork (or if you’re impatient, a handheld mixer), mix the butter with the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla until you have a creamy and smooth mixture.

Spread the mixture on the bread slices, taking care to spread it all the way to the edges for best results.
The bread slices I use are somewhat thin which makes the toast crispier when baked, but you can cut your slices thicker if you wish.

Place the bread on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and place on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes and then transfer baking sheet to the top rack of the oven and bake for further 5-7 minutes or until the top has taken on a golden-brown color and the bread has crisped up.

Take the bread out of the oven and enjoy it while it’s hot or warm with a cup of strong coffee.


  1. Magda - I love that you did a post on cinnamon toast, it made me smile! And yes you're right, it's a classic in the US and something my mom would make for me growing up. Sometimes nothing is better. Your method of making a cinnamon butter is smart, I like it. I usually toast until the edges are brown and the sugar has caramelized and crunchy but the bread underneath is still a bit soft and doughy.

  2. Now I want that!!! Must be delicious!

  3. Katie — thanks for your vote of confidence on my super toasty toast :)

    Ondina Maria — it is! :)

  4. Hey - this American friend would not argue with ANY form of cinnamon toast! Just seeing it brought back floods of memories from my childhood. I am making bread today, and I am having cinnamon toast for breakfast tomorrow. Thanks for the reminder! ~ David

  5. for the past month I had been thinking of making what is the middle-eastern equivalent to cinnamon toast and now that i see this cinnamon toast, I feel like making that too!

  6. Sometimes the simplest things are the best. My children love cinnamon rolls but we can only buy them when we are visiting the States and making them at home is a bit of work, so I only do it on rare occasions. This is a perfect solution, wonder why I never thought of it! Thanks for the tip

  7. Magda, yes, I love how flavors are can take you to forgotten memories. Cinnamon toast is quite nostalgic for me in fact - a taste of childhood comfort food!