Cinnamon Toast Grilled Cheese

published Apr 1, 2023
Recipe Review
Cinnamon Toast Grilled Cheese Recipe

A grilled cheese with cinnamon swirl bread, crispy bacon, and two kinds of melty cheese. Salty and sweet, it is the best of both worlds.

Serves2

Makes2 sandwiches

Prep5 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 20 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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stack of cinnamon grilled cheese
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Food Styling: Kristina Razon

The weekends are a time when I either experiment with cooking new dishes or fall back on a trusty standby. If I’m not feeling inspired, but I know that a meal needs to happen, I turn to this simple-yet-satisfying cinnamon toast grilled cheese with crispy bacon and gooey, melted cheese. It’s the perfect combination of salty and sweet. This grilled cheese is great for breakfast or brunch, paired with a leafy green salad tossed in a lemony vinaigrette or served family-style alongside a big crudité platter and a bowl of seasonal fruit. 

How to Make Cinnamon Toast Grilled Cheese

It all starts with a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread. My recommendation is to choose one you love — with or without raisins (I mean, why would you choose anything else?). Spread mayo on both sides of each slice. Because mayo has a higher smoke point than butter (which is used more often in making grilled cheese), you’ll get some nice browning, not charring, when you’re toasting it up. 

Flip the bread and top half of the bread slices with a mix of cheddar and Muenster cheeses and crispy bacon, then close each sandwich with the remaining slice of bread, toasted side facing down. The addition of bacon balances all of the sweetness happening in the bread. (If bacon isn’t your thing, try ham, prosciutto, or even a veggie-based breakfast patty.) Toast until the bread is crisp and the cheese is melty, then slice in half and serve! 

Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

If You’re Making Cinnamon Toast Grilled Cheese, a Few Tips

Before you head off to make your own, there are a few things you should know. 

  • Pick a cinnamon swirl bread that you love. If thick-cut is your thing, go for that. If you like raisins, choose a loaf with raisins in it. As long as you love it, you’ll love this sandwich.
  • Customize the cheese to fit your taste. I use medium cheddar and Muenster cheeses, which both melt well. I recommend that at least one of the cheeses is a “melty” cheese, while the other can be anything else you like, so feel free to experiment and customize to fit your taste preferences. And if you’re up for it, consider grating your cheese
  • Make sure your bacon is crispy. Crispy bacon stands up well to the melty cheese. Speaking of bacon, if it leaves behind too many stuck-on bits after cooking, add one-quarter cup of warm water to the skillet to help loosen them up. Use a silicone spatula to gently lift the bits from the bottom, then drain and wipe dry before continuing with the recipe.
  • Spread the mayo on both sides of the bread. That thin coating of fat gives your bread a golden color and satisfying crunch. The type of mayo doesn’t matter too much. But if you’re looking for an ultra-rich option, try Kewpie mayonnaise for a fun twist.
  • Keep pan size in mind. If you can’t fit all four of your bread slices in the pan at once, feel free to work in batches. Just be sure to add some additional bacon fat to keep it from sticking. 
  • Toast both sides of the bread. This contributes additional crunch, and toasting the side that will eventually face the cheese also helps expedite the melting process. That means you won’t have to “grill” your cheese for an excessive amount of time to get the cheese to melt.

Cinnamon Toast Grilled Cheese Recipe

A grilled cheese with cinnamon swirl bread, crispy bacon, and two kinds of melty cheese. Salty and sweet, it is the best of both worlds.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Makes 2 sandwiches

Serves 2

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 4 slices

    bacon (regular, not thick cut)

  • 4 tablespoons

    mayonnaise

  • 4 slices

    cinnamon swirl bread

  • 2 ounces

    sliced medium or sharp cheddar cheese

  • 2 ounces

    sliced Muenster cheese

Instructions

  1. Place 4 bacon slices in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet in a single layer. Cook over medium heat, flipping occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, spread 4 tablespoons mayonnaise evenly over both sides of 4 slices cinnamon swirl bread.

  2. When the bacon is ready, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour the bacon fat into a small heatproof bowl. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and return it to the stove over medium-low heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the reserved bacon fat and swirl the pan to lightly coat the bottom with fat. Add the bread slices and cook until golden brown and toasted, 2 to 4 minutes.

  3. Flip the bread slices. Divide and top 2 of the slices with 2 ounces sliced cheddar cheese, the bacon (tear as needed to fit), and 2 ounces sliced Muenster cheese. Cover each with a remaining bread slice, toasted side facing down. Cook, gently pressing down on them with a flat spatula, until the cheese is melted and the second side of the bread is golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

  4. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut each sandwich in half on a diagonal.