Honey Toast

published Jun 27, 2023
Honey Toast Recipe

Honey toast is an easy, yet impressive Japanese dessert. It's the perfect vessel for ice cream.

Serves2 to 3

Prep5 minutes

Cook10 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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shot of toast with ice cream and honey being drizzled over it on a white plate on a marble surface and a blue background
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

My friends and I often have dinner parties together, and one of the best ways to end a delicious feast is to surprise them with a stack of honey toast topped with scoops of ice cream. As soon as my friends see the honey toast, they immediately forget that they said, “I’m so full, I can’t eat anymore!,” and come back to the table with enthusiasm and forks in hand.

The taste of warm, honey-slathered milk bread covered in cold vanilla ice cream will instantly take you to the best dessert cafe in Asia, and you will get all the praise from your friends when you serve this at your next dinner party.  

What Is Honey Toast?

Honey toast, as the name suggests, is a simple dessert made with just toast spread with honey. When I was growing up in Korea, I always ordered honey toast at dessert cafes because it was often the cheapest option on the menu. But something about almost-crispy toasted milk bread drizzled with honey, and sometimes a dusting of powdered sugar or cinnamon, has always made me smile.

Leaning into my delicious nostalgic memories, I’ve created this slightly leveled-up honey toast. It starts with three thick slices of milk bread. Many dessert cafes I’ve been to in Asia often make their honey toast with a 5-inch-thick piece. While I love tall, thick toast that gets crusty on the outside, while remaining fluffy on the inside, you can achieve the same effect without freshly baking the bread by stacking multiple bread slices together.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

How to Make Honey Toast

I stack three slices of milk bread, preferably the ones that are made in Japan, to mimic the height. Then I slather each slice of bread with both butter and a honey-cinnamon mixture. One tablespoon of butter for each toast may seem like a lot, but there’s a reason why butter makes everything better — especially toast! Here, the slight saltiness of the honey-cinnamon mix balances the sweetness of the honey. 

Once you create the layers, the last thing is to cut them into bite-size square pieces before baking. Cutting the bread allows the honey-cinnamon mixture to steep into each corner of the bread pieces and makes sharing much easier. The key is not to cut all three slices, just the first two, so you still have a foundation. The bottom slice ends up soaking all the excess butter and honey-cinnamon mixture, so it gets extra flavorful at the end.

I love using the air fryer to make honey toast because I think air fryers are one of the best tools to make toast (you can also bake it in the oven to get the same result). Finish the freshly baked, hot honey toast with scoops of ice cream, which creates an excellent contrast with the toast. Plus, as the ice cream melts, it also creates a luscious, rich sauce. A final drizzle of honey at the end takes this simple, easy dessert into a stunner. 

Honey Toast Recipe

Honey toast is an easy, yet impressive Japanese dessert. It's the perfect vessel for ice cream.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Serves 2 to 3

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided

  • 3 tablespoons

    honey, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 3 (1/2-inch or 1-inch thick) slices

    milk bread

  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat an air fryer to 350ºF, or arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Meanwhile, assemble the toast.

  2. Melt 3 tablespoons of the unsalted butter in a small microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Alternatively, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.

  3. Place the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons of the honey, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a second small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until the butter is melted, about 30 seconds. Stir to combine. Alternatively, melt together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.

  4. Evenly spread 1 tablespoon of the melted butter on 1 slice of the milk bread. Top with 1/3 of the honey butter (about 1 tablespoon) and spread into an even layer. Repeat layering bread, melted butter, and honey butter two more times.

  5. Using a serrated knife and keeping the bread slices stacked, cut the top two bread slices into 9 even pieces; do not cut through the bottom slice of bread.

  6. Air fry or bake (transfer onto a baking sheet first if baking) until the honey butter mixture is ever so slightly bubbling, 8 to 10 minutes.

  7. Serve topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, drizzled with the remaining 1 tablespoon honey.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: You can make the honey butter mixture up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate and microwave until melted when ready to use.