Milk Toast

published Feb 20, 2022
Milk Toast Recipe

It takes less than 10 minutes to make this classic breakfast.


Prep1 minute

Cook5 minutes

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chunks of bread in a bowl with milk being poured over the top, with a bowl of berries in a bowl in the background
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

Milk toast is a classic New England breakfast dish made with toasted bread and warm milk and served in a bowl to be enjoyed like cereal. It’s often topped off with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar for an added treat. Here, I chose to swap the cinnamon sugar with maple syrup, which is stirred into the milk to sweeten it. It’s a slight twist that seems appropriate, given this breakfast is rooted in New England. Of course, you can always add an additional pinch of cinnamon just before taking that first bite, if you like.

What Is Milk Toast?

Milk toast is an old-fashioned breakfast dish made with bite-sized pieces of buttered toast served in a bowl with warm milk.

Milk Toast Origin

Milk toast was one of the original comfort foods, with a history dating back to the 19th century in New England. Back then, it was not only a breakfast option — it was also served when someone wasn’t feeling well. This makes sense, as the simple dish consists of mild foods enjoyed warm in a bowl. Milk toast was once served in the same way we might turn to saltine crackers, ginger ale, or chicken soup today.

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

How to Make Milk Toast

Milk toast is made with two breakfast staples: milk and toast. Bread is toasted, buttered, and cut into bite-sized pieces. It is then placed in a bowl and topped with warm milk. Milk toast was the precursor to the breakfast cereals we know and love today.

What Type of Bread Should I Use for Milk Toast?

Bread is the star of the dish when it comes to milk toast. This is a great opportunity to give day-old bread new life. I like to use thick slices of a flavorful, rich bread such as challah or brioche.

Milk Toast Recipe

It takes less than 10 minutes to make this classic breakfast.

Prep time 1 minute

Cook time 5 minutes

Serves 1

Nutritional Info


  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 2 slices

    challah or brioche bread (about 1-inch thick), preferably stale

  • 1 cup

    regular or unsweetened non-dairy milk

  • 1 tablespoon

    maple syrup


  1. Let 1 tablespoon unsalted butter sit at room temperature until softened.

  2. Place 2 (about 1-inch thick) slices challah or brioche bread in the toaster and toast until golden-brown. Spread the butter onto the toast, then cut into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to a cereal bowl.

  3. Place 1 cup milk and 1 tablespoon maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring gently, until it just begins to bubble and the maple syrup is completely incorporated, about 3 minutes. Pour over the bread cubes.