Recipe Review

I Tried Hawaiian Roll French Toast and It Was Even Better than I Expected

published Aug 2, 2022
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Photograph of Hawaiian roll french toast
Credit: Grace Elkus

Over the past few years, I’ve fallen hard for the mini breakfast trend. Pancake cereal? Adorable. Mini peanut butter banana pancakes? Even better. I’ve watched the TikTok videos on repeat, but I’ve never actually made these recipes. They felt like too much work for something I’d devour so quickly. 

So you can imagine my excitement when I learned about Hawaiian roll French toast. The bite-size breakfast looked even easier to make than the classic, and, of course, it was outrageously cute. Here’s what happened when I gave it a go.  

How to Make Hawaiian Roll French Toast 

This brilliant recipe was first shared on the blog Moribyan, created by Hajar Larbah. While most of Larbah’s Instagram videos receive upwards of 50,000 likes, this French toast proved particularly successful, garnering almost 150,000 likes and over 800 comments. Over on TikTok, just the preview of the recipe racked up more than 4 million likes. Larbah was clearly onto something. 

Making the French toast is simple. Whisk together half-and-half, eggs, light brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Dip each Hawaiian roll in the custard, then cook, flipping often, until the rolls are golden-brown and crispy on all sides. Serve warm with maple syrup and powdered sugar. 

Credit: Grace Elkus

My Honest Review of Hawaiian Roll French Toast 

I knew this French toast would be good (I mean, how could it not be?), but it was even better than I anticipated. Each two-bite roll boasted the perfect ratio of crisp, buttery crust to fluffy, custardy interior, with vanilla and cinnamon flavors through and through. When drenched in maple syrup, it was sweet but not overly so, and I couldn’t help but keep going back for more. 

What I liked most about the dish was how much it reminded me of challah French toast specifically. For the purposes of French toast, I find thickly sliced challah bread far superior to sourdough, French bread, or even cinnamon swirl, and Hawaiian rolls perfectly mimic challah’s plush texture and slightly sweet flavor. Cooking the rolls in butter is also a win, as it adds more flavor than oil.

As I mentioned earlier, I also appreciate the ease of this recipe. Unlike traditional French toast, there’s no need to slice the bread, dry it out, or soak it in the custard. Instead, you’ll just tear the rolls apart and then give them a quick dip, which you can do directly in the bowl the custard is mixed in. Cooking happens fast, too — simply turn the rolls until all sides are crisp. If you’re up for it, go ahead and get two skillets going at once.

Credit: Grace Elkus

4 Tips for Making Hawaiian Roll French Toast 

  1. Add a pinch of salt to the custard. Just a tiny bit will enhance the rest of the flavors.
  2. Swap in maple syrup for the brown sugar, if desired. Save yourself an extra ingredient and use maple syrup to sweeten the custard, too.  
  3. Flip gently with tongs. Tongs make quick work of turning the rolls in the pan, but be gentle! Too much force will squish them. 
  4. Serve as part of a breakfast spread. For the ultimate sweet-and-savory spread, serve the rolls alongside eggs and bacon.