The next time you make french toast, make it with Hawaiian rolls instead of regular bread or brioche. This Hawaiian Roll French Toast is packed with delicious flavor and will elevate your weekend brunches!
Is there anything better than the invention of Hawaiian rolls? There is literally no better tasting bread and I will request Hawaiian rolls over sliced bread, pitas, regular hamburger buns, wraps etc.
I'm always making sandwiches with Hawaiian rolls and started to think about what else I could do with them. Of course, one of the best uses for bread is french toast. And how delicious would french toast be when made with Hawiian rolls?
I can tell you that it's the best french toast ever! I'm excited to share this recipe for Hawaiian roll french toast with you and I hope it becomes a part of your family's weekend brunch tradition.
🍞 What are Hawaiian rolls?
Hawaiian rolls are a type of sweet bread roll that originated in Hawaii. They are typically made with flour, sugar, yeast, eggs, and butter (and sometimes even pineapple juice). The butter gives the rolls a soft and fluffy texture and golden color.
Though all kinds of Hawaiian rolls are available now (even pretzel rolls!), they're traditionally small in size; perfect for sliders.
King's Hawaiian is one of the most popular brand of Hawaiian rolls and I use their original sweet rolls in this recipe. But you can use any brand you choose. I'm lucky that my local grocery store carries several different types!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
Hawaiian roll french toast is as easy to make as any kind of french toast, but is elevated to new heights with the flavor from the sweet and buttery bread.
The rolls are soaked in a mixture of eggs, milk, and vanilla extract, which helps to infuse it with flavor and gives it a rich, custardy texture. Then, the bread is cooked until golden brown and crispy on the outside, and fluffy and tender on the inside.
There are also lots of different variations of this recipe you can make to make it your own and I offer several ideas below.
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this brunch dish and it can be prepared in no time at all!
Here's everything you need (be sure to view the recipe card at the end of the post for exact amounts or ingredients and exact instructions):
- Large eggs
- Milk: I use whole milk, but you can use any dairy or non-dairy alternative
- Vanilla extract
- Ground cinnamon
- Unsalted butter
- Hawaiian Rolls: I use King's Hawaiian brand and specifically their sweet Hawaiian rolls
- Confectioners' sugar: optional for serving
- Maple syrup: optional for serving
👩🍳 How to make Hawaiian roll french toast
The process for making the french toast is so easy, which makes it perfect for whipping up after sleeping in a bit on a Sunday morning.
To start, slice rolls in half horizontally. You can make the recipe with whole rolls, but I think it's so much better when they're sliced because it makes more surface area for crisp golden color.
In a wide, deep bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
I add just a touch of nutmeg as I don't want it to overwhelm the flavor, but it does add a nice touch. And obviously I add a lot of vanilla because I love it!
Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and brush with a little butter.
If you don't have one, I highly recommend this griddle. I make everything on it from french toast to pancakes to bacon. It fits so much bacon!
Now, working in batches, dip the Hawaiian bread halves into egg/milk mixture until saturated.
Shake off excess liquid before placing rolls on heated griddle.
Cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes on other side.
Remove to a plate and keep warm while you continue cooking french toast. Add more butter to griddle as needed until all rolls have been dipped and toasted.
I told you this was as easy to make as any french toast recipe!
I like to top the Hawaiian roll french toast with a little powdered sugar. And maple syrup, of course. But thanks to the rolls, this is already the most flavorful and tasty french toast!
The outside if nice and golden and crisp; this is definitely not your average soggy french toast. Who knew rolls would grill up so perfectly!
And I love the little pieces... Mini foods always feel more fun to me. Kids love them, too!
I never thought about making french toast rolls before, but thanks to Hawaiian sweet rolls, this is now the only kind of french toast I want for my weekend breakfasts!
🍓 Serving suggestions
As I mentioned, I usually top this french toast with confectioners' sugar and maple syrup, but there are so many things you can add to it for flavor and presentation. Here are some ideas:
- Blueberries, sliced strawberries, raspberries, or any fresh berries
- Chopped fresh pineapple
- Sliced bananas (or any fresh fruit)
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate sauce or caramel sauce
- Chocolate chips or white chocolate chips
- Strawberry syrup, blueberry syrup, or another fruit sauce or syrup
- Peanut butter, almond butter, or Nutella
- Cinnamon sugar
- Greek yogurt
If you love the idea of using Hawaiian rolls for french toast, but want to jazz it up a bit, there are so many ways you can do that! Here are some ideas:
- Use coconut milk in the milk and egg mixture for an extra tropical feel.
- Try mixing in a little pineapple juice for more sweetness and tropical vibes.
- Mix pumpkin spice instead the custard mixture in the fall for a seasonal french toast.
- Try using different flavor extracts instead of vanilla extract.
- Try using a different type of dairy or substitute for milk, like almond milk, oat milk, heavy cream, or even french vanilla creamer
- Add brown sugar to custard mixture for a sweeter french toast.
- Add chocolate chips to the milk and egg mixture to get melty chocolate chip french toast.
- You can use Hawaiian rolls instead of brioche bread or other traditional french toast bread in french toast casserole.
I generally say this recipe makes 6 servings (4 roll halves/slices of french toast per person), but once I start eating this Hawaiian roll french toast, I have a hard time stopping.
You can also easily half this recipe if you want a smaller portion or if you're making this because you have leftover Hawaiian rolls you want to use.
Of course, you can double it, too, if you have a larger crowd coming over for breakfast.
🥞 More sweet breakfast ideas
There's nothing better than an easy, but delicious breakfast on a lazy weekend morning and I have lots of sweet (most of carbohydrate heavy) recipes on my blog! Here are some of my favorite sweet brunches:
- Cinnamon Sugar Naan French Toast Sticks
- Strawberry Breakfast Tarts
- Cake Mix Pancakes
- Bubble Waffle Banana Split Tacos
- Strawberry Crepes
- Raspberry Coconut French Toast Casserole
- French Toast BLTs
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch Pancakes
- Banana Split French Toast
- Banana and Nutella Crepes
- M&M Pancakes
- Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast (from Yellow Bliss Road)
Whether you're bored of classic french toast or you just want to experience the fluffiest, yummiest sweet french toast ever, I hope you'll try my new french toast recipe!
What's the best french toast you've ever had?
Hawaiian Roll French Toast
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup milk (I use whole milk, but you can use any dairy or non-dairy alternative)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 12 Hawaiian Rolls, sliced horizontally (I use King's Hawaiian sweet rolls)
- Confectioners' sugar, optional for serving
- Maple syrup, optional for serving
- Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a wide, deep bowl.
- Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and brush with 1 Tbsp of the butter.
- Working in batches, dip Hawaiian roll halves into egg/milk mixture until saturated and shake off excess liquid before placing rolls on heated griddle.
- Cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes on other side.
- Remove to a plate and keep warm while you continue cooking the remaining rolls. Add more butter to griddle as needed until all rolls have been dipped and toasted.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar over Hawaiian roll french toast and drizzle on maple syrup, if desired, before serving.