I’m a Mom and *This* is the French Toast I Want for Mother’s Day

Mother's Day breakfast in bed

Breakfast is a big deal in my house, but it can get pretty boring with basics like toast, eggs, and bacon. When I’m looking for something new to cook, I typically hit social media for inspiration.

I like quick recipes with easy-to-find ingredients and what I like to call “the drool factor.” In other words, a recipe that makes me scour my kitchen cabinets so that I can make it immediately.

I stumbled upon MacKenzie Smith’s @grilledcheesesocial Instagram page, where she whipped up churro-inspired King’s Hawaiian Roll French Toast Bites in just 15 minutes. The video has racked up more than 1.1 million likes and it's easy to see why.

I typically use Hawaiian rolls for party sliders or as part of a barbecue dinner, but using them as a French toast recipe is pretty clever. When you start with an already sweet, soft Hawaiian roll, fry it in butter, then toss it in cinnamon sugar, what’s not to love?

I saved the recipe a while back, but now felt like the right time to give it a try to make sure it was as good as it looked. I'm happy to report that it is indeed delicious and is a great Mother’s Day breakfast idea. It's simple and delicious and easy enough for the kids to help. Here's what you need to know.

Related: The Secret Ingredient for Rich, Tender French Toast, According to Legendary Chef Jacques Pépin

View the original article to see embedded media.

How Do You Make King’s Hawaiian Roll French Toast Bites?

Before you get started, combine 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in a large bowl or plate. You'll toss the warm French toast in the cinnamon sugar for the ultimate churro vibes, so it's smart to mix it up before you start cooking.

MacKenzie starts the video by whisking three large eggs, half and half, ground cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. As soon as that’s combined, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. The recipe called for salted butter, but I only had unsalted, plant-based butter. It still turned out yummy.

Side note: I deviated from MacKenzie’s suggestion to add the rolls to the custard, then melt the butter in the pan. Since she notes that the rolls only need 15–20 seconds in the custard (to avoid sogginess), I decided to toss them in the custard right before the butter was completely melted.

You’ll need a 12-pack of King’s Hawaiian rolls, but lo and behold, my grocery store was sold out. Luckily they had 4-packs, so I just picked up three of those. That seemed better than getting a 12-pack of a generic brand or the honey wheat version (which seemed wrong for this recipe). And if you aren't cooking for a crowd, the smaller packs are a great idea.

Ok. Back to the recipe. Once the butter melts, toss 6 rolls in the custard mixture for about 15–20 seconds before frying them. What’s missing from the recipe is exactly how long this should be done. With a bit of practice, I found that each side gets a GBD (golden, brown, and delicious) sear at about 1 minute, 20 seconds. One thing to keep in mind is to remember which side to fry first and repeat with the other rolls. Some of my sides were browner than others because I forgot about them.

When the rolls are golden brown, roll them in cinnamon sugar (aren’t you glad a bowl was already prepped?), making sure to coat every side. Repeat the process with the remaining 6 rolls, frying them in another tablespoon of butter. Roll them in cinnamon sugar and serve with caramel sauce for dipping. Boom, you’re done!

Related: The Best Classic French Toast Recipe

<p>Kellye Fox</p>

Kellye Fox

What I Thought of the King’s Hawaiian Roll French Toast Bites

Yep, these were as good as I expected. Coating the rolls in the custard mixture was easier than dealing with sliced of floppy, custard-soaked bread and the four sides of the rolls means that you get twice the number of golden brown caramelized edges. The rolls are sweet and tender to begin with, so the fact that the custard doesn't reach all the way to the center isn't an issue. The cinnamon sugar made them feel sparkly and special—and also made them extra delicious.

I was excited to eat these, and my kids were too. They loved them so much that they even took the leftovers to school the next morning. If you have kids, you know that's quite a compliment.

Related: My Chef-Husband Made Me the World's Best Breakfast Sandwich and My Mornings Are Forever Changed

<p>Kellye Fox</p>

Kellye Fox

My Top Tips For Making King's Hawaiian Roll French Toast Bites

  • This recipe is super sweet when dipped in caramel, so you may want to skip that or try something else. You can't go wrong with whipped cream for dipping, but a berry sauce would also be tasty.

  • I had about one cup of custard left over, so this is a great time to use regular bread slices to fry up more.

  • Watch out for hot spots in your pan. Due to the cinnamon in the batter and the shape of my pan, my butter turned brown rather quickly, so some sides were browner than others. Keep an eye on things and adjust the heat as needed.

  • Since I didn’t eat all 12 French Toast Bites, I refrigerated the rest in a gallon bag. The next morning, the rolls remained soft. You only need to microwave them for about 15 seconds to regain their fluffiness.

  • The cinnamon sugar was great, but you could also do cardamom sugar (just ground cardamom mixed with sugar), pumpkin spice in the fall, or gingerbread spice (sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger) for the holidays.

  • For a little heartier breakfast or a full breakfast or brunch spread, serve the French toast bites with an egg casserole, candied bacon, hash browns or a smoothie.  

Up next: Cher's 'Boyfriend Approved' Pasta Salad is Easy, Creamy and Crowd-Pleasing