This recipe for cinnamon toast may be the old-fashioned method but it is simple and easy resulting in the best crunchy caramelized sugar cinnamon toast experience. Cinnamon toast is the perfect alternative to French toast, cinnamon rolls, pancakes or crepes.
Any bread is great for cinnamon toast but for a budget-friendly breakfast, brunch, snack, after-dinner treat, or supper use stale or reduced price bread which works beautifully.
Cinnamon toast is easily prepared with vegan ingredients, and for gluten-free diets simply choose a gluten-free bread.
Old-fashioned cinnamon toast is briefly baked in an oven, but an easy air fryer method is also included.
Origin of Cinnamon Toast
Cinnamon toast is in essence simply toasted bread with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar sprinkled over.
Cinnamon toast originates within Europe, most likely Italy or France, and has been enjoyed since at least the 1500s-1600s. French toast was also popular but was more expensive as it included milk and eggs, whereas cinnamon toast was simply bread, cinnamon and sugar.
Indeed cinnamon toast has also been called 'Poor Mans French Toast.'
Toasted bread dates further back to the Roman Empire soldiers who toasted slices or wedges of bread over the camp fire. The word toast originates from the Latin word tostum and translates to mean scorch, burn or roast.
Nowadays, cinnamon toast is not too popular but that's likely just because people have not tried this delicious creation. Recipes for cinnamon toast were more popular back in the early 1900s through to the 1930s.
Vegan Cinnamon Toast
Cinnamon toast does deserve much more recognition as it has all the tasty flavours of cinnamon buns/rolls with less of the fuss and much more budget-friendly.
Also if you or your family enjoyed the breakfast cereal Cinnamon Toast Crunch, before turning vegan or plant-based, then cinnamon toast is the perfect alternative.
Although there is debate as to whether Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal is actually vegan or not, as it depends on individuals opinions on Vitamin D3, which may or may not have been prepared with animal ingredients.
There is also a debate as to whether sugar is vegan or not. But if you are in the UK most sugar is suitable for vegans as it is not usually refined with bone char. However, in the US some types of sugar may not be vegan if it has been filtered with bone char.
However, if you are in the US, organic sugar and unrefined sugar is generally vegan. If you are concerned then do contact the manufacturer for guidance.
This recipe for vegan cinnamon toast uses light brown [soft brown] sugar as it caramelizes so well, and the flavours mixed with the cinnamon and crunchy buttered toast is just too divine!
Although any sugar that you prefer can be used for cinnamon toast including granulated, caster, dark brown, demerara, as well as the more nutritious coconut or date sugar.
How To Prepare Cinnamon Toast
Cinnamon toast is the perfect quick, easy, and budget-friendly replacement for French toast, cinnamon buns/rolls and even pancakes/crepes.
Whatever you would usually enjoy with pancakes,etc, can also be paired with cinnamon toast. Or just enjoy the cinnamon toast with a nice cup of tea or coffee.
Any variety of bread or sliced baps/rolls can be used.
Easy Oven method:
Preheat the oven.
Mix the cinnamon powder with the sugar.
Using a toaster, grill or skillet toast each slice of bread until its toasted to your preference.
Place the toasted bread onto a baking tray. Spread each slice with vegan margarine or butter.
Sprinkle generously the cinnamon-sugar mixture over each slice of toast.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until the toast is extra golden and crunchy and the sugar has delicious looking caramelized bits.
Easy Air Fryer Method:
Place the bread slices into an air fryer. The amount of bread slices that can be toasted together will depend on the size of your air fryer.
Set the temperature to 200F and cook each side for 3-4 minutes.
Exact time will depend on how toasted you prefer your bread.
Once toasted remove the bread and spread with vegan margarine or butter.
Sprinkle over the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Place the toast back into the air fryer.
Toast one side [cinnamon sugar side upright] for about 4-5 minutes or until its toasted to your likeness and the cinnamon sugar has caramelized parts.
Cinnamon toast is best enjoyed soon after preparing otherwise it could loose its crunchiness.
However, to enjoy the cinnamon toast later in the day or even the next day simply place the cinnamon toast onto a plate or back onto the baking tray [see image below] and cover the leftover cinnamon toast tightly with kitchen foil and leave on the countertop.
Enjoy at room temperature or pop the cinnamon toast back into a hot oven for a few minutes to heat through. Or crisp up the toast within a hot skillet/non-stick fry pan. A few minutes in an air fryer will also refresh cinnamon toast.
Yes. Simply choose a gluten-free bread.
Any variety of sugar can be used to prepare cinnamon toast.
Including the more nutritious coconut sugar, date sugar or unrefined cane sugar.
Cinnamon toast is delicious on its own with a nice cup of tea or coffee, or a chilled glass of plant milk, or fruit juice.
However, a few more tasty ideas:
* fresh fruit such as orange slices, apple slices, chopped banana, grapes
* fresh or frozen berries
* berry coulis/sauce
* canned fruit
* a scoop of vegan ice cream, whipped cream or a drizzle of pouring cream
* vegan yogurt
* vegan bacon
A few suggestions: [although do bear in mind that the end toast will taste much different to the cinnamon toast recipe!]
* replace the cinnamon with vanilla essence/extract/powder. Mix the vanilla through the sugar
* replace cinnamon with nutmeg although less nutmeg will be required, about an ⅛ teaspoon
* prepare ginger toast, add about ½ teaspoon initially to the sugar and add a little more if liked
* use mixed spice powder/apple pie spice powder/pumpkin spice powder, about 1 teaspoon to begin, taste to see how strong the flavour is, and add an extra pinch if liked
No, the margarine is not necessary but does contribute to the flavour.
If preferred omit the margarine and just go with the sugar and cinnamon, although the overall flavour will change and the toast may be much drier.
For more delicious traditional vegan baking recipes do check out our growing collection, especially these British rock cakes, and this Weetabix loaf cake, and these tasty peanut butter cornflake cakes.
Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Toast [Tasty French Toast Alternative]
- Baking tray lined with parchment paper if necessary
- Toaster optional, can grill or use a non-stick skillet/fry pan to toast the bread
- Air-fryer optional, only required if using the air fryer method
- 4 slices bread any preferred bread is fine, including gluten-free bread
- 2 tablespoon vegan margarine or vegan butter, use more or less as desired
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 60 grams soft brown sugar [light brown] or if preferred replace with granulated/caster/coconut or date sugar
- Preheat the oven to 160 Fan/ 180C/ 356 Fahrenheit/ Gas 4.
- Prepare the baking trays by lining with parchment paper if necessary.
- Stir the cinnamon powder through the sugar.
- Toast each slice of bread [both sides] with a toaster machine, grill, or within a dry non-stick skillet/fry pan.Place the toast onto the baking tray.Spread each slice with margarine or vegan butter.
- Cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like your toast and the sugar to caramelize. Fan ovens may take quicker so check after 12 minutes.
- If preferred bake for a few minutes longer.
Air fryer method:
- Mix the cinnamon and sugar together.
- Place the bread into the air fryer. The amount of bread that will fit your basket depends on the size of your air fryer, Repeat the steps as necessary.
- Turn the temperature to 200F and cook each side of bread for 3-4 minutes or until the bread has toasted to your desired colour.
- Remove the toast and spread with the margarine.
- Sprinkle each slice generously with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Place the bread back into the air fryer and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Check the toast and if its not done enough cook for an extra minute or so until the cinnamon-sugar has caramelized at places.
- Please note: As air fryers may differ do consult the manual for cooking temperatures, etc in case they may differ from what this recipe states.
- Serve with a small lemon wedge as a little squeeze of fresh lemon goes so well with the sweet cinnamon flavours.
- Nutritional data is for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Cinnamon toast is best eaten soon after preparing, but it can be stored for 1-2 days on a plate or baking tray and covered tightly with kitchen foil and left on the countertop.
- If storing the cinnamon toast, it can be refreshed by placing back in the oven for a few minutes or until heated through and crunchy. Or place the toast in an air-fryer for a few minutes until hot.
- Cinnamon toast can be enjoyed on its own or served with lemon wedges, vegan yogurt, vegan whipped or pouring cream, vegan ice-cream, fresh fruit especially berries, banana slices or orange segments, canned fruit, fruit coulis/sauce, or even a slice or two of vegan bacon.
- Any type of bread is ideal for cinnamon toast.
- Use gluten-free bread if required.
- Reduced price or stale slices of bread is perfect for cinnamon toast.
- Cinnamon toast is the perfect replacement for French toast, pancakes, crumpets, cinnamon rolls/buns or crepes.
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