Hawaiian bread French toast are pillowy soft cubes of bread that are soaked inside a pumpkin spice custard. Pan fried in butter until crisp and golden and drizzled with warm maple syrup and chopped candied pecans.
This Hawaiian bread French toast is the tastiest, most delectable French toast you will ever try. They are so fluffy and tender and have a warm pumpkin pie flavor. Did I mention they are quite addicting? You won't be able to have just one!
What I love about these mini French toasts is that you can pick them up with your bare hands and dip them into warm maple syrup. No forks needed but definitely lots of napkins!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Super easy to make- This recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes and most of the ingredients you should have on hand or are easily accessible.
- Soft Hawaiian rolls- I use King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls in this recipe which are so fluffy and really absorb all the delicious custard. Also, they are small in size, which make them the cutest French toast.
- Pumpkin custard- I flavor the custard with pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree which gives you all the warm, sweet flavors of a traditional pumpkin pie.
- Great for gatherings- This dish can serve a large crowd and is great to transport and reheat.
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Hawaiian rolls- I use King's Hawaiian sweet rolls which come in a pack of 12.
- Half and half- This is the base for my custard.
- Eggs- Use large eggs.
- Pumpkin pie spice- You can buy this already mixed or you can make your own homemade spice blend.
- Additional Spices- I use ground ginger and ground cinnamon to boost up the pumpkin pie flavor.
- Pumpkin puree- Make sure to use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Brown sugar- I use dark brown sugar.
- Vanilla extract- Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Maple syrup- Use pure maple syrup and heat it up before serving.
- Butter- To cook the French toast, I use unsalted butter.
- Pecans- Use candied or toasted pecans for some added crunch.
Step By Step Ingredients
STEP 1: Make custard. In a large bowl, whisk together half and half, eggs, brown sugar, spices, salt, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Strain custard through a fine sieve.
STEP 2: Prepare Hawaiian rolls. Using a toothpick, poke holes into the bottom of the rolls. Since the rolls are a lot thicker than your traditional French toast bread, this will help the rolls absorb more of the custard.
STEP 3: Preheat griddle or pan. Heat over medium heat. If your pan is too hot, the rolls will brown too quickly before cooking all the way through.
STEP 4: Soak rolls. Dip both sides of the bread into the egg mixture. Let soak for 1 minute per side.
STEP 5: Cook French toast. Add butter to your warm griddle or pan. Once melted, add soaked rolls. Cook for 30 seconds per side. Continue to cook until all sides are golden brown.
Dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with warm maple syrup and chopped candied pecans.
Make sure to punch holes into your rolls with a toothpick. This will really help them absorb all that delicious custard.
Cook your French toast on medium heat. If your pan is too hot, the rolls will brown too quickly before they have cooked through. After each batch, wipe the pan clean and start with fresh butter.
Strain custard through a fine sieve. No matter how well you whisk the ingredients, you are bound to get lumps of egg whites. This will help prevent that from happening.
What To Serve With French Toast
- Bacon- If you don't know by now, I LOVE bacon. So for obvious reasons, this is first on my list.
- Eggs- Scrambled, fried, or over easy. However you like them, they are a great savory option with this sweet French toast.
- Fresh fruit- This recipe is a bit indulgent, so offering some fresh fruit will help bring some balance to your meal.
- Sausage- Choose any one of your favorite breakfast sausages to serve alongside this French toast.
- Home fries or hash browns- Carbs on top of carbs. Go big or go home!
Hawaiian bread is sweeter than regular bread. It has a flakier outside and is soft and fluffy on the inside. It's texture and flavor is similar to Challah.
Yes, you can. Dried out bread soaks up the custard better without it getting soggy and falling apart. But if you don't have time to dry out your bread, don't worry. It will still be delicious!
60 seconds on each side is a sufficient amount of time. Make sure to punch some holes with a toothpick through the bottom of the bread. This will also help the custard get absorbed.
Storing and Freezing
Store this Hawaiian bread French toast inside an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. To reheat, place rolls inside a 350℉ toaster oven for 8-10 minutes or until warmed through.
Freeze these French toast rolls inside an airtight container or Ziplock freezer bag. Reheat in a toaster oven until thawed and warmed through.
More Breakfast and Brunch Recipes
If you decide to try this recipe, please make sure to leave a STAR RATING on the recipe card and leave a comment below. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Hawaiian Bread French Toast
- 3 Eggs
- ¾ cup Half and Half
- 2 tablespoon Brown sugar dark
- 1 ½ teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon Ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- ⅓ cup Pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 12 Hawaiian Rolls
- 2 tablespoon Butter plus more for serving on top
- ⅓ cup Candied pecans for garnish, chopped
- Powdered sugar dusted on top
- Maple syrup served on the side
- In a medium size bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar, spices, salt, vanilla, and pumpkin puree. Whisk until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve.
- Take a toothpick and punch holes through the bottom of the rolls. This will help soak up the custard.
- Next, take 6 rolls and soak in custard mixture. Leave for 1 minute. Turn over and leave for an additional minute.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat (make sure your heat isn't too high or else your rolls will burn).
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter inside skillet. When ready, add soaked rolls, making sure to leave room in between so you can turn them. Try not to overcrowd the pan.
- Cook each side (4 sides total) for 45-60 seconds. They should be a nice golden brown when ready.
- Once the rolls are cooked through, remove them from the pan and repeat the process with the remaining 6 rolls.
- Once finished, dust them with powdered sugar and serve with warm maple syrup and chopped candied pecans.
- There will be leftover custard after finishing the 12 rolls. Should you have extra, feel free to use it up with additional rolls.