College Comfort: Cinnamon Toast

I don’t want to say my mom couldn’t bake. She just didn’t bake. In fact, I don’t recall ever seeing her make anything sweet, ever. Except on weekend mornings (and certain school days when we were all up in time), when she would break out the ultimate morning comfort food: cinnamon toast. This was something her mother had often made when she was a child, and something my mom could confidently tackle in the toaster oven, or occasionally, the broiler. It got to a point where we were keeping a jar of pre-mixed cinnamon sugar around for quick fixes. The recipe is stupid-simple, but it felt appropriate to share it, since this, I believe, is where my love for cinnamon originated.

This is also the ideal college food: it’s comforting, easy, fast, and can be made in a kitchen, a dorm room with a toaster oven, or even the DHall for a DIY breakfast or dessert.

Lily graduated in 2009 from Harvard University with a degree in English Literature. While in college, she bartended and cooked at the campus pub, and as a result has a difficult time eating chicken wings. She is currently the Assistant Managing Editor for Small Kitchen College.


Cinnamon Toast
From My Mother’s Kitchen
Serves 1

2 pieces white bread
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons sugar

Cheater’s method
Toast your bread.

Meanwhile, mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl, and set aside.

As soon as the bread comes out of the toaster, slather them with a layer of butter, and sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture.

Mom’s best method
Preheat your broiler.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet, and lay your bread down. Let the butter soak in to each side of the bread, about 1-2 minutes on each side (watch the second side closely so that it toasts but doesn’t burn).

Meanwhile, mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.

Put the bread in a broiler-proof baking dish, and sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Place the bread under the broiler for 40-50 seconds. I got the following warning from my mom: “You’ll go through 6-8 slices until you remember to pull the slices out before they’re black and smoking and you’re screaming curses at yourself anyone who happens to be in your kitchen,” so I put them in for 1 minute, which was slightly too long, and then for 30 seconds, which was just a little too short. Keep checking on the bread every 10 seconds or so after the 30 second mark.

Thank your mom, and eat immediately. Preferably while watching One Saturday Morning cartoons (does that lineup exist anymore?).

Originally posted on Thursday, July 7th, 2011

4 Responses to “College Comfort: Cinnamon Toast”

  1. rachel bellow

    July 7th, 2011

    Ummmm….the mother in question here: I made:

    1. fruit with brown sugar and sour cream
    2. baked apples (a la horse farm in VT)
    3. nightly kisses
    4. whatever
    5. now i feel bad
    6. you’re using your blog for evil
    7. does “arranging” bowls of ice cream count?


  2. erin

    July 7th, 2011

    Disney One Saturday Morning! Omg! Doug! :) Thanks for the good memories! My mom too was neither a cook nor much of a baker at all but I have great memories of cinnamon toast growing up! Great post!

  3. Rob Corty

    July 15th, 2011

    I love your mom’s liberal use of numbering! Also the toast looks tasty.

  4. Gen

    August 1st, 2011

    This brought back memories of my mother who also never baked. She actually claimed that she had some sort of acidity in her blood that prevented her from being able to bake because nothing would rise. I found out later that this was just an excuse!!

    But, she did make cinnamon toast. Often. And it was wonderful!

    To be fair, her other dessert specialty was toasting a slice of pound cake, adding a dollop of vanilla ice cream and drizzling chocolate syrup over it. Try it, it’s fabulous!! lol

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