Give Hawaiian Rolls A Sweet French Toast Twist

Hawaiian rolls are a staple in savory recipes, ranging from sliders to sides, but maybe you've yet to try them in a sweet dish. If that's the case, it's time to whip up Hawaiian roll French toast. This inventive recipe transforms these familiar, fluffy rolls into an unexpected delight — a sweet, luxurious French toast that's begging to be invited to your next brunch.


Don't take our word for it; the internet is buzzing with excitement over this dish, from TikTok and YouTube to the site of the King's Hawaiian brand, which surely isn't hating the virality of its tentpole product. Based on the comment sections on social media, this recipe is a real crowd-pleaser. Take @KamMarieAnn, for example, who commented on one TikTok recipe video, "I'm glad I favorited this because it's the best French toast I've ever made!" And in case you need another reason to try this sweet breakfast recipe, it's also a breeze to whip up and tailor to your unique tastes.

How to make french toast from Hawaiian rolls

Whether you have a pack hanging around after a barbeque or you run out to the store to grab them specifically for this recipe, you're going to need Hawaiian sweet rolls. These slightly sweet, pillowy bites are the perfect sponge for soaking up rich custard. To make that custard, you'll need other staples like milk, eggs, and your choice of sweeteners and flavorings. While cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla extract are classic choices, don't hesitate to experiment with other mix-ins like nutmeg, cardamom, cocoa powder, or maple syrup.


Once your custard is ready, it's time for the Hawaiian rolls to take a dip. Ensure each roll is well-coated (but not too soggy). If you have a few minutes to take things up a notch, try slicing and lightly toasting the rolls before dunking them. This little trick can help your rolls absorb more custardy goodness, making your French toast even more irresistible. 

After your rolls are soaked to your liking, it's time to cook them by frying them in a pan with a bit of butter or cooking oil. The key is to fry them over medium-low heat until each side is deliciously golden brown and crispy. For serving, nothing beats a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a drizzle of syrup.

More creative spins on this recipe

The customizability of Hawaiian sweet rolls for this preparation opens up a world of culinary creativity. Imagine topping your French toast with a sprinkle of shredded coconut and some tropical fruits for an island twist. Or, for a richer option, try a Bananas foster-inspired variation with luscious caramelized bananas. If you're hosting a brunch, a convenient French toast bake might be your answer. Just dice or tear the rolls, mix with the custard, and bake until everything is deliciously melded together. (But if you need another easy sweet brunch idea, may we suggest sheet pan pancakes?)


But why stop at French toast? These sweet rolls can do so much more. For a slight twist on the French toast method with a crunchier texture, press them in a waffle iron after dipping them in custard. If you feel like stretching your creativity further, explore other delicious ideas like bread pudding, s'mores, and monkey bread. Each variation not only adds a new dimension to the flavor and texture but also showcases the incredible adaptability of Hawaiian rolls in sweet treats and beyond.