Old-fashioned Cinnamon Toast

slice of cinnamon toast on plateWhen I recently was browsing through a hundred-year-old cookbook, and came across a recipe for Cinnamon Toast, memories came flooding back. I have warm, fuzzy memories of eating Cinnamon Toast, as well as fun memories of making Cinnamon Toast that bring to mind people I hadn’t thought of in years.

When I was a child, Cinnamon Toast was the perfect after-school snack. Open the door, take off coat, put a couple slices of bread in the toaster, and toast. Then spread with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and voila – a delightful, sweet treat.

I also remember how my mother always made Cinnamon Toast when I didn’t feel well, and how it always made a miserable day seem a just little bit better. Similarly, I always made it for my children when they were ill, and not hungry for the usual foods. And, I’ve noticed that, as adults, they make Cinnamon Toast for themselves when they are sick.

When I make Cinnamon Toast, no recipe is needed. It is so simple to make. But seeing the hundred-year-old recipe for Cinnamon Toast reminded of another day, many years ago when I did make Cinnamon Toast using a recipe.

It was my first day in junior high, and I was feeling very grown up going from one class to another. Then I was brought back to earth when I got to home economics, and the teacher said, “Today we are going to learn how to make Cinnamon Toast.” And, she actually gave us a recipe. My friends and I tried to suppress giggles. A few of the more daring girls (only girls took home economics back then; the boys took shop) whispered, “This is stupid. Doesn’t everyone know how to make Cinnamon Toast? Does she think we’re little kids?”

But the bottom line is – recipe or no recipe – Cinnamon Toast is the ultimate comfort food.

Here’s the original recipe:

Cinnamon Toast Recipe
Source; The Cook Book of Left-Overs (1920) compiled by the More Nurses in Training Movement

The hundred-year-old recipe calls for brown sugar, while I typically use white. Either type of sugar works. When brown sugar is used, the Cinnamon Toast has a slight hint of caramel.

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Cinnamon Toast

  • Servings: 1 serving
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 slice bread


Put the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; stir until mixed. Set aside.

Toast bread then spread with butter. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. (Save any extra of the sugar and cinnamon mixture to use on another piece of toast.)

If desired, melt the sugar mixture on the toast – Preheat oven to 350° F. Place the toast on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking dish, and put in the oven for 1-3 minutes or until the sugar is melted; remove from oven and serve immediately.


89 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Cinnamon Toast

    1. It is tasty. 🙂 It’s interesting how different families have different favorite foods to serve a sick child. When my children were little, their pediatrician used to say that a sick child should be fed the BRAT diet (banana, rice, applesauce, toast).

  1. I learned to make it “toast” by putting the butter, sugar and cinnamon on the bread, and then place under a broiler–we never had a toaster when I was growing up. All toasting was done in a skillet (pan toast) or the broiler. I got a toaster when I married, and rarely used it. I still make pan toast in my iron skillet.

    1. You didn’t need a recipe; I didn’t need a recipe. . . I’m guessing most kids don’t need recipes to make cinnamon toast. 🙂

  2. Yummy! It’s been many many years since I’ve had this because I am gluten intolerant. But, it might be worth trying to find some gluten-free bread (that doesn’t taste like cardboard) to taste some cinnamon toast once again. 🙂

  3. You’re right about cinnamon toast bringing back memories. We had it as kids though never with brown sugar or melted in the oven. I made it for my kids too. We could go through a whole loaf of bread just making cinnamon toast. Haven’t had it in ages. Mmm.

  4. Wow! We used to have cinnamon toast when I was growing up too. I haven’t thought of it in years. I remember deliberately not taking Home Ec in school. I was not going to be taught how to bake a cake from a box or sew straight lines. I was making my own clothes already. And baking cakes and cookies from scratch. One of my best friends was the first girl in Shop class in our school in senior year.

    1. We were required to take home economics in 7th and 8th grade. It was optional after that. It’s awesome that one of your friends was the first girl in shop class at your high school. Girls were definitely not allowed to take shop at the school I attended.

  5. Once or twice this last winter I made myself Cinnamon Toast, using the toaster for the bread, of course. It’s such a simple delight. I don’t know why I don’t make it more frequently.

    1. I’ve also generally used white sugar to make Cinnamon Toast – though I used brown sugar when I made the toast in the photo since the old recipe said that was the “preferred’ sugar.

  6. When I was a starving college student I made cinnamon toast with 99 cent bread from the convenience store. While it wasn’t the greatest cinnamon toast of all time it was cheap and palatable.

    1. Works for me. The Cinnamon Toast that I remember from my childhood was also made using an inexpensive white bread – and my memory is that it was quite good. 🙂

    1. Making Cinnamon Toast for this post reminded me that I should make it more often. It is a food that brings back wonderful memories.

    1. The Cinnamon Toast that I made for this post was the first time that I ever used brown sugar to make it. I discovered that I like it made with either brown or white sugar.

  7. It may be a simple food,but the way it sounds that not only do children love it, so do the older folks…..Including me!!

    1. Some things have changed for the better. It’s wonderful that cooking is no longer a gender-based activity – and that anyone can enjoy preparing foods.

  8. Husband and I were talking about cinnamon toast the other day. It always makes a simple desert if there is nothing else available. My mother made it for me as a child and put it under the gas broiler. The white sugar and cinnamon were mixed and then sprinkled on buttered bread. I can smell it now!

    I remember burning the toast in home economics class and tried to hide it! I was better at cleaning up than cooking! Still am, I guess.

    1. I think that I’m better at cooking than cleaning up – though the older I get, the better I get at cleaning up. I definitely now wash pots and pans as I go along (and I don’t let a huge pile accumulate which would be discouraging to wash). I didn’t always do that when I was younger.

  9. I love cinnamon toast. I haven’t made it in some time, but it sounds so good that I’d make some right now if I had bread in the house — which I don’t. I did just put it on my grocery list, though. This time I’ll try it with the brown sugar and the broiler.

    1. You should give this method a try. It’s a nice variation – though I’ll probably revert to just sprinkling white sugar and cinnamon on buttered toast the next time I make it. I’m a person to tends to take the easiest way when cooking.

  10. For some reason I hadn’t thought of cinnamon toast in decades until this past winter. Fun to see a post on this simple treat from my childhood as well! (Love your personal back story!) I was one of those rare (weird) kids who hated butter, so I made sure that I dumped piles of the cinnamon-sugar mixture to cover any puddles after it was toasted. And my Home Ec. back story involved a refusal to eat my buttered white bread that accompanied a full meal we prepared. Maybe it explains why I am (mostly) vegan today. Butter made me gag!

    1. Lots and lots of cinnamon-sugar to cover the puddles of butter definitely would make it better – especially since you aren’t a butter fan.

    1. The cinnamon toast made in the oven was wonderful – though to be honest, I’ll probably go back to just sprinkling it on top of the toast the next time I make it. There really wasn’t enough difference to make it seem like it was worth the extra effort.

  11. Well this certainly brought back sweet memories. We couldn’t have cinnamon toast every day, but what a treat when we did get it. We used the fast and easy version with white sugar and cinnamon just sprinkled over the hot, buttered toast. Thanks for spurring some great memories, Sheryl.

  12. I can’t believe it. I have never had Cinnamon Toast. It sounds like
    Something I would love. The recipe does remind me of when my Mom would have leftover pastry and she would sprinkle the bits with sugar and cinnamon and then bake them. My mouth is watering at the memory of that warm taste.

    1. My mother also would sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on left-over pieces of pastry. I think that I often liked those pieces of pastry even better than the pies themselves.

  13. This post settles an long-running discussion in our house. When I was a kid, cinnamon toast was made with brown sugar. In my husband’s household it was white. For years I’ve been telling him that brown is superior, but so far he hasn’t been swayed. I’m glad to read the words, “Brown sugar is preferred.” Yes! And LOTS of butter.

    1. I’m glad this post settled the discussion – though there’s also something to be said for remembrance of family traditions and cooking methods when it comes to things like Cinnamon Toast. 🙂

  14. Yum, when I was a kid this was one of the few things my mother made that was pretty good.

    I haven’t really had anything like her’s since I was about 13, which is now a long time ago.

  15. We never had this in our home growing up but our babysitter before school would make it for her daughter’s breakfast. I remember it smelled heavenly.
    My kids get the version I made myself in childhood – a tortilla spread with peanut butter, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and rolled up.

  16. I’m with you, This was one of the best things I learned to make as a child. I love your home ec story. It was a surprise to me too when I discovered that most everything they taught was something I had learned by age of 12. ~nostalgic smiles~
    Thanks for the recipe and the charming story. 😀

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