I Tried the New York Times’ Perfect Cinnamon Toast Recipe, and WOW

published Aug 11, 2021
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Credit: Sara Tane

There is no stronger bond than a shared, nostalgic food memory. That’s why when I saw all the buzz over the cinnamon toast recipe recently shared by the New York Times, I felt incredibly excluded. Cinnamon toast … crunch? Like the cereal? What is cinnamon toast and why is everyone suddenly coming forward that this was their go-to after-school snack? I have not one single memory of ever making this. Is everyone around me secretly making this at home and not telling me? I have so many questions. With that said, it does look amazing, so at the ripe age of 27, I thought it was time to give this *allegedly* famous sweet snack a try.

How to Make the New York Times’ Cinnamon Toast

The beauty of cinnamon toast is that it’s quick, easy, and uses only four simple ingredients: butter, bread, cinnamon, and sugar. To start, you’ll need to make cinnamon sugar, which, in a shocking turn of events, is a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Next, you’ll need to melt butter in a large pan over medium-low heat. The recipe doesn’t specify an exact measurement of butter, which I appreciate — it should just be enough to coat the bottom of the skillet. 

Then, lay down as many slices of white or brioche bread that you can fit and cook it until the pan side is lightly toasted. Flip the bread so that the other side is toasted, adding more butter to the pan as needed. With the first toasted side up, you’ll top it off with some cinnamon sugar. Once the second side is toasted, you’ll flip the bread once more so that the cinnamon sugar is making direct contact with the pan. Once the sugar has lightly caramelized, you’ll toss the toast onto a plate and finish it off with some more cinnamon sugar. 

This recipe requires you to interact with what you’re cooking. Is the bread getting too dark or burning? Turn the heat down. Does the bread look dry? Add a bit more butter. Is the sugar caramelized yet? If not, let it cook until it’s a deep, golden-brown. Your cinnamon toast will tell you what it needs — all you need to do is listen.

Get the recipe: Cinnamon Toast from the New York Times

Credit: Sara Tane

My Honest Review of the New York Times’ Cinnamon Toast

Wow. I feel inclined to contact literally every person I went to middle school with and ask them if they ever made this as an after-school snack (and if they did, why were they withholding such sacred intellectual property?). Cinnamon toast is not only painfully quick and simple — it’s also amazing. Frankly, it’s probably for the best that young Sara was not aware of this snack, because she probably wouldn’t have eaten anything else.

If you have some spare time, I highly recommend that you check out the IG stories that @nytcooking posted alongside this recipe. In these stories, recipe developer Ali Slagle delves into the history of cinnamon toast and her process for creating this seemingly simple (but not quite) recipe. I appreciate that she went for a pan-fry method because I firmly believe that pan-fried bread is the only worthwhile way to prepare bread (plus, I don’t have a toaster).

Credit: Sara Tane

My #1 Tip for Making This Recipe

Just make it. Don’t add anything else. Do it now. Listen, I could sit here and tell you all the clever ways to jazz this up with other spices and condiments, but I am absolutely not going to, because you shouldn’t. The beauty of cinnamon toast is its simplicity, and I have no business fixing something that isn’t broken. My advice to you is to grab a loaf of white bread and to go make a slice now. I might not have made this as a kid (and I now resent any childhood friend that knew about this and didn’t share this knowledge with me), but I sure will, now.