Hong Kong French Toast

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 15/03/2022 Updated: 30/11/2023
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 6 minutes
Total 11 minutes
This Hong Kong French toast recipe features pillowy soft slices of milk bread stuffed with creamy peanut butter and pan fried until golden crispy perfection. The condensed milk drizzle on top adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this Hong Kong cafe inspired breakfast dish.
Hong Kong French Toast

This Hong Kong French toast recipe features pillowy soft slices of milk bread stuffed with creamy peanut butter and pan-fried until golden crispy perfection. The condensed milk drizzled on top adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this Hong Kong cafe breakfast dish.

A diagonal cut Hong Kong French toast topped with butter and condensed milk on a plate.

When you wake up on a lazy Sunday morning with an instant craving for brunch but a strong aversion to waiting 2 hours for it, this is the recipe for you. This quick and easy under 15-minute Hong Kong French toast recipe is crispy, sweet, nutty, and absolutely delicious. My recipe only requires a few pantry staples and can be 100% customizable.

Hong Kong French toast is typically served as a dessert item at many Hong Kong cafes because it is so indulgent, but treating yourself for brunch is the main reason for brunching in the first place. If you love to make brunch at home, make sure to check out my black sesame waffles, caramelized spam and eggs, browned butter miso hollandaise, and matcha pancakes recipes!

Looking down at a plate with Hong Kong French toast topped with condensed milk and butter.
A detail shot of a bite of Hong Kong French toast.

What is Hong Kong Style French Toast?

Hong Kong Style French Toast is a layered French toast that is stuffed with peanut butter, deep-fried until golden perfection, and drizzled with condensed milk.

HK French Toast can be found in a Cha Chaan Teng or Hong Kong-style cafe that is a type of restaurant in Hong Kong. These cafes are known for their eclectic and affordable menus which include a wide selection of Western-influenced Chinese comfort food.

Up close of sliced Hong kong french toast to show the layers.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This HK-style French toast can be whipped up in under 15 minutes.
  • The ingredients for this HK style French toast only requires a few pantry staples
  • This recipe calls for a pan fry method rather than the messy deep fry method.
  • I provide all the tips and tricks you’ll need for a foolproof Hong Kong French toast recipe
  • You can customize your own Hong Kong style French toast experience by checking out the additions and substitutions section below.

Kitchen Equipment

No fancy equipment is required for this Hong Kong French toast recipe.

  • Shallow Bowl: you will need a shallow bowl to dip the sandwich into the egg mixture, preferably a salad bowl or pasta bowl. The bowl shouldn’t be much larger than your bread slices to ensure the egg mixture will thoroughly coat your bread.
  • Non-Stick Skillet: You will need a non-stick skillet that is large enough to cook the Hong Kong French Toast. I used a 10 inch non-stick skillet.

Ingredients

The ingredients for this HK French toast are all pantry staples that can be readily found at your local grocery store.

  • Milk Bread: is ideal for this recipe. You can either make milk bread, or buy it at your local Asian bakery. Alternatively, you can use any thick cut white bread or sliced brioche. It is preferable that you use day old bread which will hold its shape better when absorbing the egg custard.
  • Peanut Butter: you can use either creamy or crunchy peanut butter. Alternatively you can use any filling you’d please, more about substitutions below.
  • Milk: you can use whole milk, 2% milk or any plant based milk for a vegan alternative.
  • Large Eggs: large eggs are going to be the base of the custard
  • Vanilla Extract: adds a touch of vanilla flavor and warmth to the custard.
  • Cinnamon: adds a touch of flavor to the custard
  • Salt: the salt will bring out all the other flavors of the ingredients.
  • Unsalted Butter: the butter is used to pan fry the toast and give it that extra buttery flavor. Alternatively, you can deep fry the toast using about an inch of neutral cooking oil like vegetable oil or canola oil.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: the condensed milk is used to drizzle on top of the toast or inside it if you prefer.
All the ingredients for Hong Kong French Toast on a counter top.

How to Make Hong Kong French Toast

You can make this Hong Kong French Toast in under 15 minutes by simply following these few simple steps.

  1. Prepare the sandwich. Take two slices of bread and spread a generous amount of peanut butter on one side of each slice. Make sure the edges have less peanut butter than the center to avoid leaking. If adding a third layer, make sure to add peanut butter on both sides. Close the sandwich and trim off the crust. Repeat for all the remaining slices.
  1. Mix the egg mixture. In a shallow bowl, whisk to combine the milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
Whisking together the batter for Hong Kong french toast.
  1. Soak the sandwich. Soak the peanut butter bread for 30 seconds on each side.
  1. Cook the toast. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the soaked bread to the pan, cover with a lid and cook on medium low until golden brown on the underside, about 2-3 minutes. Flip the bread and cook on the other side, uncovered until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Then sear the edges for a crispy uniform look.
  1. Serve. Serve the Hong Kong French toast with a drizzle of condensed milk and a slab of butter. Enjoy!
A sliced hong kong french toast with a bite cut out of it.

Substitutions and Additions

  • Drizzle Options: You can top your crispy HK French toast with condensed milk, honey or maple syrup or any combination of the threw it is up to you.
  • Filling Options: Instead of peanut butter, you can alternatively fill the toast with coconut jam, peanut butter and condensed milk, condensed milk and jam, or nutella.
  • Pan Fried v. Deep Fried: Traditionally, HK French Toast is deep fried. However, this recipe I opted for a healthier easier version that simply requires you to pan fry the toast which will yield a just as delicious dish. You can deep fry the toast if you wish by using hot neutral flavored oil like vegetable or canola oil.

Tips for the Best Hong Kong French Toast

  • Use day-old bread. Using freshly baked bread may not be best for this recipe. Day-old bread will be slightly firmer and will hold its shape much better when being soaked in the egg mixture.
  • Don’t overspread the peanut butter. Make sure the peanut butter is thicker in the center and thinner along the edges to prevent the peanut butter from busting out when on the pan.
  • If you want a silkier custard, strain the egg mixture. Straining the egg mixture will ensure you will not have eggy bits on top of your toast.
  • Avoid over-soaking the bread. Make sure to soak the bread long enough that you can see the egg custard has seeped through the edges of the bread. You don’t want soggy bread that will fall apart before you can get it to the pan. Plus, you will not have enough egg mixture for your other servings. Be careful not to under-soak the bread either.

Storage Instructions

You can store this Hong Kong style French toast in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be mindful not to drizzle any condensed milk or butter until you are just about ready to eat.

To reheat simply heat it on a skillet to toast or toss it in the toaster oven for 5 minutes.

Frequently Asked Q’s and A’s

What does Hong Kong French Toast taste like?

Hong Kong style French toast has a crispy exterior and a soft custard-like interior that is filled with peanut butter and topped with sweet condensed milk.

What kind of bread do you use for this HK French toast?

It is important that you use the right bread for this HK French toast. Ideally, you will use milk bread for that pillowy soft texture but you can also use white bread or brioche. Moreover, it is best to use bread that is about a day old so that it will hold its form.

What are other filling alternatives to Hong Kong style French toast?

You can mix up the flavors inside the Hong Kong French Toast. I have seen recipes where they added coconut jam, condensed milk and peanut butter, Nutella, peanut butter and jam, strawberry jam, and condensed milk.

Did you make this Hong Kong French Toast?

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Recipe

Up close of sliced Hong Kong French Toast on a plate.

Hong Kong French Toast

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
This Hong Kong French toast recipe features pillowy soft slices of milk bread stuffed with creamy peanut butter and pan fried until golden crispy perfection. The condensed milk drizzle on top adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this Hong Kong cafe inspired breakfast dish.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4-6 slices milk bread preferably 1 day old
  • 6 tablespoons peanut butter creamy or crunchy
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk plus more for serving

Instructions

  • Prepare the sandwich. Take two slices of bread and spread a generous amount of peanut butter on one side of each slice. Make sure the edges have less peanut butter than the center to avoid leaking. If adding a third layer, make sure to add peanut butter on both sides. Close the sandwich and trim off the crust. Repeat for all the remaining slices.
  • Mix the egg mixture. In a shallow bowl, whisk to combine the milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
  • Soak the sandwich. Soak the peanut butter bread for 30 seconds on each side.
  • Cook the toast. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the soaked bread to the pan, cover with a lid and cook on medium low until golden brown on the underside, about 2-3 minutes. Flip the bread and cook on the other side, uncovered until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Then sear the edges for a crispy uniform look.
  • Serve. Serve the Hong Kong French toast with a drizzle of condensed milk and a slab of butter. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use day-old bread. Using freshly baked bread may not be best for this recipe. Day old bread will be slightly firmer and will hold its shape much better when being soaked in the egg mixture.
  • Don’t overspread the peanut butter. Make sure the peanut butter is thicker in the center and thinner along the edges to prevent the peanut butter from busting out when on the pan.
  • If you want a silkier custard, strain the egg mixture. Straining the egg mixture will ensure you will not have eggy bits on top of your toast.
  • Avoid over-soaking the bread. Make sure to soak the bread long enough where you can see the egg custard has seeped through the edges of the bread. You don’t want a soggy bread that will fall apart before you can get it to the pan. Plus, you will not have enough egg mixture for your other servings. Be careful not to under-soak the bread either.

Nutrition:

Calories: 1272kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 97g | Saturated Fat: 36g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Monounsaturated Fat: 38g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 597mg | Sodium: 1348mg | Potassium: 1284mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 1950IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 567mg | Iron: 4mg

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