Kim Tries: Tonga Toast
Tonga Toast is my new love. Being married has been great, sure, but Tonga Toast is heaven on a plate, and I bet what Disney serves is even better than what I managed to make at home. You guessed it! (Or maybe you didn’t, but I’m going to pretend you did.) I tried the recipe from Disney Parks Blog to make my own at-home Tonga Toast. It went marvelously.
For those who don’t know, Tonga Toast is essentially banana-stuffed, deep-fried, thick French toast. It is served only a couple of places on property, one of which is the Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Resort. You can also check out a fun video of this process – search for Disney Dream Co on Tik Tok!
This recipe, from Disney Parks Blog (as I mention above), was really really straightforward. I think the hardest part was finding sourdough bread that looks like the bread Disney uses (I failed in that endeavor, but the bread I used worked great nonetheless). I’ve got a few tips and notes from my experience, but this was actually really easy!
The below ingredients list is from Disney Parks Blog.
Sugar-Cinnamon (to coat your toast):
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 quart canola oil, for frying (I did not use this much, but had to modify how I fried the bread as a result – see note in instructions below)
- 1 loaf sourdough bread (uncut, 12 inches long)
- 2 large bananas, peeled
I also used the following tools:
- 2 bowls big enough for a slice of Tonga Toast (one for batter, one for Sugar-Cinnamon)
- Saucepan (for frying)
- Tongs (long ones are better to avoid spitting oil, but not necessary)
- Mixing cups and spoons
- A fork
- A regular knife and a serrated knife
- A small cup (to crack eggs into one at a time)
- A plate with paper towels on it (or a cookie cooling rack with paper towels under) for draining excess oil from your Tonga Toast
- Maple syrup (which, according to my husband, is optional. But he’s wrong)
Making Tonga Toast
Here is a summary of the instructions from Disney Parks Blog, with some notes in bold from me!
- Mix the cinnamon and sugar (for the Sugar-Cinnamon) in a bowl with a fork and set aside
- Mix all of the ingredients for the batter in the other bowl and beat with a fork. I always separately crack each egg before adding it to any ingredients so I can fish out any pieces of shell without ruining my batter.
- Heat the oil in the saucepan to 350° F (or use a deep fryer). I actually did not do this step until I fully prepared my toast. I didn’t want to take my eyes off the oil (hot oil makes me a little nervous…) and I didn’t want it to burn. It heated up very quickly and I didn’t have any issues going out of order for these instructions.
- I have neither a deep fryer nor a candy thermometer, so I just poured some oil into my saucepan and turned it on high. I used some of the extra bread to test the oil for readiness. I just dipped in a strip. If it started bubbling around the bread immediately, it was good to go. After that, I just kept an eye on its color and how much it was spitting and turned down the heat periodically.
- Slice the bread into three-inch-thick slices. If your bread is very soft, cutting it could mutilate it. I’ve found the best way to cut super soft bread is to turn it upside down and gently use a serrated blade. The bread Disney Parks Blog used looked like a fluffy loaf of white bread (did anybody else see hidden Mickeys in the shape of the slices?). I couldn’t find that anywhere, so I just got a regular loaf of sourdough with its crusty-exterior. It was soft rather than crunchy, so it worked just fine.
- Cut each banana in half crosswise, then each piece lengthwise. Once I made my banana pockets (next step), I ended up trimming the pieces to fit. Try to keep the pieces as big as possible because a bunch of tiny pieces will just fall out of your toast in the batter or in the fryer.
- I’m just going to modify the wording of this whole step. Turn each slice of toast upside down and cut a rectangle in the center of the base of your toast, but don’t go all the way through. The hole should be big enough to fit some banana but small enough so your Tonga Toast maintains its structure. You don’t want it falling apart. Scoop out the bread.
- The video on Disney Parks Blog shows just cutting a slice into the base of the toast and stuffing in banana. That simply wasn’t going to happen with my bread. The base was too firm.
- Dip stuffed bread into batter (both sides) and allow excess batter to drop off. Using tongs place into hot oil. When it first goes into the oil, it WILL MAKE A LOT OF NOISE. Don’t be alarmed. Turn on your vent fan and keep an eye on your oil. Turn down the heat if it’s going nuts, but the noise is totally normal.
- Cook your toast for approximately two minutes on each side. I couldn’t bring myself to use a whole quart of oil on these, so I used probably closer to a pint. This meant my bread did NOT float. On the first piece, I noticed that the edges of the bread that rested on the base of the pan got a little dark. For the rest, I just held the bread slightly off the bottom of the pan with the tongs and everything worked fine. I’ll admit, my arm got a little tired, but with only 2 minutes per side of bread, it wasn’t so bad. See how the bread on the left below is darker than on the right. I held up the bread on the right.
- Remove the toast and drain excess oil.
- Roll the toast in Sugar-Cinnamon and repeat for each slice of toast!
My only real complaint about the recipe is that I ended up with a TON of extra batter and Sugar-Cinnamon that I ended up just throwing out. I don’t know enough about cooking to know how to scale down those portions, but it felt really wasteful.
I suggest eating your toast immediately because I don’t see it reheating well. I’ve actually never had Tonga Toast from Disney, so I can’t say if it was true to taste, but I can vouch for its general deliciousness! I thought the banana flavor would only be in the center of the toast, but it pleasantly permeated the whole slice (without being overwhelming at all).
This is a very hearty breakfast, so, unless you’ve got a big eater, planning for one slice per adult is probably safe. I had mine with a glass of orange juice, but a homemade Lapu Lapu would have really hit the spot! Jen tells you how to make those here!
For some fun, here’s a quick photo shoot with my new love…
We’re always seeing great recipes, DIY projects, and generally perfect homes online. For some reason, when us mere mortals try those projects, they don’t always turn out quite right. It can make taking that first step intimidating. Who wants to invest all that time and money into something that will look more like a Rorschach test than a mural on their wall? With the “Kim Tries” series, I’m here to be the guinea pig for you, so check out all of my adventures and let me know if there are any projects you’d like me to try! Drop a comment below or find me on Instagram @castleboundkim — tag me if you try any of these out!
Harmony, Momma To Go
I’m here for this – carbs, bananas, sugar? YUM! I have not had this at Disney but I’m sure its delicious! Of course trying to eat healthy here…
Wow this actually does not seem hard at all! I don’t think I’ve ever tried it at Disney but now might be my chance to try it at home haha
I’ve never tried anything similar but it sounds delicious! I’ll definitely give it a go
I’m thinking this needs to be on my Memorial Day Weekend breakfast menu!!