Honey toast or Shibuya toast box is a delicious yet surprisingly easy dessert to make. The sweet treat has become a popular option to have in dessert cafes all over Asia, including in Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia.
Here at Honest Food Talks, we’re always passionate about bringing you honest insights on quality food and this time is no different. Read on to find out more about honey toast and how you can bring a yummy piece of Shibuya, Japan straight to the comforts of your own home.
What is it?
The dessert is bread hollowed out and filled with bread cubes and toppings like cut fruits and cream. The sides of the loaf are then coated with the sweet golden hachimitsu (蜂蜜, as the Japanese calls it), giving it its name – Honey Toast Box.
This dessert originated from Shibuya, Japan and was often known for being served in karaoke bars. It has since gained popularity all over Asia, with some of these countries adding their flair to the Japanese version. It is usually served after meals as a dessert however you can also have it for breakfast.
This sweet treat has multiple other names though, sometimes referred to as Shibuya, Shokudo, or Harajuku honey toast or simply Japanese Brick toast.
Is honey toast healthy?
A regular serving of this sweet treat is usually shared between 2 to 3 people. In total, one serving may have a calorie count of up to 1,400 kcal!
However, as long as you share the meal and don’t go overboard with various sinful toppings, this dessert may be considered healthy.
Honey does not raise blood sugar levels as much as refined sugar and contains antioxidants that can help lower blood pressure. It also helps to decrease the bad LDL cholesterol levels while increasing the good HDL cholesterol.
The bread on the other hand is probably not the most nutritious option. It is made from sugar, butter, milk, white flour and salt, which are all very tasty when put together but not very healthy.
A great way to work around this is to load up on the healthier version of toppings such as nuts and cut fruit. Not only do these add a delicious combination to the core ingredients but they also serve a nutritional purpose.
Shibuya vs Korean honey toast?
The Korean version has a lot of similarities to the Japanese original. However, there are some differences such as the decoration and aesthetic element that set it apart. The following are characteristics of the Korean counterpart:
- The bread used is unsliced sandwich bread, which is then sliced at only 2 and a half inches thick.
- The slices are then also cut in the middle with 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines, without cutting to the edge.
- Honey and butter are spread onto the slices before toasting.
- Toppings used are usually cinnamon, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
How to make Shibuya Honey Toast at home?
Don’t be fooled by the extravagant decoration of the Shibuya Toast Box. It is quite simple and easy to make at home. All you need are the key ingredients of honey, a loaf and dessert toppings like ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate chips and cut fruit.
To make this sweet treat all you need is a square chunk of the loaf to fill with smaller bite-size cubes of bread. Toast the entire stuffed loaf in an oven shortly and then decorate with dessert toppings of your choice. Dessert cafes usually use ice cream, whipped cream and cut fruits.
After toasting, fill the bread box with its small cubes and other dessert toppings and you’re done.
What type of bread to use?
The secret to making the perfect Shokudo honey toast is using the correct bread. You won’t get the same dreamy experience with a regular white loaf, so make sure to get yourself a loaf of Shokupan.
Shokupan is a Japanese milk bread that is sweet, super fluffy and moist. The texture is so soft and feather-like that it almost feels like it is melting in your mouth.
If you’re unable to get Shokupan, you can try using the French Pain de Mie instead. Be sure not to confuse this with Brioche. While Brioche has a soft and chewy texture, it will not hold up like Pain de Mie would once you’ve added on your toppings.
The combination of honey and bread is not very common, which begs the question – is honey on toast any good? The answer is a resounding yes. The blend of sweet and salty from the honey and butter on the toasted loaf adds a nice base to build on with other toppings.
Japanese cuisine is all about paying attention to food decoration. Hence, the toppings are usually stacked in the middle of the toast box, paying attention to the colour and arrangement to enhance its aesthetic appeal.
Restaurants usually serve Shibuya toast boxes with Oreos, strawberries, bananas, ice cream and whipped cream. If you’re feeling like you want to increase the decadence, you can add on jam or chocolate/caramel sauce.
Here are some useful tips to make the perfect Harajuku honey toast box at home!
- You’ll need to cut a square chunk from the end of the loaf. When hollowing out the middle, make sure to leave about 1 inch of space from the edges. As for the bread cubes, try to cut them into uniform, bite-sized pieces.
- Browning the bread in an oven for no more than 10 minutes should be sufficient. You’ll know it’s ready when it turns golden brown.
- Make sure to use unsalted butter that has already been melted or softened for this recipe.
- Toppings that go best with honey toast are whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.
Honey Toast Recipe | Shibuya Toast Box
- ½ loaf Shokupan or Pain de Mie bread
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
- ½ cup whipped cream
- 3 pcs strawberries, sliced
- 1 pc banana, sliced
- Hollow out the loaf and cut the removed portion into bite-sized cubes.
- Coat the inner part of the loaf and the bite-sized cubes with the melted butter.
- Preheat the oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degree Celcius) and toast the bread for 8 minutes. It should turn golden brown once done.
- Fill the toast box with the bread cubes and slices of strawberry and banana. Drizzle honey on top.
- Decorate with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream on top and whipped cream. Finish off your honey toast by drizzling more honey all over.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
Namethedish from Youtube has produced a detailed video guide on how to prepare the Shibuya Brick Toast at home. They show the step by step process of cutting the bread loaf which may be confusing for first-timers!
Let us know if this Honey Toast recipe satisfied your cravings! Tag us on Instagram @honestfoodtalks to show us your creations!
Looking for a bite-sized Japanese dessert? Check out our recipe to make Matcha Tempura Ice cream at home!
Still too heavy? Then, let us recommend a very-low-calorie Japanese dessert cake: Mizu Shingen Mochi!