Recipe: Toast Hawaii

A retro Swiss recipe, Toast Hawaii originated in the German-speaking side of Switzerland. It grew in popularity following its introduction in 1955 by Clemens Wilmenrod via his TV cooking show, which was based in West Germany.

Toast Hawaii reminds me of an American-style “Hawaiian Pizza,” which combines ham, pineapple and cheese—except the Swiss version is an open-faced sandwich with a cherry on top. I use Emmentaler cheese, but I’ve heard from several Swiss that they prefer Gruyère.

Overall, this recipe could not be easier. I like the combination of the sweet fruit with the salty, savory ham and cheese.

Toast Hawaii

  • Difficulty: easy
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Inspired by the recipes for Toast Hawaii from Croqu’menus (9th edition, 2005, p. 144) and


  • butter
  • slices of bread (store-bought, pre-sliced bread for toasting works well)
  • sliced ham
  • Emmentaler cheese (known as “Swiss cheese,” in the US)
  • canned or fresh pineapple rings
  • cherries, canned or jarred


  1. Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place the slices of bread on the baking sheet
  4. Spread some butter on top of the bread slices.
  5. Place a slice of ham on the buttered slice of bread, followed by the pineapple and finally, the cheese.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and garnish with one cherry in the center of the pineapple ring. Serve immediately.

Have you ever made Toast Hawaii? What kind of cheese do you use? If you have any recommendations or anecdotes to share, please leave a comment below or send me an email. Thanks! 

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