German Toast Hawaii

Canned pineapple for Toast Hawaii


Olesia Shadrina/Getty Images 

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 17 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
639 Calories
37g Fat
27g Carbs
50g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 639
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 48%
Saturated Fat 19g 97%
Cholesterol 179mg 60%
Sodium 1939mg 84%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 50g
Vitamin C 49mg 244%
Calcium 624mg 48%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 659mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Toast Hawaii is a common German treat. It's so easy to find in any restaurant or fast-food joint, you could request this preparation even if it's not on the menu. Popularized by German TV cook Clemens Wilmenrod in the 1950s, the toast is a version of an American spam sandwich. Because spam wasn't possible to find in West German supermarkets, Wilmernrod used a slice of cooked ham instead. Back in the day, Toast Hawaii was served garnished with a lettuce leaf on the side and accompanied by a bottle of Worcestershire sauce.

Although the toast has nothing to do with traditional German cuisine, it is still firmly entrenched in the local culinary repertoire. Don't dismiss the recipe, as the combination of sweet, juicy pineapple, salty ham, and rich, creamy cheese is as flavorful as it is filling and satisfying. With easy to find ingredients, this open-faced sandwich is a good light lunch or dinner, or an afternoon treat. Multiply the ingredients to make more at the same time, considering that each person should have two toasts if you're serving it for lunch or dinner, or one toast if it's a snack or appetizer.


  • 1 slice white bread (or wheat sandwich bread)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 to 2 slices slices ham (deli)
  • 1 slice pineapple (fresh, or canned and drained)
  • (Optional) 1 pinch pinch dried marjoram
  • 2 slices Gruyère (or Emmentaler)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Alternatively, use a toaster oven.

  3. Lightly butter both sides of the bread and place on a lined cookie sheet.

  4. Layer the ham, and then the pineapple on top of the bread.

  5. Sprinkle with marjoram, if using, and top with cheese.

  6. Bake at 350 F for 12 minutes. Serve hot.

  7. Enjoy!

Additional Ingredients

If you want more decadent versions, follow our recommendations:

  • Use mayonnaise instead of butter on the top side only, or try Thousand Island or Ranch dressing.
  • Serve with a fried egg for breakfast, or a salad for lunch or dinner. 
  • Replace the white bread with a slice of brioche and used cooked pork instead of deli ham.
  • Slice a hardboiled egg and layer it between the ham and cheese.
  • Use pineapple chutney instead of the canned or fresh slice of pineapple.
  • Use fresh oregano and provolone cheese. Bake the toast with the pineapple, cheese, and oregano, and once it is out of the oven layer a generous amount of cold prosciutto.