Baking Club

The Iconic Breakfast Dish With More Than 25 Different Names

June 14, 2018

It's a simple dish: it needs just four ingredients (bread, butter, salt, and an egg) and couldn't be easier to make—cut out a circle from the middle of a piece of bread and cook an egg in the empty space. But the name for this iconic breakfast food is anything but simple.

We realized that when Nancy Romaine DeWitt posted a photo of her breakfast, called eggs in the nest in Itamar Srulovich and‎ Sarit Packer's cookbook Golden, our Baking Club's book of the month. A few different names popped up in the comments, and when we polled Club members, "egg in a hole" and "toad in a hole" were the runaway favorites (the former has a slight edge in popularity over the latter). They were far from the only options though, we ended up with more than 25 names for the same dish:

Photo by James Ransom

Eggs in... something

  • Egg in a hole
  • Egg in a hat
  • Egg in a nest
  • Egg in a basket
  • Egg in a window
  • Egg in the eye
  • Egg in a frame
  • Egg in a pocket
  • Egg in bread

Mona Martin Davies says, "My husband calls it egg in a hat. His dad toasted the cut-out circle and put it on top, so it did look like a hat."

More eggs

  • Picture frame eggs
  • Bullseye eggs
  • Betty Grable eggs
  • Bob Smith egg
  • Buzzy egg
  • Egg surprise
  • Peek-a-boo egg
  • Rocky Mountain eggs
  • Pop-eyes
  • Egg in a blanket

Kayla Mize shares: "For some reason, my family called it a buzzy egg when I was growing up. I can't seem to find a reference to that online, so I have to assume this is a weird made-up thing."

Gimme the toast

  • Egyptian toast
  • Sunshine toast
  • Holy toast
  • An egg toastie

Heather McKimmey calls it holy toast, explaining, "it went from a hole for an egg toast to holy toast somehow."

Animals, eyes, and everything else

  • Toad in a hole
  • Birds in a nest/bird's nest
  • Chicken eye
  • Egyptian eyes
  • Moon over Miami
  • Boy Scout sandwich

Erica Stokes Lowther says: "We call it toad in the hole, though I know that the English dish toad in the hole isn't the same at all. And my husband is English. Go figure."

Whew. It's probably time for dessert by now

Did we miss one? Fill us in below.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • galebv
  • Alyssa
  • Jennalynn
  • sue
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


JFERN December 1, 2023
Because I am slightly dyslexic, we have always called this dish Hole in egg and now that is what my grown children call it also.
galebv November 21, 2023
Mary Janes
Alyssa November 1, 2023
We called it a bozo after bozo the clown because it was on his show.
Jennalynn November 1, 2023
Yep! I posted about this on my Daily Breakfast Instagram: SquareMealDaily, on 5/29/2022

We came up with:
Egg-in-a-hole - Egg-with-a-hat - Egg-in-a-trashcan - Egg-in-the-basket - Egg-in-a-nest - Egg-in-the-middle - Egg-in-a-cage - Egg-in-a-window - Egg-in-a-pocket - Egg-in-a-well - Egg-in-a-frame - Egg-in-jail - Bird's nest - Toad-in-the-road - Bull's eye - The Popeye - Fireman's toast - Cowboy eggs - Polish eggs - Lighthouse eggs - Birmingham eggs - Guesthouse eggs - Gashouse egg - Sunshine eggs - Hole-in-one - Peek-a-boo eggs. AND in a confusing twist to my British friends; Toad-in-a-hole, which in the UK is sausage links baked in a Yorkshire pudding batter.

I'm now at Day 1326, if you're interested.
sue November 1, 2023
Miche November 1, 2023
we called them One Eyed Eggs.
Marjorie October 31, 2023
Wink eye
Elizabeth C. October 31, 2023
Gibson R. October 31, 2023
We call it a one-eyed sandwich!
abuttonbox October 31, 2023
We always call it Sunshine Egg... because it looks like the sun in a picture frame
PtarmAgain October 31, 2023
We always called them Clark Gable Sandwiches. No one ever knew why, beyond that’s what my grandmother had called them. I have tried to find out the origin many times, and never heard of anyone else who did the same.
Gretchen R. October 31, 2023
Spit in the Ocean
CLK October 31, 2023
We always called them “Lone Ranger eggs”.
Laurie L. October 31, 2023
Gas house eggs!
Zzz March 14, 2020
More than 80 years ago, when my husband made this dish for my stepsons, after he cut the hole in the bread, he held it up and winked through it before cooking. Hence, the name "wink sandwich" in our family. I believe that it was his father more than 25 years before that who made wink sandwiches for his toddler only son, making it a family tradition of not quite 110 years. I was astounded when discovering with the advent of the world-wide web that our wink sandwiches had siblings if not twins around the world.
food52 January 25, 2020
Am I the only one brought up to call this delicious breakfast dish a “spit in the ocean”? 😂
Rachel November 4, 2023
My husband thinks that what this is called!
Rachel November 4, 2023
Hmm, missed a word there! *thinks that is what this is called :)
Matthew D. January 22, 2020
We call it a “Pirate Sandwich” in our household.
sms January 22, 2020
Hole in One
Valerie January 22, 2020
My dad called them "Spit in the Eye" eggs. I am not sure the origins of that name, but I love all the name variations of this childhood favorite!
beejay45 December 18, 2019
I learned this on a very early stay at summer camp -- I was maybe six or seven. They called it "One-eyed Susan." :))) Seems like a camping kind of thing -- no need for a toaster, toast and eggs all in one pan, so we've stuck with that name both camping and at home in the kitchen.