9 French Toast Recipes That Will Have You Saying ‘Oui!’ to Brunch

It’s time to set a brunch date with French toast. The dish is also called pain perdu, French for “lost bread.” In this case, “lost” means day-old or stale bread. What kind of bread you use when making this tasty treat is important — you’ll want something sturdy enough to withstand being drenched in the egg mixture and then cooked.

Feel free to experiment beyond what a recipe says. For example, consider trying a day-old challah or brioche. These thick, egg-based breads will elevate your French toast with notes of flavor not found in your average, store-bought loaf. Since they’re slightly stale, they’ll more readily absorb your custard mixture, amplifying the taste even more.

Kid and adult friendly, customizable to skill level and time on hand, anyone and everyone can make French toast, which has endless variations. Here are just nine recipes that will have you begging for brunch every day of the week.

French toast, bananas, strawberries

Source: iStock

 

1. Fluffy French toast

Some days call for a fuss-free, easy French toast, which is where this basic recipe from AllRecipes.com comes in handy.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 12 thick slices bread

Directions: Measure flour into a large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk. Whisk in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and sugar until smooth. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Soak bread slices in mixture until saturated. Cook bread on each side until golden brown. Serve hot.

French toast, fruit, strawberries

Source: iStock

2. Angel food cake French toast

You aren’t limited to the traditional bread options when it comes to French toast. To mix up the base, try an angel food cake French toast, like this one by Peaches Please. Pick up or make your favorite angel food cake and whip up this recipe for a dessert or breakfast dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 angel food cake
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • butter, for greasing the pan

Directions: Slice the angel food cake into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Soak the cake slices in the egg mixture for about 20 seconds per side and then set each slice on a wire rack until ready to cook.

Heat a pan to about medium. If you are not using a non-stick pan, melt some butter in the pan. Cook each slice of eggy angel food cake for 1 to 2 minutes on each side (there are six sides), then remove to a plate and serve with syrup and, if desired, a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

3. Overnight French toast cups

As the name implies, this recipe from Prevention RD cannot be whisked together for a spur-of-the-moment brunch, but it is a fantastic party recipe. The bite-size portions are easy to serve and eat, making them the ultimate brunch buffet food.

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces 100 percent whole-wheat bread
  • 5 eggs
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1½ cups nonfat milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions: Mist 12 muffin wells with cooking spray; set aside. Cut or tear bread into ½-inch cubes; set aside. In medium bowl, beat eggs and sugar with a wire whisk. Add milk and vanilla; whisk well.

Divide bread cubes evenly among muffin cups. Carefully pour egg mixture over bread cubes. Cover muffin pan with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove plastic wrap from muffin pan. Bake 18-22 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes and serve hot.

French toast

Source: iStock 

 4. Crème brûlée French toast

A decadent, French-inspired take on typical French toast is this crème brûlée concoction from Gourmet. The dish was inspired by one served at the Inn at Sunrise Point in Camden, Maine. Cointreau or another orange-flavored liqueur can be substituted for Grand Marnier.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 8- to 9-inch round loaf country-style bread
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier (or other orange-flavored liqueur)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions: In a small, heavy saucepan, melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring until smooth and pour into a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Cut six 1-inch-thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt until combined well, and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to one day. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bring bread to room temperature.

Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot French toast immediately.

Whole Wheat French Toast

Source: iStock

 

5. Healthier French toast

The Cooking Channel took up the challenge of making a slimmed-down French toast. Compared to the original, 270 calories were shaved off. The new version has 300 calories, 12 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat per every two-slice serving.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup low-fat (1 percent) milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons butter or trans-fat-free margarine
  • 8 slices firm whole-wheat bread

Directions: Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. In a pie plate, beat the egg whites, egg, milk, salt, and vanilla with a whisk until blended. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, melt 1 teaspoon butter or trans-fat-free margarine on medium heat. 

Dip the bread slices, one at a time, in the egg mixture, pressing the bread lightly to coat both sides well. Place three or four slices in the skillet and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until lightly browned on the second side, 3 to 4 minutes. 

Transfer the French toast to a cookie sheet; keep warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining butter or margarine, bread slices and egg mixture.

French Toast Caramelized Bananas

Source: iStock

 

6. French toast with caramelized bananas

Williams-Sonoma is responsible for any cravings you might have for caramelized bananas after reviewing this recipe. Or any other caramelized fruit, for that matter — you can easily substitute the bananas for apples, pears, or peaches.

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup half-and-half or whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • finely grated zest of 1 large orange
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 slices day-old challah or other egg bread
  • Canola oil for cooking
  • 3 firm but ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum (optional)

Directions: To make the French toast, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large, shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, granulated sugar, vanilla, orange zest, and nutmeg. Cut the bread slices in half, add to the egg mixture, and turn gently to coat evenly. Let stand until the bread has soaked up some of the egg mixture, about 1 minute.

Place a griddle over medium-high heat until hot. Lightly oil the griddle. Remove the bread from the egg mixture, letting the excess liquid drip back into the bowl, and place on the hot griddle. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the other sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Place the bread on a rimmed baking sheet, transfer to the oven, and bake until the center of the bread is heated through but still moist, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the bananas and slice diagonally. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the banana slices and cook, gently turning them occasionally until they begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the brown sugar and cook until it melts, about 1 minute. Gently stir in the ½ cup orange juice and the rum, and cook until the liquid has reduced slightly, about 1 minute. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little more orange juice until you reach the desired consistency. Serve the French toast piping hot, topped with spoonfuls of the caramelized bananas. Serves four.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

7. Stuffed French toast

The Applegate Inn shared this stuffed French toast recipe on BBOnline. You’ll put everything together in a baking dish the night before, letting the flavors seep into the cinnamon raisin bread in the fridge while you sleep. Pop it in the oven in the morning, and breakfast will be ready in about an hour.

Ingredients:

  • 20-24 slices cinnamon raisin bread
  • 6 eggs (or egg beaters)
  • 4 cups half-and-half (or 2 percent milk)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 dash nutmeg
  • 16 ounces cream cheese (or lite cream cheese)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar

Directions: Trim crusts from bread. Spray a three-quart baking dish with a non-stick pan coating. Arrange half the bread on the pan so that the entire bottom is covered.

In a separate bowl, mix eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, and sugar. Pour half of this liquid over the bread. In a separate bowl, combine filling ingredients, except optional fruits, together until creamy. Pour filling over moistened bread, then layer with optional fruit if desired.

Arrange other half of the bread over the filling and pour the remainder of the egg mixture over the top. Sprinkle top with dash of nutmeg. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 60 minutes.

Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into 12 rectangles to serve. Serve with warmed syrup or seasonal fruits.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

 8. Cinnamon French toast wrap

Perfect for when you’re craving the flavors of French toast but want an easy breakfast that adds some protein are Hungry Healthy Girl‘s cinnamon French toast wraps. If you need to eat on the go, try keeping the extra fillings inside the wrap instead of on top.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large wrap
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional topping and filling ingredients: diced banana, diced strawberries, blueberries, maple syrup, nut butter, shredded unsweetened coconut

Directions: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and prepare it with an all-natural cooking spray or coconut oil. Whisk eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla together in a shallow bowl. Dip wrap in shallow bowl, making sure to cover the entire wrap with the egg mixture. There will be leftover egg mixture.

Lay the wrap flat on the skillet and cook for about 2-4 minutes on each side. Transfer wrap to a plate and use the same heated skillet (you may need more cooking spray or oil) to cook the leftover egg mixture, omelet style. Cooking your egg omelet or pancake style makes the egg easier to transfer to your wrap, and it also will stay put in the wrap better.

Add in all of your favorites like the suggested banana, strawberries, blueberries, and a drizzle of nut butter. Roll up your cinnamon French toast wrap, cut in half, and drizzle with maple syrup if desired.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

9. French toast rollups

Rolling french toast isn’t reserved for wraps: it can easily be done with regular bread, too. The sky’s the limit with what you will put in the center. If Nutella and bananas do not appeal to you as much as they did to Comfortable Food, you can swap those ingredients out for cream cheese, apple butter, peanut butter, or a fruit-based filling.

Ingredients:

  • 10 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 2 bananas, cut into 10 strips
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions: Roll each slice of bread very thin with a rolling pin. Spread each slice with a generous amount of Nutella, covering one side completely. Place a strip of banana at one end and roll the bread up tightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla until combined and set aside. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Dredge each roll through the egg and milk mix, then cook on all sides in the hot butter until golden brown. Serve while hot.

More From Wall St. Cheat Sheet: