Delicious cinnamon french toast with a slightly crisp outside and fluffy middle – Perfect for a mid-week treat or special occasions! Made with just a few simple ingredients and in under 25 minutes.
I’d always thought of french toast as a ‘special occasion’ type of dish: anniversary, valentines, and the sort. However, this easy french toast uses just a few ingredients and less than half an hour of your time to whip up fluffy cinnamon french toast and is now a firm breakfast favorite of mine. You can then serve this alongside fruits and berries, or several other toppings.
My journey towards the sweet classic french toast came about through ‘eggy bread.’ The savory version of this dish omits sugars and cinnamon, frying in butter for a deliciously savory, eggy treat. However, for when you want a treat – there’s nothing better than sweet cinnamon french toast with berries – yum.
Within this post, I’ll take you through my quick and easy method for how to make french toast, as well as what ingredients are best, the best bread choices, and topping options. Plus, my recipe notes include how to customize this easy french toast recipe to your tastes/needs.
The Best Bread for French Toast
The bread is the key to perfect french toast. The truth is, as long as the slices aren’t too thin, you can use lots of different bread varieties for french toast (including sandwich bread). However, there are a few bread varieties to turn to for a superior french toast experience – usually those with a dense crumb.
- Brioche – The golden standard for french toast. This bread is sweet and fluffy, soaking up the custard with super-ease (for super fluffy french toast). Use pieces 1/2-1″ thickness.
- Challah – Similar in many ways to brioche, but not as sweet. This loaf is still fluffy and rich, and an excellent option for savory ‘eggy bread’ too. Use pieces no thicker than 1/2″.
- Baguette – aka French bagger – while ‘tinier,’ this bread has a firm crust for keeping the eggy bread together. However, it takes a bit longer to soak up the egg custard. Use pieces around 1/2″ thickness.
- Pullman – aka sandwich bread. This bread isn’t as dense as brioche and challah so it won’t be as ‘creamy.’ However, it still works – it’s best to buy a whole loaf and slice the pieces yourself to around 1/2″ thickness.
Bonus: Did you know you can use leftover glazed ring doughnuts to make french toast too? That was a happy ‘accident,’ I stumbled upon at one point – although better to bake in the oven than pan fry.
Top Tip* Make sure that your bread is dry.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘stale’ because that can mean less flavor. For a ‘quick dry’ method, place your sliced bread in the oven and bake for around 15 minutes at 300ºF/150ºC, flipping over halfway through. Alternatively, leave in the oven overnight (with the heat off).
Tips For Perfect French Toast Every Time
- Don’t dip the bread in the egg mixture for too long (or too little). If it becomes fully saturated, then you’ll end up with uncooked, soggy centers. 20-30 seconds on each side is usually more than enough.
- Don’t use JUST butter for cooking the french toast. Due to its low smoke point, this doesn’t always turn out well. Instead, use a mixture of 50:50 butter to neutral oil or omit the butter altogether.
- Be sure to mix the egg custard properly. Otherwise, you can end up with bits of plain egg white over your homemade french toast – which doesn’t look or taste brilliant.
- Make sure to season well. Using just eggs and milk is perfect for a savory ‘eggy bread.’ However, for this sweeter cinnamon French toast, you need the additional flavor and sweetness.
- The pan needs to be hot before you add the first bread slice! If it isn’t, you run the risk of soggy (and spread) egg mixture over the pan. Preheat the pan and wait until its hot, so the egg can’t spread.
- For a super ‘custardy,’ but not ‘eggy’ mixture, omit the egg whites and just use the yolks.
- Use a powdered version of whatever sugar you want to use. This will dissolve more evenly into the mixture. Just pop your sugar into a blender/spice grinder and grind into a fine powder.
How To Make French Toast
Mix – In a shallow dish or bowl whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, and seasonings (use vanilla extract or vanilla seeds) until thoroughly combined, with no bits of egg white throughout. The spices will rise to the top of the mix when resting.
Heat – Heat the pan with a teaspoon or so of coconut oil over medium heat. If the temperature is too high, then you’ll cook the outside of the french toast, but will have soggy, raw middles.
Soak – One slice of bread a time, dip bread into the egg mixture for around 30 seconds on each side.
Fry – As soon as it’s soaked, transfer your first piece of bread to the hot pan. Fry in the skillet on medium until golden brown and slightly crispy on both sides. This takes me around 3-4 minutes per side – but may vary. For a little extra sweetness and browning, sprinkle a little bit extra coconut sugar onto the slice when frying.
About a minute before your french toast is Cooked, add the next slice of bread to the egg mixture to soak. And repeat.
When ready, prepare with the toppings of your choice, such as berries, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. Read the recipe notes for flavor variations and options on how to serve.
If you give this recipe a try, then I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below! Also, I love seeing your recreations, so feel free to tag me @AlphaFoodie.
This post has been updated in June 2020, with new text and recipe notes. The recipe has not changed though.
Quick and Easy French Toast
- 4 slices bread of your choice (brioche, challah, baguette, or Pullmans are the best options)
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk whole milk
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar with extra for sprinkling-around 1 tbsp
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed vanilla can also use extract- optional!
- handful of strawberries raspberries, pomegranate, blueberries and blackberries, or your favorite fruit
- 2 tsp coconut oil for frying or similar oil, of your choice
- icing sugar to decorate (optional)
- maple syrup to drizzle (optional)
- Mix - In a bowl shallow dish or bowl whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, and seasonings (use vanilla extract or vanilla seeds) until thoroughly combined, with no bits of egg white throughout. The spices will rise to the top of the mix when resting, so don't worry about this too much.
- Heat - Heat up the pan with a teaspoon or so of coconut oil over medium heat. If the heat is too high then you'll cook the outside of the french toast, but will have soggy, raw middles.
- Soak - One slice of bread a time, dip bread into the egg mixture for around 30 seconds on each side.
- Fry - As soon as it's soaked, transfer your first piece of bread to the hot pan. Fry in the skillet on medium until golden brown and slightly crispy on both sides. This takes me around 3-4 minutes per side - but may vary. For a little extra sweetness and browning , sprinkle a little bit extra coconut sugar onto the slice when frying.
- About a minute before your french toast is Cooked, add the next slice of bread to the egg mixture, to soak. And repeat.
- Serve - When ready, prepare with the toppings of your choice such as berries, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. Read the recipe notes for flavor variations and options on how to serve.
- Storing - French toast is best eaten immediately. However, you can also freeze it for a quick morning treat. Place the toast in a single layer of a baking sheet and flash freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-friendly container for up to three months. Reheat either in the oven for 10 minutes at 350ºF/180ºC OR in the toaster.
- When it comes to the type of dairy/non-dairy product that you use, this comes down to taste. I prefer to use whole-fat milk, for a creamy but not too rich result. However, you could also use Heavy cream, Half and Half, Dairy-free milk: Including Coconut milk, Oat milk, and Almond milk (although they will affect the flavor differently).
- Whether you're happy to use sugar or was a refined sugar-free option, you have some choices. Note, the flavor will change slightly depending on which you use, i.e. Granulated sugar (white, coconut sugar, brown sugar), Powdered sugar, Agave syrup, Maple Syrup, Honey, Erythritol
- Add a few tablespoons of liquor - such as orange liqueur, married, port, sherry, Baileys - to the egg mixture.
- Add orange/lemon zest to the custard or to top the french toast
- Use additional spices - such as nutmeg, or even pumpkin spice.
- Butter or honey butter
- Maple syrup or Honey
- Turmeric honey
- Fresh berries
- Grilled fruits - like peaches or apricots, or
- Other fruits: banana, apple, etc
- Fruit compote: made by combining the fruit, sweetener, lemon juice, and water to a pan and simmering till thick and 'jam'-like.
- Nutella or melted chocolate (Dark chocolate, Milk, Or White)
- A drizzle of Nut Butter
- Powdered sugar
- Extra cinnamon
- Lemon juice
- Shredded Coconut (to sprinkle over or even dip in pre-frying)
- crushed nuts
- Yogurt: Natural Yogurt, Coconut Yogurt, or Almond Milk
- For a baked version, place all the soaked bread slices on a baking sheet/pan and then bake for 25-30 minutes, to cook the interior, following with a final broil (grill), to brown the top.
- For stuffed french toast simply use thicker slices of bread and slice a pocket into it then stuff with chocolate, strawberries, cream cheese, and fruit, etc.
- The batter can be pre-prepared 24 hours in advance. Just keep in the fridge, in an airtight container.