How to Make French Toast

Say "oui" to the best French toast in our recipe box! These step-by-step instructions will show you how to make French toast in a snap.

When it comes to brunch, nothing is as satisfying as a plate full of French toast. Rich custard, warm spices and thick-sliced bread come together for a decadent breakfast that everyone will love. But that doesn’t mean you should just reach for some stale bread and a couple of eggs that are hanging out at the back of your fridge. For the best French toast, you’ll have to go beyond the basics.

Keep reading to learn how to make French toast the right way with lots of tips from our Test Kitchen experts.

Psst: Check out some more of our best breakfast recipes!

How to Make French Toast

how to make french toast The Best French Toast; half-and-half cream; egg yolks; brown sugar; vanilla extract; ground cinnamon; ground nutmeg; brioche bread; butter; maple syrup; fresh berries; whipped cream; confectioners' sugar; powder sugar; fresh berries; french toast; light wood surface; wood surface; green background; teal background; syrup bottle; syrup; blue cloth; blue background; horizontalTaste of Home

This best French toast recipe comes from Audrey Rompon, one of Taste of Home’s culinary producers. Audrey says, “The caramelized exterior meets a soft, custardlike center that practically melts in your mouth. Not only that, but it’s quick and easy, too!”

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Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 slices day-old brioche bread (1 inch thick)
  • Optional toppings: Butter, maple syrup, fresh berries, whipped cream and confectioners’ sugar

Ingredient Notes

  • You can use any type of milk you have on hand, but half-and-half adds a ton of richness. Avoiding dairy? Almond, soy, coconut and cashew milk are all good substitutes.
  • To mix up the flavor, swap out the brown sugar for honey or maple syrup.
  • Experiment with different types of extract, like almond, coconut or orange.

Directions

Step 1: Mix ingredients in a shallow bowl

how to make french toast The Best French Toast; How to Step 1; Whisk together first 7 ingredients; half-and-half cream; egg yolks; brown sugar; vanilla extract; ground cinnamon; ground nutmeg; brioche bread; butter; maple syrup; fresh berries; whipped cream; confectioners' sugar; powder sugar; handsTaste of Home

Begin by constructing a French toast assembly line. Take out your bread and set it aside. Then, grab a shallow bowl that can fit one or two slices. To make a rich custard, whisk together the half-and-half, egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Be sure the eggs are entirely whisked, with no sign of separation.

Preheat a greased griddle over medium heat.

Test Kitchen tip: Use those leftover egg whites in any of these egg white recipes.

Step 2: Soak the bread

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Dip the day-old brioche bread into the custard, using one hand to immerse it. Allow for it to soak for about five seconds on each side. This will give your toast a creamy middle without making it too soggy. Let any excess drip off.

how to make french toast The Best French Toast; How to Step 4; flip and soak other side; half-and-half cream; egg yolks; brown sugar; vanilla extract; ground cinnamon; ground nutmeg; brioche bread; butter; maple syrup; fresh berries; whipped cream; confectioners' sugar; powder sugar; handsTaste of Home

Test Kitchen Tip: Day-old brioche, sliced to 1-inch thickness is our go-to choice for French toast. It’s a sweeter bread that has the perfect texture. Not to mention, it’s French! If you don’t have brioche, any thick-cut white bread should do the trick.

Step 3: Cook until golden brown

how to make french toast The Best French Toast; How to Step 6; flip to other side; cook to golden brown; half-and-half cream; egg yolks; brown sugar; vanilla extract; ground cinnamon; ground nutmeg; brioche bread; butter; maple syrup; fresh berries; whipped cream; confectioners' sugar; powder sugar; handsTaste of Home

It’s time to get cooking! Place the soaked bread on the buttered griddle and cook until the bottom turns golden brown. (You can lift a corner to take a peek.) Then flip the toast and repeat. Once both sides are cooked to your liking, your pièce de résistance is ready to serve.

Finish it off with your favorite toppings. We love fresh berries, maple syrup, powdered sugar and a dusting of cinnamon. Or, try something new and go with a dollop of homemade hazelnut whipped cream.

Test Kitchen tip: Need to make a big batch? Set the oven to its lowest setting and house the toast inside. This will keep it warm as you prepare the rest.

Common French Toast Questions:

What Kind of Bread Works Best for French Toast?

When it comes to French toast, fresher doesn’t always mean better. In fact, the French call this dish pain perdu, which translates to “lost bread.” Use day-old bread that’s sturdy and slightly stale. This way it’ll soak up the custard without becoming soggy.

If you only have fresh bread on hand, you can dry your slices out a bit by lightly toasting them. You can do this by popping them in a 300°F oven for about 10 minutes, giving them a flip halfway through. Make sure they’re not getting much color on the slices, you’re aiming for dryness, not toastiness.

Why Is My French Toast Soggy?

There are a few reasons why your French toast might turn out soggy. The first we covered in the question above: your bread could be too fresh. Another culprit could be leaving your bread to soak in the custard mix for too long. You should only let your bread soak for about five seconds on each side.

You could also be cooking your French toast on too high of heat. This chars the outside of the toast without properly cooking it through, leaving you with a soggy slice. Keep your griddle or skillet at medium heat for the best results.

Can I Make My French Toast Custard Ahead of Time?

It’s not the best idea. Your custard can start to separate and leave you with fried egg-like spots on your French toast. Also, eggs are prone to picking up scents and flavors from the fridge when they’re out of the shells, so your custard could taste off. If you need to free up some time in the morning, go with this overnight French toast recipe for something hands-off.

How to Make it Your Own

Here are some ways you can customize your French toast:

  • Go savory. Don’t like sweets for breakfast? Make your French toast savory instead. Omit the sugar and extract, then serve it with a few sausage patties and scrambled eggs. Better yet, get some inspiration from this bacon-packed recipe.
  • Play with spice. Ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves are classics, but you can get creative with lemon zest, anise, cardamom or whatever else your spice cabinet has to spare.
  • Add some crunch. Create more texture by topping your toast with crunchy add-ons. This Nutty French Toast recipe bakes on chopped walnuts, but just about any other nut would work well, too.
  • Use a different type of bread. While white breads are typical for French toast, you can make it with just about any type of bread. Go for whole wheat, sourdough or a crusty artisan loaf. This creative recipe goes above and beyond, creating French toast from premade blueberry muffins. Yum!
  • Load up the toppings: Much like waffles and their wide range of toppings, French toast can be the foundation for your wildest creations. Top it with peanut butter and jelly, fresh fruit and powdered sugar or smother it in marshmallow fluff—the possibilities are endless.

How to Store French Toast

If you have any leftovers, French toast is best kept by storing it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat leftovers by toasting them in a skillet with butter or giving them a zap in the microwave for about a minute.

Freezing can let you keep your French toast much longer. To do so, allow your French toast to cool completely, then place them in an airtight container with parchment or wax paper between any layers of toast. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheat frozen French toast by placing the slices on a baking sheet. Bake them at 425°F for 8 minutes, then flip the slices and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and heated through.

What Sides Should I Serve with French Toast?

We’ll be honest, you can serve just about any breakfast favorite with French toast! Some great options include bacon or sausage, fresh berries or melon, hashbrowns or a couple of eggs. The sky’s the limit!

Can’t get enough French toast? We’ve got plenty of French toast recipes waiting for you.

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Nicole Doster
Nicole is a writer, editor and lover of Italian food. In her spare time, you’ll find her thumbing through vintage cookbooks or testing out recipes in her tiny kitchen.
Peggy Woodward, RDN
Peggy is a Senior Food Editor for Taste of Home. In addition to curating recipes, she writes articles, develops recipes and is our in-house nutrition expert. She studied dietetics at the University of Illinois and completed post-graduate studies at the Medical University of South Carolina to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Peggy has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. She’s a mom, a foodie and enjoys being active in her rural Wisconsin community.