French Toast

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KNEADER'S FRENCH TOAST COPYCAT! The best cinnamon sugar French toast topped with whipped cream, fresh berries, and a 4-ingredient caramel syrup | chelseasmessyapron.com

Cinnamon-sugar French toast, topped with whipped cream, fresh berries, and a four-ingredient caramel syrup comes from a famous Utah bakery. This is my adaptation of that recipe!

Pair this sweet breakfast with a savory dish like this Quiche Lorraine or this Ham and Cheese Quiche.

French Toast

The Best French Toast Recipe!

This is our absolute favorite French Toast recipe — think: thick cinnamon-swirled bread, perfectly crisped up, and then topped with sweet, fresh whipped cream, the best caramel syrup, and lots of fresh strawberries. It doesn’t get much better than that!

I adapted this recipe from a popular Utah bakery. They’re famous for their French Toast and if you’ve tried it, you know why. It’s sweet and cinnamony, has a creamy interior with crisp edges, and is loaded with plenty of toppings.

They shared their recipe online (it’s since been removed) several years back which I scribbled down in a notebook. And those scribbled notes have been my go-to French Toast recipe for years! I’ve tweaked it slightly over the years and am so excited to be sharing the recipe here (typed instead of scribbled, ha!).

Process shots-- Creating the egg mixture and dipping bread in it

Let’s chat bread

One of the “secrets” that make the French Toast so delicious is the bakery’s house-made cinnamon-swirl bread. If you’re aiming to authentically copycat the bakery’s French Toast, you’ll want to use the bread they use in theirs: Chunky Cinnamon Bread.

I love picking up a few loaves and using one for this recipe and freezing the others to use in the upcoming weeks.

If you don’t have access to that bread, here are the alternatives we’ve tried and loved:

  • Brioche bread
  • Challah
  • French bread (a really sturdy French bread)
  • Another bakery-fresh Cinnamon Bread
  • Cinnamon Swirl Bread

If the bread is not already sliced, the ideal thickness is 3/4 up to 1-inch thick.

QUICK TIP

When picking bread for French Toast, it’s important to get a bread that is sturdy enough to not fall apart during cooking, but is also spongy enough to absorb the custard mixture.

Process shots--cooking the French Toast

French Toast Tips

  • Mix the custard thoroughly. To avoid random bits of egg white or yolk showing up on your nicely browned French Toast, be sure to briskly whisk together the custard mixture until the eggs, milk, and other ingredients are completely incorporated.
  • Invest in a griddle: If you make French Toast often, and have space, I highly recommend an electric griddle; we use ours a couple of times a week! A griddle makes French Toast-making so much easier. (And you’ll also love how easy it is to make pancakes!)
  • Fully preheat the pan or griddle. If the pan isn’t hot enough when you add the French Toast to the pan, it will force the custard to spread out and cook separately from the bread. With a fully pre-heated pan/griddle the batter won’t seep out the sides, it will start cooking as soon as it hits the pan.
  • Consistent heat. Too much heat and it will scorch the outside of the bread, while the inside remains uncooked — and you’ll end up with burnt yet soggy French toast. And if the temperature is too low, the bread will dry out and you’ll lose the soft custardy center. I recommend heating to medium heat and cooking 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the bread.
  • Before the French Toast hits the hot pan, run a cold stick of butter on the pan to grease it. This gives the bread an evenly distributed layer of fat to cook in. 
    • I like to hold the stick of butter with tongs to keep the heat away from my fingertips. Use the tongs as an extension of your hand, and run the butter across your skillet or griddle. Wipe the griddle with a paper towel and re-apply butter after each batch has been cooked.

French Toast

Caramel Syrup 

As mentioned, the syrup needs only four ingredients and so simple to make. We add the sugar, heavy cream, and corn syrup to a small pot over medium heat and stir to fully dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and add in the vanilla. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

  • Light brown sugar. Dark brown sugar works here too for a more intense toffee-like flavor.
  • Heavy whipping cream. Pasteurized heavy cream tends to have the most fat of any cream you’ll find in the dairy aisle, and is my personal favorite in the syrup (and to whip for topping the French Toast). It’s thick, rich, and luxuriously smooth — if you can find it, that’s what I recommend for this recipe!
  • Light Karo® syrup. Don’t confuse this with dark corn syrup, which won’t taste right in this recipe. I know corn syrup scares some people away, so while I have not personally tried any of these substitutes, they’re worth experimenting with.
  • Vanilla extract. This gives the syrup more flavor and richness. I’ll also usually add a few good pinches of sea salt here to further intensify and balance flavors.

QUICK TIP

Beyond the caramel syrup, the bakery always sells their French Toast with a big scoop of fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries — our favorite way to enjoy it as well!

Process shots-- making the caramel syrup

French Toast FAQs

1What's the difference between eggy bread and French Toast?

“Eggy bread” is a soft bread that is soaked with beaten eggs and fried in lots of butter. Eggy bread is more of a savory dish.

French Toast is dipped in a milk and egg mixture and then pan fried. French bread is sweeter and usually served with syrup, fruit, and/or whipped cream.

2Why is my French Toast soggy?

The best way to tell if your French Toast is undercooked is to see if it’s soggy. If it’s soggy this means the egg mixture was not cooked through so it is undercooked.

An easy fix: Return the dredged bread back to the skillet/griddle for a minute until it has a crispy golden brown surface.

3Is it safe to eat soggy French Toast?

Soggy French toast means there is too much egg mixture on your toast or that it wasn’t cooked long enough. If it wasn’t cooked long enough this means your bread is topped with semi-raw eggs– which can be unsafe. If your French Toast is soggy from being undercooked, add it back to the skillet or griddle before consuming it. Eating raw/undercooked eggs carries with it the risk of salmonella.

4How do you prevent French Toast from getting soggy?

Similar to the above question, put it back on the griddle/pan for a little longer. Here are a few more tips:

  • Slightly lower the griddle heat — If the heat is too high, it may be cooking the outside much quicker than the inside.
  • Gently shake off excess egg mixture before adding bread to the pan/griddle.
  • Fully preheat the pan/griddle before adding the French Toast on
  • As soon as it’s finished cooking, transfer cooked bread to a wire cooling rack. If it’s piled up on a plate, the steam will make the bread soggy.

5Can I make the batter in advance?

Yes! This batter mixture can be one day in advance and stored in the fridge. Just whisk everything together again before dipping in the bread.

The caramel syrup can be made in advance too! It separates a little when stored in the fridge, but add it to a small pot over low heat and stir frequently until warmed through and ingredients have re-combined nicely.

6What can I use instead of syrup for French Toast?

While maple syrup is so good with French Toast, we’re definitely partial to the four-ingredient caramel syrup I’m sharing in this recipe card!

Here are some other great toppings:

7Why do you put milk in French Toast?

Eggs and milk are the two important components to the custardy base and are responsible for the tender richness we know and love in French Toast. With the right ratio of these two ingredients, we get a rich and delicious coating for the bread. Too many eggs or too little milk and the bread ends up tasting more savory with a scrambled egg flavor.

8Is French Toast healthy?

It’s my belief that most food can be healthy when eaten in moderation. Bread has nutrients and carbs, cinnamon offers many health benefits, and the milk and eggs contribute by adding vitamin D and protein. That said, this French Toast recipe is more of a treat/dessert when paired with the caramel syrup and whipped cream. It’s a great treat to have on occasion and in moderation.

French Toast

Great sides for French toast

Since French Toast is such a sweet breakfast (especially this one with the caramel syrup!), it’s nice to offset that sugar with something hearty and savory. Here’s what we typically serve on the side:

  • Eggs: scrambled, over easy, over medium, etc. — however you like them!
  • Cooked bacon
  • Cooked hashbrowns (or this one-pan Breakfast Potatoes and Bacon)

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French Toast

5 from 2 votes
The best cinnamon-sugar French toast is topped with whipped cream, fresh berries, and a four-ingredient caramel syrup. This is my adaptation of a recipe from a famous Utah bakery.
Print Recipe

French Toast

5 from 2 votes
The best cinnamon-sugar French toast is topped with whipped cream, fresh berries, and a four-ingredient caramel syrup. This is my adaptation of a recipe from a famous Utah bakery.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword french toast
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 large pieces French toast
Calories 463kcal
Author Chelsea, adapted from Kneader's
Cost $7.83

Ingredients

French Toast

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 loaf of cinnamon-sugar swirled bread un-sliced, if possible Note 1
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (136g) whole milk or 1%, 2% (we like whole best)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) light brown sugar, packed

Caramel Syrup

  • 1/2 cup (105g) light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup (123g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup (167g) light Karo syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Serve with:

  • 1/2 cup (120g) heavy whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks*
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fresh sliced strawberries (or medley of berries), for serving

Instructions

  • SYRUP: Combine the light brown sugar, heavy cream, and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir and heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and then remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla and, if desired, a tiny pinch (1/16 teaspoon) fine sea salt to balance and intensify flavors.
  • FRENCH TOAST PREP: Slice the cinnamon bread into 8 even-sized slices (about 3/4-1 inch thick). In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and brown sugar. Briskly whisk until thoroughly combined and smooth. Preheat a large griddle to 325 degrees F or a large skillet on the stovetop to medium heat. 
  • DREDGE BREAD: Dip each bread slice into the batter mixture, coating evenly. Gently shake off excess. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet or griddle and melt. Once melted, immediately place coated pieces of bread (making sure to not overcrowd the griddle or pan; leave 1-inch space in between) and cook until both sides of the bread are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. (Quickly wipe out skillet/pan with a paper towel and add the other tablespoon of butter once you've cooked the first batch of French Toast). As soon as you pull the French Toast off the griddle/pan, place on a wire cooling rack or plate to immediately serve. French toast is best served right off the griddle, but if it's sitting on plates for a while it will steam and get soggy!
  • WHIPPED CREAM: Pour heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar into a cold bowl attached to a stand mixer and whisk on high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, (about 1-3 minutes). Be careful to not overmix. Stir in vanilla and a tiny pinch (1/16 teaspoon) of salt if desired.
  • SERVE: Serve French Toast right off the griddle with warm caramel syrup, freshly whipped cream, and fresh strawberries.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: If you're aiming to authentically copy the bakery's French Toast, you'll want to use the bread they use in theirs: Chunky Cinnamon Bread. I love picking up a few loaves and using one for this recipe then freezing the others to use in the upcoming weeks. If you don't have access to that bread, here are the alternatives we've tried and loved:
  • Brioche bread
  • Challah
  • French bread (a really sturdy French bread)
  • Another Bakery-fresh Cinnamon bread
  • Cinnamon Swirl Bread
If the bread is not already sliced, the ideal thickness is 3/4 up to 1-inch thick.
 
Nutrition information will be greatly affected by the type of bread you use.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 463kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 189mg | Sodium: 500mg | Potassium: 249mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 749IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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10 Comments

  1. Wow!! Not only does this look delicious… it looks so beautiful!! I love recipes that just look so gorgeous! I mean we eat with our eyes first, right? YUM! Thanks for sharing!! I hope you have a lovely Christmas!

  2. 5 stars
    So, when I originally tasted this at kneaders, I was fascinated that it made me feel refreshed, almost like I was tasting the essence of a flower. And DING the idea popped up in my mind. (My parents had taken me out to eat.) I told them that’d it’d be even better with Lavender or Rose extract in it, just a little, something subtle.

    So that’s exactly what I did. And it is immaculate! With every bite it feels like you are going through a rose meadow! I suggest trying this too! It takes a few tries to get the perfect amount, and everyone is different.

  3. 5 stars
    We make this French toast almost every Saturday morning. It’s my kids all time favorite breakfast and honestly mine and my husbands as well. I seriously can’t say enough good about how delicious this French toast is. Everyone needs to try this!

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