This easy French toast recipe is a crowd-favorite breakfast and brunch option! Soft and custardy in the center, and caramelized on the outside, this recipe guarantees perfect results!
Delicious French toast is versatile and simple to make. Slice the bread, make the egg-milk mixture, dip, pan fry. That’s it! Follow all of my recipe tips to make the most perfect French toast ever!
This French toast recipe is a childhood favorite for me, as I’m sure it is for many others as well. Every family has their own way of making this. So did mine.
So, the recipe I’m sharing today is highly adaptable, but also guarantees amazingly delicious and easy French toast!
What is French toast? (vs eggy bread vs bread pudding)
Eggy bread – This is all egg, with little to no milk/cream or water. The bread is dipped in whisked eggs and pan fried. I grew up calling this eggy bread.
French toast – A more balanced egg to milk ratio for French toast here. Usually 1/4 – 1/3 cup of milk per 1 egg. Bread is soaked in the egg-milk mixture and pan fried to get a caramelized crust, and a soft, custard-like center.
Bread pudding (or French toast casserole) – I use the same egg to milk ratio as French toast here, but the soaked bread is baked as a casserole, rather than individually pan fried.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Taste and texture are on point in this classic French toast recipe. Soft and custard-like in the center, slightly crisp and caramelized on the outside, this will taste like the best French toast you’ve ever had!
- If you love eggs and egg recipes, this French toast is a flavorful way to incorporate eggs into your breakfast/brunch.
- Super easy recipe, few ingredients, and ready in no time. It’s one of the first things I learned to make as a little kid, mostly because it’s so easy and hard to mess up.
- This is also such a versatile recipe. It’s so simple to substitute ingredients and change flavors for different recipe variations.
- You can make French toast with cheap breads for a quick treat if you’re in the mood (think French toast roll ups), or use a rich bread to make super comforting French toast as well.
- Plus, it makes for the best breakfast, brunch, or even dinner!
French toast ingredients
- Bread – See below for the best type of bread for this recipe (thick slices of bread are best).
- Eggs – I use large eggs for this recipe, which are about 2 oz / 57 g per egg. Eggs add flavor, and also responsible for thickening as they cook, resulting in a custard-like texture inside the bread slices.
- Milk – Adds flavor. I prefer to use 2% or full cream milk. But for special occasions, I might even substitute the whole milk with half and half or heavy cream.
- Sugar – You can use white sugar or brown sugar. And instead of sugar, you can sweeten this dish with honey or maple syrup too.
- Salt – Essential, in my opinion. French toast made without salt tastes bland, because the salt makes the flavor more balanced.
- Vanilla and spices – Vanilla and spices such as cinnamon make the French toast taste even better! They both add flavor. These spices and flavor extracts can be substituted with others to flavor your French toast in different ways. For example – nutmeg for eggnog French toast.
Best bread for French toast
Pretty much any type of bread that you like to eat is great for this French toast recipe! I grew up eating this with regular bakery bread.
You could also use regular sandwich bread from the supermarket, but these slices are so thin, the bread will simply disintegrate if soaked in the egg-milk mixture for too long.
The best bread for perfect French toast (in my opinion at least) is a thick slice of brioche or challah. But I also love to use,
- Stale, sliced croissants
- Thick, sliced sourdough bread
- Thickly sliced Italian loaf bread
- Crusty French bread
- Texas toast
- Homemade white sandwich bread (thick slices)
- Homemade Japanese milk bread (thick slices)
Thicker slices of bread are more suited for French toast, since you can soak them for a little longer to create that soft custard-like center.
Basically, any type of bread can be used to make this, as long as you adjust the soaking time. However, the bread that will give you the best results is,
- A flavorful and/or rich bread such as brioche, challah, or even croissants.
- Preferably the bread should be 1 – 2 days old (stale), so that the slightly drier bread soaks up the egg mixture better. French toast is a great way to use up stale bread, because once cooked, the bread obviously won’t taste stale again because it absorbs so much flavor and moisture from the custard.
- Thick cut – at least 3/4 of an inch thick will produce a lovely custard-like center, along with a caramelized surface.
How to make easy French toast
All you have to do to make easy French toast is to cut slices of stale bread, make the egg-milk mixture, dip, and pan fry.
Step 1 – Prepare the bread slices
I like to use thick cut bread to make my perfect French toast (or brioche French toast). I find that sandwich bread soaks up the egg mixture too fast, and you end up with limp, sad French toast. Not good.
So, I try to use unsliced bread which I slice myself. Preferably an enriched bread loaf (but crusty sourdough is also very good!).
Every time I make my popular brioche bread, I inevitably end up making French toast!
I slice up one loaf and let it get stale for a few days, before using the slices to make the most perfect brioche French toast.
I cut up slices that are about 1 inch thick, or at least 3/4 of an inch thick.
Step 2 – Make the egg-milk mixture
Whisk the milk with a little cornstarch. This step is optional but highly recommended, and it helps to create a nice custard-like texture. Add the eggs, sugar, and salt, and whisk until well combined.
Because of the egg whites, the egg mixture may seem “gloopy”. This isn’t really a bad thing, but to make the egg mixture easier to absorb, whisk the mixture until you don’t have that gloopy texture.
You will either need to whisk the custard base very well with a balloon mix, or use an immersion blender for a few seconds to achieve this. The resulting egg mixture will be very watery.
You can also add some flavoring to the egg mixture. My favorite is vanilla. You could also add lemon, orange, or almond extract. I also love to add some instant coffee for a lovely flavor twist.
Step 3 – Pre-heat the pan
I use a large non-stick pan to make French toast (or brioche French toast). This way the bread slices will not stick to the pan. You can use any type of fat in the pan to fry your French toast.
Vegetable oil, olive oil, ghee, butter are all great choices. I like to use a combination of butter and vegetable oil. The butter adds a lot of flavor to the French toast as well.
The temperature setting will differ depending on the stove and the pan you use.
Step 4 – Dip the bread in the egg-milk mixture
The more stale the bread, the quicker it will absorb the egg mixture. I usually count to 5 or 6 (mississippi-lessly), for each side.
This will vary depending on how thick or thin your bread slices are, and how stale the bread is.
You want the bread to absorb some of the egg, but not get so soggy that the bread disintegrates when lifted from the egg mix.
Step 5 – Pan fry the bread slices
The temperature of the pan should not be too hot. If it’s too hot, the toast will brown and burn too fast.
I usually prefer to cook the bread about 2 – 3 minutes per side for thicker slices of bread. If it browns too fast, I reduce the heat.
You want the surface of the slices to be a caramelized brown color, but the middle to still be soft. If the bread is cooked too quickly, the middle might be too raw. Place the pan-fried toast on a wire rack until you’re ready to serve.
Perfect French toast will have a golden brown crust, with a soft and slightly custard-like center.
How to keep French toast warm
You can keep the French toast in a warm oven (200 F / 93 C), so that they stay nice and warm until you’re ready to serve.
Serve with confectioner’s sugar, or a combination of your favorite toppings. I provide lots of options below.
Recipe tips and notes
- French toast can be made with any type of bread, with perfect results. If you only have sandwich bread, that’s A-OK! If all you have is the $1 Italian bread loaf from Walmart, you can just as easily use that to make fantastic French toast.
- However, if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on brioche or challah, or make your own, that’d be even better! Brioche French toast is deeee-licious.
- For best results, always adjust the recipe to the type of bread that you’re using. Thinner bread needs less soaking time in the egg mixture.
- The egg mixture itself is super flexible. If you added too much milk, don’t worry. As a rule of thumb, I use 1/4 – 1/3 cup of milk per 1 large egg, plus 1/4 tsp cornstarch. So, adjust the ingredients to get this ratio.
- Adjust the cook time depending on the bread as well. Thicker bread slices will obviously cook slower than thinner slices.
- Plus, the more egg mixture that is absorbed by the bread, the cook time will also be longer, compared to slices that were just superficially coated with the egg mixture. On my stove, I use the medium heat setting, but it could be different on your stove.
- Use the first slice to gauge how long to soak the bread. But if you do soak the bread slices for too long and they break apart, you could try baking them into a bread pudding (like this croissant bread pudding).
Serving suggestions and toppings for French toast
Growing up, sweet French toast was unheard of in my family. Savory French toast used to be our jam, and I didn’t eat the sweet version until later. But I quickly grew to love classic, sweet French toast, so here are some of my favorite sweet toppings and ideas to pair with this dish.
- Maple syrup
- Pancake syrup
- Golden syrup
- Caramel sauce
- Chocolate sauce
- Fresh fruit like fresh berries and banana
- Cooked fruit compotes or coulis like apple, peach, and berry coulis
- Any fruit jam (such as strawberry jam, plum jam, fig jam etc.)
- Whipped cream
- Ice cream (vanilla ice cream, cereal milk ice cream, strawberry shortcake ice cream, date and tahini ice cream, ube ice cream are all fantastic options!)
- Sweetened ricotta
- Bacon (which is also delicious along with maple syrup, whipped cream, and fruits)
- Breakfast sausages
- Curries (so this might be controversial, but it’s a delicious combo of flavors if you’re so inclined, and I personally love it with chicken curry, beef curry, lamb curry, fish curry etc.!)
- Fried chicken
- Scrambled eggs
- Avocado or guacamole
- Dinner leftovers – such as pulled pork (or pork carnitas!), or shredded roast chicken
- Breakfast hash (like this curried potato hash, steak and sweet potato hash, celeriac hash etc.)
How to store and reheat
French toast tastes best when freshly made. However, if you’re making this as part of meal prepping, then it is possible to freeze them for later.
Once the French toast is cooked, let it cool down completely. Then stack the French toast with wax paper or parchment paper in between slices, and place them in an airtight container. Make sure not to squash the slices!
Then place the container in the freezer. You can also freeze the French toast on a half sheet pan first, and then store the frozen slices in an airtight container.
To reheat, place the frozen French toast slices on an oven-safe wire rack, placed on a sheet pan. Preheat the oven to 300 F / 148 C, and heat the slices until warm throughout. The precise time will depend on how thick the bread slices are. The air fryer or toaster oven are also good options.
Heating the French toast in the microwave is possible, but it might make the toast soggy.
- Chocolate French toast – Melt some cocoa powder with hot water to form a paste and add it to the milk. OR use chocolate milk instead.
- Cinnamon French toast – Add extra cinnamon and brown sugar to the egg mixture.
- Eggnog French toast – Use store-bought eggnog (or homemade eggnog if you have it) instead of milk, or add a little rum and nutmeg to the egg mixture.
- Pumpkin spice French toast – Substitute ½ of the milk with pumpkin puree and add some pumpkin spice to the egg mixture.
- Gingerbread French toast – Substitute ½ of the sugar with fancy molasses, and add 1 tbsp of gingerbread spice (or a mixture of 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp cloves, ¼ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp allspice).
- Caramel French toast – Add caramel sauce to the egg mixture instead of sugar.
- Butterscotch French toast – Add butterscotch sauce or brown sugar to the egg mixture in place of the sugar.
More breakfast and brunch recipes you’ll love
- Classic French crepes (and chocolate crepes!)
- Bostock pastry
- Overnight yeasted waffles
- Sheet pan pancakes
- Classic cinnamon rolls
- Brioche cinnamon rolls
- French croissants
- Strawberry shortcake
- Classic cream scones
- Cinnamon toast
- Quiche lorraine
- Scallion pancakes
- Egg and bacon breakfast pie
- Sheet pan breakfast potatoes
Frequently asked questions
French toast becomes soggy for two reasons.
Either the bread is too soft, or the bread has been soaked for too long.
Avoid using supermarket white bread slices. These slices are thin and flimsy. As a result, the bread soaks the egg mixture too quickly, and becomes too soggy.
If you do use the right type of bread (thick bread slices), then it’s still important to avoid soaking the bread for too long in the egg-milk mixture.
Different breads will absorb the egg mixture at different rates, depending on the bread texture, stale or fresh, how thick the slices are etc. So, some trial and error on the first slice will help you figure out how long you should soak the bread.
French toast is made with eggs, so egg flavor is crucial. However, eggy flavor can be fixed in a few different ways.
Add a little more cream to the egg mixture to “dilute” the eggs.
Extra vanilla extract can also help with reducing the eggy smell / flavor.
Add some lemon or orange zest (or lemon or orange extract) to the egg mixture.
Use fresh eggs.
Yes! Simply swap the milk for any plant-based milk that you like! My preference is oat milk, but you can use your favorite.
Make sure the bread you use is also dairy free or vegan.
Yes, you can do this, but the flavor will of course be a little different without the eggs.
The egg mixture must be a little thick to get that rich custard-like texture in the bread. For this, add some flour or cornstarch to the milk mixture. Usually, ¼ cup cornstarch per 1 cup of milk.
To get a little eggy flavor / smell, add some kala namak or black salt instead of regular sea salt.
If you have access to JUST egg (a plant-based egg alternative), you can add this to the milk mixture too. Alternatively, you can make your own JUST eggs mixture by soaking and blending a mixture of red and yellow lentils (essentially a lentil dosa batter).
Simply substitute the milk with any plant-based milk, and add a ¼ cup cornstarch for every 1 cup of milk.
To get a more “egg-like” flavor and smell, add some black salt to the egg mixture instead of sea salt.
You can also add JUST egg to get the lovely color, and to get a similar texture. But this won’t be accessible to everyone.
Also make sure that the bread you use is vegan too.
Make sure to use gluten-free bread. Since my secret ingredient in my egg mixture is cornstarch (and not flour), it’s already safe for a gluten-free diet.
Yes. While I do prefer freshly made French toast, it is still possible to make it ahead of time and to freeze for later.
If you’re making French toast that will be eaten the following day, then it can be stored in the fridge. However, for French toast that you want to keep for longer than a day – it’s best stored in the freezer. This is because you don’t want the bread to taste stale from prolonged refrigeration.
Easy French Toast Recipe
- 4 large eggs see recipe notes
- 1 – 1 ⅓ cup milk see recipe notes
- ⅓ – ½ cup sugar
- Generous pinch of salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon optional
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg optional
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 thick slices of stale bread Such as homemade white bread or Texas toast. About ¾ – 1 inch thick (see recipe notes for choice of bread)
- Butter and / or oil for frying
- Maple syrup
- Whipped cream or yogurt
- In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, salt, vanilla, and spices (if using). Whisk until the eggs have no “gloopy” texture. You can also place the ingredients in a jug and use an immersion blender for a few seconds to mix the eggs well.4 large eggs, 1 – 1 ⅓ cup milk, ⅓ – ½ cup sugar, Generous pinch of salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ground nutmeg, 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Slice the bread loaf into 1 inch thick slices. Here I use my homemade bread loaf recipe. Substitute with Texas toast, or any thickly sliced bread.8 thick slices of stale bread
- Preheat a large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat (or medium high if your stove doesn't run too hot).
- When the pan is hot, soak one slice of bread in the egg-milk mixture. Dip one side in the mixture and keep it immersed for about 3 – 5 seconds (depends on how stale and/or thick the slices are).
- Flip over the bread slice and immerse the other side for the same length of time.
- Remove the bread from the egg-milk mix, and allow excess egg mixture to drip back into the dish.
- Place some butter and / or oil in the skillet. I like to add about 1 tbsp of butter for 2 slices of bread.Butter and / or oil for frying
- Once the butter is melted, and the pan is hot, place the bread slices in the pan. Make sure the pan isn’t over-crowded, so that the bread slices achieve proper caramelization.
- Cook the bread slices for about 3 – 4 minutes on the first side. Flip over and cook the other side for another 3 – 4 minutes, with a little more butter.
- Once both sides of your French toast have caramelized and cooked properly, place the toast on a wire rack (until you have cooked all of your French toast). Repeat this process with the remaining slices of bread.
- Serve your French toast warm with whipped cream, fruits, and maple syrup.Berries, Maple syrup, Butter, Whipped cream or yogurt
Tips & Tricks
Note on eggs and milk1 egg per serving (which is usually 2 thick slices of bread). Use ¼ – ⅓ cup milk per egg.
Note on choice of breadYou can also use brioche, challah, milk bread, sourdough bread, thickly sliced Italian bread, crusty French bread, or even croissants to make this easy French toast recipe.
To make dairy free French toastSubstitute the milk with a plant-based milk that you like (my personal favorite is oat milk), and use dairy-free or vegan bread.
To make vegan French toastSubstitute the milk with any plant-based milk, and add a ¼ cup cornstarch for every 1 cup of milk. To get a more “egg-like” flavor and smell, add some black salt (kala namak) to the egg mixture instead of sea salt. And use a vegan bread as well.
To male gluten free French toastSimply use gluten-free bread in this recipe.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”