Easy French Toast Recipes
Ah, how to make French toast, a true classic. I think this slice of eggy, buttery, bready goodness certainly deserves the top spot as one of humanity’s greatest achievements, right up there with walking on the moon. It’s delighted empty stomachs for centuries, yet could be easily prepared and enjoyed in mere minutes. All you need is a bowl, slices of bread, a cup of milk, some eggs, and a hot pan. Or… Perhaps you’d want to add a bit more spice into the mix?
French Toast -4 Slices Recipe
Step 1 – The Mixture
Grab 2 eggs, half a cup of milk, and mix them thoroughly in a bowl. For those eggs, this counts the yolks and whites together. In this mixture, you could add additional spices, with the most popular choices being cinnamon (half a teaspoon) and vanilla (just one teaspoon). Should you want to accentuate the taste a bit more, just a tiny pinch of salt would do.
Step 2 – Dunk
Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl. Some extra clearance up top will be handy for when you need to dunk the bread into it. For the bread, find some thick slices for optimal fluffiness. On top of that, slightly stale bread (just a couple of days old) works best to absorb the flavor. Now, dunk the bread into the egg-milk-spices mix, and let it marinate for a bit.
Step 3 – Fry
Find a griddle or skillet (if you don’t have one, a simple frying pan is more than enough), and lubricate it with a bit of butter. Or, substitute it with vegetable oil, if that’s your jam. Let it melt over low to medium heat. Once it’s ready, grab a slice or two of bread. Toast them until one side is sufficiently browned, before flipping it to fry the other.
The Ancient History Of (Not Actually French) French Toast
There are no less than two very fascinating facts about French toast. For starters, its origins are quite a lot older than you would imagine. In addition, French toast didn’t come from its namesake, France. The first mentions of French toast were noted in Apicius, from the 1st-century. Think of it as one of the earliest forms of cookbooks, as it published a series of ancient Latin and Roman recipes.
Within Apicius, French toast was referred to simply as “another sweet dish”. According to the recipe, they made mentions of how to cook it, having been translated from old Latin, as well…
Break a slice of fine white bread, with the crust removed, and into rather large pieces that are soaked in a mixture of milk and beaten eggs, fried in oil, and covered with honey before serving.
Nearly 2,000 years later, the general step-by-step of how to make French toast remains uncannily the same. This tried-and-tested recipe passed down through the generations. In the 14th-century, the Germans used a similar recipe, called the “poor knight”, which stuck around in the English and Nordic culinary circles. By the 15th-century, the (no longer Roman) Italians further refined the recipe.
The most noteworthy turning point in French toast was birthed in, unsurprisingly, France. There, this toasted bread recipe was known as “pain perdu”, which translates to “lost bread”. This reflected its intentions, where old and stale bread, rather than throwing it away, was fried with eggs and milk to give it a second life. All around the globe, French toast has since been reinvented, numerous times.
Why Are There So Many Recipes?
If there’s one thing you’ll learn about how to make French toast is quite simple; what style of French toast would you like? If you’ve gone through our quick 3-step process earlier, that’s what I’d call the old-school, traditional form of French toast. But over the years, French toast has evolved massively as countless new variations emerged. There’s more than one way to cook French toast, that’s for sure.
Do you want vegan or dairy-free French toast? Or, how about using different types of bread? Hmm, maybe you’d like additional toppings on there, from the sweetness of chocolate spread, or thick globs of custard? Ah, but how about making French toast uber-fluffy, and adding stuffing in between? Just a quick Google search of “how to make French toast” will leave your head spinning.
And, your mouth salivating at the many options that you could choose from. So, what gives? Well, it’s all down to how simple French toast is at its core. Bread, milk, eggs, and a hot surface to toast it on. It presents itself like a blank canvas, with which you can experiment with a variety of spices, toppings, cooking styles, and more to tweak the flavor or texture. You can’t ever go wrong.
With that in mind, I thought to share with you some varieties of French toast. We’ll start slowly with the classic, before moving on to more complicated recipes. While it’s not an exhaustive list, it might inspire you to try out something more audacious next time, eh? Without further ado, here’s all of what you need to know to learn how to make French toast…
1. Classic French Toast – Eggs And Milk (Cinnamon And Vanilla Optional)
As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So, why go any further than the simplest and most iconic of all the French toast recipes?
For a single serving (which you can then scale more easily), you’ll need:
- 2 slices of bread (thick and stale are both preferable)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt (to help elevate and accentuate the flavors)
- 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 small pinch of cinnamon (optional)
- 1 stick of butter (which you can substitute with vegetable oil or margarine)
How To Prepare:
- Step 1: Mix the eggs, milk, and salt into a bowl. The shallower the bowl (or a plate with taller sides) the better, as you’ll later have to dip the bread into the mixture.
- Step 2: Whisk the mixture thoroughly. You can now add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, and whatever spices (which we’ll discuss more of later) into the mix.
- Step 3: Dip the bread into the mixture, ensuring that you’ve properly encompassed both sides. If you have the time, you can let it marinate for a while, too.
- Step 4: Prepare a hot surface to toast the bread onto. It could be a griddle, skillet, or a simple frying pan. Grab the biggest one that you can find, which could preferably toast at least a couple of slices at a time.
- Step 5: Add some butter or oil onto the pan, and let it heat up over low to medium heat. Now, you can add the slices of bread.
- Step 6: Toast one side of the toast until it’s lightly browned. Depending on how thick the bread is, as well as what kind of pan or cooker you’re using, it may take around 2 to 3 minutes.
- Step 7: Now, flip the bread over to the other side, and let that one toast until browned.
- Step 8: Enjoy! You can add various toppings such as maple syrup, powdered sugar, or berries (much more of that later) atop your French toast. Some also prefer to spray the cinnamon onto the hot bread once it’s fried, rather than mixing it with the eggs.
2. Vegan/Dairy-Free French Toast – Almond Or Soy Milk, With Natural Ingredients
Seeing how vegans can’t eat food products that come from animals, a key part of every French toast (the eggs), has to go. But that doesn’t mean a vegan-only recipe has to taste bad. This same recipe can also be reverse-engineered to fit dairy-free diets, as well.
For a single serving, you’ll need:
- 2 slices of bread (thick, stale, and one that’s vegan-friendly, of course)
- 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond or soy milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
- 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
- A small pinch of cinnamon (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of flaxseeds or chia seeds (whole or finely ground, to help thicken the batter)
- 1 stick of vegan-based butter (or some tablespoons of coconut oil)
One important thing to note about using seeds to thicken the batter is that they do take a moment to activate. Depending on the type of seeds you’re using, you can let it sit around for 10 to 20 minutes, preferably in the fridge.
How To Prepare:
- Step 1: Mix the non-dairy milk of your choice into a shallow bowl. Seeing how we don’t have any eggs in the batter, we’ll need something to help thicken up the mixture.
- Step 2: This is where seeds enter the fray, either flaxseeds or chia seeds. Add them into the milk, and whisk thoroughly. You could leave the chia or flaxseeds as whole grains. Or, and if you prefer to not have that gritty texture, you can grind them into a fine powder.
- Step 3: Add additional spices where you see fit. Since vanilla extract and cinnamon are both natural products, we’ve carried it over from the classic recipe. You could add a pinch of iodized salt, too.
- Step 4: Prepare a griddle, skillet, or a simple frying pan, and add some oils to toast with. Given that this is a vegan recipe, you could use vegan butter, coconut oil, or a tub of vegan-certified margarine.
- Step 5: Let the pan and oily mixture heat up at low to medium heat, until it’s hot enough to add the bread.
- Step 6: Place the bread onto the hot pan, and toast it until it’s lightly or golden brown. This should take just around 2 to 3 minutes, or slightly more for thicker pieces of bread.
- Step 7: Once one side of the bread is brown, flip it over to toast the other side, and repeat the process.
- Step 8: With the bread now toasted, add all the toppings you crave. Maple syrup and powdered sugar are among the most popular choices. In addition, whipped cream and a selection of fresh fruits and berries would complement it well, too!
3. Fluffy French Toast – Eggs, Milk, And Some Flour
If you somehow find the original French toast to be a bit flat, there’s a way to make it as fluffy as a cloud. To do this, we’ll be adding some flour to the mix. Granted, this recipe is best for larger servings, but you can certainly try to scale it down.
For a hefty serving of 10 slices, you’ll need:
- 10 slices of bread (thick and stale)
- 1 cup of milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of white sugar (to add to the thickness of the batter)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 stick of butter (or substitute it with vegetable oil)
Given that we’re working with flour, you’d ideally give it a bit of time (as with chia and flaxseeds) to let it sit and activate. 10 to 20 minutes should be more than enough.
How To Prepare:
- Step 1: Mix the milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl. Some salt would be handy, as well as white sugar to help thicken up the batter.
- Step 2: Now, we can add the flour. Gently whisk them together, and add more milk should the batter be too thick. Keep mixing until the batter is smooth.
- Step 3: Having left the batter to sit for a few minutes, grab some bread and dunk it into the batter. Make sure both sides are thoroughly enveloped.
- Step 4: Preheat a griddle, skillet, or frying pan with some butter or vegetable oil at medium heat.
- Step 5: Place the bread, and toast both sides until they’re golden brown. You may have to give it some more time compared to earlier, owing to the now thickened batter. Say, around 3 to 4 minutes for each side.
- Step 6: Enjoy, and add however many toppings as you’d like!
At this stage, you should now master the basics of how to make French toast. It’s just as easy as mixing, dipping, frying, and serving with a selection of toppings. So, rather than repeating the same steps over and over again, let’s take a look at some of the best French toast recipes that we’ve found floating around on the web…
4. Banana Roll French Toast
Few things are as organically intertwined as French toast and a helping of bananas. They seemed to have popped up in many other recipes, but none more prominently than this. What you get is a flat, rolled-up slice of bread, with a thick and gooey mixture of sweetened bananas as a filling.
- Use a rolling pin to flatten the bread, as thinly as you can make it.
- Mix (mashed) bananas and cream cheese into a bowl, before then adding some sugar and cinnamon to add a bit of sweetness into the batter.
- As for the eggs, they should be whisked in a separate bowl, as this is where you’ll dunk the bread into.
- Grab a slice of thin bread, and spread some of the cream cheese and banana mix on one side. Then, roll the bread slice around the filling.
- Dunk the bread (with the banana and cream cheese batter) into the egg mix. Let it sit until it’s coated all the way through.
- Preheat a pan with a tad more oil or butter than you used before since you’ll have to cook the filling, as well.
- Place the bread on the hot pan, and roll it around the pan until the exposed side is browned.
5. Caramelised French Toast
For those of you who love cinnamon rolls, but aren’t too bothered with making them, here’s an equally decadent recipe for you. In fact, you don’t even need ground cinnamon with this one, just a cup of brown sugar.
- Mix the eggs, milk, and a bit of salt in a large bowl, and whisk it until the batter is smooth.
- Dip the bread into the batter, covering both sides to their fullest.
- As per usual, preheat a pan, and toast both sides of the coated bread, as you’d normally do.
- Now, and once all the toast you’ll be eating is fried until browned, set them aside.
- Empty out the pan, and add brown sugar into it.
- Keep stirring at low to medium heat until the sugar has melted, and turned all sticky.
- Mix in a bit of water as you go along, but not too much to turn it into a soup.
- Grab the already cooked toast slices, and dip both sides into the caramel mixture.
6. Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast
Ah, but what if you wanted to enjoy the wonders of strawberry cheesecake and French toast at the same time? Well, this isn’t just possible, but you’ll get a sweet, soft, fluffy, and cheesy bread treat at the end of it.
- Start by preheating our oven to around 100°F.
- Grab a saucepan, and heat up (at low to medium heat) a mixed batter of mashed strawberries, white sugar, water, and corn starch.
- Keep on whisking and stirring, as you cook it into a thickened sauce. This should take around 5 or so minutes.
- Reduce the heat on the strawberry batter, and let it simmer while stirring on occasions. For now, you can move on to the remaining ingredients.
- Grab a bowl, and mix together eggs and milk. Set this one aside for now.
- Find another bowl, where you can add cream cheese, vanilla extract, and a bit more white sugar. Mix it until it’s nice and smooth.
- Now, spread the cream cheese mixture onto a slice of bread. Then, top it with another piece, as if you’re making a sandwich.
- Dip the sandwich into the egg mix, covering both sides of the sandwich.
- Once that’s done, toast both sides of the sandwich in a pan, until they’re golden brown.
- Place the already fried French toast sandwiches into a baking sheet. Next up, place it in the preheated oven to keep it nice and warm.
- Take out the hot sandwiches, and pour the strawberry glaze on top for serving. You could add additional toppings like freshly cut strawberries, a fine mist of powdered sugar, or even a spoonful of whipped cream.
7. Jelly Donut French Toast
Want to liven up your breakfast palette with some super-sweet jelly to get you up and running for the day? In that case, why not cram in some jelly into a slice of toasted bread, and call it a day…
- Make sure you have some very thick slices of bread on hand. Now, cut open a hole in the bottom of each slice, and empty out a pocket within.
- Find a pastry bag or resealable baggie, and fill it in with your favorite jelly or jam.
- Carefully squirt and fill in each pocket on those slices that you’ve made with jam.
- In a bowl, mix the usual milk, eggs, and vanilla extract into a batter.
- Dip each slide of jellied bread into the batter.
- Toast both sides until browned, and serve it a dusting of powdered sugar for effect.
8. S’mores French Toast
Feel like going camping, but you’re stuck at home? In that case, why not enjoy what’s arguably the best reason for going camping, S’mores, now featuring a slice of delicious toast.
- Grab a bowl, and whisk some eggs, milk, and vanilla extract until it’s turned into a batter. Set this one aside for now.
- Get another bowl, and mix together crumbs from a graham cracker, as well as ground cinnamon.
- Going back to the first mixture, dunk your bread slices across both sides.
- Then, toast the bread on both sides until they turn golden brown.
- As soon as it’s done toasting, sprinkle (or dip it into the bowl) the graham crumb and cinnamon mix across the now-toasted bread.
- When serving, smother a spoonful of marshmallow cream between each layer of hot bread.
- Additionally, you could also add extra S’mores toppings, such as chocolate syrup, marshmallows, and crushed graham crackers.
9. Ham And Cheese French Toast
If you like a bit of meat with your bread, along with a bit of dairy, then why not use French toast? It’s all you need for a filling meal, but hotter and more scrumptious.
- In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, a pinch of salt, cinnamon, and optionally, a bit of nutmeg.
- Dip a slice of bread into the batter, and cover both sides completely.
- Toast it until lightly browned on both sides, as you would.
- Now, transfer the toasted bread onto a wire rack, layered with some braking sheet, and preheat your oven’s broiler.
- Spread a layer of Dijon mustard onto each slice, and top it with a few slices of ham. Then, sprinkle in a bit of Gruyère cheese to top it off.
- Place it in your oven, and let it broil for a couple of minutes. This should be just about enough for the ham to toast, and you should be able to see the cheese bubbling and melting.
- Although, do pay close attention to how long you leave it in there, as they could burn very quickly if left for too long.
10. Apple Cinnamon French Toast
This is great for those of you who fancy an apple pie, with the added kick of syrup and cinnamon. But, maybe making an actual pie is too much trouble. First, we’ll have to prepare the apple topping. We’ll begin by:
- Add some apple slices, some butter, and brown sugar into a saucepan. After that, we’ll preheat the mixture over medium to high heat, until you see the brown sugar caramelizing, and the butter’s now melted.
- Apply to this topping a bit of vanilla extract and ground cinnamon, and whisk it together. Leave this be to simmer, for now, roughly 5 to 10 minutes.
- Finally, remove the apple topping mix from your cooker to allow it to cool and thicken.
- Put those aside for now, as we’ll start with making the toast. This should be familiar by now, with a whisk of egg, milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a bowl. However, we’ll be adding flour into the batter to help thicken it further.
- Dip the bread slices into this batter, and coat both sides to be toasted on a pan until they’re all golden brown.
- Last but not least, it’s time to put it all together. Stack a few slices of toast onto a plate, before then glazing it with a healthy layer of that apple and cinnamon topping. Add the apple slices to top it all off.
- You could include additional toppings, as well. For example, powdered sugar, chopped walnuts or almonds, whipped cream, fresh berries (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry), chocolate, banana slices, and more.