Brioche French Toast
The BEST breakfast treat is this easy Brioche French Toast! It’s made by dipping rich, soft brioche bread in the most delicious homemade orange honey flavored custard. This meal will make any morning instantly special. A great recipe for a lazy weekend, Christmas morning, birthdays, or anytime you want to make an impressive breakfast the whole family will enjoy!
Loving the orange and honey in this Brioche French Toast! Perfect for a nice brunch! The whole family loved this meal!— Lisa
About this recipe
I’ve been enjoying homemade French toast since before I can remember. My grandma would whip it up when she was in town or when we were visiting her house. That’s the only time we would ever eat it, so it became a very special treat. There is nothing like that melt-in-your mouth tender deliciousness. And I was totally able to perfect it… with the help of Ina Garten!
This French toast recipe is slightly adapted from Ina Garten’s irresistible recipe that uses pillowy soft slices of brioche bread that are soaked in a bright orange-, honey-, cinnamon-, and vanilla-spiked egg mixture.
There are many recipes for French toast out there, but give this one a try and you’ll never look back! It’s seriously the only one you need!
Why you’ll love this recipe
French toast recipes can vary from basic to decadent. I think of brioche French toast as a major upgrade to regular French toast and the one you’ll want to make for special occasions. It tastes just like something you’d order off the menu in a fancy bakery!
With brioche French toast, the basic concept of dipping bread in an egg custard and frying it in a pan or on a griddle is the same as any other French toast recipe. But you take French toast to a whole new level when you make it with brioche bread!
If you can’t find brioche bread, you can use any thick sliced bread, like Texas toast, Challah, Sourdough bread or French bread.
French toast made with brioche bread requires just a handful of simple ingredients, plus two unique ingredients (honey & orange zest) that really take this to the next level. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Brioche bread. Definitely the best bread for French toast! Brioche bread is rich, buttery and fluffy. Making this with sandwich bread is no comparison! I love the variety from Trader Joe’s, but you can also find it at your local bakery and most grocery stores will carry it.
- Eggs. Six large eggs is the perfect amount to serve 5 people 2 slices each.
- Milk. Whole milk will give you the best results, but I’ve also successfully made this with almond milk.
- Honey. Most French toast recipes use maple syrup or sugar, but when I saw that Ina Garten used honey as a sweetener, I knew it would be a winner and it totally is!
- Orange zest. Another tip from the Barefoot Contessa! The addition of orange zest sets this recipe apart from others, in a really good way!
- Cinnamon. A must! It adds that perfect spiciness that pairs so well with all of the other delicious flavors. You could even add a pinch of nutmeg too!
- Vanilla. Another flavor enhancer that is necessary for that classic French toast taste we crave.
- Salt. Just a bit of salt balances out the sweetness.
- Butter. Highly suggest using butter to grease the griddle. It adds to the richness of the dish.
Even though brioche French toast looks fancy and tastes amazing, it’s really quite easy to make. Here’s the simple process:
- Make the egg custard. In a large shallow dish or bowl, whisk up the egg mixture. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet or on a griddle.
- Pan-fry the bread. Dip the bread in the egg mixture and then fry it up until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
- Enjoy! Serve warm, with powdered sugar, whipped cream, or maple syrup and fresh fruit or any other desired toppings.
Full recipe is at the bottom of the post in the recipe card. But it really is so easy peasy!
- Make ahead. The batter/custard mixture can be made a day before using. Store it in the refrigerator and stir again before dipping.
- The bread. French toast is all about the bread! Use the most delicious bread you can find. I love the brioche bread from Trader Joe’s, but most all grocery stores carry brioche or challah bread that will work great.
- Day old bread. If you’re planning to make this recipe, buy your bread a day or two in advance. Day old bread or stale bread is actually better than fresh bread because it will soak up the batter better.
- Cooking. Use medium heat to cook French toast. If the heat is too high, your toast will scorch from the honey in the egg mixture. If the heat is too low, your bread may dry out.
Frequently asked questions
Brioche bread is a more indulgent French bread, that is thick enough to soak in the perfect amount of egg for the most amazing texture. It’s also naturally the perfect softness to be custardy, but firm enough to pick up with a fork. Best of all – it’s super rich and buttery. You can actually taste the richness of the bread with every bite.
To keep French Toast from getting soggy, it’s best to use day old bread or lightly toast the bread before soaking and only soak the bread in the custard for about 1 minute.
Ideally, the bread should be slightly stale. A drier bread will soak up all the custard. Bread can be left out with the wrapper open the day before cooking. If you find yourself in a pinch, dry your bread slices on a baking sheet in the oven at 300°F for 5-7 minutes.
This brioche French toast is pretty amazing with just a dab of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup, but we love to top ours with a dusting of powdered sugar, a dollop of whipped cream, fresh berries and maple syrup. Some other fun topping ideas are:
- sliced almonds or chopped pecans
- a sprinkle of granola
- nut butter
- banana slices
- shredded coconut
- a spoonful of yogurt
This pairs well with a variety of breakfast sides. Below are some of my favorite sides to serve with it:
- Hash browns or breakfast potatoes
- Fresh fruit or fruit salad
- Bacon, sausage, or ham
The great thing about homemade French toast is that it stays good in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. If you’re planning to keep leftovers in the refrigerator, you can store it in an airtight container or zip-top baggie. To store in the freezer, wrap the slices individually in plastic wrap or separate the slices with parchment paper, then place all slices in a gallon size freezer bag.
The easiest way to reheat leftovers is in the toaster oven. It will come out perfectly crunchy and golden brown. If you’re starting with frozen, you’ll want to add about 1-2 minutes more to the toasting time. You can also reheat in the microwave or in a skillet or on a griddle.
I love that this brioche French toast is perfectly rich, buttery and fluffy. So scrumptious! My kids request it all of the time, and I’m always happy to add it to the breakfast menu. Sometimes we even enjoy this for dinner. Breakfast for dinner is the best, especially when it’s French toast!
If you try this delicious breakfast, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Brioche French Toast
- 1 loaf brioche bread (or challah), (I get mine from Trader Joe's)
- 6 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Unsalted butter or cooking spray for cooking
- Preheat large, nonstick skillet or griddle over medium low to medium heat.
- In a large shallow bowl or dish, whisk together eggs, milk, honey, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter onto pan or spray pan with cooking spray. Add the slices of bread to the dish and soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for about 1 minute, turning if needed to completely soak the slices.
- Transfer soaked bread slices to hot pan or griddle and cook for about 1 minute per side or until golden brown on both sides.
- Remove French toast from skillet or griddle to a baking sheet. Keep cooked French toast pieces warm in a 200 degree oven.
- Continue this method until all slices of brioche bread have been cooked.
- Serve French toast, warm, with powdered sugar, whipped cream, or maple syrup and fresh fruit or any other desired toppings.