How to Make French Toast | Easy French Toast Recipe
Filed Under: Bread | Breakfast

How to Make French Toast

May 1st, 2023
5 from 6 votes
5 from 6 votes

How to make French Toast that's slightly crisp at the edges, fluffy in the center, and buttery throughout. Tons of tips for the BEST French toast recipe you'll ever have!

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Delicious!! This will be the best French toast you’ve ever had!
Texture: Slightly crisp at the edges, fluffy in the center, and rich and buttery throughout.
Ease: Super easy and ready in no time.
Appearance: Who could pass up a plate of this French toast for breakfast (or brinner)?
Pros: My go-to recipe for French toast.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? I make this ALL the time!

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Get ready to make the most incredible French Toast you’ve ever had!

slices of golden brown French Toast, with some maple syrup and fresh berries, on a plate ready to serve

French toast is a simple enough recipe, but to make AMAZING French toast takes paying attention to a few key components.

I remember my dad used to make us French toast on weekend mornings every once in a while. Those days were such a treat! They might be the reason why I prefer French toast over pancakes and waffles to this day.

He always said his secret to a great classic French toast recipe was using copious amounts of vanilla. I don’t disagree!

This easy French toast recipe yields the most delicious breakfast you’ll possibly ever eat – right at home in your own kitchen.

I hope you give this recipe a try for your weekend breakfast, next time you’re hosting brunch, or to treat mom to a special breakfast on Mother’s Day!

slices of French toast on a cooling rack, ready for plating and some maple syrup

How to Make French Toast

Here are all the tips you need to make the best French toast recipe that your family will be begging you for every Sunday morning brunch.

Ingredients for the BEST French Toast Recipe:

  • Bread – I share my favorite breads for making French toast below.
  • Eggs and egg yolks – Large eggs (about 56 grams in shell) provide moisture and richness.
  • Whole milk – I highly recommend using whole milk. You could experiment with alternatives like almond milk or oat milk if you need to make it dairy-free.
  • Grated orange zest – Optional, but provides amazing flavor.
  • Vanilla extract – Adds a beautiful flavor to the French toast.
  • Brown sugar – Helps to caramelize the outside and bring a beautiful texture, as well as sweetness.
  • Fine sea salt – Just a pinch, to balance out the sweetness.
  • Unsalted butter and vegetable oil – For frying.
  • Maple syrup – It’s not French toast without real maple syrup!

What is The Best Type of Bread for French Toast?

Using the best bread is the most important part of any amazing French toast! Whatever bread you use, make sure it’s sliced about 3/4-inch thick to achieve that pillowy interior but caramelized exterior. Thick slices of bread are the key to incredible French toast.

  • My absolute go-to is good quality Challah bread. Not all grocery store Challah bread is created equally, so take a look at the ingredient label to see if the ingredients are simple. If there are a bunch of weird additives and food-like substances, it probably won’t do your French toast many favors.
  • If you can’t find Challah, use Brioche. It’s even richer than Challah, which can be too much for some people in the morning.
  • Alternatively, use thick-cut Texas toast bread. It’s sturdy enough to hold up to the custard batter coating and frying.

Why Use Egg Yolks and Whole Eggs for French Toast?

You’ll see this French toast recipe calls for 3 large eggs plus 3 egg yolks. The egg whites are what contain those distinct sulfur compounds that make things taste “eggy.” So by reducing the whole eggs and bumping up the egg yolks, we’re getting enough moisture and richness – but not creating French toast that basically tastes like scrambled eggs.

How to Make French Toast in 5 Easy Steps:

  1. Dry out the bread.
  2. Whisk together the wet ingredients.
  3. Dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture and allow to soak through on each side.
  4. Heat the butter in a skillet.
  5. Cook the soaked bread on each side. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

How to Soak Your French Toast Before Cooking

Be sure to soak your French toast for enough time! Let the slices of bread relax in the custard mixture for at least a few minutes. If you like French toast that has more of a texture of bread pudding, let it soak for even longer – up to 15 minutes.

slices of bread soaking in egg/milk mixture before being fried and served

How to Avoid SOGGY French Toast

The story goes that French toast, or Pain Perdu, was invented to use up day-old bread. We now live in a modern society where most bread is manufactured in a way to prevent staling, so day-old bread is a different kind of concept.

However, that nearly-stale bread is what makes for the best French toast that remains light and fluffy instead of becoming soggy from the richness of the egg-and-milk mixture.

How to Dry Bread for French Toast

For this French toast recipe, I took a tip from Cooks Illustrated and slightly “dry out” the bread on a baking sheet in the oven at a very low heat while preparing the remaining ingredients. This allows the bread to soak in just the right amount of custard to be rich and fluffy without getting weighed down.

So if you use the right kind of bread, dry it out slightly, and then follow the tips in the next heading below, you’ll be sure to have perfect French toast!

How to Make Crispy and Golden Brown French Toast

When I say crispy, I mean caramelized and golden brown at the edges while still light and fluffy inside. I find this comes down to frying technique:

  • Use a combination of butter and oil to fry: The butter provides flavor and the milk solids help to create caramelization. However, oftentimes using only butter can lead the French toast to getting burnt on the exterior and undercooked on the interior. That’s because those milk solids can brown very quickly. So the combination of butter + oil is the perfect solution.
  • A small amount of brown sugar in the batter: This helps to create those caramelized lacey exteriors.
  • Medium heat when frying: Too low, and you won’t get any caramelization and you’ll end up with limp sad slices of French toast. Too high, and you’ll get toast that’s burnt on the outside and soggy on the inside.

How to Make Flavorful French Toast

  • I love to use a hint of orange zest and vanilla to round out the flavors of my French toast.
  • Feel free to omit the orange zest if you prefer or add a splash of Grand Marnier instead.
  • You can also use a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or other spices, to suit your personal preferences.
  • The other key ingredient is high-quality vanilla extract.
  • You’ll also want to use quality milk and eggs. I usually go for pasture-raised.
  • Lastly, be sure to use real maple syrup for serving! It makes such a difference.

Topping Ideas for French Toast Recipe

  • Maple syrup, of course!
  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Peanut butter
  • Nutella
  • Bacon or sausage (if you’re into salty-sweet combinations!)

Can French Toast be Made Ahead of Time?

You can keep slices of cooked French toast warm in a low oven for up to 1 hour. I find French toast is best served soon after it’s made. If you need to make it ahead of time, you might be better off with a casserole-style French toast recipe like this Lemon Blueberry Overnight French Toast Casserole.

Products I Love for This Recipe:

two slices of French toast in a skillet, cooking before serving

More French Toast Recipes:

More Amazing Breakfast Recipes:

5 from 6 votes

How to make
French Toast

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
How to make French Toast that's slightly crisp at the edges, fluffy in the center, and buttery throughout. Tons of tips for the BEST French toast recipe you'll ever have!


  • 8 slices challah or brioche bread, sliced 3/4-inch thick
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Maple syrup
  • Fresh fruit, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 250°. Place the slices of bread on a sheet pan inside the oven to dry out slightly while you prepare the other ingredients, no more than 15 minutes.

  2. In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, milk, orange zest, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a very large saute pan or griddle over medium heat.
  4. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until well browned. Place the cooked French toast back on the sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven until ready to serve.

  5. Fry the remaining soaked bread slices, adding butter and oil as needed, until it's all cooked.
  6. Serve hot with maple syrup, fresh fruit, and extra butter, if desired.

Recipe Video

Course : Breakfast
Cuisine : American
Keyword : french toast, french toast recipe, how to make french toast

This post was originally published in 2013 and updated with new photos and recipe tips. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Maria — July 31, 2023 at 2:48 am

    I absolutely love this recipe! It is very neutral but rich tasting and you can top it with an array of flavor profiles, whatever you may be craving that day from fresh fruit, jams, honey, cinnamon, crème freche, sour cream, etc. The options are endless and with this recipe, it will be delicious!

  2. #
    C. G. — February 6, 2022 at 11:19 am

    This isn’t the french toast I expect, it’s so so soft and tasty! I believe this is the new Sunday breakfast in out house!

    • #
      Emily — February 7, 2022 at 4:59 pm

      Great! So happy to hear how much you loved this recipe! 🙂

  3. #
    Jadey — May 9, 2021 at 7:37 am

    Amazing! My kids who don’t like French toast gave it a try and are fans now, with this recipe anyways. Also was the best French toast my mom ever had.

    Thank you!

    • #
      Tessa — May 10, 2021 at 2:26 pm

      Woohoo!! So glad everyone loved it! 🙂

  4. #
    Aspen T. — December 19, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    Love, love, love this recipe! My families favorite! The orange zest takes a great recipe and makes it even better. Thank you Tessa, you have out done yourself!

  5. #
    Shelisah S Piggee — May 10, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    Wow! I made this recipe today for my family for mothers day brunch. It’s amazing! We used trader Joe’s brioche. The only thing I did different was I used half heavy cream because I ran out of milk and I added a little cinnamon because it’s just a family preference. It tasted like bread pudding vs eggy french toast. I let my bread soak only about 5 mins or so vs 15. This will now be my go to recipe for french toast. Everyone couldnt believe how amazing it was.

  6. #
    Olga — August 9, 2019 at 11:53 am

    I’m still getting used to the maple syrup world, but my husband and both kiddos love it, so I decided to make your french toast for breakfast this morning. It was soo good, I even kept pouring the maple syrup for myself 😀 Love easy recipes like these!

  7. #
    Michelle Scribner — May 26, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Love all your posts!! Any thoughts on doing weekend baking classes??

    • #
      Tessa — May 26, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      Maybe one day! Though it’d be hard to reach all my readers… everyone is so spread out across the US, even the globe!

  8. #
    Gourmantine — February 25, 2013 at 4:50 am

    Ok, I’m risking going terribly wrong here, but I actually don’t fancy that much French toast with maple syrup… (please don’t judge), instead prefer it with cinnamon ice cream. A divine combination!

  9. #
    Peggy — February 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Agreed – French Toast is WAY better than pancakes. These look amazing and perfect for any meal of the day!

  10. #
    Diane @ Vintage Zest — February 18, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I literally covered the screen when I saw Downton Abbey followed by the word spoilers! Thanks for the heads up, which many people should do as well. My DVR and I both thank you!

    I know this sounds silly, but I’ve never soaked my French Toast for even close to 5 minutes in the egg mixture. Totally an “aha” moment just now! This looks and sounds awesome, and I love the additions of honey and zest as well. My Sunday recipe has now changed. 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — February 18, 2013 at 9:33 am

      Soaking for longer is perfect for thick slices of challah bread – especially when it’s a little stale! Oh man you’ll have to let me know what you think of the episode after you watch it.

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