Creme Brûlée French Toast transforms toasted baguette slices into a decadent over the top breakfast. A gooey brown sugar topping forms as it bakes in the oven. This popular French dessert becomes a delicious breakfast or brunch!
Now that the school year is either over or coming to a close soon, you can enjoy a relaxing morning with French toast. However, no one wants to stand over the stove in the morning. You could make an overnight version like Blueberry French Toast, which is amazing, or bake some French toast sticks that they kids will love, but if you want a decadent brown sugar glazed breakfast, then you’re going to want to try creme brûléeI French toast.
Gooey on the top, and not soggy. It’s made with baguettes that are toasted as it bakes so you’ll never get a soggy bite.
This recipe stuck out to me when I was flipping through a cookbook that’s been out for a while but one I had just purchased by Melissa Clark, In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite. I try her recipes from the NY Times all the time and I’ve found them to be very reliable. This is the third recipe I’ve tried from her book and they have all been amazing.
These baguette slices have a sugar coating on them just like the top of a French creme brûlée. No torch is required to achieve this fabulous coating.
Why you’ll love this baked french toast recipe
- It reminds me of creme brûlée, a delicious dessert that has caramelized sugar on top, but without needing a torch to achieve the effect.
- This is easy to make and bakes while you enjoy a cup of coffee/tea
- By toasting it in the oven, the bread is not soggy.
- It will impress your friends or family, try it out on Christmas morning.
What you’ll need
- Baguette – this is a French bread that you might associate with a sandwich or garlic toast (or Beauty and the Beast – “Marie, the Baguettes”) but it has the perfect texture and size for this recipe. You want to use day old bread so that it will soak up the egg mixture.
- Brown sugar and Butter- you’ll need these to form that caramel coating.
- Vanilla – this may be my favorite ingredient next to butter of course.
- Orange Juice – a little citrus added to the egg mixture, brightens this up.
- Pantry staples: Cinnamon, salt, eggs, whole milk
Pro Tip: When making French toast, use day old bread which will soak up the egg and milk mixture. If your bread is soft, place it in the oven for a few minutes to dry it out.
How do you make creme brûlée french toast
Melt butter and brown sugar together and spread it onto an 11 x 17 inch rimmed baking sheet.
Combine eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and a splash of orange juice and let the bread soak it up for about 15 minutes.
Place bread slices on the brown sugar/butter mixture on the lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes until the tops of the bread slices are golden brown and the sugar is bubbly.
Then you sit down with a cup of tea and read the paper or talk to friends and family while it bakes in the oven.
Remove bread slices and serve immediately with the brown sugar side up.
As it’s baking the brown sugar caramelizes just like on creme brûlée while the bread slices toast. When you remove it from the oven you take each slice and turn it upside down so the caramelized side is facing up on the plate. You can spoon any extra brown sugar mixture over the toast if you have a sweet tooth. It’s obviously sweet from the brown sugar but not overly sweet. I thought it was perfect, as did the rest of my gang.
Variations to try with this decadent breakfast
- Chop some pecans up and sprinkle them in the pan before you lay down your bread and then let them bake with the egg mixture in it. A candied crunch!
- If you like the flavor of bourbon, substitute it for the vanilla.
- Add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to the egg mixture instead of cinnamon.
How to serve this sweet breakfast
Creme brulee can be paired with a lot of flavors, here’s a few ideas!
- When you take the french toast out of the oven, sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top so they get melty with the caramel. Yum!
- Top your pieces of french toast with a dollop of whipped cream!
While this version is not one you can just get up and pop in the oven, the prep time is minimal. You will have to allow for 15 minutes for the bread to soak and about 20 minutes for it to bake. I’m always the first one up so that isn’t a problem. I tried this out on some friends who were staying with us one weekend and it was no trouble at all. It baked while everyone enjoyed their morning beverage.
FAQs and tips
Crème brulée, also known as burned cream, is a rich custard that is baked in ramekins and served with a hardened layer of caramelized sugar.
While it’s known as a French dessert, France, Spain and England all claim their country for its origin. Who knows!
You really need to use a baguette or something with a similar texture. Otherwise the bread will be too soft and will not come out off the pan.
Milk and egg are needed to create a custard in creme brûlée and it’s no different in this French toast spin off of the dessert.
More fabulous breakfast recipes
Watch a web story.
Creme Brûlée French Toast Recipe
- 1 cup Brown sugar
- ½ cup butter melted
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons orange juice optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 10 ounces baguette sliced 1 inch thick
- Preheat oven to 375º.
- Mix together brown sugar and melted butter and spread onto an 11 x 17 inch rimmed baking sheet.
- Combine remaining ingredients except for bread and pour into a 9 x 13 pan. Add bread slices to the egg mixture turning after a few minutes to allow the bread to soak up as much of the egg mixture as possible. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Place bread slices on the brown sugar/butter mixture on the lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes until the tops of the bread slices are golden brown and the sugar is bubbly.
- Remove bread slices and serve with the brown sugar side up.
- Note: Use day old bread. Remove the bread from the pan right away and spoon extra brown sugar mixture over the top if desired.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Make sure the bread is dry, if not, heat it up in the oven to dry it out. This will help the egg mixture soak in.
- Remove the toast from the pan as soon as you take it out of the oven. If the brown sugar hardens, it will be difficult to get it out of the pan.
- Serve right away while it is still warm.