This Baked Crunch Cinnamon French Toast pulls together all bold flavors as a great option for breakfast or brunch. This french toast is easy to make, thick, soft, crunchy, fluffy, delicious, uses a handful of ingredients, and comes completely dairy-free. Fully coated with a crunchy cinnamon flavored topping from the cornflakes, this french toast recipe will certainly be your family's next new staple for those early mornings, especially during the Spring + Summer months. Make ahead + Gluten-free options.
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When it comes to breakfast or brunches of any kind, I'm such a huge fan of french toast. Granted, pancakes and waffles are really close contenders on any given day, but there's just something special about french toast. This Baked Crunch Cinnamon French Toast is one that I'm excited to share because it really exudes my Southern roots and how I remember eating growing up when it came to incredible flavor + texture combos. Believe it or not, adding a crunch factor to tender, fluffy french toast is genius and your family will truly enjoy every bite! This Skillet Blueberry Cobbler with Cinnamon Biscuits is a nice sweet indulge for after brunch or dinner!
It definitely works as the perfect "pick-me-up" in the mornings or as a nice twist and switch up to regular french toast on any day of the week. Of course, if you're thinking of feeding a smaller family or you just want to whip together french toast for yourself, you'll enjoy this Balsamic Strawberry Brioche French Toast, Caramelized Apple French Toast, Strawberry French Toast Trifle, and Dairy-Free Blueberry French Toast.
And if you're a lover of french toast casseroles, then this Blueberry French Toast Casserole is just the thing that you need! Whether you use challah, whole wheat, Brioche, or gluten-free bread, this french toast will be your favorite homemade brunch to date!
Making this recipe only requires a handful of ingredients that include eggs, milk, loaf of bread, vanilla, a sweetener, spices, and cornflakes. Besides the ingredients, you'll only need a baking dish, whisk, and mixing bowls to prep the ingredients.
The key to the best French toast is to use fluffy bread like brioche or challah, and bonus points if it's a day old and a bit stale. It soaks up the eggy custard even better this way. Now, if you know me personally, then you know that I enjoy a good breakfast if I do get around to eating it.
During the week on most days, I tend to grab something quick since I often have work. However, the weekends are my faves because I get a chance to whip together something intricate! This french toast is no different.
For the best french toast, it's definitely all about the type of bread used. Traditionally, any bread (including regular sliced breads) can be used, but the following options truly make for the perfect bite + results in my opinion and it's always best to purchase an entire loaf and use slightly old bread:
Making the perfect french toast is all about the egg to milk ratio, believe it or not! In order to come out with a richly tender french toast, the best rule of thumb is ¼ cup of milk to 1 egg per two slice. Of course, things won't fall apart if you don't follow this, but it'll surely increase your chances of the best results. Another trick-----to avoid the "scrambled egg" taste, use only the egg yolks instead of the entire egg. Wallah!
Both baked and pan-fried French toast recipes are delicious, however, I prefer the one that takes less active cooking time, especially on the weekends where I’m extremely laid back.
Instead of frying your French toast in butter over the stove, try a baked version. It’s easier to whip together, makes less mess (yes, to tossing everything together in one dish), makes a pretty decent batch for the entire family, and is basically “set it + forget it” vibes (hello, oven).
There's a lot to love about this Baked Crunch Cinnamon French Toast, including:
Absolutely! Everything in this Baked French Toast is completely delish as is, but if you'd like to switch things up with the type of plant-based milk that you use-----that's totally fine! The world of plant-based milk is constantly expanding, it's hard to keep up! From the classics like cashew milk, sesame milk, soy milk, and almond milk, we now have delicious options like oat milk and even potato and quinoa milk.
OK, so if you're in a hurry or just feel to make this recipe, but your bead isn't day old or stale just yet, no worries! There's a hack that works that'll get you the results you need in the knick of time:
Quick option: Lay your slices of bread unto a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 5-10 minutes until it "drys out".
Overnight option: Lay your slices of bread on a baking sheet or wire cooling rack overnight. Air will quickly dry out the surface of the bread.
When it comes to making the perfect French Toast in general, I wasn't always a master at it. To be honest, I often ruined my toast pretty badly because it would stick to the pan and become this mush. Haha. Now that I've practiced a TON, I was able to learn a few tricks along the way which hopefully can help you when making this Baked Southern-Style Cinnamon Crunch French Toast recipe:
TIP 1: THE BREAD QUALITY MATTERS.
One of my first mistakes was thinking that I could use any type of bread when it came to french toast. However, I was wrong. For the best, fluffy french toast, using the correct bread matters A LOT!
Personally, I've found that the following breads work perfectly: brioche, challah, french bread, etc. Basically, you want a bread that produces a dense crumb and that can hold up well in the custard.
TIP 2: INGREDIENTS AT ROOM TEMP IS KING!
Yup. You definitely want to make sure that all of your ingredients (whether using eggs or not) are at room temperature and not cold. This ensures that your melted butter doesn't become grainy or hardened in the process and that the custard is smooth, which helps your french toast to cook nicely and remain smooth.
TIP 3: SOAK IT REAL GOOD!
The other important tip is to ensure that your bread slices are soaked nicely within the custard. This is why using quality bread every time matters. Getting a good soaked bread makes everything perfectly fried or baked and less sticky for the frying mess!
TIP 4: ALWAYS USE A NON-STICK PAN OR DISH + DON'T SKIP BUTTER.
Yup. You read that right. To make my french toast perfect, especially vegan or dairy-free ones, I often fry them on a high-quality non-stick pan, griddle, or baking dish which creates an easy flip and slide right off the pan situation. In addition, always ensure that you use butter in between frying (or for greasing when baking) and remember----just a little goes a long way!
You can make this dish as simple or as decadent as you like, when it comes to toppings. for a simple garnish that's perfect with the spice flavors in this french toast, I love adding fresh berries. However, there are plenty of options to choose from when topping your french toast.
Here are some other tasty toppings that you can try:
Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 1-2 days. To reheat, add the baked french toast in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until warmed through.
Absolutely! If you want to prep this recipe for the next day, simply pour all the ingredients in the baking dish (following the steps minus the cornflakes), covering it tightly, and keeping it refrigerated for 24 hours. Remove from the fridge, roll each soaked slice in the cornflakes mixture, reassemble and let sit at room temp for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bake when ready to eat.
Yes! This recipe is already dairy-free (as long as you use dairy-free bread). To make it gluten-free, simply use your favorite gluten-free sourdough or brioche as well as GF-friendly cornflakes.
Of course! Instead of maple syrup, you can also use organic cane sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, or honey as a substitute.
I recently read an article on Bon Appetit, that stated that the following 7 common mistakes that people make are:
Adding too much dairy and sugar to the custard. Don't go overboard with the dairy.
Not mixing the custard thoroughly.
Not choosing the right bread.
Under-soaking the bread.
Using too much heat or not enough.
Not preheating the pan.
Only using butter.
Overall, butter gives French toast a deep richness, however, to prevent burning or sticking, use a combination of butter and oil in the pan for greasing.
Believe it or not, the best bread is spongy and sturdy so that it will be able to soak up the custard without completely falling apart. Therefore, avoid thin white sandwich bread or an extremely hefty rustic loaf. Instead it's always best to go with breads like challah or brioche and cut it into 1-inch-thick slices for the right amount of soak.
Absolutely! It's always best to dip and then soak your bread in the custard for a minute or so to ensure that it fully soaks in the bread and creates that tender texture in the center that we love!
Generally, french toast only get's soggy if you've used too thin, fresh, and flimsy a slices of bread. Other causes can include: too much milk to egg ratio in the custard or soaking the bread for too long.
Now that you're on a dairy-free brunch kick with this baked french toast recipe, give these recipes that your entire family will love a try next:
If you tried this Baked Crunch Cinnamon French Toast recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.