Perfectly dippable and delicious, these Cinnamon French Toast Sticks are a bite-sized brunch option that are a tasty breakfast treat for kids and grown-ups alike!
Perfect Simple Cinnamon Toast Sticks
The best French toast I ever had was in Cappadocia, Turkey at the Kelebek Hotel at their rooftop-terrace organic breakfast. I still dream about those slices of thick, egg-custard soaked bread that were fried to perfection and served buffet style with a giant bowl of honey for drizzling over the French toast rather than maple syrup.
Truth be told, honey has been my favorite topping for French toast ever since, though I get that for most people maple syrup is the gold standard for pouring over French toast.
French toast is, or ought to be, straight-forward and simple. I'm not sharing any revelations here today, just a good, solid cinnamon-vanilla custard recipe that gives stale bread new life with a characteristic eggy coating and all my best tips and tricks for making French toast.
If you don't feel like slicing the bread into sticks, you can totally just make regular cinnamon French toast with whole slices of bread using the same egg batter. But who can resist finger-friendly buttery batons of dunkable French toast?
Ingredients for Homemade French Toast Sticks
- Bread: I don't recommend using regular sandwich bread for French toast sticks as it is too thin and doesn't work very well. A better choice is a thick, enriched bread like Texas toast, brioche, or challah bread.
- Cinnamon: Some ground cinnamon adds so much flavor and a subtle sweetness to the French toast that everybody loves!
- Milk: Using whole milk is our preference for a nice rich flavor, but lower fat or even fat-free milk will work just fine.
How to make French Toast Sticks
- First, slice the bread into evenly sized sticks, 4 sticks per slice of bread if using Texas Toast. If you are using a brioche or challah loaf, you might get fewer slices depending on the height of the loaf. But the sticks should be about ¾" to 1" inch thick.
- Make the cinnamon egg custard by combining eggs, cream or whole milk, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl or shallow dish and whisking together.
- Dip each stick into the egg mixture, turning to coat and pressing in so they can soak up some of the mixture. You want them saturated, but not soggy.
- Heat a large griddle or pan over medium heat and melt half of the butter. Working in batches and taking care not to crowd the pan, fry the French bread sticks in the butter, turning to fry on all sides until golden brown and crisp around the edges. Transfer to a pan and keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining French toast.
- Repeat with remaining bread and custard, wiping out the pan and adding more butter between batches until all of the cinnamon French bread sticks are cooked.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve with syrup or jam for dipping.
French Toast Sticks Recipe Tips
- If you don't have a day-old loaf of bread, my favorite method is to lay out the slices of bread that I plan to use on wire racks and bake for 6-8 minutes at 300 degrees F, then flip and bake for another 6-8 minutes.
- Cook your French toast sticks in butter. Unless you have a large griddle, you will need to cook your French toast sticks in batches, so don't add all the butter at once or it will burn and/or get absorbed before you get through cooking all of the French toast. But cooking in butter will give the French toast sticks a deliciously crisp, golden exterior.
- Make sure to get the heat right. Three to four minutes per side over medium heat is what you are going for, and it might be a good idea to test a stick or two before committing all of them to the pan. Using too much heat can scorch the exterior of your French toast while leaving the inside soggy.
- Since you will likely be working in batches, keep cooked French toast sticks warm in a 250 degree oven until ready to serve.
What to serve with Homemade French Toast Sticks
- Maple Syrup: This is a classic choice. French toast sticks are often drizzled with maple syrup for added sweetness.
- Fresh Fruit: Fresh fruit pairs well with the sweetness of French toast sticks. Consider serving them with sliced bananas, berries, peaches, sauteed apples, or even a fruit salad depending on what is in season.
- Whipped Cream: A dollop of whipped cream can add a creamy and airy texture to your French toast sticks. It's especially delightful when combined with fresh fruit and syrup.
- Yogurt: Greek yogurt or regular yogurt with honey is a healthy and tangy option to balance the sweetness of the French toast sticks.
- Bacon or Sausage: For a savory contrast, serve French toast sticks with crispy bacon or sausage links. The combination of sweet and savory flavors can be quite satisfying.
- Scrambled Eggs: If you want a heartier breakfast, add scrambled eggs to your plate. This provides protein and a savory component to complement the sweetness of the French toast sticks.
How to store Cinnamon French Toast Sticks
Allow the French toast sticks to cool completely at room temperature before storing them. This prevents condensation and sogginess in the storage container. Transfer them to an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Can I freeze Cinnamon Toast Sticks?
- Place the cooled French toast sticks on a baking sheet in a single layer. Make sure they are not touching each other to prevent sticking. Place the baking sheet with the French toast sticks in the freezer for about 1-2 hours or until they are firm. This initial freezing prevents them from sticking together during long-term storage.
- Once the French toast sticks are firm, transfer them to a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag or an airtight container. Remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing it to prevent freezer burn. Alternatively, you can place parchment paper between layers of sticks to prevent them from sticking together. Place the bag or container in the freezer. French toast sticks can typically be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
- When you're ready to enjoy the French toast sticks, you can reheat them directly from the freezer. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake the frozen sticks on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes or until they are heated through and crispy in in the air fryer for 5-7 minutes. Alternatively, you can use a toaster oven or microwave for quicker reheating, but the oven or air fryer method typically yields the best texture.
French Toast Sticks FAQs
If you want to make these and freeze for an easy breakfast option, just prepare the cinnamon French toast sticks all the way through cooking, the lay the cooked sticks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 2-3 hours, then transfer to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag for up to 2 months. Reheat in a 350 degree F oven for 8-10 minutes until hot, in an air fryer, or in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Using thick, stale bread is best for French toast. Fresh bread doesn't soak up the delicious, rich custard as well as bread that is older and dried out. In French the term pain perdu actually means u0022lostu0022 or u0022wastedu0022 bread and French toast is a way of using up that bread that is no longer fresh rather than just letting it go to waste. We like challah or Texas toast best for French toast sticks.
More Breakfast Recipes You'll Love
- Homemade Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns
- How to Make the BEST French Toast
- German Pancakes
- Easy Belgian Waffles
Did you make this recipe?
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Cinnamon French Toast Stick Recipe
- 8 slices Texas Toast bread
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup cream or whole milk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3-4 Tablespoons butter
- Powdered sugar
- Maple syrup
- Cut each slice of bread into 4 sticks. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon.
- In a large pan, melt 1-2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat.
- Working in batches, dip a few of the sticks of bread into the egg mixture at a time, turning to coat, then let the excess egg mixture drip off and place the sticks in the hot pan, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
- Cook the french toast sticks on each side, flipping until each side is golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with maple syrup.
This post was originally published in May, 2018. The photos and content were updated in December, 2021.