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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!
This recipe was originally shared in May 2018 but has been updated for content.
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?
- 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 This Recipe
- 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.
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.
- 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.
More Breakfast Recipes You'll Love
- Homemade Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns
- How to Make the BEST French Toast
- German Pancakes
- Easy Belgian Waffles
Cinnamon French Toast Sticks
- 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.