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How to Make Crispy French Toast

Imagine waking up to the aroma of buttery, cinnamon-sprinkled French toast. Crisp on the outside, custard-like on the inside, this homemade French toast is just perfect. Make it for a leisurely weekend brunch or to celebrate a special occasion, even better when drizzled with maple syrup and paired with fresh fruit or a dollop of whipped cream.

Stack of french toast with strawberries and sryup.


The ingredients for French toast are pretty classic. We suggest using a loaf of unsliced bread so that you can make your slices thicker.

Choice of Bread: Opt for a dense, rich bread like brioche, challah, or Pullman loaf. These types of bread have a high fat content and sturdy structure that soaks up the egg mixture well without falling apart. Slightly stale bread (1-2 days old) is better than fresh because it absorbs more of the egg mixture without becoming soggy.

Fat: To prevent the butter from burning, cook the French toast in a mixture of butter and a little neutral oil (like canola). This combination allows you to cook at a higher heat, resulting in a crispy outside without sacrificing the creamy inside.

Cornstarch: Adding cornstarch to French toast batter enhances the dish by creating a crispier exterior while maintaining a tender, custard-like interior. It also aids in achieving an even, golden-brown finish and thickens the batter.

Ingredients for French toast


  • For an extra decadent version, consider adding a splash of heavy cream or half-and-half to the egg mixture.
  • For a lighter version, use low-fat milk and fewer eggs, adjusting the ratio to suit your preference.

Step-by-Step Method

Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C) and slicing a loaf of bread into half-inch pieces.

Ingredients for french toast batter in bowl.
Mixing batter ingredients.

Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and vanilla to prepare a rich, flavorful batter. This mixture is key to creating your French toast’s custard-like interior and sweetly spiced flavor profile.

Dipping one side of bread into the batter.
Dipping the other side of the bread into the batter.

Dip each bread slice into the batter, ensuring both sides are well-coated. For fresher bread, a shorter soak is sufficient to prevent sogginess.

Browning the French toast in a pan.
Slices of french toast on a baking sheet.

Next, brown the soaked slices in a skillet with butter and oil over medium-high heat, achieving a light, crispy exterior. Finish the cooking process by baking the browned bread on a sheet pan in the oven for 12 to 14 minutes, flipping halfway through.

French toast with powdered sugar, strawberries, and syrup drizzle.

Tips and Technique

Some recipes, like French toast, are also about the technique in addition to the actual ingredients!

Here’s how to achieve that perfect balance of crispy exterior and creamy, custard-like interior:

  • Egg to Milk Ratio: A good starting point is 1 egg to about ¼ cup of milk (60ml) for each slice of bread. This ratio ensures a rich, custardy interior. Feel free to adjust based on preference; more egg will make it richer and denser, more milk will make it lighter.
  • Adding Flavor: Enhance the custard mixture with vanilla extract, a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg, and a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors. For sweetness, add a tablespoon of sugar, maple syrup, or honey to the custard mix.
  • Soaking Time: Soak time depends on the thickness and dryness of the bread. Thick, dense slices from breads like brioche can handle longer soaking times—up to a few minutes per side. Make sure the bread is fully saturated but not falling apart. For drier breads, a longer soak is beneficial to achieve the creamy interior.
  • Cooking Technique: Use a non-stick skillet or griddle for even cooking. Cast iron pans are excellent for getting that crispy exterior. Don’t overcrowd the pan—cook in batches if necessary to ensure each slice has enough room to breathe and crisp up properly.
  • Time and Temperature: Medium-low heat is ideal. It cooks the toast slowly, making the inside custard-like while the outside crisps up without burning. Cook each side until golden brown, typically 3-4 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the bread and the heat of the pan.

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📖 Recipe

French toast with strawberries and syrup drizzle.

Crispy French Toast

Crisp on the outside and custard-like on the inside, this homemade French toast whispers breakfast indulgence, perfect for weekends, holidays, or celebrations.
5 from 13 votes
Author: Marie
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 21 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 485 kcal


  • 1 loaf unsliced bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar with a pinch of salt (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tbsp Butter (may need extra)
  • 3 tbsp canola oil or other neutral flavored oil


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut bread loaf into 1/2 slices
  • Combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and vanilla
  • Soak each piece of bread thoroughly in the egg mixture for 20 to 30 seconds while turning the slices several times in the egg mixture. For softer or fresher bread, soak less.
  • Using medium-high heat, melt a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of oil in a pan and lightly brown the bread (use additional butter as needed), about 3 minutes per side.
  • Transfer lightly browned bread to sheet pan, bake for 6 minutes, then flip each piece over and bake for another 6 to 8 minutes (12 to 15 minutes total)
  • Serve with pancake syrup and powdered sugar


Serve immediately while hot and crispy. Top with powdered sugar, maple syrup, fresh berries, or whipped cream for added flavor and texture.


Calories: 485kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 17gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 749mgPotassium: 300mgFiber: 5gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 580IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 226mgIron: 4.5mg
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  1. 5 stars
    In your crispy French toast recipe which are the critical ingredients and/or process that gives the crispy exterior?

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