Buttermilk French toast is thick slices of Brioche bread dipped in a sweet buttermilk vanilla cinnamon custard and then cooked to crispy, golden perfection. This twist on the classic is delicious to make for breakfast, brunch, and special occasions.
French toast with buttermilk
Buttermilk French toast is a fun twist on the classic! It’s similar to traditional French toast, but the bread is soaked in a buttermilk egg mixture. Buttermilk gives the custard a slightly tangy taste and makes the bread extra soft and fluffy.
The texture is so, so good! The bread is soft on the inside, and has a crispy, buttery exterior. Serve it warm with your favorite toppings like syrup, whipped, and fresh fruit, and enjoy every single bite!
And as an added bonus, the dish comes together pretty quickly. It’s the perfect breakfast for weekend brunches, holidays, special occasions, or just because. Your family will love this easy French toast recipe!
Buttermilk French toast is so delicious and easy to make. You’ll love how quickly the recipe comes together. If you’re looking for specific measurements, they are listed in the recipe card below.
- Buttermilk is the base of the batter. It adds richness and a subtle tang. If you don’t have buttermilk, scroll down to the tips section, where I’ll show you how to make your own from regular milk.
- Eggs: 2 large eggs help to bind the custard and keep the inside of the bread soft and moist. Let the eggs warm on the counter for 30 minutes beforehand so they combine more easily with the other ingredients.
- Sugar: You’ll only need a small amount of granulated sugar to sweeten the bread.
- Vanilla extract:
- Ground cinnamon is a must for French toast and adds a lovely warmth.
- Pinch of salt to balance the sweetness.
- Day-old bread: You can use almost any day-old stale bread you have leftover and want to use up. My top choice is a loaf of brioche or challah, but Texas toast, sandwich bread, and hamburger buns will work well too.
- Butter to fry the bread and infuse a delicious buttery flavor. Feel free to swap in margarine or natural-tasting cooking oil if that’s what you prefer.
Grab a shallow mixing bowl or pie plate, a whisk to mix the batter, and a plate or rimmed baking sheet to rest the dipped slices. You’ll also need a large non-stick skillet, frying pan, or griddle.
And once the French toast is cooked, place your bread on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and pop it in the oven to keep warm. The wire rack ensures air can circulate around the French toast and ensure it stays crispy, without soggy bottoms.
How to make buttermilk French toast
Buttermilk French toast will be a winner at the breakfast table. Buttermilk makes everything just a bit more special. Here’s the step-by-step:
#1: Make buttermilk mixture
- In a shallow mixing bowl or pie plate, mix the buttermilk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt. Gently whisk until well combined.
#2: Coat bread slices
- Lay slices of bread in the egg mixture and let sit for 3 to 4 minutes to soak, then flip and let sit for another 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside on a plate or baking sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining slices until all the bread is soaked.
- Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and melt the butter.
- Cook the bread slices until golden brown, for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
#4: Keep warm
- To keep the toasted slices warm, put a wire rack on a baking sheet and transfer the cooked French toast to the rack.
- Place in a 200°F / 100°C / gas mark 1/2 oven for up to 3 minutes. This is helpful when you are serving a crowd, but don’t leave the French toast in the oven too long, or it might dry out.
Buttermilk French toast is guaranteed to be the star of your breakfast table. The recipe is so simple, and I have a few extra tips and tricks to help make yours perfect:
- Dry out fresh bread: Crave French toast but only have fresh bread? No worries, you can still enjoy delicious French toast. Simply cut your fresh bread into thick slices, arrange them on a lined baking sheet, and pop in a 300°F / 150°C / gas mark 3 oven for 10 to 15 minutes to dry out a little.
- Make your own buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk, mix 2 cups regular milk with 4 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let sit for about 5 to 10 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Soak both sides: Be sure to soak each side of the bread in the custard. You want the slices to soak up all of the mixture. But don’t go longer than 4 to 5 minutes, or the bread might get soggy.
- Flip the bread: You can use forks, a spatula, or tongs to flip the bread slices in the batter.
- Fry the French toast in butter: This gives the French toast a lovely buttery flavor and creates a wonderful golden crust. Place a knob of butter in your hot pan or griddle and let it melt. Then place soaked bread pieces onto the hot, buttered pan.
- Watch the heat: Use medium heat to cook your French toast to golden brown. If the slices brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium-low to avoid burning the bread.
Once you have a delicious pile of steaming buttermilk French toast, load it up with your favorite topping. Here are some ideas I think you’ll love:
- Buttermilk sauce: The sauce in the photos is the buttermilk custard sauce I shared in my buttermilk bread pudding recipe. It’s sweet and slightly tangy and compliments all breakfast treats so well.
- Powdered sugar: A dusting of powdered sugar is a quick and simple way to dress up your French toast.
- Syrup: Drizzle maple syrup, honey, strawberry syrup, or lemon syrup over your stack.
- Fresh fruit: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peach slices, or banana coins go well with this dish.
- Whipped cream: A dollop of sweetened whipped cream melting on the warm, buttery French toast tastes absolutely delicious. If you prefer a lighter option, try yogurt or our blueberry cream cheese.
- Sweet spread: Enjoy our buttermilk brioche French toast with jam, jelly, marmalade, or a nut spread such as Nutella or almond butter.
- Dessert sauce: For a bit of decadence, spoon vanilla custard sauce, hot fudge sauce, lemon curd sauce, or caramel sauce over the French toast.
If you want to create a complete breakfast spread, serve your buttermilk French toast with fried eggs, a breakfast casserole, crispy hashbrowns, bacon or sausage, and fruit salad.
Store buttermilk French toast
Let the French toast cool, then place it in an airtight container, on a plate, and cover with foil or plastic wrap. Refrigerate and consume within 2 to 3 days.
Freeze buttermilk French toast
To freeze French toast, arrange the slices in a single layer on a lined baking sheet to flash freeze for 1 to 2 hours. Then transfer the frozen bread into a freezer bag, label with the date, and freeze for up to 2 months.
Reheat buttermilk French toast
To reheat, pop the slices in the toaster and toast. Alternatively, warm your French toast in the microwave, but it tends to make the bread a little soggy.
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup / 120 ml / 4 fl oz whole milk
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 slices brioche brad
- salted butter, for frying
- Make buttermilk mixture. In a shallow mixing bowl or pie plate, mix the buttermilk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt. Gently whisk until well combined.
- Coat bread slices. Lay slices of bread in the egg mixture and let sit for 3 to 4 minutes to soak, then flip and let sit for another 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside on a plate or baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining slices until all the bread is soaked.
- Toast. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Cook the bread slices until golden brown, for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
- Keep warm. To keep the toasted slices warm, put a wire rack on a baking sheet and transfer the cooked French toast to the rack. Place in a 200°F / 100°C / gas mark 1/2 oven for up to 3 minutes. This is helpful when you are serving a crowd, but don’t leave the French toast in the oven too long, or it might dry out.
- Serve. Once you have a delicious pile of steaming buttermilk French toast, load it up with your favorite topping such as maple syrup, fresh berries, whipped cream, or powdered sugar. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 650Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 394mgSodium: 685mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 3gSugar: 13gProtein: 20g
What is the best bread for buttermilk French toast?
Brioche bread is my favorite bread for French toast. It’s fluffy, rich, buttery, and a little indulgent. You can find brioche at many bakeries, and some supermarkets carry brioche too.
If you can’t find brioche, try using challah, Texas toast, or French bread. They are all excellent options for French toast.
Why is day-old bread best for French toast?
Stale or day-old bread is ideal for French toast because it soaks up more batter than fresh bread. If you know you’ll be making French toast, buy your bread one or two days in advance, so it has time to dry out a bit.
Can I substitute buttermilk?
I love buttermilk in this recipe because it makes the French toast so nice and creamy. Still, you can substitute whole milk, a mix of heavy cream and milk, or try a dairy-free milk such as almond or oat milk. The flavor will change slightly, but the result will still be scrumptious.
Reasons to love buttermilk French toast
- Quick + easy: This fluffy buttermilk French toast comes together in about 30 minutes, including prep, with a handful of ingredients.
- Taste + texture: As the name suggests, this easy French toast recipe is loaded with lots of buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs. Buttermilk makes the bread super soft and gives a subtle tangy taste. So good!
- Always a favorite: It’s simple enough that you can throw it together on busy mornings, and still fancy enough to serve it for weekend brunch.
More French toast recipes
French toast is the best part of any breakfast. If you’d like to play with other French toast recipes, we’ve got you covered! All of these recipes are easy and oh-so-yummy!
- Condensed Milk French Toast
- English Muffins French Toast
- Hamburger Bun French Toast
- Hot Dog Bun French Toast
- Banana Bread French Toast
- Pumpkin Bread French Toast
Other breakfast favorites
Of course, there’s no reason to stop at French toast when there are so many other delicious breakfast options. Here are a few more of our favorite brekkie and brunch ideas: