I remember going to brunch buffets with my parents and getting the most amazing French toast sticks, fried to a crispy golden brown and drenched in syrup. This was not something we had at home as Mom’s French toast was a much softer affair. But, that crispy texture has never left my memory. As an adult I found that some Ikea stores served them too- a delightful discovery after running there for essentials one morning.
To make these at home I’m not going to go to the trouble of deep frying a ton of little sticks. Instead, these oven baked French toast sticks from Ree Drummond deliver the crunch and flavor with a lot less work.
The trick to getting that wonderful texture is that these sticks, after you soak the brioche bread strips in the egg mixture, is that you roll them in cinnamon sugar.
The butter on these sticks, combined with the sugar coating, means they get super crisp in the oven.
You can dip these in syrup or serve with berries or fruit. I like them with a dollop of orange marmalade since there’s orange zest and cardamom in the egg soak that sets the stage for more complex flavor combinations.
While these aren’t health food French toast sticks by any means, they’re a lot less work than deep frying like they do in restaurants. They’re now my go-to treat for at home brunches.
Baked French Toast Sticks
25m prep time
20m cook time
- 8 slices brioche bread
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoons orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- maple syrup and mixed berries, for serving
- Preheat oven to 425˚F. Cut each slice of bread into 4 strips. Combine 3/4 cup sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
- In another bowl combine remaining cinnamon and sugar with eggs, milk, vanilla, orange zest, salt, and cardamom using electric mixer.
- Place large, rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan in oven to preheat for 5 minutes.
- Dip each bread strip into egg mixture, then roll in cinnamon sugar mix. Set aside on plate before baking.
- Pour half the butter into baking pan then add French toast sticks. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove pan from oven. Flip sticks and spread remaining butter on sticks. Return to oven to bake for another 6-8 minutes or until golden brown on each side.
- Serve with maple syrup and fruit.
Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman.