My recipe for Creme Brulee French Toast was first published on Life Tastes Good where I am a contributor.
Creme Brulee French Toast
Creme Brulee French Toast, inspired by the classic Creme Brulee dessert, is an EASY, yet decadent, brunch recipe. With a golden caramelized outside and a creamy inside, Creme Brulee French Toast is melt in your mouth delicious!
Add an extra layer of decadence to your brunch with this Creme Brulee French Toast! Thick slices of bread are soaked in a creamy custard, coated with a brown sugar butter mixture, and baked until golden and bubbly.
What is Creme Brulee?
Traditionally, Creme Brûlée is a decadent dessert made by baking individual ramekins filled with a rich custard in a water bath until set and allowing it to chill thoroughly.
Once ready to serve, each custard is evenly topped with a layer of sugar which is torched until caramelized and crisp, creating a dramatic textural contrast to the creamy custard base.
How to Make Creme Brulee French Toast
For this Creme Brulee French Toast, I adapted the components of Creme Brulee into a variation perfect for brunch. Thick slices (about 1 inch) of day-old Challah or Brioche are soaked in a rich and creamy custard for about 30 minutes. Each slice is coated with a layer of brown sugar and butter, then baked until golden and bubbly.
TIP: Make sure to use slightly stale bread. Fresh bread can get soggy and is more likely to under cook and fall apart during handling
I love that the french toast slices are baked together on one sheet so you don’t have to spend time cooking each individual toast on the stove top. Just make sure to leave space between each french toast slice or they may swell together to create one large pan of French toast.
The tray of french toast bread soaking in the custard can also be prepared and refrigerated overnight (with no need for flipping) to help save time the next morning.
How do you brulee?
For Creme Brûlée, the sugar topping is immediately torched to create a crisp, caramelized crust.
While researching ways to make Creme Brulee French Toast, I was surprised to find that this same technique generally isn’t used on the bread. Apparently torching the bread creates more uneven results. To work around this, I covered each side of the soaked bread with a brown sugar butter mixture. As the slices bake, this helps create the crisp and bubbly topping that contrasts so beautifully with the creamy custard-soaked center.
To make an even more deeply golden topping, you can also use the broiler set to low for the last couple of minutes. Just be sure to keep an eye on it. The sugar goes from golden to burnt very quickly.
Creme Brulee French Toast Toppings
We enjoyed our Creme Brulee French Toast topped simply with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and drizzle of maple syrup plus whipped cream and strawberries (or your favorite seasonal fresh fruit) served on the side.
Though to be honest, I didn’t even need the powdered sugar or maple syrup. The French Toast was that good on its own. Of course, all these toppings do make for a more decadent presentation.
You can even serve it as a dessert with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream!
Looking for more French Toast recipes?
- S’mores French Toast
- Strawberries and Cream French Toast Casserole
- Bananas Foster French Toast
- Slow Cooker French Toast
- Alton Brown French Toast
- Apple Cinnamon French Toast
Creme Brulee French Toast Recipe
Adapted from The Culinary Compass
Creme Brulee French Toast
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 slices Challah or Brioche 1 inch thick
Creme Brulee Topping:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream, milk, vanilla extract, orange zest, and salt until smooth.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer in a deeply rimmed baking sheet or tray. Pour the custard mixture over the slices and allow to soak for 30 minutes, flipping the bread over at the 15 minute mark.
- In a small bowl whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
- Remove each slice of bread from the tray of custard, allow the excess to drip off, and place 1 inch apart on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Brush each side of the bread slices with the brown sugar mixture. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops are golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes total and flipping the slices halfway through.
- Serve the Creme Brulee French Toast warm with powdered sugar, maple syrup, whipped cream, and other desired toppings.