Creme Brulee French Toast (+ Video!)

Creme Brulee French Toast tastes like glorious Creme Brulee and can be thrown together in 15 minutes and made the night before for stress free breakfast and entertaining!

This Creme Brulee French Toast Recipe has a delicious golden caramelized toasted outside, is subtly creamy inside and seriously melt in your mouth delicious!  I always make this Creme Brulee French Toast Casserole for special occasions like Christmas, Easter, birthdays, etc. because its always a hit and couldn’t be any easier!

Creme Brulee French Toast VIDEO

a tower of Creme Brulee French Toast showing the caramelized sugar topping

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Do you like Crème Brulee?

For breakfast?!!!

How about for lunch?

Dinner?

Definitely dessert?

Now you can have Creme Brulee for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert with this ridiculously delectable Creme Brulee French Toast Recipe!

I’ll be the first to admit that I usually never make breakfasts like these for actual breakfast.  I’m more of a breakfast for dinner type person.  In the case of Creme Brulee French Toast Casserole though, I guess its more like dessert for dinner.   So that’s dessert for breakfast for dinner.  I’m confused.  The point is, with this French Toast, you can get your Creme Brulee fix any time of day.  And believe me, you are going to want this every time of the day!

A top view of tall stack of Creme Brulee French Toast with red strawberries on top.

Creme Brulee French Toast Recipe

Ahhhh, Creme Brulee.   Silky smooth vanilla custard with a thin crunchy carmalized sugar top.  If its on a dessert menu, I don’t even look at the other options.  I  actually inhaled Creme Brulee last Saturday when we went out for my mom’s birthday.  It felt like my birthday.  When I saw a Creme Brulee French Toast Recipe in an old church cookbook months ago, I was immediately intrigued, so naturally I googled it and found that it has been done many times before – but never quite like this.

I made a few simple changes to the Six Sister’s Stuff version that resulted in OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD Creme Brulee French Toast.  I eliminated the corn syrup, added maple syrup, added orange extract (to mimic the liquor flavor), flipped the toast after baking then broiled them to completely caramelize the top.  When I actually shoved a mountainous forkful into my mouth, my eyes grew wide at how much it actually tasted like glorious Creme Brulee!

Let me tell you how that is even possible:

First off, making this French toast is SO EASY!  Whip it up in 15 minutes, refrigerate, and then when you are ready to eat, pull your premade sheet out and bake.  So fabulous for birthdays or special occasions like Christmas!

WHAT BREAD IS BEST FOR CREME BRULEE FRENCH TOAST?

The best type of bread for French Toast is French Baguette,  Brioche, Texas Toast and Challah. Essentially, any thick, sturdy bread will do the trick.  I chose French Bread for this Creme Brulee French Toast because every grocery store carries French bread and it’s the most economical.

No matter what bread you choose, make sure it is 2 days old.  This ensures the French Toast doesn’t get mushy but instead transforms into toasted on the outside and tender on the inside.

If you don’t have time to wait for your bread to get stale, you can purchase bread the day of making, slice and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes to dry out the slices.  Now you’re ready to make Creme Brulee French Toast!

Creme Brulee French Toast on a baking pan fresh from the oven.

INGREDIENTS FOR CREME BRULEE FRENCH TOAST

In addition to bread, you will need: 

  • butter: use unsalted butter
  • eggs:  use large eggs
  • half and half:  use half and half and not milk or heavy cream
  • brown sugar:  use light brown sugar
  • maple syrup: use pure maple syrup and not the imitation breakfast kind
  • vanilla extract:  use quality extract for the best flavor 
  • orange extract:  adds that little something-something special
  • salt: table salt to enhance the flavors
  • cinnamon:  ground cinnamon to taste

How to make Creme Brulee French Toast:

  • First,  melt butter and brown sugar together then smear it across a large pan…

Showing how to make Creme Brulee French Toast by making the brown sugar syrup.

  • Then you line the bread slices over top.
  • Spoon a mixture of eggs, half and half, vanilla, maple syrup and orange extract on top of the bread.  Simple and fast right?  
  • At this point you refrigerate the bread for 8 hours up to overnight.  During that time, the bread slurps up all of the vanilla egg/half and half mixture like the picture below on the right.

Showing how to make Creme Brulee French Toast by cutting the baguette bread and buttering them.

  • When you can’t stand the anticipation any longer, sprinkle the saturated bread with cinnamon then bake for 25 minutes then flip the bread over and broil until golden.

Showing how to make Creme Brulee French Toast by baking them with the glaze.

Just look at that caramelized crust…

Showing how to make Creme Brulee French Toast by baking the bread front view.

You now have a Creme Brulee French Toast that has soaked up all of the brown sugar/butter/cinnamon on the outside, eggs/half and half/vanilla/maple syrup/orange extract on the inside to create a  golden caramelized toasted shell giving way to a subtly creamy custard-like filling.

If you think that sounds ridiculously, insanely delicious…

You would be right.

TIPS FOR CREME BRULEE FRENCH TOAST 

  • Cut bread thick.  May sure your bread slices are about 1″ thick.  This will help them not to become soggy.
  • Use dry bread.  As previously mentioned, use 2-day-old bread or dry it out by baking slices for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  • Use large jelly roll pan.  A jelly roll pan is a baking sheet with sides.  For this Creme Brulee French Toast recipe, you will need a jelly roll  pan measuring 18″x13″x1″ otherwise the bread will not fit and the butter/brown sugar layer will be too thick.   
  • Fit bread to size.  You may or may not use all of your bread depending on the size of the loaf.  You will want to add as many bread slices as will fit in a single layer on the jelly roll pan.
  • Use brown sugar/butter mixture immediately.  After you melt the butter and brown sugar, immediately pour it onto the jelly roll pan or it will thicken as it cools and become less spreadable.  This means you want your jelly roll pan greased and ready to go before you melt the brown sugar/butter.  
  • Use half and half.  Please don’t substitute the half and half with milk or the mixture will be too runny and result in soggy Creme Brulee French Toast. 
  • Make your own half and half.  If you don’t have half and half stocked, but you have heavy cream, then use half heavy cream and half milk to make your own half and half. 
  • Spoon custard, don’t dip.  Most French Toast recipes have you dip the bread in the custard, but for this Creme Brulee French Toast recipe, we want to spoon the mixture onto the bread.   This allows the bottom side of the bread to stay in direct contact with the butter/brown sugar mixture.
  • Chill.  Cover and refrigerate the Creme Brulee French Toast for at least 8 hours.  This gives the custard time to permeate and really soak into the bread crevices resulting in sublime flavor and texture through and through.  

Tall tower of Creme Brulee French Toast syrup and strawberries on top.

WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH CREME BRULEE FRENCH TOAST? 

This Creme Brulee French Toast tastes sweet enough without any additional toppings, OR you can drizzle with maple syrup.  In either case, we always love topping our French toast with fresh berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries are all delicious.  For a fun departure, you can even drizzle with raspberry syrup, strawberry syrup or blueberry syrup – YUM!

HOW LONG IS CREME BRULEE FRENCH TOAST GOOD FOR?

This Creme Brulee French Toast should be tightly covered or stored in an aright container.  When properly stored, it is good for up to 5 days.

HOW TO REHEAT CREME BRULEE FRENCH TOAST?

You can reheat leftover Creme Brulee French Toast two ways:

  • Microwave:  The microwave is good for instant pleasure and individual pieces but you will loose some of the crispy topping.   To microwave, add individual slices to a microwave safe plate and microwave for 30-60 seconds. Continue to microwave at 20 second intervals if needed to heat through.
  • Oven.  Reheating leftover Creme Brulee French Toast in the oven will will yield the best results and preserve the crunchy topping.  Cover French Toast with foil and bake at 325 degrees F for 10 minutes or until warmed through. Remove foil and broil until lightly crispy again. 

An up close of a forkful of Creme Brulee French Toast.

I know what I’m making this Christmas…

And maybe a few in between for breakfast, lunch and dinner…

Looking for more Breakfast Recipes?

Want to try this Creme Brulee French Toast Recipe?

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Overnight Creme Brulee French Toast

Creme Brulee French Toast tastes like glorious Creme Brulee and can be thrown together in 15 minutes and made the night before for stress free breakfast and entertaining!
Servings: 6 people
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 loaf 2 day-old French bread cut into 1” slices
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • cinnamon

Instructions

  • In a small sauce pan, melt butter and brown sugar, stirring occasionally until smooth. Pour melted mixture into a lightly greased jelly roll pan (21"x15"x1″ or equivalent), and spread out evenly over the bottom of the pan.
  • Arrange bread slices in a single layer to cover the pan (as many as will fit).
  • Add eggs to a medium bowl and beat for 1 minute, then whisk in half and half, maple syrup, vanilla, orange extract and salt. Pour or spoon mixture evenly over each piece of bread then lightly sprinkle bread with cinnamon. Cover, and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight.
  • Bake uncovered at 350 degrees (175 degrees C) for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden then flip all the slices of bread over and broil until the tops are golden.
  • Top with syrup, berries, whipped cream, etc.

Video

Notes

Don't miss the "how to make" recipe video at the top of the post!

TIPS & TRICKS

  • Cut bread thick.  May sure your bread slices are about 1" thick.  This will help them not to become soggy.
  • Use dry bread.  As previously mentioned, use 2-day-old bread or dry it out by baking slices for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  • Use large jelly roll pan.  A jelly roll pan is a baking sheet with sides.  For this Creme Brulee French Toast recipe, you will need a jelly roll  pan measuring 18"x13"x1″ otherwise the bread will not fit and the butter/brown sugar layer will be too thick.   
  • Fit bread to size.  You may or may not use all of your bread depending on the size of the loaf.  You will want to add as many bread slices as will fit in a single layer on the jelly roll pan.
  • Use brown sugar/butter mixture immediately.  After you melt the butter and brown sugar, immediately pour it onto the jelly roll pan or it will thicken as it cools and become less spreadable.  This means you want your jelly roll pan greased and ready to go before you melt the brown sugar/butter.  
  • Use half and half.  Please don't substitute the half and half with milk or the mixture will be too runny and result in soggy Creme Brulee French Toast. 
  • Make your own half and half.  If you don't have half and half stocked, but you have heavy cream, then use half heavy cream and half milk to make your own half and half. 
  • Spoon custard, don't dip.  Most French Toast recipes have you dip the bread in the custard, but for this Creme Brulee French Toast recipe, we want to spoon the mixture onto the bread.   This allows the bottom side of the bread to stay in direct contact with the butter/brown sugar mixture.
  • Chill.  Cover and refrigerate the Creme Brulee French Toast for at least 8 hours.  This gives the custard time to permeate and really soak into the bread crevices resulting in sublime flavor and texture through and through.  v

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76 Comments

  1. Lindsey Rivers says

    Good morning, Jen! I have been making this french toast recipe not only as a Christmas Morning tradition, but for family members’ birthdays and my Granddaughter’s sleepover parties! Always a hit and always delicious. Thank you for sharing!

    • Jen says

      I love hearing that Lindsey, and what a fun Grandmother you are! I am so happy you are enjoying the recipe! Thank you so much! Best!

  2. Rose says

    I made Creame burlee French Toast for Christmas Brunch. Huge win, fancy and delicious. Thanks

    • Jen says

      Awesome Rose, I am so happy it was a “huge win” – yay! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!

  3. Therese says

    Christmas wasn’t just about what was under the tree but about this ridiculously AMAZING Creme Brûlée French toast!!! Thank goodness I double it because we couldn’t get enough. Had a little left for the next day and was just as GOOD! I made a raspberry sauce to go with. Not that this needed anything else , i just love raspberry sauce! 🙂 I think I’m going to add Orange zest next time. Definitely making this for our women retreat !!!! SOOOOO GOOD!!!! Thank you again for blessing us with your talent to create such yumminess! 🙂

    • Jen says

      Hi Therese, I am thrilled you made this French Toast for Christmas – so fun and I am thrilled you all loved it so much – yay!! And your raspberry sauce sounds divine – and with orange zest- out of this world! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas! xo

  4. Chavah says

    I’ve made this twice now and both times AMAZING! I did use 2% milk instead of 1/2 and 1/2 and it turns out fantastic. I also didn’t have orange extract, but used cinnamon oil extract instead. This blows any other french toast casserole out of the water. Really fantastic. My kids now request this for their birthday breakfasts. It really is special. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jen says

      Hi Chavah, what an honor that your kids request this for their birthday breakfast! yay! I am thrilled you all love it so much! thank you!!!

  5. Lisa B. says

    Wow. I love creme Brule and haven’t made a french toast casserole in a while. This recipe looks so yummy. I’m curious if there is a reason why you add the cinnamon before baking. I’m afraid I’d forget to do it the next morning (menopause brain). Do you think I could just add it to the custard mixture instead?

    • Jen says

      Hi Lisa, you can definitely add the cinnamon to the custard mixture instead! I am excited for you to make this French Toast – I think you will love it!

  6. Andrea says

    I hope the creme brûlée you had was the white chocolate one from Bistro West. My family moved from the area last year and that is definitely something we miss!

    • Jen says

      What?! That sounds amazing! I have not had that version but will be sure to remedy that ASAP! Thanks Andrea!

  7. Leslie says

    Is there a reason why you don’t just dunk the bread in the custard and then place it on the pan? Would it be bad to do that instead of spooning it on?

    • Jen says

      Hi Leslie, it is spooned on instead of dunked so the bottom of the bread is completely in touch with the melted butter/brown sugar mixture on the bottom of the pan and better bakes to resemble creme brulee. Hope this helps!

  8. D J says

    I love creme brûlée and French toast so anxious to try this. I usually make my French toast using Peppridge Farms sweet breads like cinnamon swirl or brown sugar and cinnamon. Do you think recipe would work with this kind of bread or does it need to be crustier like the French bread to work?

    • Jen says

      Hi DJ, I am excited for you to try this too! I think this recipe could work with some sort of sweet bread but you would definitely need to dry the bread out first. I would bake the bread at 325 F for 20 minutes or so so it is almost crouton like consistency and then proceed with the recipe. Hope this helps!

  9. Kristin says

    I made this for our Christmas morning breakfast, and my family loved it! It was such an easy thing to prepare the night before/morning of. I usually have to get up extra early to finish prepping rolls of some kind, but it was nice that I could just pop the pan in the oven, and just make syrup to go on top. The prep the night before was easy, too. (I did make a homemade loaf of French bread which I made previously, and had put in the freezer.) This is a delicious breakfast that requires minimal work. I was wondering how crispy your French toast is on top. In your pics, your toast looks nice and crispy, and although mine browned nicely under the broiler, it wasn’t crispy. I’m just wondering if it’s really not supposed to be crispy, or maybe I should broiler them even more. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Jen says

      Hi Kristin, my apologies for getting to your comment so late! I’m so happy this was a hit for Christmas with minimal work! As far as the crispiness goes, they do get pretty crispy. Part of this is due to how long you broil it and part of it has to do with how dry your bread is to start with. If you do want it crispier, simply broil longer. I hope that helps!

    • TIM RAMIREZ says

      What temp do you bake in the oven?

      • Jen says

        Step 4. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees (175 degrees C) for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden then flip all the slices of bread over and broil until the tops are golden.

  10. Milly says

    I made this a few weeks ago and it was amazing! So decadent and delicious. I’m making it again this morning but without the overnight soak, I hope it turns out!! Thanks for your incredible site Jen! You’re one of my favorites

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind words Milly, that means so much to me! I am super curious how it turns out without soaking – please let me know!

  11. Lk says

    I’ve looked all over the recipe and I’d love to make it, but I don’t see the amount for each ingredient. Would you please send me what they are. Can’t wait to make it. lk

    • Jen says

      Hi LK, the recipe is at the bottom of the post with all the measurements. You can use the “jump to recipe” at the top of the page to go straight to it. Enjoy!

  12. Cheryl says

    Hi Jen,
    Just started to follow you and have been printing recipes galore. Now to make one. This will be my first for Valentine’s Day breakfast.
    Quick question is there a particular kind of bread that yields better results.
    Thank you – Cheryl

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Cheryl, I’m excited for you to try my recipe! I use French bread (not baguette) from the bakery section of the grocery store. If don’t have time to purchase it 2 days head of time to dry out then dry it out by baking slices for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Enjoy!

  13. Cheryl says

    Hi Jen,

    This was absoultely fabulous. All 8 of us just loved it and determined it would be part of our family traditions in food. So easy to make and the sweetness of the french toast was just enough – no syrup needed on top. Can’t wait to pass this along to my freinds.
    Onto another recipe of yours. Thank you for such a great site with fantastic instructions and pictures. You ROCK!

    Cheryl

    • Jen says

      Thank you for making my day Cheryl! I’m thrilled this was such a hit and a new repeat favorite! Thanks for making my recipes!

  14. Nina says

    I’ve made this recipe several times over the years, and it never disappoints. I substitute the orange extract for almond extract and it tastes like an amaretto crème brûlée. It’s especially good for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning.

    • Jen says

      Mmmm, love the almond extract substitution, thanks Nina! I love hearing this is a repeat favorite!

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