Crème Brûlée French Toast – no torch required!
Crème Brûlée French Toast is a decadent and delicious oven-baked dish. Brown sugar, vanilla, and butter bake through the bread, and a quick finish under the broiler creates a crunchy caramelized crust.
A menu staple at many restaurants, Crème Brûlée is a rich vanilla custard dessert that bakes in the oven and then gets a final caramelized crust on top, either from the broiler or a small propane torch.
This Crème Brûlée french toast recipe skips the torch, but takes full advantage of your oven and broiler to create an elegant baked french toast topped with a sweet and crunchy sugared crust. It transforms that classic dessert into a decadent breakfasts or brunch.
About this Crème Brûlée French Toast Recipe
This dish uses the five classic Crème Brûlée ingredients — cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt — and pours them through thickly-sliced brioche cinnamon swirl bread. After allowing the egg mixture to soak through the bread overnight (or for at least an hour), the flavors of Crème Brûlée are baked right through the toast.
The result is a one-dish French toast casserole, perfect for a special breakfast or brunch.
This make-ahead dish can be fully assembled the night before, so setting it to bake in the oven in the morning is a breeze. Just make sure to watch it under the broiler so you get the perfect browned crust.
This baked french toast recipe is THE ONE to keep on hand whenever you have company and want to serve a decadent, no-fuss breakfast. Of course, it’s also the perfect everyday breakfast anytime you’re looking for something special but unfussy.
What’s in Crème Brûlée French Toast Casserole
- eggs + a bonus egg yolk for extra richness
- heavy cream
- pure vanilla extract
- brown sugar
- maple syrup
- unsalted butter
- cinnamon swirl brioche bread (regular brioche is fine as well)
How to make baked French toast
Whisk eggs, yolk, milk, cream, vanilla, salt. Set aside.
In a small saucepan heat butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Pour brown sugar mixture into greased pan and spread evenly.
Arrange bread in single layer over the butter mixture.
Pour egg mixture over bread. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to overnight.
To bake: pre-heat oven to 375ºF. Bake for 20 minutes. Finish dish under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn.
How to make this French toast your own
- You can make this baked french toast with any brioche bread of your choice. Try cinnamon swirl, cinnamon raisin, or apple-cinnamon. This French toast recipe tastes great with plain brioche bread, too.
- Yes, you can use gluten-free bread! Look for a whole loaf that you can slice thickly.
- Top this dish with fresh fruit, maple syrup, strawberry sauce or blueberry sauce.
- This Crème Brûlée french toast is great with a few toasted or candied walnuts or pecans on top after baking.
- Great sides to serve with French toast include hard boiled eggs, sausage or bacon, and fresh fruit salad.
Make-Ahead, Storage, and Reheating Tips
Prep this the day before you need it and let the bread soak up all that custardy goodness! If using a glass pan, let come to room temperature before placing in a hot oven.
To keep the crust crunchy, serve this dish soon after removing from the oven.
Storage Suggestions for Crème Brûlée French Toast:
Store leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
Get the Recipe: Crème Brûlée French Toast
- 4 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 loaf cinnamon swirl brioche bread, thick-cut to 1 inch (regular brioche is fine as well)
- If planning to bake immediately, preheat oven to 375°F.
- Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolk, milk, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt.
- In a small saucepan heat butter, brown sugar and maple syrup until brown sugar is melted. Pour brown sugar mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Arrange bread on top in a single layer on top of brown sugar mixture.
- Pour egg mixture over bread. If you have time, cover and let soak in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to overnight. Otherwise, bake for 20 minutes.
- Flip bread over and set to broil on high heat for 1 to 2 minutes watching carefully. This will help make a creme brulee type top, but can burn quickly so don’t step away.
- Serve immediately with syrup and/or fresh fruit.