French Toast Christmas Tree
This French toast Christmas tree is perfect for a holiday brunch! Use star-shaped slices of French toast to form a festive Christmas tree and decorate with powdered sugar and fresh fruit for a main dish that doubles as a centerpiece.
If you’re hosting a brunch this holiday season, we have plenty of fun food ideas for your celebration. Serve up a Christmas brunch board, put together a Mimosa bar, and then make this French toast Christmas tree as the pièce de résistance. It’s a unique take on Christmas French toast that everyone will love!
This is one of those glorious holiday ideas that looks adorable on the table, but takes very little effort to make. Once the bread is cut into stars, you’ll simply follow a basic French toast recipe, then arrange the finished French toast on a platter to form a Christmas tree. Dust with powdered sugar and scatter fresh fruit over the top and you’re done.
About this Christmas French toast recipe
As written, this recipe makes a classic French toast with cozy, warm spices and tender slices of potato bread that do an excellent job of soaking up the creamy custard.
Of course, there’s a lot of room for variation with any recipe that’s mostly about assembly, and this Christmas French toast is no exception. You can use any French toast recipe you like—even our vegan French toast—or swap out the fresh fruit for other toppings like candied pecans, holiday sprinkles, edible glitter, or dried fruit. Don’t be afraid to put your own spin on it!
What you need
- Potato bread – You can substitute another type of bread that works well for making French toast (and that’s big enough for a large star cookie cutter to cut), like brioche, white bread, milk bread, or challah. Use scraps to make homemade bread crumbs.
- Eggs – Eggs are key to the custard mixture for French toast!
- Heavy cream – Heavy cream will give you the richest custard, but half-and-half or whole milk can be used instead.
- Ground cinnamon – Saigon or Vietnamese cinnamon has the strongest flavor.
- Ground nutmeg – You can substitute the nutmeg with 1/4 teaspoon of allspice if you’d like something different.
- Pumpkin pie spice – Use store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice.
- Vanilla extract – For a different spin on classic French toast, try using almond extract instead.
- Powdered sugar – You’ll need some for the French toast and some for the garnish.
- Mixed berries – Raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries.
How to make it
Cut the bread. Use a 3-inch star-shaped cookie cutter and a 2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter to cut star shapes out of the bread.
Make the custard. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, heavy cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and ¼ cup of powdered sugar.
Cook the French toast. Dip the stars into the custard mixture, submerging both sides.
Immediately transfer the bread to a large non-stick skillet set over medium heat.
Cook for about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through, until both sides are golden brown and the French toast is cooked through.
Form the tree. Arrange the French toast on a plate in a triangle shape, starting with the large stars followed by a layer of small stars. Use a small star at the top of the triangle as the top of the tree and a small star at the base of the triangle as the trunk.
Garnish and serve. Sprinkle the remaining powdered sugar over the Christmas French toast tree and place the berries throughout. Serve warm with maple syrup or pancake syrup.
You can really use any type of bread that you like. Just make sure it’s a little on the stale side so it doesn’t fall apart when soaked in the egg mixture.
The key to making French toast that isn’t soggy is to use stale bread. Fresh bread will absorb too much of the egg mixture and become soggy. Also, make sure you quickly dip the bread into the custard mixture, rather than letting it soak.
We like to serve French toast with fresh fruit and a dollop of whipped cream or maple syrup. But it would also be delicious with bacon or sausage if you’re looking for a savory side.
How to make this Christmas French toast your own
Here are some ideas for switching up this Christmas French toast recipe!
- Use different fruit. You can substitute the mixed berries with banana slices, dried cranberries, raisins, or any other fruit you like. Pomegranate arils or sugared cranberries would be great seasonal choices!
- Pair it with other toppings. Let your guests gussy up their French toast by setting out toppings like strawberry sauce, maple cinnamon butter, fried apples, and homemade whipped cream.
- Swap the spices. Apple pie spice, cardamom, a chai spice blend—you can easily customize the flavor of the French toast in this recipe.
Make Ahead Ideas
Because stale bread is fabulous for French toast, feel free to cut the stars out a day or two in advance and store them until you’re ready to make the recipe.
This French toast Christmas tree can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 2 months.
Thaw the Christmas French toast in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop in a large skillet over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or in a microwave for 1 minute.
More holiday brunch recipes
- Christmas Pancakes – festive & bright!
- Mini Quiches Recipe (3 Varieties)
- Warm Christmas Punch with Rum
Get the Recipe: French Toast Christmas Tree
- 11 slices potato bread
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup powdered sugar, divided
- 1 cup mixed fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries)
- Using a 3-inch star-shaped cookie cutter and a 2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, cut star shapes out of each slice of potato bread and set them aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and ¼ cup powdered sugar until smooth.
- Dip each star into the egg mixture, making sure to cover both sides completely. Immediately place them into a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until both sides are golden brown and cooked completely through.
- Place the cooked stars on a plate in a triangle shape, starting with the large stars and then a layer with the small stars. Use a small star at the top of the triangle as the top of the tree and a small star at the base of the triangle as the trunk of the tree.
- Sprinkle with the remaining powdered sugar and randomly place the mixed berries through the tree.
- Serve warm with syrup.
- This French toast Christmas tree should be stored in a refrigerator inside of an airtight container, separate from the berries, for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen in a freezer-safe and airtight container for up to 2 months.