Food Geek Friday: Creme Brulee French Toast

Yes, this is just as decadent and amazing as it sounds. 

Last Sunday, a group of my fellow foodies from Twitter and I gathered for a potluck brunch.   Now there are all these variables to consider when choosing a dish to bring to a potluck: how many people, how much to make (since serving sizes won’t be full), how well will the dish sit out for long periods of time, etc.  Another thing to think of is people bringing the same thing, but we avoided that by setting up a Facebook event page for guests to post what they were bringing.

I love to serve egg dishes at brunches but I also think that when entertaining at home, the eggs should be made at that home so that they’re the last to go on the table.   Since I was travelling with the dish, I opted for something else.  A friend recently turned me on to the website “How Sweet It Is.”  As I perused the website, there it was.

Creme Brulee French Toast

The recipe fit the bill perfectly – make ahead and just pop in oven on the morning of.  I figured it would travel well and most likely be just as good hot or room temp as it sat.  And I was really excited to learn with my first bite that I was right!  After all, I was cooking for fellow foodies – I didn’t want to jack it up.  (But since all foodies have had their fair share of kitchen mishaps, I also knew it would be OK if I did.  They knew it was an experiment.)

Creme Brulee French Toast adapted from How Sweet It Is

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • challah bread
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon triple sec 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Mix in brown sugar and maple syrup, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  This took longer than I expected.  Make sure to not burn the sugar in the process.


Pour into a 9×13 inch baking dish.  Pour as evenly as you can and act quickly.  For me the caramel stiffened faster than I expected when I poured it into the cool dish.

Remove crusts from bread, and arrange in the baking dish in a single layer. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla extract, orange liqueur, and salt. Pour over the bread. Cover, and chill at least 8 hours or overnight.

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dish from the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature.

Bake uncovered until puffed and lightly browned.   Know your oven on this one.  The original recipe calls for 35 to 40 minutes but in my oven I only had to bake it for 27. 

 Let it sit for a few minutes otherwise that hot, bubbly caramel goodness will burn your mouth off!  The recipe said it would be really rich and it definitely sounds that way.  However, we all thought it was light and just sweet enough.  Of course, if you’re a sugar fiend then you can always top this with some maple syrup. Enjoy!!