For a lazy Sunday breakfast with the family or a brunch with friends, buttermilk French Toast is the easiest way to make French toast for a crowd.
A store-bought baguette is soaked in eggs, buttermilk, brown sugar, and warm spices. Buttermilk helps tenderize the baguette, making its often chewy crust softer and its airy interior custardy and silky. Best of all, you’ve done most of the work the night before.
Left to rest overnight, this recipe allows you to wake up to a delicious meal that just requires baking in the morning. While it bakes, this French toast will transform in the oven in under an hour and will greet your family and friends to a kitchen that smells divine.
I like to pair buttermilk French Toast with fresh berries, powdered sugar, and a healthy pour of maple syrup.
Given its own strong flavors, this dish can stand up to a robust drink. Try sipping a strong coffee or a chai tea latté while you enjoy this French toast.
What You Need to Make Buttermilk French Toast
Buttermilk French toast requires many ingredients you likely have: eggs, butter, brown and granulated sugar, spices, and salt.
I like the texture that a baguette brings to this dish, but you can substitute other breads that you have on hand.
If you don’t have nutmeg, you can omit it. If you don’t have buttermilk, see the FAQs section for suggestions on how to easily substitute it with other items in your kitchen.
- Egg yolks
- Whole buttermilk
- Granulated Sugar
- Dark brown sugar
- Maple syrup
You’ll also need a whisk, a grater for the nutmeg (if using whole nutmeg), a small casserole dish, and a bowl handy to put this dish together.
How To Make Buttermilk French Toast
Buttermilk French toast is simple. Make an egg and buttermilk mixture, arrange slices of baguette in a casserole dish, and allow to sit overnight before baking.
This recipe feeds 4-6 people, but you can easily adjust the recipe to suit the number of people you are serving.
Using a day-old baguette—not fresh!—is really important. Using stale bread, rather than fresh, will allow the bread to absorb more of the egg mixture.
After the bread has soaked overnight, make sure you allow the casserole dish to warm up outside of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before putting it in the oven.
Once it’s done, serve up several slices to your guests (and yourself!) and make sure you have plenty of maple syrup on hand.
Prepare Buttermilk French Toast: Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, buttermilk, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl.
Arrange slices of baguette in a casserole dish greased with butter and pour the egg mixture over the slices. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least two hours.
Bake Buttermilk French Toast: Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Remove the casserole dish from the fridge and allow it to warm up for 30 minutes. Pour off any remaining liquid from the dish.
Dust the top of the baguette slices with several tablespoons of granulated sugar to caramelize in the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes. If the top begins to burn, tent with aluminum foil.
Serve the Buttermilk French Toast: Serve several slices of French toast with a pour of maple syrup. Add a dusting of powdered sugar, fresh berries, or any other toppings you want.
What if I don’t have whole buttermilk?
While whole buttermilk is the best choice for this recipe, you have a few options if you do not have whole buttermilk on hand.
If you have low-fat buttermilk handy, you can use this. The resulting mixture will just be less rich. If you don’t have any buttermilk available, you have a few options.
One is to use milk and an acid: Take 1 cup whole milk and add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Allow this to sit for 10-15 minutes before using (you will see that the liquid appears to have curdled).
You can also thin whole milk yogurt with milk until you have a thick liquid. When I don’t have buttermilk, I almost always use the yogurt option.
Can I bake this ahead of time and reheat it?
When you’re making a meal for a crowd, it can be nice to have a few dishes that you can make ahead of time and just reheat. Buttermilk French toast is a good candidate for this. You can also reheat leftovers.
Do I have to use a baguette?
No. The baguette offers a unique texture and structure for this dish, and while I recommend trying it, you can certainly substitute other stale bread you have available.
Do I have to let the baguette soak?
This step is non-negotiable. If the baguette does not soak for at least two hours, the crust will not have enough time to soften and the result will be very, very chewy.
What else can I serve Buttermilk French toast with?
Berries, powdered sugar, and maple syrup are great accompaniments, but you could also try honey, sliced bananas, or peaches and apples sautéed and caramelized in butter.
Buttermilk French Toast
- 1 baguette
- 2 whole large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2-3 tbsp granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg grated or ground
- 1 ½ cups whole buttermilk
- maple syrup to serve
- Slice baguette into 1-inch rounds.
- Whisk together 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks, 1 ½ cups whole buttermilk, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, and a pinch of salt.
- Arrange baguette slices in a 7 x11 inch casserole dish buttered with 1 tablespoon butter.
- Pour buttermilk and egg mixture over baguette slices.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least two hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Remove the casserole dish from the fridge and allow it to warm up for 30 minutes.
- Dust casserole with 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes. Tent the casserole dish with aluminum foil if it begins to burn.
- Serve immediately with maple syrup or any garnish of your choosing.
Here are a few other recipes you might enjoy!
- Blueberry Toast
- Strawberry French Toast
- Hawaiian Roll French Toast
- Fruity Pebble French Toast
- Cinnamon Raisin French Toast
- Chili Cheese Toast
- Custard French Toast
Arielle is a food and drink photographer based in Washington, D.C. She was previously a social science researcher before she fell in love with photography.