When the weather is cold and bleak outside, let this Christmas French Vanilla French Toast warm your spirit. The perfect meal to make with your kids (and their cousins!) this twist on French toast is colorful, festive, and fun—not to mention decadent and delicious.
A rich challah is soaked in a creamy vanilla custard, fried, and topped with French vanilla ice cream and Christmas sprinkles. This recipe is for both kids and kids at heart. You’ll have fun tossing sprinkles around, making a festive mess, and eating ice cream with breakfast.
Christmas French Vanilla French Toast is sweet, eggy, and creamy. I think a warm cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk would pair well, but whatever you choose, try not to choose something too sweet. Fruits that pair well with vanilla, like sliced banana or pitted cherries, would be a nice side dish to this French toast.
The key to this recipe is to make sure that you use good quality bread that is a few days old. To get the French vanilla flavor from your toast, you really need an enriched loaf. I used leftover challah here, but brioche is also readily available at the supermarket and will give you a lovely rich flavor and fluffy texture.
What You Need to Make Christmas French Vanilla French Toast
This recipe calls for many ingredients you probably already have around the house for your Christmas baking. You will need eggs, milk, sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, and red and green sprinkles.
You’ll also need challah or brioche, and French vanilla ice cream. Regular vanilla ice cream is ok if you cannot find French vanilla, but you won’t get the same eggy, rich flavor.
You can also substitute vanilla beans or vanilla flavor for vanilla extract, but be careful with vanilla extract. It can overpower your custard mix and leave an artificial flavor.
- Large Eggs
- Whole Milk
- Challah (or Brioche)
- French Vanilla Ice Cream
For equipment, you’ll need a shallow baking dish, a non-stick frying pan, one bowl, and an ice cream scoop or large spoon. Use a large enough frying pan to fry two slices of bread at a time. If you crowd your pan by using too small of a pan or trying to fry too many slices of bread at once, the toast will not brown properly.
How To Make Christmas French Vanilla French Toast
Make the French toast: Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, salt, and sugar until smooth.
Soak the challah in the custard for 8-10 minutes per side, allowing the bread to soak up the mixture.
Heat 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a non-stick pan and fry slices of bread until golden brown, 4-5 minutes per side.
Assemble the French toast: Plate your French toast with 1-2 pieces of toast.
Top with a scoop of ice cream and then decorate with festive sprinkles. Eat immediately before the ice cream melts!
French vanilla is a very classic and clean flavor that is delicious particularly when the weather turns cold. But its flavors can also be transformed into other types of festive tastes. If you’re not making this for kids, try adding a splash of bourbon or rum with a pinch of cinnamon to your custard mix for an eggnog twist on this recipe.
French vanilla ice cream enhances the custards’ flavors—so things that are milky and eggy are going to be your best bet. If you don’t want to use ice cream, you can use French vanilla frozen yogurt, French vanilla buttercream, or a crème anglaise (vanilla sauce).
Christmas French Vanilla French Toast
- 8 slices challah cut into ½ inch slices, stale
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 to 4 tbsp butter
- 2 to 3 cups French vanilla ice cream
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of kosher salt
- Whisk together 3 large eggs, 2 cups whole milk, ½ cup granulated sugar, a pinch of salt, and ¼ teaspoon vanilla in a bowl.
- Place the custard mixture in a shallow baking dish and soak the slices of bread for 8-10 minutes per side.
- While the bread is soaking, melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a non-stick skillet on medium heat.
- Once the butter has melted, fry the slices of bread until golden brown, around 4-5 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining slices.
- Plate the toast and top with a generous scoop of French vanilla ice cream.
- Decorate with green and red sprinkles. Serve immediately.
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