Perfect Air Fryer French Toast

published Sep 22, 2021
Air Fryer French Toast Recipe

Air frying French toast guarantees a crispy exterior and an irresistible, evenly cooked interior.

Serves2 to 4

Prep10 minutes to 15 minutes

Cook7 minutes to 20 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Air Fryer French Toast on a dark gray plate, with syrup and butter on top, and strawberries and blueberries on the side, photographed from the top looking down.
Credit: Tara Holland

There are many delicious ways to make French toast, and a variety of sweet and savory toppings and accompaniments to choose from. When I was growing up in London, it was known in my household as “eggy bread,” and our version was definitely on the savory side without a grain of sugar in the custard mixture. It was simply served with a sprinkling of salt and ground white pepper and — please, don’t judge! — a squirt of ketchup on the side. Luckily, my taste is slightly more refined nowadays (most of the time!).

As delicious as regular French toast is, there are a couple of bonuses you get from air frying it. You don’t need to hover over a hot stovetop, and a crispy, evenly cooked exterior is pretty much guaranteed. Plus, once it’s in the fryer, you barely have to think about it. Use this gained time for other breakfast or brunch duties, such as cooking bacon, making coffee, or mixing up a pitcher of mimosas (read: drinking mimosas). Or how about putting your feet up for five minutes of peace. Does anyone do that anymore?

This version has fresh orange zest to brighten the flavor (which you can omit if you’d prefer) and a touch of cinnamon. If you prefer a savory French toast, omit the orange zest, cinnamon, and powdered sugar and pair it with a variety of savory toppings.

You can use most varieties of bread for French toast, but challah and brioche help create the soft, custardy interior. It helps to use the bread you can slice yourself, as you can control the thickness. Ready-sliced bread breaks down a lot quicker in the batter. It also helps if the bread is at least one day old. Stale bread is how the classic pain perdu was created in France, the translation meaning “lost bread”; it’s an ingenious way to use up leftover bread.

Can You Put Parchment Paper in an Air Fryer?

Yes, but it can sometimes cause sogginess from not allowing the air to circulate properly. For a crispier outside, I skip it here.

How Do You Make French Toast Not Soggy?

  • Do not oversoak the bread in the egg custard mixture; once dipped, transfer to a plate.
  • Avoid using thin slices of bread.
  • Make sure you cook at a high heat.
  • Add cornstarch to help thicken the batter and soak up the excess liquid.
  • Limit the amount of liquid (half-and-half or milk) in your batter.
  • Add melted butter to the batter to help crisp the exterior.
Credit: Tara Holland

How to Make Vegan French Toast

You can make French toast completely vegan by omitting the eggs, half-and-half, and butter; substituting oat milk and dairy-free butter; and upping the cornstarch, which will help replace the binding of the eggs. Add ground sesame seeds (ground in a spice grinder) or ground flax seeds for richness and flavor. You will also need a more robust bread like sourdough or peasant bread.

Air Fryer French Toast Recipe

Air frying French toast guarantees a crispy exterior and an irresistible, evenly cooked interior.

Prep time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Cook time 7 minutes to 20 minutes

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1

    small orange

  • 2 tablespoons

    cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons

    powdered sugar, plus more for serving

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • Pinch of salt

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 2/3 cup

    half-and-half

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 4

    thick slices challah or brioche bread (about 1-inch thick)

  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Add 4 tablespoons unsalted butter to a medium ramekin and place in your air fryer basket. Heat air fryer to 400°F. Allow butter to melt for 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully remove ramekin using oven mitts (it’ll be very hot), and set aside to allow the butter to cool for a few minutes. Alternatively, melt butter in the microwave in 30-second intervals.

  2. Meanwhile, finely grate the zest of 1 small orange until you have 2 teaspoons zest.

  3. In a medium shallow bowl (large enough to fit 4 slices of bread), whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of kosher salt.

  4. Crack 4 large eggs into the bowl and beat the dry ingredients into the beaten eggs, using the whisk to scrape any powder from the edges. Whisk in 2/3 cup half-and-half, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, the orange zest, and the melted butter.

  5. Lightly coat the air fryer basket with cooking spray. If your basket is not big enough to hold 4 slices of bread in a single layer, dip 2 slices in the egg mixture, soaking both sides. If your basket is bigger, work with all 4 slices at a time. Shake off any excess mixture and add to the air fryer basket.

  6. Cook for 4 minutes. Flip toasts and cook until golden and crispy on both sides, 3 to 6 minutes more. If necessary, tent 2 slices cooked French toast with foil to keep warm, then dip remaining 2 slices of bread and repeat cooking process.

  7. Using a fine-mesh strainer, dust powdered sugar on top of French toast. Serve immediately with desired toppings.

Recipe Notes

General tips: Don’t let the bread soak too long in the egg custard mixture — doing so can break down the bread. Store-bought, pre-sliced brioche is especially delicate.

Vegan: Omit the eggs, half-and-half, and butter. To the custard, substitute 2 cups oat milk and 4 tablespoons dairy-free butter, increase the cornstarch to 6 tablespoons and add 4 tablespoons ground sesame seeds or ground flax seeds for richness and flavor. Opt for sturdier slices like sourdough or peasant bread and cook as directed.

Storage: Refrigerate leftover French toast in an airtight container within 2 hours of cooking and store for up to 1 day. Reheat in the air fryer at 400°F for 8 minutes, turning halfway.