Easy Bananas Foster French Toast

published Feb 7, 2023
Bananas Foster French Toast Recipe

This French Toast is the ultimate way to eat dessert for breakfast.

Serves4 to 6

Prep20 minutes

Cook35 minutes to 40 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.
Post Image
Credit: Kelli Foster

Serve bananas Foster French toast for breakfast and everyone around the table will be talking about it for days to come. It’s everything you know and love about bananas Foster, transformed into a decadent French toast (think: thick slices of custard-soaked, fried challah or brioche, and a blanket of rich rum-spiked caramel sauce studded with tender caramelized bananas and crunchy pecans). It’s sweet and edges to the side of indulgent, but stops short of over-the-top.

What Is Bananas Foster French Toast?

Bananas Foster French toast is a mash-up to two totally irresistible crowd-pleasers — challah French toast and bananas Foster — that’s made for the breakfast table.

Thick slices of classic French toast are topped with a velvety caramel sauce inspired by bananas Foster. The sauce is laced with cinnamon and spiked with dark rum, and true to the name includes plenty of soft, extra-sweet caramelized bananas and nutty pecans.

Can I Leave Out the Rum?

You can! The recipe calls for two tablespoons of dark rum, but it’s optional. The rum enhances the flavor of the sauce, although you don’t really taste the alcohol. Should you choose to leave it out, the sauce will still be wonderful.

Tips for Making the Sauce and Caramelized Bananas

  1. Use slightly underripe bananas. These are more firm than ripe bananas and ensure the slices keep their shape. The fruit’s natural sweetness will concentrate as it cooks, so you’ll have a flavorful topping.
  2. Cut the bananas to 1/4-inch thick. This is just the right thickness so the bananas will lose their firmness and soften, without getting mushy.
  3. Stick with brown sugar. Brown sugar gives the sauce a much deeper and richer flavor than granulated white sugar. Light or dark brown sugar will work.
  4. Wait to add the sliced bananas and pecans until the end of cooking. These ingredients don’t need a lot of time on the heat. They’ll both be added in the last two minutes of cooking.
  5. The sauce will thicken as it cools. No need to cook the sauce until it has a thick consistency. Once the sauce is complete, set it aside while you finish the French toast, which gives it time to thicken a little more.

Bananas Foster French Toast Recipe

This French Toast is the ultimate way to eat dessert for breakfast.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes to 40 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the French toast:

  • 1/2 cup

    pecans

  • 1 (1-pound) unsliced loaf

    challah bread or brioche

  • 1 1/2 cups

    whole milk, half-and-half, heavy cream, or any combination

  • 6

    large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons

    maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, divided

For the sauce:

  • 2

    slightly under ripe medium bananas

  • 6 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2/3 cup

    packed dark or light brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/3 cup

    heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons

    dark rum (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

Instructions

Start the French toast:

  1. Place 1/2 cup pecans in a large skillet and cook over medium heat, tossing regularly, until lightly browned and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out any crumbs from the skillet if needed and reserve for the sauce.

  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F. Meanwhile, fit a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Cut 1 loaf challah or brioche crosswise into 3/4-inch thick slices (11 to 12 slices). Place the slices in a single layer on the rack.

  3. Bake, flipping halfway through, until dry to the touch on both sides, about 15 minutes total. Let cool while you make the sauce and custard.

Make the sauce:

  1. Peel and cut 2 slightly under ripe medium bananas crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds.

  2. Melt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter in the reserved skillet over medium heat. Add 2/3 packed cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture is frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/3 cup heavy cream and whisk until the mixture is smooth.

  3. Add the pecans and bananas. Use a flexible spatula to gently toss to coat with the sauce. Cook for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons dark rum if desired and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir gently and cook for 1 minute more. Remove the pan from the heat; the sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.

Finish the French toast:

  1. Place 1 1/2 cups whole milk, heavy cream, or a combination of the two, 6 large eggs, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Whisk until fully combined and no streaks of egg remain.

  2. Add as many slices of bread as can fit in a single layer. Soak, flipping once, until drenched but not falling apart, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Return to the wire rack and repeat with the remaining bread slices.

  3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the foaming subsides and the butter is sizzling but not brown, add 4 of the soaked bread slices. Cook until the bottoms are golden-brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until the second side is browned, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a serving platter or keep warm on a baking sheet in a 200ºF oven.

  4. Repeat cooking the remaining bread slices in two more batches, adding 1 tablespoon of the unsalted butter to the pan and swirling the pan to coat with the melted butter before each batch. Serve topped with the sauce.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover French toast and sauce can be refrigerated in separate airtight containers for up to 4 days.