French Toast Waffles

published May 6, 2023
French Toast Waffles Recipe

A breakfast mash-up made with French toast slices cooked in a waffle iron instead of a skillet.

Serves4 to 6

Makes10 waffles

Prep20 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 45 minutes

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French toast waffles served.
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

Between Dutch babies, muffins, crêpes, pancakes, and cinnamon rolls, there are more lazy weekend breakfast foods to look forward to than there are days to enjoy them. Instead of choosing between my two favorites, waffles and French toast, I mash them up to create the ultimate brunch experience: French toast waffles! 

With French toast waffles, thick slices of bread are soaked in an orange and vanilla-flavored custard and cooked in a waffle iron. You get the fluffy, eggy bites of French toast and that signature checkerboard pattern that waffles are known for, which are perfect for catching puddles of melted butter. Topped with fresh orange segments, raspberries, and a drizzle of maple syrup, it’s breakfast’s best mash-up.

What Are French Toast Waffles?

A breakfast mash-up made with French toast slices cooked in a waffle iron instead of a skillet.

What Is the Best Bread for French Toast Waffles?

Brioche and challah breads are my favorites for French toast waffles. These loaves have a soft crust and a close crumb without a lot of large holes. The sweet, eggy custard soaks evenly into every part of the slice. Rustic breads with large holes simply can’t hold onto the custard and mass-market sandwich breads fall apart easily. 

What Ingredients Do You Need to Make French Toast Waffles?

  • Challah or brioche bread
  • Orange zest
  • Whole milk, 2% milk, heavy cream, or a combination
  • Eggs
  • Light brown sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt
  • Unsalted butter
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

How Do You Make French Toast Waffles?

  1. Bake slices of bread until dry (or start with day-old bread).
  2. Make the custard.
  3. Heat waffle iron.
  4. Soak bread in custard.
  5. Cook French toast slices on the waffle iron.

What Is the Best Way to Serve French Toast Waffles?

All French toast waffles really need is softened butter and maple syrup, but it’s easy to make a simple fruit topping that takes it over the top. Stir together fresh orange segments, raspberries, maple syrup, and a splash of vanilla extract to spoon over the French toast waffles.

Can You Freeze French Toast Waffles?

Yes! Arrange cooled French toast waffles on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer. Once completely frozen, transfer to a zip-top freezer bag or airtight container for up to 1 month. 

French Toast Waffles Recipe

A breakfast mash-up made with French toast slices cooked in a waffle iron instead of a skillet.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 45 minutes

Makes 10 waffles

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the French toast:

  • 1 (about 1-pound) loaf

    unsliced challah or brioche bread

  • 1

    medium orange

  • 2 cups

    whole milk, 2% milk, heavy cream, half and half, or a combination

  • 8

    large eggs

  • 1/4 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, plus more for serving

  • Maple syrup, for serving

For the raspberry-orange topping (optional):

  • 1 cup

    fresh raspberries

  • 1 tablespoon

    maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • Pinch kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F.

  2. Cut 1 loaf challah or brioche bread crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices (about 10 slices). Fit a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Place the bread in a single layer on the rack. Bake, flipping halfway through, until dry to the touch on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes. (Alternatively, instead of baking, place the sliced bread on a wire rack fitted over a rimmed baking sheet and let dry out at room temperature overnight.)

  3. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium orange until you have 1 tablespoon and place in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Add 2 cups whole milk, 2% milk, heavy cream, or a combination, 8 large eggs, 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk until fully combined with no streaks of egg remaining.

  4. Make the topping (optional): If desired, cut the zested orange into segments and place in a small bowl. Squeeze the juice from the orange’s membrane into the bowl (about 1 tablespoon). Add 1 cup fresh raspberries, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir to combine.

  5. Add half of the bread slices in a single layer into the custard. Soak, flipping once, until saturated, 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Return to the wire rack and repeat with the remaining bread slices.

  6. Heat a waffle iron to medium-high heat according to manufacturer’s instructions. Place 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on HIGH until melted, 20 to 45 seconds. Brush the melted butter on the top and bottom of the waffle iron to lightly coat. Add as many pieces of soaked bread as your waffle iron will allow in a single layer, leaving at least 1/4-inch space between each slice. Close the iron and cook until puffed, golden brown and no more steam is released, 3 to 5 minutes.

  7. Remove the French toast waffles to a second baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Cook with the remaining slices of bread, brushing the waffle iron with butter before each batch. Serve warm with butter, maple syrup, and raspberry-orange topping.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet then transfer to a freezer zip-top bag for up to 1 month. Reheat from frozen in a toaster oven.