Secret Recipe Club: Sugar Crusted Vanilla French Toast

Sugar Crusted Vanilla French Toast

by Holly on June 13, 2011

Time flies when you are having fun. It also flies by when you are scrambling to finish out a school year amidst baseball season and various doctor appointments. I can’t believe it is time again already for another installment of the Secret Recipe Club!

This month I was given a fellow Ph=the ‘F’ sound food blogger in Wendy over at La Phemme Phoodie. Clearly, we have tasted in common.

It didn’t stop with the name though, and I have to admit I’m a bit jealous of Wendy’s gluten-free and healthy eating attitudes. I struggle to eat healthy and mainly try to see how much sugar I can survive on… plus some caffeine thrown in. My friends refer to it as my ‘self-medicating’. I’m ok with that.

I was still snagged on one recipe in particular on Wendy’s blog that was different than other similar recipes I have made. I think that my love of all things French Toast has been sufficiently documented here on the blog. That said, there is always room for one more.

What struck me as different about Wendy’s recipe for Bourbon Vanilla French Toast Casserole was the fact that the sugar is made into a caramel-y syrup and poured over the custard soaked bread just before baking. Again, clearly, we have plenty in common since sugar coating most anything I’m going to laughingly refer to as ‘nutrition’ is right up my alley!

I made a half batch with a very crusty baguette and wasn’t disappointed in the amount of crunchy, crusty, vanilla flavored french toast casserole I was treated too. It didn’t really need any further gilding of the lily when it was time to eat, so I just dug in as is, with a little bowl of berries on the side for an extra treat.

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Lisa @ Sweet as Sugar Cookies June 13, 2011 at 2:01 am

Yum, that sugar crust really makes your french toast look sensational.

La Phemme Phoodie June 13, 2011 at 8:03 am

Psyched that you picked my French Toast Casserole! I definitely have a sweet tooth too so you are not alone in the self-medicating department. Oh and I drink way too much caffeine. Lots in common! Your pics look great. They make me want to run into the kitchen and whip up some French Toast for a late breakfast. So great to meet you through the Club!

Dan June 13, 2011 at 8:27 am

What a great way to present a baked French toast! It looks excellent!

Bizzy June 13, 2011 at 11:33 am

This is a fabulous recipe. I love French toast in any form, stuffed, unstuffed, whatever.

sara June 13, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Oooh, this looks so delicious! I love the caramelization you got on the french toast – it looks SO yummy! 🙂

Tessa June 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm

The syrup makes this sound so good! Definitely saving this one!

Fallon June 13, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Looks like something from out a restaurant! Beautiful.

Barb @ Mom's Fridge June 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm

That sugar crust must be the trick…it looks really amazing!

Julie June 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm

What a beautiful Sunday brunch idea!!! Love the idea of a sugar crust.

Lisa-Gourmified June 13, 2011 at 8:04 pm

I’m drooling. Looks soooo good! I, too, love a good french toast. Sadly, the rest of my family doesn’t so I don’t get to make it often. Next time, gimme a call and I’ll help eat it…we’ll sugar coma-it together!

Trisha June 13, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I’ve never made french toast like this … I cant wait to try it!

Katrina June 14, 2011 at 8:12 am

Mmm, that looks like a super treat for breakfast!

Lisa~~ June 14, 2011 at 12:20 pm

This is my first month in The Secret Recipe Club and it’s so much fun! I’m just loving all the new blogs and recipes I’m seeing. This looks wonderful and I’ll have to make this very soon!

Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) June 15, 2011 at 12:28 pm

That looks amazing. I love a good french toast, this one seems perfect 🙂 I mean, caramelised sugar! Nuff said.

Shelby June 16, 2011 at 7:38 pm

The borubony caramel syrup would have me in a heartbeat too! YUM! June 17, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Oh man, I want this for dinner tonight! It was fabulous!

Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy June 17, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Oooh I really want that for breakfast now!

Sarah S July 6, 2011 at 9:55 am

French toast is one of my FAVORITE foods, all time, hands down. And sugar? So a food group in my house! Your food photography is amazing… I have so much to learn!

Margaret July 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Isn’t it fun to find other blogs that fit in with what you do or want. That pudding looks fantastic. I may have to steal, eh, borrow, this one soon. I just joined in on Secret Recipe and had a great time in June. Now, for August…

maria November 17, 2011 at 7:02 am

I can hardly wait to try it,I think I’ll make it our yearly Christmas Brunch!!!!!!!!

Dove November 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm

bookmarking this…

Debbie W November 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm

great recipie, I made it this morning and my family loved it…thanks for sharing

Amber December 9, 2011 at 6:03 pm

This looks amazing! I love french toast but have not ventured into baking it yet. I have always been afraid it would be too soggy, and soggy bread makes me really sick. I think this recipe has changed my mind! Thanks for sharing!

kahy leland December 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm

This looks amazing, going to try it soon, thanks!

Liz Monroe December 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Just finished prepping the bread, I wish it was tomorrow so I can eat this sucker! The egg batter smells incredible, what an awesome Chistmas morning breakfast!!! Can’t wait to try it!

Lauren Kimmell March 10, 2012 at 10:34 am

I just made this French toast and it was REALLY good but the bottom part of my toast was soggy… What did I do wrong?! Cause the taste is very good just a bit soggy.

Holly March 10, 2012 at 11:24 am

Hi Lauren! I’m glad you tried this recipe. It’s difficult to pinpoint what could have gone wrong, but your description of the bottom being soggy could be accurate of a kind of bread pudding texture, which is what this recipe basically is. If it was too soggy for you though (or by soggy you mean there was uncooked egg?) then next time I suggest using a bigger pan so that the slices are spaced further apart and you end up with more of a crusty layer and less of the bread pudding layer. Other things can factor in are the accuracy of your oven temperature. You can get a small thermometer that sits in your oven to check that out (but you may already know that too). The best thing I can tell you when looking at baking times and temperatures is to pay most attention to the description of how the dish should look – in this case, go for a very puffy, no jiggly and golden brown end result. The puff will deflate when it’s cooling. I hope that helped!

Maureen April 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Hi! We made this to enjoy for Easter breakfast this morning and it was really YUMMY! (I found this on pinterest btw). We will definitely be making this one again and again! Thank you for posting it!!

Jane Cooley June 8, 2012 at 7:57 am

Oh my word, this looks good enough to enduce a fit of the vapors as we say down here. May I rewpost in my blog with the proper credit and Mr. Linky..and then the usual discussion I have with mee, my hips and a love of all things food-ish ?

Waving from Houston.


Dannielle B. June 28, 2012 at 6:03 pm

I made this for Christmas morning after seeing it pinned on Pinterest….all I can say is between me, hubby and my hungry 3 year old it was ALL gone!!!! LOVE IT!!

Brenda July 4, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Instead of slices could you just cut it into cubes like a regular bread pudding?

Holly July 4, 2012 at 11:20 pm

You sure can! I have actually done it that way since the original post too – more sugar crusted surface area = more better in my book! 😉

Jade July 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm

This looks awesome – thanks for sharing!

Kamane July 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Quick question. Is there something other than corn syrup that you can use? Thanks!

Holly July 21, 2012 at 7:13 am

There is another syrup called golden syrup made from cane sugar, or you could use pure maple syrup or honey or agave may also work.

Khan August 15, 2012 at 7:04 am

Made this for my husband’s coworkers and was gone in seconds. The best French toast they (and myself) ever had. Thank you so much!!!

Holly October 14, 2012 at 9:06 am

I made this this morning for my roommates and me…it was a HUGE hit! The boys have said it was the best French toast they’ve ever had, and that’s a big compliment coming from this group of guys! I will DEFINITELY be making this again! Thanks for the recipe!

Vedda Peters November 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm

What is the oven temperature to bake this? I can’t wait to try it!

Holly November 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Hi Vedda! Sorry for any confusion. If you read under the directions for the next morning the oven temperature is there at 350 degrees F. Since the dish is prepared the night before I had to put the baking information halfway through the recipe, which can be a bit confusing. Good luck!


Kathleen December 2, 2012 at 8:21 pm

It’s nice to see people’s posts about how the recipe came out. Just saying it looks fabulous doesn’t help much. I will definitely make it.

Rebecca December 12, 2012 at 10:35 am

Mines came out a little soggy but very good. I used regular bread slices should have used another type of bread.

John@ The Bread Makers July 3, 2013 at 9:34 pm

This recipe looks really good. I can’t wait it give it a try.

ada July 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm

OMG!!! I made these, this past wekeend for my bff that was in town to visit! WE LOOOOOOOOOOOVED THEM I cant begin to tell you how much we loved them they are awesome RUN RUN and do them!

heather rae July 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I made a slight variation of this tonight (because I didn’t prepare well!), & it still came out amazing so I just wanted to say thank you! Especially from an unskilled home cook who often burns things on top of the stove, lol. I do much much better in the oven, although I have burned things there too, lol. So here were my mistakes, but the recipe is so good it still came out so good! I only marinated the bread for an hour, & used cream instead of heavy cream (would have helping to write down a shopping list, but that would have required intelligence lol!). I didn’t have any corn syrup so I just melted the butter & brown sugar & used lots of vanilla extract (more vanilla is always better). And I used challah bread. It was so thick I had to make a double batch of the egg mixture just to get the bread soaked well.

Now, I can’t wait to try it your way without the mistakes & see how much better it will be the second time around! Just wanted you to know I tried it very imperfectly & it was so good! Thank you! 😉

Holly July 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Sounds to me like you did pretty darn well Heather! I’m glad you loved it! Thanks for the feedback!

Anjali November 10, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Just came across this recipe….good site you have…will try this one for sure…do visit my space too.

Uke November 27, 2013 at 7:01 am

This recipe has become a hit. On big holiday mornings or brunch gatherings I’ll make it and it’ll end up gone faster than anything else. I haven’t had a complaint yet.

Aryn December 17, 2013 at 10:14 am

I just have a questions because this sounds INCREDIBLE!! Do you take the toast out of the dish and lay them on a cookie sheet to cook in the oven? Or do you cook it in the pan you have it over night?

Holly December 20, 2013 at 7:51 am

Hi! It actually sits in the pan overnight so the bread absorbs egg mixture then is baked in the morning according to the directions or until it is golden and well puffed throughout.

Robin December 22, 2013 at 9:56 am

Love this recipe! I’ve made it several times and it’s always a huge hit. Making it for Christmas breakfast this week. Thanks for sharing!

Selma March 9, 2014 at 9:02 am

Im going to do this recipe next weekend to a family reunion breakfast.
Can’t wait.

Shannon @ Living Life Cajun Style May 29, 2014 at 8:36 pm

I love French toast. I have never had a baked one. The topping on this one makes me want to try it soon!

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