Secret Ingredient French Toast Recipe

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French Toast is a sliced thick, chunky bread dipped in a creamy egg, milk and cinnamon mixture with a secret ingredient that will take this French toast over the top! A little slice of heaven on your plate! 

Breakfast is better with French toast! If you love French toast as much I do try this Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole, Creme Brûlée French Toast or Almond Crusted French Toast with Roasted Strawberry Syrup.

French toast covered with berries, sprinkled with powdered sugar and syrup.

Secret Ingredient French Toast Recipe

You can never go wrong with the best french toast recipe!

To make this the best of the best you have to have the secret ingredient that is often left out.

My hubby learned in France to put vanilla in his French toast and it has been our secret ingredient ever since!

Such a small and simple ingredient can change this French toast recipe to the ultimate and best French toast recipe.

It is a little slice of heaven when everything is sliced, mixed, covered and cooked all to perfection!

Where did French toast originate?

Surprisingly, French toast is not from France. Historians say French toast is originally from a Roman recipe.

It is thought that the roman recipe soaked the bread in milk and then fried it .

In France they call French toast Pain Perdu. It means lost bread.

They take stale bread that is dipped and then cooked.

Since it is not known to be French and no one really knows how French toast got its name, I think we can all say we are just happy to have a good French toast recipe.

What you need to make the best French toast

Very basic and simple ingredient with one ingredient that stands out and makes this French toast recipe the best French toast recipe!

Vanilla is the key and secret ingredient that will make your French toast stand out and have that extra added flavor you will instantly love.

This tried and true recipe is simple and easy to make. Your family will be thanking you every time you make it!

  • Eggs: this coats the bread and gives it a crisp crust when cooked.
  • Milk: makes a creamy coating over the bread when mixed with eggs.
  • Cinnamon: gives it that comforting flavor.
  • Vanilla: the secret ingredient that will take this French toast recipe to the top!
  • Butter: greases up the griddle or pan that will be cooking the French toast.
  • Bread: thick Texas toast or French bread sliced to your preference.

Optional Toppings: 

  • Fresh berries: blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or raspberries is my favorite combination.
  • Powdered sugar: a little sweetness sprinkled over top.
  • Syrup: a sugary syrup that softens the bread and adds the perfect touch.

Whisking the egg mixture together

How to make French toast

Simple ingredients that lead to a simple French toast recipe!

Don’t let these simple ingredients fool you though! You are making one of the best French toast recipes!

Especially with the secret ingredient that will change your French toast and take it to the next level.

This tried and true French toast recipe is one of a kind and tastes even better when made fresh!

  • Whisk together ingredients: In a medium size bowl add eggs and milk and whisk together until smooth. Add in the cinnamon and vanilla and whisk.
  • Prepare skillet or griddle: Preheat the skillet to medium and add the butter.
  • Cook French toast: Once the butter has melted and pan is hot, add the French toast and fry until golden brown. Repeat on the other side.
  • Top and serve warm: Top with your favorite toppings, fresh berries, powdered sugar, and syrup and enjoy!

Best bread for French toast

There is a variety of breads that will work well with this French toast recipe.

You can use a simple bread that you have in the pantry or find a thick, rich bread and slice it.

I prefer a thick, dense bread that is sliced thick and can be soaked a few seconds longer and has a thicker crust.

The best French toast starts with the bread. Having a good quality bread is key!

  • Sandwich bread: this is thin and will do if you are in a hurry. Usually this is my last option.
  • Texas toast: another go-to recipe that works well and has a thicker bread over sandwich bread.
  • Brioche: this is a soft and thick bread that will hold its shaped and won’t get soggy when dipped in the egg mixture.
  • French bread:  the best French bread is day old bread. This is usually the our choice when making this French toast recipe.
  • Pullman loaf: this is more for cutting into long strips of French toast. This is fun for kids to dip their French toast by grabbing it with their hands.
  • Challah: this is known as a jewish bread. It has a buttery flavor and looks like a long braid. this bread is thick and will not get soggy.
  • Baguette: it is a thick and hard crust that can soak up a lot of the mixture and cook very nicely. Slice it as thick as you would like and it enjoy!
  • Sourdough bread: yes, it does have a tart taste but it is so good when dipped in the egg mixture and cooked.
  • Cinnamon raisin bread: this is my kids favorite! It has a fun twist to French toast and tastes delicious!

Toppings for French toast

There are so many options to make the best French toast.

Simple to extreme toppings can be added or just left off for a basic, delicious French toast with berries.

However you top your French toast just know the next time can be made with the next set up toppings that you love!

You will be making this French toast recipe over and over again with this special ingredient!

    • Syrup: maple, coconut, buttermilk, huckleberry or apricot syrup.
    • Sauces: nutella, caramel sauce, peanut butter or cookie butter.
    • Fruit: peaches, bananas or orange zest.
    • Nuts: chopped pecans, walnuts or pistachios.
    • Jam: peach, apricot, strawberry or huckleberry jam.
    • Chocolate: chocolate chips, mint chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips.
    • Extras: butter, whipped cream, sprinkles, powdered sugar or shredded coconut.

Dipping your French toast in your egg mixture

Tips to making French toast

This simple French toast recipe is very easy to make and will be a favorite in your home.

The bread is the most important part. Finding a good bread will make all the difference.

Next, the secret ingredient! Vanilla has that overall flavoring that makes this the best French toast.

Cook to perfection with a little butter to crisp the edges and have a soft center.

  • Find bread that is thick or can be sliced thicker.
  • When cooking the time may vary depending on the thickness of the bread.
  • I like to use whole milk but half and half or heavy cream can be substituted.
  • Let the bread lay in the egg mixture and soak in the bread. Flip and do the same on both sides.
  • If you are wanting strips of French toast sticks, I like to first cook the French toast and then cut them into strips. You can always do it before too.
  • Continue to butter your skillet or griddle as you are making your French toast. This will help from sticking and burning to the pan.

Making the best French toast

Cooking times will vary depending on the bread and thickness of the bread.

A sandwich bread will cook up quicker compared to a thick, sliced French bread.

These tips will help you have the crispy edges with a soft and fluffy center.

  • Soggy french toast: this happens if you let the bread soak too long in the egg mixture. Your bread will tend to fall apart.
  • Egg on the outside of bread: make sure to whisk you egg mixture until it is smooth and creamy looking. This will take a few minutes to do.
  • Undercooked inside/Burnt outside: the griddle or skillet temperature may be too high. Turn down your heat to medium/low and see a difference.
  • Dry French Toast: try soaking your bread a little longer to have it absorb all the bread and cook on low to medium high.

cooking French toast in a skillet on the stove top.

Storing French toast

We love a good, fresh French toast early in the morning for breakfast!

This specialty breakfast is usually made on the weekend but breakfast for dinner is just as great!

Hot, fresh and covered with toppings is just the way we enjoy your French toast recipe!

  • Can you make French toast ahead of time? Yes! for those busy mornings, place your cooked French toast in a ziplock bag or pre-wrap them to warm up quickly. These will last in the refrigerator for about 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for 1 month.
  • Can you soak French toast overnight? Yes! this will make a great casserole for in the morning. Bake your bread in the oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Can you freeze French toast? Yes, cook your French toast then let cool completely. Next, place in a freezer bag, letting out all of the air. You can freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to warm up you do not need to thaw. Just simply cook in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds or reheat on the griddle or skillet.

French toast stacked up with berries and powdered sugar on them.

More delicious French toast recipes

sliced French toast with berries on a plate


French Toast Recipe

5 from 4 votes
French Toast is a sliced thick, chunky bread dipped in a creamy egg, milk and cinnamon mixture with a secret ingredient that will take this French toast over the top! A little slice of heaven on your plate! 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 8 People


  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 8 slices thick bread Texas toast or French bread

Optional toppings:

  • fresh berries
  • powdered sugar
  • syrup


  • In a medium size bowl add eggs and milk and whisk together until smooth. Add in the cinnamon and vanilla and whisk.
  • Preheat the skillet to medium and add the butter. Once the butter has melted and pan is hot, add the French toast and fry until golden brown. Repeat on the other side.
  • Top with your favorite toppings, fresh berries, powdered sugar, and syrup and enjoy!


Serves: 8

Calories150kcal (8%)Carbohydrates15g (5%)Protein6g (12%)Fat7g (11%)Saturated Fat3g (15%)Cholesterol91mg (30%)Sodium210mg (9%)Potassium108mg (3%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar3g (3%)Vitamin A239IU (5%)Calcium78mg (8%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Breakfast, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, French
Keyword Best French Toast Recipe, easy french toast, easy french toast recipe, French toast, french toast recipe, simple french toast recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

French toast sliced with berries and powdered sugar.

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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Leave a reply
  1. The first time I had french toast I was in 7th grade and I never tasted anything so wonderful. I must have had half a loaf of bread. It was love at first bite. Thank you for this great recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    The french-toast-recipe given here seems to me to be unique because I tried the differently many times but I didn’t know the test but the recipe given here is very useful to me and I have seen many such recipes on your website. There are also many unique recipe.

  3. Great breakfast recipes Alyssa! Mouthwatering images! Breakfast is by far my best meal. You’re right about French toast not being from France. It’s named after Joseph French who created the dish way back in 1724.

  4. I used vanilla for years. Then one morning I was in the mood for French Toast but had no milk. I drink my coffee with International Delights Cinnabon Creamer, so decided to give it a try. Now, it’s the only way I make FT.

  5. 5 stars
    I give this 5* but I am 52 years old and have been making french toast this way since I was 7, so vanilla not so secret. Also if you want to take it up another notch add brown sugar to the mix.

  6. I love cooking and eating french toa the trick is use thick bread and don’t soak bread for long s quick dip and cost is fine and make sure you mix the ingredients well otherwise it can look like eggyolk stuck on bread.

  7. I’ve had vanilla in my French toast all my life, nearly 60 years. My mother started using vanilla in French toast as a teenager in the 50s.

    1. 5 stars
      I second that, have always used vanilla. In fact, all the ingredients listed is what I use. Must be an old school recipe. Enjoy.

  8. I made this recipe this recipe this past weekend. I used Brioche and it was so delicious!!
    I only made three slices (I halved the recipe) but next time I will make the whole recipe and freeze the rest for during the week!!!

  9. 5 stars
    it’s been years since I made french toast, so thank you for this recipe, I’ve always loved the flavors, and don’t remember whether vanilla was included or not, either way much appreciated

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