With a golden brown and crispy exterior and a lightly chewy custard-like center, Bagel French Toast is our new favorite variation on the breakfast classic. Easy to make and perfect for breakfast and brunch!
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If you like classic French toast, you are going to love this bagel French toast! Chewy bagels are soaked in a rich and creamy custard-like soak before browning on a skillet for a comforting and delicious breakfast the whole family will love.
Next time you have leftover bagels you are looking to use up or are simply looking to switch up your brunch menu, check out this easy recipe. Simply soak the bagels, heat up the skillet, and in 15 minutes breakfast is served! For more French toast recipes, check out my brioche French toast and healthy French toast.
- Bagels: Choose your favorite variety of bagels. Plain bagels, cinnamon raisin bagels, chocolate chip, cinnamon sugar, egg, or even blueberry bagels would be delicious in this French toast bagel recipe. Use fresh or stale bagels. If using fresh bagels, however, they just may not need to soak in the egg mixture as long.
- Milk: Plant or dairy milk. If using dairy milk, whole milk will provide the best flavor. If using non-dairy milk, coconut milk and oat milk are great picks.
- Eggs: Adds savory flavor and gives the French toast recipe its custardy texture.
- Light Brown Sugar: Provides molasses notes to the recipe.
- Butter: Makes the bagels ultra-rich and also keeps them from sticking to the pan.
- All-Purpose Flour: The secret ingredient for a light and fluffy French toast. All you need is 1 tablespoon of flour to achieve this result.
- Vanilla Extract: For the best flavor, use pure vanilla extract if possible.
- Orange Zest: Or, Meyer lemon zest.
How to Make Bagel French Toast
For the complete recipe and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, light brown sugar, salt, pure vanilla extract, large eggs, all-purpose flour, and orange or lemon zest until combined.
Step 2: One at a time, gently place bagels in the egg mixture and turn to coat. Gently turn them to cover and remove the bagel halves from the mix once they have absorbed the liquids, not letting them soak longer than a minute each.
Step 3: Preheat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray or grease with additional butter. Add a few bagel slices to the pan, spacing them out at least 1 inch apart. Cook the French toast for 1-2 minutes per side, flipping halfway through, or until the bagels are golden brown.
Step 4: Repeat the cooking steps with the remaining bagels, spraying the pan with additional nonstick spray or butter between batches if necessary.
Step 5: Serve the French toast warm with your favorite toppings!
- Mixing Bowl Variation: To make soaking the bagels easier, you can also pour the egg mixture into a baking dish before adding the bagel slices and turning.
- Don't Oversoak the Bagel Slices: Or, turn the bagel halves in the milk and egg mix until just saturated or for less than 1 minute each. Any longer and you risk having mushy and soggy French toast.
- Keep the Cooked French Toast Bagels Warm as You Cook the Rest (Optional): Move the bagels to a heat-safe plate and store them in an oven preheated to 200°F
For a classic brunch, serve the bagels warm with butter, a little maple syrup, and fresh fruit if desired. Add some staying power to this recipe by topping with whipped cream, sliced bananas, nut butter, or even chocolate chips. Serve scrambled eggs, fruit salad, and yogurt, alongside the French toast bagels for a complete breakfast spread.
- Dairy-Free: Opt for non-dairy milk instead of dairy and use vegan butter in place of unsalted butter to make dairy-free french toast.
- Gluten-Free: To make gluten-free French toast, choose gluten-free bagels or thick-cut gluten-free bread and substitute 1-for-1 gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour.
- Refrigeration: Leftover bagels keep covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Freezing: The bagels can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. For the easiest defrosting, freeze the French toast with squares of parchment paper between them. Defrost the toast in the microwave on low heat for 30-45 seconds.
- Reheating: Warm French toast in a toaster oven or Air Fryer preheated to 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.
Tools Needed to Make This Recipe
More Breakfast Recipes
- Vegan Coffee Cake
- Buttermilk Pancakes
- Oat Milk Pancakes
- Brownie Baked Oatmeal
- Sweet Potato & Sausage Frittata
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!