There’s no better or more fun way to serve French toast than this Pull Apart French Toast Bake. Not only is this french toast incredibly easy, it’s also better than any other. Soft, buttery, and slightly sweet challah or brioche bread, soaked in a vanilla and cinnamon egg custard. The bread is cut into a crosshatch pattern to create cubes you can easily pull apart and enjoy! Serve just as you would any other french toast, with lots of cream, berries, and maple. It’s the perfect (make ahead) brunch entrée.
You know Mother’s Day must be right around the corner if I’m sharing a sweet breakfast recipe instead of something chocolate. While my mom loves chocolate (as we all know), she’s also a huge breakfast kind of girl. Actually, she really loves breakfast for lunch.
French toast, a dutch baby, pancakes, waffles…she loves them all. So every year when Mother’s Day rolls around I love to share a new recipe inspired by my mom!
This year’s French toast recipe is a favorite for sure. It’s unique, super easy to make, and most importantly so delicious.
Way back in the day I shared a recipe for cranberry brie pull apart bread. And when I say back in the day, it was 2016, which feels like forever ago (I can’t believe that HBH is going to be 10 years old soon!).
That bread has been one of my most popular recipes to date, especially around the holidays. It’s popular for a combination of things. First, it’s easy, and we all need easy. Second, it’s different. Slicing up bread this way isn’t all that common, so it feels like a fresh and exciting way to serve a pull apart style bread.
And third, it’s totally delicious!
I figured the same method could be applied to a baked french toast. The moment I had the idea, I knew I had to make it.
The bread is key here. You want to use a loaf of challah or brioche bread, something soft and eggy. A loaf of sourdough will work too, but the flavor changes a little. And I always find a softer, sweeter loaf of bread to be so much more delicious for French toast.
Use a bread knife to slice the bread into thick slices horizontally, then vertically, to create large cubes of bread. Now the KEY is not to slice all the way through the bread. You want to leave a half-inch on the bottom of the loaf completely intact so that the loaf doesn’t fall apart on you.
It’s easy to do and pretty fun as well.
The custard is a simple mix of eggs, egg yolks, cream, cinnamon, orange liquor, and vanilla. I highly recommend using the orange liquor as it adds that touch of special flavor.
Pour the batter over the bread and use your fingers to very gently pull the bread apart to allow the batter to sink down into the bread. Then, I take cold slices of butter and place them in between the cubes of bread. They’ll melt down into the bread as it bakes.
Once the french toast has been assembled, you can bake it right away or place it in the fridge overnight. This is great if you want to have breakfast already prepped and ready for baking in the morning!
The final thing I like to do is to brush the top of the bread with the reserved egg whites. You don’t have to do this, but it gives the loaf a nice glisten.
Oh, and then a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar too, which in my book is a must. The french toast itself is not sweet, but a little cinnamon sugar on top goes a long delicious way.
Serve dolloped with whipped cream and plenty of berries, plus real maple syrup. Pull it apart and have fun eating.
The French toast is eggy and custard-like. And with a little maple on top, it will have everyone coming back for more. It’s pretty darn near perfect.
Looking for a few other Mother’s Day brunch recipes? Here are my mom’s favorites.
Lastly, if you make this Pull Apart French Toast Bake be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Pull Apart French Toast Bake
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- 1 large loaf challah or brioche bread
- 2 whole eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy cream or canned coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons cold butter, sliced into thin slices
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- whipped cream and berries, for serving
- 1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. 2. Slice the bread horizontally and vertically to create 1 inch cubes, being careful not to slice all the way through the bread (see above photo). Place in a 9×13 inch baking dish. 3. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks (reserve the whites), cream, Grand Marnier, vanilla, melted butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Slowly pour the batter over the bread, using your fingers to gently pull the bread apart to allow the batter to sink in. Spoon any batter from the baking dish, back over the bread until the bread has soaked up most of the batter. Don't stress if you don't use it all. 4. Line a baking dish with parchment and place the bread into the dish. Insert the butter slices in between the cubes of bread. Brush the top of the bread with the reserved egg whites. In a bowl, mix the sugar and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the bread. 5. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the French toast is golden and crisp. If the top of the bread begins to brown too quickly, cover with foil. Serve warm with cream, berries, and maple syrup.