Easy Cinnamon French Toast Sticks

from 11 votes

This Easy Cinnamon French Toast Sticks recipe has been a reader favorite for over a decade! Thick-cut slices of Texas toast soaked in a cinnamon-vanilla custard, then cooked to golden perfection. Dip and dunk in warm maple syrup for the ultimate breakfast.

Several cinnamon French toast sticks on a white plate with fresh raspberries and blueberries all being drizzled with warm maple syrup.

If you peek your head around these parts, you’ll notice I have a strong affinity for custard-soaked carbs, specifically of the French toast variety. You’ve got your banana bread French Toast, your festively flavored egg nog French toast, and last but not least, your Nutella stuffed French toast. Today, we’re adding one more to the mix with Easy Cinnamon French Toast Sticks.

So what makes these buttery batons tasty enough to steer clear of the drive-through breakfast menu? None other than a simple cinnamon-vanilla custard that lends the characteristic eggy coating.

But slices of bread were so last year. It’s about time you forget the forks and take a walk on the slender side with finger-friendly French toast sticks. All that’s missing from this breakfast party is a few fresh berry buoys and a warm maple syrup plunge pool. Dip. Dunk. Repeat.

Ingredients

French toast is a beloved classic that’s surprisingly simple to make, requiring just a handful of ingredients. But here’s the secret: every ingredient choice plays a crucial role in crafting the perfect bite. So, don’t underestimate their impact! Follow my tips and ingredient swaps below:

Batons of Texas toast on a cutting board next to various sizes of glass bowls containing three eggs, vanilla extract, butter, sugar, ground cinnamon and heavy cream.
  • Bread: Thick-cut bread with sturdy crusts is essential for this recipe, as the crusts help the sticks hold their shape. If you don’t have Texas toast on hand, you can use any thick-sliced bread like brioche or challah for similar results.
  • Eggs: Serve as the binding agent for the custard, helping to create that rich and creamy texture we love.
  • Heavy cream: You can technically use any liquid to make French toast, though milk is the most popular. I prefer to use heavy cream or whole milk, but half-and-half works, too. I don’t recommend using fat-free or reduced-fat milk because these varieties lack the necessary fat content that gives the batter extra richness, creating that ideal texture we love about this breakfast favorite.
  • Cinnamon: Sprinkle it generously for that extra touch of cinnamon goodness that will have you coming back for seconds (and thirds!).
  • Sugar: Adds a hint of sweetness to the custard, balancing out the flavors and enhancing the overall deliciousness. Tip: White, brown or even coconut sugar can be used to infuse its own unique flavor.
  • Vanilla extract: A tablespoon of pure or homemade vanilla extract provides a subtle yet essential flavor boost, rounding out the sweetness and adding depth to the egg mixture.
  • Butter: I am Team Butter when it comes to cooking French toast. It’s what gives that classic rich, golden exterior, plus adds a deliciously buttery flavor. You can use oil instead, but keep in mind that the type of oil you choose may impart a slightly different flavor to the French toast sticks. If you decide to use oil, choose a neutral-flavored one with a high smoke point to prevent it from burning during the frying process.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Pro Tip: Day-old bread that’s slightly dried out works best for French toast since it will soak up the most custard.

How to Make Cinnamon French Toast Sticks

  1. Cut the bread. Aim for similar-sized slices to ensure even cooking.
  2. Make the custard mixture. For extra flavor, let the custard mixture sit for a few minutes to allow the cinnamon and vanilla to fully infuse.
  3. Coat the bread sticks. Dip each piece of bread in the egg mixture, turning to coat it on all sides so that it’s well-saturated with the custard. Shake off any excess custard before transferring the bread to a plate or baking dish.
  1. Cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Each side typically takes about 2-3 minutes to cook. Be patient and allow each side to cook until golden brown before flipping to ensure a crisp exterior and fully cooked interior.
  2. Serve immediately with warm maple syrup. These really are best enjoyed fresh off the griddle!

I like to serve these alongside a fresh fruit salad and crispy hash browns for a family-friendly breakfast spread.

Kelly’s Tips

  • Allow the bread sticks to soak in the custard mixture for a few seconds on each side. This ensures that they absorb enough of the mixture for a flavorful and moist interior.
  • Make sure your frying pan or griddle is hot before adding the French toast sticks. This helps them cook evenly and prevents sticking.
  • Resist the temptation to overcrowd the pan. Instead, cook in batches. This prevents the temperature from dropping too much, ensuring each stick cooks evenly and to perfection.
  • Give these the churro treatment by gently rolling them in a cinnamon sugar mixture immediately after cooking.

How do you keep French toast warm for a crowd?

Preparing to serve a crowd of hungry holiday guests or hosting a brunch with friends? Here’s how to keep your cinnamon French toast sticks warm:

Preheat your oven to 200°F. As each batch finishes cooking on the stovetop, transfer them to a baking sheet topped with a wire rack (this helps to avoid any sogginess). Arrange the sticks in a single layer and place the baking sheet in the oven for up to 20-30 minutes, ensuring they stay warm and delicious. Be sure to periodically check them to avoid overcooking or drying out.

Storing and Freezing

  • Refrigerate: Once completely cooled, store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. You can layer them between parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  • Freeze: After cooking and once cooled completely, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the sticks are frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container, removing as much air as possible before sealing. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 1-2 months.
  • Reheat: For single servings, I recommend using a toaster oven or air fryer for the best results. While a microwave works in a pinch, it can make the sticks soggy. If reheating several at a time, arrange the frozen sticks in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through and crisp.

Common Questions

How to keep French Toast from being too soggy?

To avoid soggy French toast, make sure your pan is at a high enough heat so that you get a quick sear on the outside of the bread. This will guarantee a nice crispness while maintaining a soft (but not soggy!) center.

Can I use dairy-free milk?

Yes, you can absolutely use dairy-free milk as a substitute. Just keep in mind that different types of dairy-free milk may have slightly different flavors and consistencies, which can subtly alter the taste and texture of your French toast.

What type of bread is best for French toast sticks?

Thick-cut bread like Texas toast or brioche works best for French toast sticks due to their sturdy texture, which holds up well to soaking and frying.

Can I make the custard mixture ahead of time?

Yes, you can definitely make the custard mixture ahead of time. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Give it a stir before dipping the bread sticks when you’re ready to cook.

A pile of French toast sticks on a plate being drizzled with maple syrup.

Best French Toast Recipes

And for all those joining in my French toast frenzy, don’t miss additional top-rated recipes.

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Breakfast

Easy Cinnamon French Toast Sticks

Skip the forks in favor of your fingers with this family-friendly recipe for Easy Cinnamon French Toast Sticks.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.91 from 11 votes
Several cinnamon French toast sticks on a white plate with fresh raspberries and blueberries all being drizzled with warm maple syrup.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 8 slices thick-cut Texas toast (See Kelly’s Notes)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Unsalted butter, for cooking
  • Maple syrup, for serving

Instructions 

  • Cut each slice of Texas toast into four sticks. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla. Dip each piece of bread in the egg mixture, turning to coat it on all sides so that it’s well-saturated with the custard.
  • Shake off any excess and place the coated bread on a large plate or baking dish. Repeat the dipping process with the remaining pieces of bread.
  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted, place several of the coated sticks in a single layer in the pan. (Do not overcrowd the pan.) Cook until golden brown on one side then flip and continue cooking until the sticks are golden brown and slightly crisped on all edges.
  • Serve immediately with maple syrup for dipping.

Kelly’s Notes

  • Day-old bread that’s slightly dried out works best for French toast since it will soak up the most custard.
  • Thick-cut bread with sturdy crusts is essential for this recipe, as the crusts help the sticks hold their shape. If you prefer regular French toast, skip slicing the Texas toast into sticks or use a crusty French baguette sliced into 1-inch-thick rounds.
  • Freeze: After cooking and once cooled completely, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the sticks are frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container, removing as much air as possible before sealing. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 1-2 months.
  • Reheat: For single servings, I recommend using a toaster oven or air fryer for the best results. While a microwave works in a pinch, it can make the sticks soggy. If reheating several at a time, arrange the frozen sticks in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through and crisp.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition

Calories: 382kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 163mg, Sodium: 336mg, Potassium: 70mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 740IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 51mg, Iron: 8.6mg

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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I was missing a few things, I subsided cinnamon with cloves, the syrup with honey, and added some banana slices to the top. It was great, thank you for sharing the recipe. P.S. If you’re okay with getting your fingers sticky and have topped your French toast sticks with fruit, you can wrap the fruit in the French toast, it’s so good!

    1. 5 stars
      We’ve been making these for years and love them!! It’s a great recipe and my 8 year old son makes them for us now! Thank you! :)

      1. LOVE reading this, April! I’m thrilled your family has been enjoying the recipe for 8 YEARS! :)

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