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This decadent Stuffed French Toast is the perfect weekend breakfast! Classic French toast gets a gourmet makeover, with cinnamon-butter bananas and a sweet cream cheese filling.
Luxurious Stuffed French Toast, the Easy Way!
Some time ago, one of my friends in Ottawa (hi Dawn!) emailed me to tell me about the best French toast she’d ever had. Later, remembering that email, I did my best to recreate it.
Want to know the truth? This dish is beyond delicious. Seriously. And usually, I’m not that big on bananas! But it turns out that when you caramelize them, and then pair them with cream cheese and cinnamon, the result is just heavenly.
So make these on your next Saturday or Sunday- or whatever day is good for you to sleep in, relax, and enjoy a decadent breakfast. I take full responsibility for all the calories you will inevitably consume with this meal. You’re welcome!
What’s in This Stuffed French Toast Recipe?
If you are familiar with making French toast, then you’ll see that this recipe is basically French toast with a few tasty ingredients literally sandwiched into the middle. Here’s the list of ingredients in detail:
For the Filling
- Bananas: The bananas should be sliced on the diagonal.
- Butter: For gently sautéing the bananas.
- Brown Sugar: A little bit of brown sugar adds sweetness and warmth to the banana filling.
- Cream Cheese: Soften the cream cheese to room temperature before using.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar lightly sweetens the cream cheese.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract gives the best flavor, but vanilla flavoring also works fine.
- Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon makes this filling sing!
For the French Toast
- Bread: You can use any kind of bread that you like, from challah or brioche breads to simple sandwich bread. Slightly old bread is better than fresh.
- Eggs: Use large, whole eggs. Don’t use egg substitutes here, or the custard will not have the right flavor and texture.
- Milk: Whole or reduced-fat milk is fine, or you could make things a little richer with half and half.
- Vanilla and Cinnamon: Just like in the filling.
- Salt: Just a pinch.
- Butter: For frying.
How to Make It
This recipe involves a couple of steps, but each step is very straightforward. First, you’ll cook the bananas and make the cream cheese mixture, and then you’ll sandwich the ingredients together and lightly fry the sandwiches.
- Make the Banana Filling. Heat up a large skillet over medium-low heat. Melt your butter and brown sugar in the skillet, and then add the sliced bananas. Cook for 5 minutes on each side, allowing the bananas to lightly caramelize. Remove from the heat, and set aside.
- Make the Cream Cheese Filling. Next, mix together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Stir well with a fork or whisk until fully combined.
- Make the Sandwiches. Spread a layer of the cream cheese over all of the slices of bread. Arrange the cooked bananas in a single layer on four of the slices, and then top with another slice of bread to create a sandwich. Repeat, to make 4 sandwiches.
- Make the Custard Mixture and Make French Toast.. In a pie plate or other shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat, and melt one tablespoon of butter in the short. Dip each sandwich briefly in the egg mixture, and immediately place it into the hot pan to cook. Cook for 2 minutes per side, until golden brown.
- Enjoy! Serve your stuffed French toast warm, with butter and syrup.
Why Do You Put Milk in French Toast?
Basically, milk and eggs are the main ingredients in traditional custard recipes, and French toast is all about creamy custard, baked right into the bread as it cooks in the skillet.
On a more technical level, milk adds a creamy flavor and texture, as well as a tiny bit of sweetness, which helps the toast turn golden-brown as it cooks. Yum!
Why Is My French Toast Always Soggy in the Middle?
There are a few reasons why your French toast can turn out soggy. For one thing, your bread may be a little too fresh. If that’s the problem, try drying it out for a few minutes in a 350F oven. Otherwise:
- Avoid Over-Soaking: Soaking the bread too long can ruin the texture of the French Toast, making it soggy.
- Milky Custard: Too much milk in the custard can leave it thin and almost watery. Use the proper ratio of milk to eggs!
- Thin Bread: While you can use any bread you like, I do recommend having it somewhat thick. Thin bread is really easy to waterlog with other ingredients.
Tips for Making the Best French Toast
Every cook has their own tips for making good French toast, and a lot of that is really up to your personal taste. These are my favorite tips for creating perfect, golden-brown slices.
- A Quick Dip: Don’t make the mistake of soaking your slices in the custard mixture for too long, especially if your bread is on the thin side. You want it dipped, not saturated – so that it cooks up nicely without being underdone in the middle.
- Butter and Oil: If you sometimes find that your butter browns and scorches when cooking things like pancakes and French toast, you can add a little vegetable oil (or other mild-flavored, high-heat oil of your choice) to the pan along with the butter. The oil will allow the butter to cook at slightly higher temps without scorching.
- Dietary Considerations: You can make this recipe with lactose-free or dairy-free milk, if you prefer, and lactose-free cream cheese. Gluten-free bread is also fine, particularly if you can find gluten-free bread that’s cut a little on the thick side.
Once you get the hang of this recipe, there are tons of delicious swaps and variations you could try. Here are just a few ideas for inspiration!
- Strawberry Stuffed French Toast: Replace the bananas with strawberries, for a light and spring-like version of this recipe. The strawberries should be thinly sliced and patted dry before using.
- Just Cheese Stuffed French Toast: You can also make this recipe with just the cream cheese mixture. It’s delicious that way. Top with fruit, chocolate shavings, or whatever floats your boat!
- Nutella Stuffed French Toast: For this recipe, you can make half of the cream cheese filling, and spread it on half of the bread slices. Spread a layer of Nutella topping on the other slices. Add the bananas, or omit them – either way, this will be scrumptious!
Scrumptious Serving Suggestions
To serve, I like to add a simple topping like maple syrup or confectioners sugar. You could also make a side dish or two, like these:
- Sausage: This Homemade Breakfast Sausage is made with wholesome ground pork and a selection of tasty spices. It’s savory, flavorful, and perfect with stuffed French toast.
- Eggs: A side of eggs, cooked any way you like ‘em, is always welcome at breakfast – or you could make these nifty Hash Brown Egg Cups. With buttery, crispy hashbrowns and soft scrambled eggs, they’re a breakfast dish everyone will love.
- Fruit: A side of fresh fruit brings tons of color and flavor to the table – along with healthy fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants… you get the idea. Try this healthy Fruit Salad Recipe with lemon-vanilla syrup, for an elegant and beautiful fruit side dish.
How to Store and Reheat Leftover French Toast
Store leftover stuffed French toast in the refrigerator, stored in zip-top bags or an airtight container. It will keep for around 3 days.
To reheat, bake the French toast at 350°F until heated through.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
Sure! You can freeze this French toast for up to three months. Just wrap it in plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer size bag and press out the excess air before sealing and storing. Reheat directly from frozen.
Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast
For the Filling
- In a large skillet heat butter and brown sugar over medium-low heat. Slice bananas on the diagonal and place into hot pan. Cook 5 minutes per side or until bananas have caramelized. Remove from heat.
- Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon together until combined. Spread an even layer of the cream cheese mixture over each slice of bread. Place bananas in a single layer on one slice and top with another slice of bread to create a sandwich. Repeat until there are 4 sandwiches created.
- In a pie plate or other shallow dish, whisk eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt together. Preheat large skillet to medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Dip each sandwich in egg mixture right before placing into the hot pan to cook. Cook 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Serve warm with butter and syrup.