The Best French Toast Ever

French toast is always a breakfast treat but if you’re cooking for more than two or three people, it can take quite a bit of time to dip and fry each slice of bread in turn. That’s where this ultimate french toast recipe from Rosie Reynolds’ The Shortcut Cook comes in, with its transformation into a make-ahead one-dish bake that serves six.

Assemble bread, egg mix and blueberries in a baking dish, leave to sit for a while (or overnight), scatter with bacon and bake in a hot oven. To serve, garnish with a crunchy pecan nut topping and serve hot with maple syrup.

The Best French Toast Ever

Find out more about the cookbook in our full review of The Shortcut Cook.

The Best French Toast Ever

Wow, I love French toast! There is just so much to love – the myriad of different textures in one dish: crisp, soft, fluffy, crunchy. Not to mention the flavours, from sweet to salty. It has it all. What I am not so keen on is all that dipping and flipping. When I make brunch, I want to sit down with my guests and enjoy the food at the same time, not 20 minutes later when everyone else has eaten. This one-dish French toast is perfect for feeding a crowd. It can be made ahead and left to sit overnight in the refrigerator, ready for baking the following day. No separate frying bacon and no extra pan to wash. The smoky bacon-and-pecan-nut topping and the final flourish of cinnamon sugar is just genius – as they cook, the bacon fat flavours the crisp nuts. This would also work on good vanilla ice cream – just saying.
Servings 6 servings
Author Rosie Reynolds


  • butter, for greasing
  • 6 large eggs
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz/scant 1 cup) milk
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz/scant 1 cup) double (heavy) cream
  • 4 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon mixed spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) sourdough loaf (or white bread or brioche), cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) cubes
  • 200 g (7 oz/1⅓ cups) blueberries
  • maple syrup, to serve

For the crunchy topping

  • 90 g (3¼ oz/scant ⅔ cup) smoked bacon lardons, finely chopped
  • handful of pecan nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of mixed spice


Prep 15 minutes, plus 20 minutes or overnight soaking
Cook 30 minutes


  • Grease a 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12 in) baking dish with butter. In a bowl or jug, mix the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla extract, mixed spice and salt. Put half of the bread cubes in the baking dish, and pour over half of the egg mixture, pushing down with your fingers to make sure the bread is soaked. Scatter over half of the blueberries. Cover with the remaining bread cubes, egg mixture and blueberries.
  • Cover the dish with cling film (plastic wrap) and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or even overnight, while the bread soaks.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F/Gas 4.
  • Remove and discard the cling film from the dish. Scatter the chopped bacon over the top and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Mix the rest of the crunchy topping ingredients together, sprinkle over the French toast and return to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until the egg mixture is set and puffy and the nuts are toasty.
  • Serve with maple syrup.

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Kavey Eats received a review copy of The Shortcut Cook by Rosie Reynolds from publisher Hardie Grant. Book photography by Louise Haggar. Our photography by Jack Thomas. 

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