top of page
  • taspencer

Cinnamon Crunch French Toast Sticks

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Because nostalgia tastes like cinnamon sugar.

Cinnamon crunch French Toast sticks on a white plate with a bowl of strawberry jam.

Cinnamon toast: whole wheat sandwich bread toasted until crisp, slathered with butter, and showered with spiced sugar. Strawberry jam: freshly picked berries boiled down with sugar into a thick, ruby spread: perfect for layering over any carb that presented itself.


When I was six, these were my two favorite breakfast foods. 25 years later, I’ve combined them into a new brunch favorite.


Cinnamon crunch French Toast sticks on a blue-rimmed plate with a bowl of strawberry jam in the background.

Crisp, buttery, and dusted with cinnamon sugar, these cinnamon crunch French toast sticks hit every note. They’re everything I want on a lazy weekend morning- and with that jam dipping sauce, they can easily become a playful addition to your next brunch buffet. Maybe it’s obvious, but they delight adults and children alike.


Unlike the cinnamon toast of my childhood I do NOT recommend pre-sliced sandwich bread for these French toast sticks. An enriched bread such as brioche or challah always makes the best French toast, and in order to get the right thickness, it’s best to buy a whole loaf and slice it yourself. If you want perfectly rectangular sticks, you can trim off the crusts and square off the slices before you cut them in thirds, and while uniform pieces will soak and cook more evenly, this step isn’t completely necessary.

A bowl of strawberry jam on a white plate with cinnamon crunch French toast sticks.

A baking rack set over a baking sheet will be your best friend while you’re making these—whether you’re cooking for a crowd or not. All the French toast sticks should cool for just 30 seconds on the rack before being rolled in cinnamon sugar. Once they’re coated, they should go back onto the rack, and then, if you have more many more batches to make, you can pop the whole set-up into a 200 degree oven to stay warm while you make the rest.


One last note for all the French toast purists out there. Yes, you can absolutely 86 the strawberry jam and just stick with the traditional maple syrup. But I hope you won’t. Whether it’s slathered on cinnamon French toast or eaten straight out of the jar, freshly made strawberry jam is one of life’s greatest little pleasures—and it’s not to be missed.


Enjoy!

 

Cinnamon Crunch French Toast Sticks

(Makes 12 sticks and 1 cup jam)


Cinnamon crunch French Toast sticks on a white plate with a bowl of strawberry jam.

For the strawberry jam dipping sauce:


1 lb. strawberries, chopped, divided

½ cup sugar

1 tsp. lemon zest

¼ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt


For the cinnamon crunch French toast sticks:


2 large eggs

2/3 cup whole milk

½ cup plus 1 tbsp. granulated sugar, divided

1 tbsp. plus ½ tsp. ground cinnamon, divided

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

½ tsp. kosher salt

4 (1”) slices brioche

2 tsp. unsalted butter, divided

2 tsp. neutral oil, divided


Special equipment: small saucepot, two large wide bowls (or pie plates), sheet pan with rack (optional)


Method


Strawberries, sugar, and lemon zest in a pot.

For the strawberry jam dipping sauce:


In a medium saucepot, stir together diced strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and cook until the strawberries have released their juices, 4-5 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mixture has thickened to a jammy texture, 5-6 minutes more.


Remove from heat and let cool, then store in an airtight container.



For the cinnamon crunch French toast sticks:


In a large, wide bowl, whisk eggs to blend. Add milk, 1 tbsp. granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, vanilla, and salt, and whisk until combined (some larger flecks of cinnamon are all right). In another wide bowl, stir together remaining ½ cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.


Trim brioche into even rectangular slices with a sharp knife. Cut each piece into 3 long pieces.

Cinnamon crunch French toast sticks in a dish of cinnamon sugar.

Add 6 brioche pieces to egg mixture in a single layer and let soak until bottom half of bread is saturated, about 15 seconds. Flip onto other side and let soak 15 seconds longer.


Meanwhile, in a large nonstick pan, heat 1 teaspoon butter and 1 teaspoon oil over medium just until butter starts to bubble. Add soaked brioche to pan and cook until golden brown and crisp on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side.


Transfer French toast sticks to a baking rack to drain and cool for 30 seconds, then immediately transfer bowl with cinnamon sugar and toss to coat. Return to reserved rack. Repeat with remaining butter, oil, and brioche.


Serve with strawberry jam dipping sauce.


Cinnamon crunch French Toast sticks on a white plate with a bowl of strawberry jam with one stick dipped into it.

Originally published May 27, 2023.



Recent Posts

See All

Comentários


bottom of page