French Toast Cake will make all of your brunch dreams come true! This gorgeous layer cake is equally at home on the breakfast or dessert table. Dress it up or dress it down—no matter how you serve it, you’ll be craving it all the time!
Calling all French toast lovers!
If you’re a brunch food fan like me, you’ve probably been on a life-long hunt for newer and better morning recipes. Perfect pancakes, winning waffles, majestic muffins…there’s no breakfast or brunch food I’d turn away from the table.
But my favorite of the carb-based breakfasts has got to be French toast. For something so easy, it sure tastes amazing, even in its simplest form. And when you get start to get a little fancy? Oh baby!
The Ultimate French Toast Cake Recipe
Given my intense love of a big plate of French toast, I decided to make a show-stopping French Toast Cake that features:
- Moist yellow cake shaped like bread slices
- Prepared French toast style (dipped in custard and caramelized)
- French toast-flavored buttercream (with cinnamon and maple flavors)
- Lots of fresh berries
- Powdered sugar
- Maple syrup
- Whipped cream
I went with some really traditional French toast toppings for my cake, including fresh berries, maple syrup, and whipped cream. I considered more “cakey” toppings like a ganache drip or buttercream rosettes, but in the end I wanted to keep things classic and a bit rustic.
Keeping the toppings simple allowed the flavors of the cake and buttercream to really shine. The cake is a simple yellow cake, chosen because it’s sturdy enough to hold up to the French toasting (that’s a technical term) but still soft and moist, not dry or dense.
The French toast process infused each cake layer with flavor, moisture, and the best part—a crunchy, caramelized sugar shell! I LOVED taking a bite of the final layer cake and getting a bit of that caramelized texture on the outside of the layers.
And finally, the buttercream, has lots of extra goodies like cinnamon, vanilla extract, and a touch of maple extract, to really make it taste like breakfast in a bowl! You are gonna wanna eat this buttercream with a spoon!
How to Make A French Toast Cake:
There are full instructions down below, but here are the basics for making this cake:
1. Bake your vanilla cake layers. I had a very cute bread-shaped silicone mold, so I decided to use that. It’s adorable but not necessary! Especially since the shape is barely seen in the finished product anyhow. I’d recommend using 8-inch square cake pans if you’re not a weirdo like me with a bread slice-shaped cake pan. 😉 You should have 6 thin cake layers total.
2. Whip up a quick custard from eggs and milk (or your favorite creamer). Whisk well.
3. Brush the tops of each cake layer with the custard mixture. Don’t dunk the layers—they’re too delicate for that. Use a pastry brush instead!
4. Once they’re moist, sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar to get that caramelization going.
5. Cook the layers on a buttered nonstick skillet. While the first side is cooking, brush the second side with the custard and sprinkle with the sugar. Once both sides have cooked, let them cool COMPLETELY before assembling the cake!
6. Make the buttercream. It can also be made several days in advance!
7. Assembly is easy, because this cake is all about casual imprecision. Put your first cake layer on your serving tray and spread frosting on top. Add the second cake layer at a slight angle, and continue to layer cake and frosting until all are stacked together.
8. Add the toppings of your choice: fresh berries, powdered sugar, maple syrup, and/or whipped cream are all delicious on this cake! The syrup does soak in and make it soft quickly, so if you want it to last a few days, let people top their individual slices with syrup instead of dousing the whole cake with it.
If this seems like it might be too much sugar for your typical breakfast or brunch fare, just think of it like a naked cake instead—a naked cake with a cinnamon, maple-y, autumnal, caramelized sugar twist. No matter how you serve it or what you call it, this one is sure to become a new favorite recipe!
🥞More brunch-worthy desserts!
- Crème Brûlée Donuts
- Mascarpone Rhubarb Stuffed French Toast
- Apple Cider Fritters
- Fruit Pizza
- Hazelnut Orange Chocolate Scones
- Cinnamon Syrup
- Cinnamon Bun Bread Pudding
Nutella Croissant Bread Pudding
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cake
Leave a Review!
If you make this recipe, let us know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on the recipe below, and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram @elabau, or use #sugarhero on IG!
French Toast Cake
For the Cake:
For the French toasting process:
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup milk, or heavy cream
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
For the Buttercream:
To Decorate and Assemble:
- Fresh berries, assorted variety
- Powdered sugar
- Maple syrup
- Whipped cream
To Make the Cakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 Line six 8-inch square cake pans with parchment, and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Alternately, use two silicone “Cakewich” bread-shaped silicone cake molds.
- Whisk together the sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl, then add approximately a third of the sour cream mixture to the beaten eggs (it doesn’t have to be a precise measurement), and set both aside for now.
- Combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for about a minute to combine the dry ingredients.
- Add the room temperature butter and the remaining sour cream mixture to the large mixing bowl, and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Turn the mixer to medium speed, and mix for a minute and a half. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl very well.
- Now add the egg mixture in three batches, mixing for 20-30 seconds after each addition, and scrape the bottom and sides well after each mixing. Once the batter is done being mixed, again srape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and give the batter a few more stirs to make sure everything is incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the pans.
- If you are using the Cakewich silicone molds: place the cakes on an insulated baking tray (so the bottoms don’t burand bake for 65-75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the tops start to get too dark, place tented foil over the top.
- If you are using the 8-inch square cake pans: bake for 22-25 minutes minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then gently turn them out and let them cool completely before assembly.
To Make the French Toast:
- Prepare the cakes: If you have made the thicker cakewiches, thinly slice off the tops and bottoms so that the cakes are flat and the white interior is revealed. Cut each cake into 3 thin layers, so you have 6 layers total. If you have made 6 square cakes, slice off the tops and bottoms so the cakes are flat and the white interior is revealed.
- Whisk the eggs and milk together. Use a pastry brush to brush the top of each cake layer with the egg mixture, and sprinkle sugar on top. Heat a nonstick skillet to medium heat, and melt a pat of butter in the skillet. Place a cake layer, sugar side-down in the butter, and cook until golden brown and the sugar is caramelized.
- While the cake layer is cooking, brush the exposed side with more egg, and sprinkle with sugar. Very carefully and gently flip the cake layer over and cook on the second side. Repeat, adding more butter as necessary, until all of the layers are cooked. Cool completely before assembling.
To Make the Buttercream:
- Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until creamy and light in color. Add the powdered sugar, 6 TBSP of milk, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple extract, and mix well, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too stiff for your liking, slowly stream in the remaining 2 TBSP milk, a bit at a time, until you get a texture you like.
To Decorate and Serve:
- Place a cake layer on your serving plate, and top with a generous ¾ cup frosting. Spread almost all the way out to the edge. Top with a second layer, slightly offsetting it from the first, the way a stack of French toast is often haphazardly stacked on top of each other. Continue to layer the cake slices and frosting until all of the cakes are stacked.
- Top the cake with the fresh berries on top and scattered on the serving plate and peeking out from in between the cake layers. Finish with the toppings of your choice, like powdered sugar, whipped cream, and/or maple syrup. This cake can be kept, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for several days—just don’t add the syrup or whipped cream until shortly before you’re ready to serve. For the best taste and texture, serve at room temperature.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.
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