crunchy french toast recipe on a plate with berries

Crunchy French Toast Recipe

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I love making this crunchy french toast recipe because of its incredible texture contrast, with a fluffy, brioche center and a crispy, cereal exterior. It’s so easy to make and perfect for spoiling Mom with this Mother’s Day!

How to make crunchy French toast

As much as classic pain perdu is delightful, there’s no denying that the crunchy exterior on this version is absolutely irresistible.

While French toast is meant to be fluffy and soft when you cut into it, I’m in the camp that likes a crisp finish on the outside. If you’re doing French toast the traditional way, this means a good fry in a hot skillet with some butter.

And still, you won’t get an exterior quite as crispy as this one.

corn flakes on yellow plastic bowl

To make this ultra crunchy French toast recipe, you’ll need some good ol’ fashioned corn flakes cereal. If you’ve ever made fried chicken using corn flakes, then this won’t be much of a surprise for you.

The corn flakes work in a similar fashion here, akin to bread crumbs or other similar ingredients used to make a crispy finish on food.

The good thing about this French toast recipe is that it doesn’t require anything more than a simple extra step of rolling the corn flakes in a ziplock bag to slightly break them up, then dipping the bread in the corn flakes.

This one step will help you avoid soggy French toast and create a super crunchy French toast recipe that will have you swooning!

crunchy french toast on a plate

Tips for making this recipe:

While this is a pretty simple recipe, I always like to share my “chef tips” to ensure you get the most out of the dish:

  • I highly recommend adding the orange zest and spices listed in the recipe ingredients, even though I’ve marked them as optional. You can certainly make this recipe without them, but they’re just going to make this French toast so dreamy.
  • When you’re rolling out the corn flakes in the ziplock bag, be gentle so that you’re just breaking them into half the size they were rather than crushing them into a powder. You want the crunchy texture so you want to avoid creating a powder from the cereal.
  • Keep the heat on medium-low to low while keeping an eye on the toast as it cooks in the pan so that your cereal exterior doesn’t burn. You want the exterior deeply golden, but not burnt!

If you’re looking to add some kind of egg dish to your breakfast table too, check out my recipes for a classic quiche lorraine, a crustless quiche, or some baked eggs!

crunchy french toast recipe on a plate with berries

Crunchy French Toast Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A crunchy, cereal exterior with a fluffy, brioche center makes for an irresistible French toast with the perfect contrast in textures!


  • 4 slices of brioche
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup whole milk, half n half, or heavy cream
  • 1 tsp orange zest (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 2-3 cups corn flakes
  • Unsalted butter for the pan
  • Maple syrup and/or fresh berries and powdered sugar to garnish


  1. Pour the corn flakes into a large ziplock bag, then seal shut. Use a rolling pin to gently hammer and roll out the cereal until it's half the size of the original flakes. You do not want to crush the cereal into a powder; you just want to break the flakes up in half so they adhere better to the toast. Pour the crushed cereal into a plate or large, shallow bowl.
  2. In another large, shallow bowl or container, whisk the eggs, milk/cream/half-n-half, orange zest (optional) vanilla extract, sugar, and spices (optional). Temporarily set aside.
  3. Melt about 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Dip a slice of brioche in the egg batter, then place it on top of the cereal. Gently press the toast into the cereal before flipping the toast over and pressing the other side in the cereal. Scoop cereal with your hands and press into the toast in any empty spots where the cereal didn't adhere to at first.
  4. Place the cereal-covered toast into the pan and cook each side until golden. Be sure to keep the heat on medium-low or low (depending on how hot your stove gets) and frequently check the toast to make sure the cereal doesn't burn. While it will take longer for your French toast to cook compared to the non-cereal crusted version, it's important that you don't raise the heat in an effort to cook it faster. The cereal can burn really easily so keep the heat low and steady.
  5. Serve the crusted brioche with maple syrup and fresh berries; dust with powdered sugar.


While you may be tempted to stack the toast or cut it in a diagonal and overlap the toast for a nicer presentation, I recommend that you do not do this as the heat of the toast will make the cereal soggy.

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