Smitten Kitchen’s Cinnamon Toast French Toast

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Last week, I came home from the library with The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, a book that came highly recommended by a friend. These days, my day job keeps me well stocked in cookbooks, so when it comes to purchasing one myself, I like to test it out first. Based on a blog, this cookbook is wonderfully visual, and it lays flat (which I love in a cookbook). My first recipe to try was its Cinnamon Toast French Toast, and to put it simply, it was a winner!


  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • about 1-pound loaf white sandwich bread (I used 12 slices)
  • butter or margarine (to spread)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Maple syrup and strawberries (for serving)


My no. 2 reason for loving this reason (no. 1 being how delicious it turned out) is the fact that I can make most of it ahead of time. The night before I made the cinnamon toast.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Place the slices of bread in a single layer on 2 parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Spread butter on the top  of each slice of bread, and sprinkle with a spoonful of cinnamon-sugar mixture. Toast the trays of bread, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove for oven, and let cool.

Generously butter a 9- x 13-inch backing dish. Arrange the bread in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.

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The next morning, I let the pan come up to room temperature as I whisked together the milk, eggs, salt and vanilla in a medium bowl. I then poured it evenly over the cinnamon toast and let it sit for 15 minutes (to give the bread time to absorb the custard).

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Next, bake for 30 minutes, until golden and egg mixture looks firm. Cut into squares and serve.

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For garnishes, I went with something simple: sliced strawberries and warm syrup. I set out extra cinnamon-sugar, but I don’t think anyone went for it. (The recipe has enough sugar as it is.)

The same weekend, I tried a recipe for Brownie Roll-Out Cookies that turned out equally delicious. So long story shot, the book is in my Amazon shopping cart (just wanting to qualify for free shipping)!