Mastering Japanese French Toast: A Step-by-Step Guide to Perfect Breakfast

Imagine starting your day with a dish that’s a delightful twist on a classic breakfast favorite. Japanese French Toast takes the beloved, custardy essence of traditional French toast and elevates it with a touch of Japanese flair. This version is silkier, slightly sweeter, and utterly irresistible, thanks to its unique preparation method that involves soaking the bread in a rich, creamy mixture overnight.

This dish not only captivates with its luxurious texture but also with its fascinating blend of culinary cultures. Originating from the Japanese love for Western-style sweets known as “yoshoku,” Japanese French Toast is a perfect example of how global flavors can harmonize beautifully. Whether you’re looking to impress guests at a brunch or simply want to treat yourself to a decadent breakfast, this recipe promises to deliver a mouthwatering experience.


To create the exquisite Japanese French Toast, you’ll need a selection of quality ingredients that blend beautifully to enhance both textures and flavors.

Bread and Dairy

  • 4 slices of thick-cut white bread or brioche, each about 1 inch thick
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
  • Maple syrup for serving (optional)
  • Butter for frying

Required Tools and Equipment

To create the perfect Japanese French Toast, gathering the right tools and equipment is just as crucial as selecting your ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Whisk or Electric Mixer: This will ensure your milk, cream, eggs, and flavorings are thoroughly combined into a smooth, creamy mixture. An electric mixer can do the job quickly, but a good old-fashioned whisk will also do the trick.
  • Shallow Dish or Bowl: Opt for a dish or bowl that’s wide enough to accommodate the slices of bread. This will be used for soaking the bread slices, allowing each piece to absorb the delicious egg mixture evenly.
  • Non-stick Skillet or Griddle: A good quality non-stick skillet or griddle will allow you to cook your French toast to a perfect golden-brown finish without sticking. This ensures easy flipping and consistent cooking.
  • Spatula: Choose a wide spatula to help flip the French toast safely and intact. A non-metallic spatula is preferable if you’re using a non-stick skillet to avoid scratching the surface.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measurement is key to the success of your dish. Use these to measure out the milk, cream, sugar, and spices precisely.
  • Butter Knife: A simple butter knife is perfect for spreading any toppings like butter, syrups, or spreads onto your cooked French toast.

Ensure each tool is clean and ready to use to make your cooking process as smooth as the creamy mixture that soaks your thick-cut bread. With these tools at hand, you are well on your way to creating a decadent breakfast or brunch that will delight your senses.

Prep Instructions

To start creating your luxurious Japanese French Toast, begin with the custard mixture and bread preparation using your carefully selected ingredients and tools.

Making the Custard Mixture

  1. In a large mixing bowl, crack 4 large eggs.
  2. Add 1 cup of whole milk and 1/2 cup of heavy cream to the eggs to provide richness.
  3. Incorporate 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar to sweeten your toast slightly.
  4. Whisk in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract for a classic, aromatic flavor and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon for a subtle spice.
  5. Beat the mixture thoroughly with your whisk or electric mixer until all ingredients are well combined and the sugar has mostly dissolved, ensuring a smooth, velvety texture in your custard.

Soaking the Bread

  1. Select 4 slices of thick-cut white bread, specifically 1-inch thick, ideally day-old for better absorption and texture.
  2. Dip each slice into the custard mixture you prepared. Allow the bread to soak for about 30 seconds per side, ensuring it’s fully saturated but not falling apart. This soaking step is crucial for achieving that distinctive plush softness inside your toast.
  3. Carefully lift the bread from the custard, letting excess liquid drip off, and transfer to a clean plate. Proceed to the cooking step after all slices have been soaked.

Cooking Directions

Now let’s begin crafting your Japanese French Toast. Follow these steps to ensure each slice is perfectly golden and deliciously aromatic.

Soaking the Bread

Start by laying your thick-cut bread slices in a single layer in a shallow dish. Gently pour the creamy custard mixture over the bread, ensuring that each piece is fully submerged. Allow the bread to soak for at least 20 minutes, though overnight soaking is preferable for deeper flavor infusion. During the soaking process, flip the slices halfway through to ensure an even absorption on both sides.

Frying the French Toast

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and melt a tablespoon of butter until it’s bubbling lightly. Carefully lift the soaked bread slices from the dish and let the excess custard mixture drip off a bit before placing them in the skillet. Fry each slice for about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until each side is a rich, golden brown and the edges have crisp slightly. As you cook, add more butter to the skillet if necessary to keep the surface lubricated and prevent the toast from sticking. Serve warm from the skillet onto plates, topped with a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of syrup if desired.

Serving Suggestions

Elevate your Japanese French Toast experience with delightful toppings and complementary side dishes that enhance the flavors and textures of this luxurious breakfast.


For a sensational finish to your Japanese French Toast, consider these lavish toppings: Drizzle artisanal maple syrup or honey for a touch of natural sweetness. Sprinkle a light dusting of powdered sugar that melts beautifully into the warm toast. For a fruity twist, add fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries, or a dollop of tangy raspberry coulis. If you enjoy a bit of crunch, scatter some toasted almonds or pecans atop. A scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream can transform your breakfast into a sumptuous brunch dessert.

Side Dishes

To balance the richness of the French toast, pair it with lighter side dishes. A citrusy fruit salad with orange slices, kiwi, and pineapple provides a refreshing counterpoint to the creamy toast. For those who prefer a savory edge, consider crispy bacon or a side of gourmet sausages that add the perfect salty bite. A refreshing green tea latte or a cup of robust coffee complements this dish splendidly, rounding out a fulfilling meal.

Make-Ahead Instructions

For those busy mornings or when you have guests overnight, preparing Japanese French Toast in advance can be a lifesaver. This section guides you through the steps to make this succulent breakfast treat ahead of time, ensuring every bite is as delicious as if it were made fresh.

Preparing the Custard Mixture

Start by combining 2 cups of whole milk, 1 cup of heavy cream, 4 large eggs, 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and a dash of cinnamon in a large bowl. Use your whisk to blend these ingredients until the mixture is smooth and the sugar has dissolved completely. This custard is the key to the luxurious texture that sets Japanese French Toast apart.

Soaking the Bread

Once your custard mixture is ready, take your thick-cut slices of white bread—preferably a loaf that’s a day old as it’ll absorb the mixture better—and submerge them into the bowl. Ensure each slice is soaked thoroughly, without disintegrating. If your dish isn’t large enough to soak all slices in one go, do it in batches.

Storing for Overnight Soaking

Transfer the soaked bread slices along with any remaining custard into a shallow dish or a container large enough to hold them in a single layer. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap to ensure no air gets in, which helps maintain the moisture and flavors of the custard within the bread.

Place your prepared dish into the refrigerator and let the bread soak overnight, or for at least 8 hours. This slow soaking process allows the bread to fully absorb the custard, resulting in a richer, more cohesive flavor once cooked.

Ready to Cook

When you’re ready to cook the Japanese French Toast, simply remove the soaked bread slices from the refrigerator. Let them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes while you prepare your skillet or frying pan. This step is crucial as it brings the slices to a temperature that will cook evenly when fried.

Heat your skillet over medium heat and add a knob of butter. Once melted, fry each slice of soaked bread until golden brown and crisp on the outside, for about 3-4 minutes each side. Serve immediately with your choice of toppings.

Following these make-ahead instructions, you can enjoy a sumptuous Japanese French toast breakfast without the morning rush, giving you more time to relish the flavors and less time in the kitchen.


Ready to elevate your breakfast game with a touch of international flair? Give Japanese French Toast a try and experience a delightful blend of cultures right on your plate. With the steps you’ve learned you’re well-equipped to whip up this decadent dish. Enjoy the rich flavors and luxurious texture that come from a night of soaking and a morning of perfect cooking. It’s more than just a meal—it’s a culinary adventure that’s sure to impress. So why not make your next breakfast a little more special?

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