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Baklava French Toast

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The absolute best mashup, this Baklava Brioche French Toast is topped with cinnamon sugar and chopped nuts for a decadent breakfast or indulgent dessert you’ll love. Baked in the oven, it’s ready in 25 minutes and leaves your house smelling incredible! 

overhead image of baklava brioche french toast topped with nuts and cinnamon sugar in a white baking dish

What Is Baklava? 

Baklava is a popular nut-filled dessert in the Middle East, Turkey, and Greece. Bursting with sweet flavor, it consists of buttery, flaky layers of phyllo (also known as filo) dough that have been sweetened with honey or simple syrup. Every region has its own spin on what nuts and spices are included, but they’re all incredible!

For instance, we prefer to make baklava using walnuts. However, some people use pistachios, and others use a combination of both! In addition, some regions add flavors such as rose water (maward) or orange blossom to the sweetener. This creates a light floral taste, but we prefer simpler flavors! 

overhead image of pieces of brioche bread in a white baking dish

Ingredients You’ll Need

You might be surprised to find that the ingredient list isn’t all that different from standard french toast. You see, although baklava looks extremely intricate, it’s actually quite easy to make! So, replicating the flavors only requires a few extra items. 

  • Brioche – Thick, fluffy, and so tasty, brioche replaces the layers of phyllo dough forming the base of this french toast. 
  • Eggs – Used to add protein and healthy fats, eggs are crucial to forming the custard mixture and locking moisture into the bread.
  • Whole Milk and Heavy Cream – Rich and smooth, these are combined with the eggs for the most flavorful custard dip ever. 
  • Sugar – Regular granulated sugar is used to add an extra level of sweetness replicating the classic taste of baklava. 
  • Vanilla – A pantry staple, vanilla elevates the rest of the ingredients in this brioche french toast.
  • Nuts – We walnuts or pistachios, but feel free to use whatever nuts you like best! Just be sure to add a pinch of salt if your nuts aren’t already salted. 
  • Cinnamon – A warm spice, this helps enhance the baklava taste and prevents your french toast from being too cloyingly sweet. 
  • Honey – Sticky and sweet, this is the final touch that takes your french toast to the next level, finalizing the baklava taste. Or, if you don’t have honey on hand, maple syrup can be used, too. 

pieces of brioche bread layered in a white baking dish with a woman's hand pouring a cinnamon sugar and nut mixture on top

What Makes Brioche Different from Other Bread? 

Used for french toast, sandwiches, burgers, and more, it’s no secret that Brioche bread is incredible. However, if you’re like us, you’re probably wondering what exactly makes it so much better than regular sandwich bread. 

The truth is, Brioche is considered to be a type of Viennoiserie which is just a fancy word for a type of bread that is sweeter than average. This is because Brioche is made with enriched yeast dough, more eggs, and more butter than standard bread loaves. Then, it is leavened twice. As a result, it is tender, light, thick, and extra fluffy! It also has a much sweeter taste making it perfect for french toast. 

pieces of brioche bread topped with cinnamon sugar and chopped nuts with two hands pouring a creamy custard mix on top

How to Make this Brioche French Toast Recipe

Take a look at an overview of the instructions below to learn how we created an extra crispy and out-of-this-world flavor. Then, be sure to scroll to the recipe card below to learn all the details! 

  1. Whisk the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until a smooth, creamy texture is formed. 
  2. Pulse the nuts, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor. 
  3. Layer half of the Brioche in a buttered baking pan, and sprinkle the nut mixture on top. Repeat the layers until all of the ingredients have been used. 
  4. Pour the custard on top of the bread, ensuring everything is well-coated.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. Bake covered in the oven for 20 minutes. Then, uncover the dish, and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  7. Drizzle with honey, and serve warm!

unbaked baklava brioche french toast in a white baking dish

How do I Keep My French Toast from Becoming Soggy? 

The secret to creating the best Brioche french toast you’ll ever taste is to have slightly crisp bread. To prevent it from becoming soggy, first, make sure that most of the egg mixture is absorbed before baking. If not, let your bread soak a bit longer. Or, drain some of the mixture off. 

Or, try lightly toasting your bread before assembling your french toast! You’ll want it to just be slightly golden, not fully cooked. Otherwise, it won’t absorb the egg mixture at all. 

Can I Make Baklava French Toast Ahead of Time? 

Yes! In fact, we recommended it. Prepping the night before will allow the bread plenty of time to soak, creating the most amazing flavor when it’s baked in the morning. However, you can also bake your Brioche french toast, and store it for later. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 2 months. Just make sure you’re leftovers are kept in an airtight container or sealable bag! 

Reheating

When you’re ready to eat, the best way to reheat your french toast is using the oven. However, you can also use the microwave or skillet. It’s important to note that frozen french toast will take a few extra minutes to cook, but will still turn out crispy and delicious! 

baked baklava brioche french toast in a white baking dish with a small bowl of honey on the side

Can I Make this Recipe Dairy-Free?

Yes! Just swap out the milk and cream for coconut milk and coconut cream instead.

Serving Suggestions

This dish is filling enough to be served on its own. However, if you want to create a full spread, try pairing it with other breakfast options like: 

baked baklava brioche french toast topped with chopped walnuts, pistachios, and honey on a white plate

More French Toast Recipes

Looking for more french toast recipes the family will love? Try some of these great options! 

a plate of baklava french toast with honey being drizzled on top

Baklava Brioche French Toast Recipe

Food Dolls
Sweet, nutty, and so delicious, this Baklava Brioche French Toast turns your favorite dessert into a decadent breakfast you'll love!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 55 mins
Course Breakfast, brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American, arab food, middle eastern
Servings 8
Calories 336 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 loaf Brioche bread
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk or milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon high-quality vanilla extract

Nut Mixture

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • honey for drizzle

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl whisk eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract.
  • In a food processor pulse walnuts, pistachios, sugar, and cinnamon until fine pieces are formed.
  • Butter a 12x8 oval baking dish. Slice Brioche loaf in half.
  • Stagger the Brioche in the baking dish. Sprinkle 1/2 of the nut mixture on top. Add the rest of the Brioche followed by the remaining nut mixture.
  • Pour the custard on top of the bread, coating evenly. Cover with foil, and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • With the foil still on, bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, and continue to bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or golden-brown on top.
  • Serve with a drizzle of honey.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 316mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword baklava bake, baklava french toast, baklava recipe, breakfast bake, breakfast casserole, brunch recipe, make ahead breakfast, sweet breakfast
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