Inspired by pain au chocolat pastries, this Chocolate French Toast is tender, flakey, and full of chocolate flavor in every bite. Topped with dark chocolate and almond slices, it’s decadent, satisfying, and perfect for breakfast or dessert!
Have you ever had pain au chocolat? Flakey, crispy, buttery, and chocolatey, they’re to die for! Honestly, they might be our favorite treat. One bite transports our tastebuds to a French bakery. While we prefer to buy the delicate treats from our local bakery, we can’t help but infuse their flavor into our favorite recipes like this Chocolate French Toast!
It’s made the same way as classic French toast using milk and eggs to create a custard coating. However, instead of using slices of bread, we actually use pain au chocolat pastries as the base of the recipe. Then, we took it one step further with dark chocolate chips and sliced almonds for a truly decadent treat!
Easy to make, it’s guaranteed to become a hit and is perfect for weekend brunches, crowd-pleasing desserts, holiday gatherings, and every occasion in between.
What’s In Chocolate French Toast?
While the concept for this Chocolate French Toast recipe is the same as any other French Toast recipe, the ingredients might not be exactly what you expect. Here’s what you need:
- Pain Au Chocolat – These can be found in the bakery section of most local grocery stores. Make sure they’re slightly stale!
- Whole Milk – We highly recommend sticking with whole milk over other varieties as it will yield the creamiest texture and richest taste.
- Heavy Cream – When combined with the milk, heavy cream transforms the egg custard into a velvety consistency that’s decadent in flavor.
- Dark Chocolate Chips – These are melted and used in the custard as well as sprinkled on top so you’re guaranteed to get a taste of bold chocolate in every bite.
- Egg Yolks – Used to set the custard while enhancing its decadent quality.
- Granulated Sugar – Helps reduce the bitterness of the dark chocolate for a sweet, well-rounded taste.
- Sliced Almonds – Sprinkled on top, these add the perfect crunch to offset the soft texture of the rest of the dish.
- Vanilla Extract – Used to enhance the rest of the ingredients.
How to Make Chocolate French Toast
This easy recipe comes together just as easily as the French toast you grew up eating! The hardest part is waiting for it to set.
- Melt the Chocolate. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the heavy cream just until hot. You do not want it to be boiling! Then, stir in ¾ cup of chocolate chips, and let the mixture stand for 2 minutes. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the ingredients are well combined.
- Create the Egg Custard. Add the whole milk, egg yolks, and vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture. Whisk to combine.
- Arrange the Pain Au Chocolat. Slice the pastries in half length-wise. Arrange them facing up in a large buttered oval baking dish.
- Soak. Pour the egg custard over the pain au chocolat. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- Bake. Top the mixture with chocolate chips and almonds. Then, cover it again, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil, and continue to bake for 20 minutes or until the chocolate is melted, the pain au chocolat is crisp, and the custard is set.
- Cool. Let the Chocolate French Toast cool slightly, add a dusting of powdered sugar, and dig in!
As long as you’ve got an egg custard, French toast is pretty hard to mess up. So, feel free to experiment with this Chocolate French Toast recipe to make it suit your needs. For example, some easy swaps and variations include:
- Using Bread – If you can’t find pain au chocolat, thick pieces of bread work just as well. Or, use croissant dough, and roll chocolate pieces up inside.
- Adding Fruit – For a restaurant-inspired recipe, sprinkle fruit like sliced bananas, raspberries, or strawberries on top of the dish either before or after baking.
- Opting for Milk Chocolate – If you’re not a fan of the deep, bold flavor of dark chocolate, simply swap it out with your favorite milk chocolate instead.
We love to serve our Chocolate French Toast with a heavy dusting of powdered sugar to make it extra sweet! Or, other topping ideas include whipped cream, peanut butter, fresh fruit, or even ice cream.
Additionally, if you want to serve it as part of a complete breakfast spread, try pairing it with more savory options such as:
Common Questions About Chocolate French Toast
Yes! We recommend making your Chocolate French Toast at least 12 hours in advance, but it can be kept covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours before baking.
Yes, to freeze, let your French toast come to room temperature. Then, transfer it to an airtight container, and freeze it for up to 3 months. To eat, let it thaw in the fridge completely, warm it in the oven, and enjoy!
Yes, if you can find gluten-free pain au chocolat, they would work great. Or, just swap them out for your favorite gluten-free bread or croissants instead.
The key to preventing soggy French toast is to allow the custard to be absorbed by the pain au chocolat. For the best results, make sure your croissants are slightly stale, and be sure to let them soak overnight. In addition, you want the egg wash to cover the croissants but not so much so that they are drowning in liquid. If this happens, simply pour the excess off.
More Indulgent French Toast Recipes
Looking for more unique ways to enjoy French toast? Try out more of our recipes below!
- Cannoli Baked French Toast
- Nutella Stuffed Croissant French Toast
- Churro French Toast
- Baklava Baked Challah French Toast
Chocolate French Toast
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2 3/4 cups dark chocolate chips (divided)
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 3 egg yolks (room temperature)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 10 pain au chocolat (sliced in half)
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- Optional: powdered sugar for serving
- Butter a large buttered baking dish. Set aside.
- Heat the heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute or just until. It should not be boiling!
- Add ¾ cup dark chocolate chips. Let stand for 2 minutes. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the ingredients are well-combined.
- Add the whole milk, egg yolks, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Slice the pain au chocolat in half lengthwise. Place the pieces face up in the prepared baking dish.
- Pour the chocolate custard evenly on top.
- Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Top the croissants with the remaining chocolate chips and almonds.
- Cover with aluminum foil, and bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue to bake 20 minutes or until the custard is set.
- Cool for 15 minutes, dust powdered sugar on top, if desired, and serve warm!
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.