Got extra buttermilk? Then you need to make this Leftover Buttermilk French Toast! Just swap out your traditional milk or half-and-half with tangy buttermilk for a little kick. This buttermilk French toast is gently spiced with vanilla and cinnamon, but the buttermilk is the real star of the show. Add your favorite toppings, and you have an easy no-waste breakfast!
OK, can we talk about the elephant in the room? And by elephant, I mean that quart of buttermilk you bought, only to use a tiny amount for your favorite recipe. Am I right?
My supermarket used to carry half pints of buttermilk, but those days are gone. So now, I'm always stuck with way too much buttermilk. Then weeks later, in the dreaded corner of the fridge, I find the corpse of my once fresh buttermilk.
Now when I am making a batch of pancakes or my favorite banana bread, I know I can sleep well because I have the ultimate recipe for my leftover buttermilk- French toast! I just swap out milk for buttermilk, and I have another wow breakfast! Bonus- buttermilk adds a bit of tang to the French toast, and it's pretty awesome.
What is French toast?
French toast, also known as "eggy bread," is a popular breakfast dish made from sliced bread soaked in a mixture of beaten eggs and milk, then cooked until golden brown. In this version, we simply use buttermilk in place of the milk to form the eggy custard.
Why this recipe works
- Uses up that leftover buttermilk!
- Easy to make
- Can be made in one bowl (shallow pan)
- Buttermilk makes this French toast extra tender and provides a nice tang
- You can customize the flavors
- Kids and adults will love it
Here is what you will need to make this buttermilk French toast.
- Eggs- Used in combination with the buttermilk to make a custard.
- Buttermilk- Grab that leftover buttermilk! You can use low-fat or full-fat varieties.
- Salt-To balance out the sweetness.
- Vanilla- Use pure vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, or get fancy and use a fresh vanilla bean.
- Cinnamon-Adds a little warm spice.
- Bread- Opt for a nice thick bread (challah, brioche, or Texas toast are great options).
- Butter for cooking
See the recipe card for quantities.
Grab a shallow bowl or baking pan large enough to soak the bread slices. In addition, you will need an electric griddle or non-stick skillet or pan to cook the French toast.
Buttermilk French toast step-by-step
Here are the steps needed to make a successful buttermilk French toast. Full instructions are located in the recipe card.
In a shallow bowl, add the eggs, buttermilk, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Whisk thoroughly to combine.
Dip the bread into the egg mixture, coating both sides. Do not let it get too saturated.
Allow some of the egg mixture to drip off before cooking.
Heat the butter in a non-stick skillet.
When the butter starts to sizzle, add the bread.
Cook until golden brown on one side. Flip and repeat on the other side.
📝Top tip for French toast success
Dip only one slice of bread at a time. That way you can control how saturated the bread gets. Don't forget to allow some of the excess egg mixture to drip off.
Substitutions and variations
- Buttermilk: Although there are numerous substitutions for buttermilk, I wouldn't go out of your way to make one here. The whole point is to use up that pesky leftover buttermilk. If you just want to make a delicious French toast, use milk or half and half in place of the buttermilk.
- Spices: You can customize the spices to suit your taste. Nutmeg, allspice, or even pumpkin pie spice can be used instead of or in addition to the cinnamon.
- Bread- Instead of sliced bread, get creative and use croissants, English muffins or even dinner rolls.
What to serve with French toast
Whether you are team maple syrup or team butter and maple syrup, here are a few more suggestions to make your French toast stand out.
- Maple syrup: This is a classic topping for French toast. Sweet and simple!
- Fresh fruit: Sliced strawberries, blueberries, bananas, raspberries, or any other favorite fruit can be a great addition.
- Whipped cream: A dollop of whipped cream can make your French toast feel more indulgent.
- Powdered sugar: One of my personal favorites.
- Nuts: Chopped nuts like almonds, pecans, or walnuts add some great texture.
- Yogurt: Top with Greek or flavored yogurt.
- Whipped butter: Flavored butter, like my sweet strawberry butter, is a perfect match.
- Compote or jam: Sweet and fruity jam, like this blueberry or strawberry one, is a match made in heaven. Try melting it slightly and pouring it like syrup.
French toast is best eaten right away, but you can store cooked French toast in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, gently warm in the microwave or pan-fry on the stove until warmed through.
To freeze, simply place cooled slices on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, you can remove them to a freezer-safe bag for easier storage. To reheat, place in the oven at 350°F for 8-10 minutes until heated through.
When eggs are added to very cold buttermilk, you may see some curdling or thickening. Be sure to bring your buttermilk to room temperature, so that the eggs will dissolve when whisked.
A couple of things may contribute to soggy French toast. First, choose a good thick bread. Challah, brioche, Texas toast, or a thick white bread work best. If the bread is too thin, it will absorb all the buttermilk and egg custard too soon, causing your French toast to be soggy. Second, make sure you only coat each slice of bread in the buttermilk mixture at a time, allowing the excess to drip off. You want both sides of the bread to be wet, but not saturated.
Looking for French toast pairings?
Try some of my favorites.
🍳Did you make this recipe? I would love to hear about it! Please leave a recipe rating with comment right below the recipe card. If you snapped a photo of your creation, don't forget to tag me on Instagram @brunchandbatter.
Leftover Buttermilk French Toast
- shallow bowl
- non-stick skillet or griddle
- measuring cups and spoons
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon Kosher or fine sea salt
- 8 slices thick bread (brioche, challah, Texas toast)
- 2-4 tablespoon butter for cooking
- additional butter and maple syrup for serving
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.4 large eggs, room temperature, ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon Kosher or fine sea salt
- Take each slice of bread and dip it in the egg mixture, coating both sides. Do not oversaturate. Allow some of the excess liquid to drip off.8 slices thick bread
- In a large non-stick skillet (or griddle), heat the butter over medium heat until sizzling. Add the soaked bread and cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side, for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve warm, with butter and maple syrup if using.2-4 tablespoon butter for cooking, additional butter and maple syrup for serving
- Do not oversaturate the bread. Dip, then coat both sides, allowing the mixture to drip off.
- Dip one slice of bread at a time, so you don't accidentally oversaturate.