I think French toast might be the perfect breakfast food because it can appeal to any taste buds. You can start the day off sweet, savory or with a little bit of both because there are many ways to customize the popular dish.
Choose a different type of bread, substitute the milk or add spices to the egg batter to enhance the flavor. Of course, I like to use the classic recipe and include different toppings for new flavors.
My preferred method is to see how fruit can combine with the bread and meat to create a unified flavor.
While I have my favorites, like fruit and whipped cream, I’ve experimented with some unique savory options that left me more than satisfied.
From sweet to savory and everything in between, I’ve got a list of the best French toast toppings to impress anyone you’re cooking for at your next brunch.
Fresh fruit is one of the best toppings for French toast because it adds natural sweetness without overdoing it on the sugar.
You might have limited options because of the season, but there’s almost always fresh fruit available.
My favorite fruit topping is any berry or a mix of several. There’s something about the blend of sweet and tart that you only get with berries, but they aren’t always in stores.
Mangos and peaches add a little zip, especially when you add a little cinnamon into the batter before cooking the French toast.
Try bananas with walnuts or a peanut butter drizzle.
Pick apples during the fall and bake them down to serve with raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Some people recommend sprinkling a little powdered sugar over the berries, but it’s not necessary to enjoy the burst of flavor.
Whipped cream is another classic option that incidentally pairs well with fresh fruit.
If you like dipping fruit in whipped cream, this topping is for you. You can even add some variety with chocolate flakes, jimmies, or sprinkles.
Since whipped cream is light and fluffy, it provides depth and texture to the denser French toast. Plus, you get a touch of flavor in every bite without feeling too full.
Try a flavored whipped cream to improve the overall experience. Vanilla and maple are some of my personal favorite French toast toppings because they add subtle pops of flavor.
It’s not easy to bypass this traditional favorite because syrup is a crowd-pleaser.
Choose a classic maple syrup that’s thick, sticky and delicious to sweeten things up, or experiment with flavor-infused options to make for a more memorable dish.
French toast is one time you want to use a quality syrup so you can avoid a soggy meal.
I’d argue that traditional maple syrup is worth the investment for French toast because it’s thicker and only adds a touch of sweetness.
Other syrups tend to be thinner and have artificial aftertastes that take away from the French toast.
Powdered sugar is light, fluffy and sweet, making it an ideal additive for French toast, but it also looks attractive on the lightly browned slices.
You can’t go wrong with powdered sugar, and most people have it in their cupboards at all times.
Further, powdered sugar complements many of the other toppings on this list to create a balanced dish.
If you’re feeling bold, mix powdered sugar with milk or creamer to make a glaze that drizzles beautifully over a stack of French toast. You can even add some spices or vanilla to boost the flavor.
Speaking of perfect foods, bacon has remarkable versatility. Add French toast to the list of foods that pair well with bacon because this savory combo is as balanced as it is delicious.
Use slices of bacon or crumble it across the top as a garnish to pack in some extra flavor.
Create the ultimate sweet and savory blend with maple syrup and bacon (bonus points for using maple-flavored or applewood bacon as a French toast topping). Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and enjoy.
Take things a bit more savory with sliced tomatoes for an alternative take on a BLT. Sun-dried tomatoes and bacon also make a mouthwatering topping combination.
I admit it was a challenge to rank some of these toppings because of my personal feelings for them, and cheese is no exception.
While cheese is a staple in my house, I’m hesitant about using it with French toast.
Cream cheese works for me because it adds texture and flavor. Plus, you can enhance the whole dish with other things, like cinnamon, vanilla or fruit.
Other people like using swiss cheese, mozzarella, brie and feta to create a savory dish. Admittedly, I didn’t love my attempts to blend savory cheeses with my French toast – but they do make a great croque madame sandwich together!
Dress up your French toast platter with some gorgeous eggs. It doesn’t matter how you like your eggs because they all look good sprinkled over lightly browned French toast.
I have to admit that I don’t love eggs on my French toast because it seems a little redundant after using eggs in the mix.
That said, I’ve had plenty of guests compliment the pairing because they like the extra protein and flavor.
Try scrambling your eggs with veggies, spices or bacon to create a colorful and tasty dish. It’s a little more filling, so it can stick with you longer.
Plus, it’s possible to add some extra vegetables as French toast topping for a nutrition boost.
Honey is another interesting French toast topping. While some people add honey to their egg batter, it’s worthwhile to consider it as a topping on the side.
Drizzling honey over the French toast adds sweetness to the dish and serves as an excellent substitute for syrup. It also blends well with whipped cream and cream cheese.
Raw honey is an excellent choice, and there are many flavors to choose from, including fruit-infused kinds.
For a pop of flavor, mix some cinnamon into the honey before drizzling it over the French toast.
Avocado isn’t just for West Coast toast. The green fruit naturally blends well with French toast and adds a dose of healthy fats to the dish. Slice it, mash it, season it and serve it however you see fit.
There are several ways to top French toast with avocado, but I have a favorite, and it’s savory. Scoop the avocado out with a spoon and mash it.
Add a little salt and pepper, cumin, and lime juice to make a guacamole-like paste. Smother your French toast and add slices of tomato and bacon.
If you love the idea of savory French toast, then smoked salmon is a must-try.
It’s classy and delicious for setting the scene at Sunday brunch. Plus, you get some serious nutrients to fulfill your appetite.
Try using cream cheese or sour cream with your salmon to create an appealing blend of flavors and textures.
Alternatively, you can whip up some eggs to layer with the salmon. Either way, make sure you complete the dish with garnishes, like chives or saffron.
Butter might seem like a boring topping for French toast but not if you know how to use it.
In the absence of all other toppings, you can use butter to add flavor and moisture to your French toast. However, it also enhances other toppings and combinations.
Plus, you have several types of butter to utilize, and it’s easy to alter them, like browning the butter or creating a creamy glaze.