Challah French Toast scented with cinnamon, orange zest and drizzled with honey. It’s delicious and not your typical French Toast recipe. Give it a try; you will not be disappointed!

two slices of challah french toast topped with blueberries, orange slices and creme fraiche.
Photo Credit: Alison Bickel

I know cinnamon and vanilla have long been BFFs in the flavor department, but have you tried cinnamon and orange? It’s a top 5 combo for me especially when it comes to this Challah French Toast recipe. 

I cut pillowy challah bread into thick slices then soak them in a milk-based custard flavored with cinnamon, orange zest, and almond extract. It’s slightly sweet, bright from the zest and earthy from the cinnamon. Crisp the French toast in a skillet until it has golden edges then top with fresh, blueberries, orange segments and an orange honey syrup. For a tangy touch of decadence add a tablespoon of creme fraiche just before serving. 

It’s so pretty which makes this challah French toast a nice option for brunch or that Mother’s Day breakfast in bed, but why save colorful, bright, flavor-boosted food for special occasions — when you eat the Mediterranean way flavor and color is an everyday occurrence.

If you’re short on time and need to make Challah French Toast for a crowd, try this Overnight French Toast. Prep everything the night before. Pop it in the fridge and bake it the next day.

a plate of challah french toast topped with blueberries, orange slices and creme fraiche and a glass of orange juice..
Photo Credit: Alison Bickel
Table of Contents
  1. What is in Challah French Toast
  2. How do You Make Challah French Toast
  3. What to Serve with Challah French Toast
  4. More Great Breakfast Recipes 
  5. Challah French Toast with Orange Honey Glaze Recipe
slices of challah french toast with a bowl of sliced oranges and honey.
Photo Credit: Alison Bickel

What is in Challah French Toast

I love French toast and I always make it with either Challah or Brioche. Both are pillowy, light breads perfect for soaking up custard. Orange and cinnamon complement each other in this recipe and the honey adds that earthy not too sweet special touch that takes this french toast recipe up a notch. 

  • Bread: For this French toast recipe I used challah. If you make challah from scratch using our recipe just leave off the sesame seeds. But you can also find challah in most grocery stores. You want to get about 8 to 10 slices per loaf. 
  • Eggs: This recipe uses 6 whole eggs. So don’t worry it has a few carbs but it also has a fair amount of protein
  • Milk: A lot of French toast recipes call for heavy cream or half and half, but I think whole milk does a fine job with fewer calories and less fat. I personally wouldn’t go lighter than whole milk.
  • Cinnamon, orange and almond extract: I often use either citrus or almond extract to compensate for reducing sugar in a recipe. Both orange and almond are dominant flavors that add a little sweetness. If you don’t have almond extract you can totally use vanilla. Cinnamon balances the sweetness of the other two and gives you a little depth. 
  • Sugar: Sugar in French toast recipes isn’t used to sweeten it, although it does, it helps with creating the golden, crispy edges. You can leave out if you want too. Your challah French toast will still be delicious!
  • Creme Fraiche: This is just a little something extra. A little bit adds a creamy, tangy flavor that I love, but if you don’t have it you don’t need it. You could also try using a little greek yogurt instead.   
  • Honey: I know maple syrup is common on French toast, but french toast loves honey too. For this recipe I combine it with a little orange juice to thin it out and drizzle it over the toast for a final finishing touch. I have a thing for honey. I love avocado honey from California because it's so light and delicate, and I love our Greek honey for the opposite reason. It's robust, rich, and complex.
  • Blueberries and oranges: I try to get fruit or veggies in at every meal. According to the USDA, “One serving of wild blueberries has more total antioxidant capacity than one serving of cranberries, strawberries or plums.” In addition to being good for you, blueberries look beautiful on the plate alongside bright, fleshy oranges. 
two plates of challah french toast topped with blueberries, oranges and creme fraiche..
Photo Credit: Alison Bickel

How do You Make Challah French Toast

Cooking Challah French Toast goes pretty quickly. Just take a few minutes to prepare the ingredients and breakfast will be ready in no time. The trickiest part is supreming the oranges (removing the peel, pith and membrane). 

Supreme the oranges: Zest each orange and set zest aside. Slice the top and bottom off of an orange so you have a flat surface to work with and the flesh of the orange is exposed. Starting at the top, move your knife downward slicing between the flesh of the orange and the white pith. Do this around the entire orange until there isn’t any peel or pith attached. 

Segment the orange: Hold the orange over a small bowl to catch any juices, and slowly cut each segment out from the membrane. Place orange segments on a small plate. Repeat with the second orange. Once each orange has been segmented, squeeze the membranes to release any juices into the bowl.   

Make the syrup: In a small saucepan set over medium low heat add ½ cup honey, and ¼ cup of orange juice from when you segmented the oranges. Warm over low heat, stirring occasionally just until the mixture is combined and pourable. Transfer to a small container. 

Slice the bread: Slice the loaf into 1 or 1 ½ inch thick slices. You should end up with 8 to 10 slices depending upon the size of your loaf.

Make the custard: In a pie plate or wide shallow dish use a fork or whisk to combine the eggs, milk, ground cinnamon, almond extract, salt, sugar, and orange zest.

Soak the bread: Place as many slices as will fit in a single layer in the dish with the custard. Flip them over so both sides are coated. The orange zest and cinnamon might settle on the bottom, so don’t be afraid to whisk in between soaking slices of bread. 

slices of french toast being dipped in custard.

Heat the skillet: Place 2 tablespoons of butter or ghee in a skillet set over medium heat. Once it sizzles add the soaked bread in a single layer. Cook on one side until golden brown, then flip and cook on the other side until golden brown.

two slices of challah heating in a skillet.
Serve: Place two slices of french toast on a plate. Top with 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche, berries and orange slices. Drizzle with the orange honey syrup and serve. (If you have another orange laying around and you’re feeling fancy, go ahead and zest a little over the top of the toast before serving.)

What to Serve with Challah French Toast

This is a pretty filling breakfast on its own, but if you want to round it out with a bright and healthy green juice or a cup of Arabic Tea. You can always make an additional fruit salad to serve on the side. One of my favorites is this easy Orange and Pomegranate Salad recipe.  

orange honey syrup being poured on a slice of challah french toast.
Photo Credit: Alison Bickel

More Great Breakfast Recipes 

Browse all Mediterranean recipes.

Visit Our Shop.

Greek Honey

This honey has an earthy complex flavor perfect for sweetening tea, drizzling over toast or making a syrup for French toast! Pick up a jar today!

jar of greek honey from the mediterranean dish.
5 from 1 vote

Challah French Toast with Orange Honey Glaze

Summer Miller
two slices of challah french toast topped with blueberries, orange slices and creme fraiche.
Thick, pillowy slices of challah bread, soaked in a slightly sweet milk-based custard and cooked in a skillet until golden brown. Add a dollop of creme fraiche and a drizzle of orange honey syrup on top for a bit of extra decadence.
Prep – 20 mins
Cook – 10 mins
Cuisine:
Serves – 5 servings
Course:
Breakfast

Ingredients
  

For the orange honey syrup:

  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 oranges, zested and supremed

For the French toast:

  • 1 loaf challah bread, about 8 to 10 thick slices
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 4 tablespoons creme fraiche, optional

Instructions
 

  • Supreme the oranges: Zest each orange and set zest aside. Slice the top and bottom off of an orange so you have a flat surface to work with and the flesh of the orange is exposed. Starting at the top, move your knife downward slicing between the flesh of the orange and the white pith. Do this around the entire orange until there isn’t any peel or pith attached.
  • Hold the orange over a small bowl to catch any juices, slowly cut each segment out from the membrane and place on a small plate. Repeat with the second orange. Once each orange has been segmented, squeeze the membranes to release any juices into the bowl.
  • Make the syrup: In a small saucepan set over medium low heat add ½ cup honey, and ¼ cup of orange juice from when you supremed the oranges. Heat, stirring occasionally just until the mixture is combined and pourable. Transfer to a small container.
  • Slice the bread: Slice the loaf into 1 or 1 ½ inch thick slices. You should end up with 8 to 10 slices depending upon the size of your loaf.
  • Make the custard: In a pie plate or wide shallow dish use a fork or whisk to combine the eggs, milk, ground cinnamon, almond extract, salt, sugar, and orange zest until well combined.
  • Soak the bread: Place as many slices as will fit in a single layer in the dish with the custard. Flip them over so both sides are coated.
  • Heat the skillet: Place 2 tablespoons of butter or ghee in a skillet set over medium heat. Once it sizzles add the soaked bread in a single layer. Cook on one side until golden brown, then flip and cook on the other side until golden brown.
  • Serve: Place two slices of french toast on a plate. Top with 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche, berries and orange slices. Drizzle with the orange honey syrup and serve. (If you have another orange laying around and you’re feeling fancy, go ahead and zest a little over the top of the toast before serving.)

Notes

  • Honey: I use our Greek Honey that hails from the island of Crete. It's a bit of a splurge but if you love honey (and all the different nuanced flavors) then its a great addition to your collection. 
  • Crème Fraîche Questions:  Crème Fraîche is sort of like thick, tangy sour cream. It's totally optional in this recipe, but I love tangy flavors. You could also use a dollop of thick vanilla Greek yogurt or leave it off entirely. 
  • Don't want to supreme oranges? That's ok. You can use canned Mandarin oranges for serving and pick up some OJ from the store if that's more your speed.  
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, spices, and more. 

Nutrition

Calories: 558.6kcalCarbohydrates: 92.6gProtein: 19gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4.7gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 256.3mgSodium: 614.2mgPotassium: 409.5mgFiber: 4.2gSugar: 41.5gVitamin A: 732.6IUVitamin C: 34.3mgCalcium: 219.7mgIron: 4.4mg
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Summer Miller is an award-winning cookbook author, journalist, and an IACP finalist in essay writing and memoir. Her recipes, food writing, and editing chops span both print and digital media. You can find her work at Simply Recipes, Eating Well, Saveur. Bon Appétit, and the Kitchn among others. She is the Senior Executive Editor at The Mediterranean Dish.
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