TODAY Table is sponsored by Walmart. Our editors independently created this recipe. If you purchase the ingredients through our links, we earn a commission. Learn more about Shop TODAY.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
- 2 teaspoons ginger powder
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1¼ cups heavy cream, divided
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 6 large eggs
- 1 (1-pound) loaf challah bread, preferably stale, sliced into 1-inch-thick slices
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1/4 cup dark spiced rum
- 3 medium ripe bananas, sliced on the bias, 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick
Growing up, my dad always made breakfast for us on the weekends and his specialty was French toast. I love this recipe because it's a great way to use bread that is going stale and also make a fabulous breakfast dish that can be prepped the night before and finished in the oven in the morning. I love the additional of warming spices in this recipe, plus the flambé moment is a really fun entertaining trick for a crowd.
Technique tip: If using fresh bread, toast the slices in the oven at 350 F to dry out for 15 to 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
Swap option: Swap bananas for apples, pears, or figs. Swap challah for brioche.
Use 1 tablespoon of butter to grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Set aside.2.
In a large bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, teaspoons cinnamon, ginger powder, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk in 1 cup heavy cream, whole milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and eggs until combined.3.
Arrange the bread slices so they are slightly overlapping on the prepared baking dish. Pour the liquid mixture over all of the bread slices, pressing down the tops of the bread to make sure all slices are properly coated in the liquid mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.4.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the French toast from the refrigerator to take the chill off while the oven preheats.5.
Uncover and bake in the middle rack of the oven until the tops are golden and the custard looks set, about 40 to 45 minutes, rotate halfway through. If the tops begin to get too golden, loosely cover with foil. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.6.
While the French toast bakes, caramelize the bananas. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high heat. When bubbling, add bananas and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until caramelized. Remove from pan.7.
Now make the sauce. In same skillet, combine 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of brown sugar over medium heat and whisk until the butter is melted. Pour in the rum and carefully light the rum on fire, the mixture will remain on fire for about 20 to 40 seconds. Add in the remaining 1/4 cup heavy cream, remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Add in a pinch of salt and whisk to combine. Remove sauce from the heat until it's time to serve.8.
Add the caramelized bananas to the top of the French toast bake, slice into servings and drizzle with sauce. Enjoy!