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Quick and Easy Easter Hot Cross Bun French Toast

If you have some leftover hot cross buns, you need to try this delicious breakfast! Hot cross Bun French toast is particularly great for Easter Morning served with fresh berries and Easter Eggs.

A person is pouring maple syrup onto a stack of hot cross bun French toast on a yellow plate.

What Makes This Recipe Great!

  • Using Up Leftovers – Slightly stale hot cross buns are fine to use for this recipe, so nothing will go to waste.
  • Quick and Simple – A French toast twist that doesn’t take lots of effort or time to make. You can have breakfast served in under 30 minutes.
  • A Great Spring Breakfast Idea – Whether it’s Good Friday, Easter weekend or you simply have leftover hot cross buns, this recipe makes a delicious breakfast option.

How To Use Up Stale Hot Cross Buns

A French toast recipe is always a good go-to breakfast when you want something a little more special than toast and jam. But, when you switch up the bread and replace it with hot cross buns, you create something even better than the original French toast recipe!

We take slices of hot cross buns and dip them in into a rich and classic French toast mix and fry them until they turn a nice golden colour. It’s so simple to make that the kids can help with the slice dunking, tossing in cinnamon sugar and serving too!

I love to serve this breakfast recipe up with a side of a Greek Yoghurt maple syrup dip and some fresh fruit. And, if you’re making this for an Easter Morning, why not add in some broken up chocolate eggs too as a really special treat.

If you want more Easter recipes go and try this Authentic Casatiello Bread, or these yummy Cheese and Marmite Hot Cross Buns next!

Hot cross bun French toast on yellow plates with fresh berries. Surrounded by ingredients.

Equipment Needed

  • Sharp Knife and Chopping Board – For slicing up the hot cross buns into portions.
  • Large Mixing Bowl – To Make the egg mixture in and for dunking the slices. You’ll need a whisk too.
  • Large Skillet or Large Frying Pan – To fry the French toast on the stove top. Have some tongs or a spatula handy to flip the slices over in the oil and toast on both sides.
  • Shallow Medium Bowl – To toss the slices in the cinnamon sugar. Make sure it can comfortably accommodate the slices.
  • Wire Rack – If you’re cooking in batches you can place the fried French toast slices on a cooling rack so that they don’t turn soggy while you are waiting for the rest to be ready.
  • Small Mixing Bowl – For mixing and serving the yoghurt dip.

Ingredients

A labelled photo with all the ingredients needed to make Hot Cross Bun French Toast.
  • Eggs – Use large fresh eggs, they are a key ingredient in French toast which is also called “Eggy Bread” – so you can see why.
  • Whole Milk – Mixed with the egg to create a dunking mixture for the bun slices.
  • Caster Sugar – Adds a touch of sweetness to the dunking dredge and to create a cinnamon sugar to coat the fried slices in.
  • Salt – For enhancing the flavour, but you can leave it out if you’d prefer. I nearly always use sea salt when seasoning my recipes.
  • Hot Cross Buns – Buns that are slightly stale are actually easier to slice, but fresh ones work just fine too.
  • Sunflower Oil – A neutral oil that is perfect for frying.
  • Ground Cinnamon – As part of the cinnamon-sugar coating.
  • Greek Yoghurt – A thick yoghurt that pairs really well with the French toast and Fresh berries.
  • Maple Syrup – To give the yoghurt dip a little sweetness and flavour.

Additions and Substitutions

Substitutions:

  • Hot Cross Buns: You can substitute hot cross buns with stale brioche, Panettone bread, Challah or French bread for a classic option.
  • Whole Milk: Low-fat milk, almond milk or oat milk can replace the full fat milk in this recipe.
  • Cinnamon: Instead of using cinnamon in the sugar, you can add some ground ginger or mixed spice to the sugar instead.
  • Maple Syrup: Use honey in place of maple syrup or create a fruit dip and replace it with some mashed fresh berries.
  • Greek Yoghurt: Use whipped cream with added vanilla extract in place of the yoghurt dip.
  • Oil: You can use a knob of butter in place of the oil for frying. 

Additions:

  • Vanilla Extract: Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the egg mixture for an extra sweet flavour.
  • Spices: A pinch of ground nutmeg or cardamom to the egg mixture can heighten the flavour.
  • Icing Sugar: A dusting of icing sugar over the top of the cooked French toast slices gives a decorative touch and extra sweetness. 

Additional Toppings:

  • Fresh Fruit: Top your Hot Cross Bun French toast with any fresh fruit you like, such as berries, sliced bananas, or peaches.
  • Chocolate Sauce: Drizzle some warm chocolate sauce over your French toast for a rich and indulgent option.
  • Compote: A warm fruit compote made with apples, pears, or berries can be a delicious topping.
  • Candied Pecans: For a luxurious touch, sprinkle over some candied pecans to your French toast for extra sweetness and crunch.

Step-By-Step Guide – How To Make Hot Cross Bun French Toast

Step 1: Preparing Egg Mixture

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the large eggs, whole milk, caster sugar, and salt until well combined.

Step 2: Slicing Hot Cross Buns

  • Vertically slice each hot cross bun into 4 slices.
A hand is using a whisk to whisk the egg and milk mixture in a glass bowl.
A hand is using sharp knife to cut hot cross buns vertically into slices on a wooden chopping board.

Step 3: Making Cinnamon Sugar

  • In a separate bowl large enough to hold the hot cross bun slices, mix together the caster sugar and ground cinnamon to make the cinnamon sugar. Set aside.

Step 4: Preparing Maple Dip

  • For the maple dip, combine the Greek yoghurt with the maple syrup, mix well, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
A hand is using a spoon to mix together cost of sugar and cinnamon in a white bowl.
A hand is using a spoon to mix together Greek yoghurt and Maple syrup in a white bowl to create the Maple dip.

Step 5: Heating Oil

  • Heat sunflower oil in a frying pan over medium heat.

Step 6: Coating and Frying

  • Dunk each bun slice into the egg mixture for a few seconds on both sides, allowing the excess egg mixture to drip back into the bowl.
  • Add the soaked bun slices to the hot frying pan.
  • Fry each slice on both sides for 2-3 minutes in the hot pan until they become crispy and golden brown.
I handed the slice of hot cross bun into the milk egg mixture.
A frying pan with four slices of hot cross bun French toast frying inside.

Step 7: Coating with Cinnamon Sugar

  • Once fried, remove the slices from the pan and quickly toss them in the prepared cinnamon sugar.

Step 8: Serving

  • Serve the warm French toast with the maple dip and fresh berries.
A hand is dipping a cooked slice of hot cross bun French toast into cinnamon sugar.
A hand is placing coated cooked hot cross bun French toast slices onto a wire rack.

FAQ

My hot cross buns are a bit stale. Will this affect the outcome?

Stale hot cross buns actually work best as they soak up the egg mixture much more easily.

My French toast is burning on the outside but still raw in the middle. What am I doing wrong?

The heat is probably a bit too high. Try reducing the heat to medium-low. Also, make sure the egg mixture isn’t too thin or watery as this will make the slices take longer to cook through.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

You can certainly prepare some of the elements but I would wait until you are ready to fry the hot cross bun slices before soaking them in the egg mixture, otherwise the bread will become too soggy.


Pro Tips and Guidance

  • Stale Is Better: Slightly stale bread slices are ideal for French toast. They soak up the egg mixture better than fresh buns, resulting in rich French toast slices. If your buns are completely fresh, try toasting them lightly and allowing them to cool before dipping them in the egg mixture.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Resist the urge to overcrowd the pan. Cook the French toast slices in batches to ensure even cooking and prevent them from becoming soggy. You can place the cooked French toast slices on a wire cooling rack while you cook the rest.
  • Don’t Rush The Frying: Use medium-low heat when frying the French toast. This allows the egg mixture to cook through gently without burning the outside.

Hot Cross Bun French Toast slices on 3 yellow plates with fresh berries.

Storage

Storage:

Unfortunately, hot cross bun French toast isn’t ideal for long-term storage. The cooked bread tends to become soggy and lose its crisp texture after sitting in the fridge. It’s best enjoyed fresh for the best texture and flavour. However, you can prep ahead by slicing the hot cross buns and preparing the egg mixture the night before.

Reheating:

  • Grill: Leftover French toast can be reheated under a grill, or until warmed through. This method helps revive the crispness slightly.

Freezing & Defrosting:

I wouldn’t recommend freezing pre-cooked hot cross bun French toast. The texture change as the bread thaws and reheats.

Tips for Best Results:

  • It’s better to make a smaller batch of French toast or using only half of the hot cross buns in the recipe rather than have leftovers.
  • You can prepare the egg mixture and slice the hot cross buns in advance. Store them separately in the fridge overnight. In the morning, all you have to do is cook the French toast in the frying pan!

Check Out These Easter Recipes

Cheese and Marmite hot cross buns laid out in a random pattern on a yellow background, surrounded by decorative items.

Cheese and Marmite Hot Cross Buns

A savoury hot cross bun that Marmite fans will absolutely love!

Overhead picture of a baked mini egg cookie surrounded by mini eggs and flower heads on a green/blue background.

Mini Eggs Cookies

Crunchy cookies that make a great way of using up leftover Mini Eggs.

Overhead view of the Easter bread with a hand taking a piece from a slice on a plate.

Casatiello – Italian Easter Bread

An authentic Italian bread from Naples that is filled with salami and cheese.

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Hot cross bun French toast on yellow plates with fresh berries. Surrounded by ingredients.

Quick and Easy Easter Hot Cross Bun French Toast

5 from 1 vote
A delicious breakfast or brunch recipe that is perfect for Easter. Hot cross bun French toast is ready in under 30 minutes and is a great way to use up leftover hot cross buns.
Print Recipe Pin Rate Save
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 453kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 100 ml Whole Milk
  • 60 g Caster Sugar
  • 0.25 tsp Salt
  • 4 Hot Cross Buns
  • 2 tsp Sunflower Oil

For The Cinnamon Sugar

  • 50 g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

For the Maple Dip

  • 90 g Greek Yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the large eggs, whole milk, caster sugar, and salt until well combined.
  • Vertically slice each hot cross bun into 4 slices.
  • In a separate bowl large enough to hold the hot cross bun slices, mix together the caster sugar and ground cinnamon to make the cinnamon sugar. Set aside.
  • For the maple dip, combine the Greek yoghurt with the maple syrup, mix well, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Heat sunflower oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  • Dunk each bun slice into the egg mixture for a few seconds on both sides, allowing excess egg mixture to drip back into the bowl.
  • Add the soaked bun slices to the hot frying pan.
  • Fry each slice on both sides for 2-3 minutes until they become crispy and golden brown.
  • Once fried, remove the slices from the pan and quickly toss them in the prepared cinnamon sugar.
  • Serve the warm French toast with the maple dip and fresh berries.

Recipe Notes

  • Choose Slightly Stale Buns: Slightly stale hot cross buns absorb egg mixture better, yielding richer French toast slices. Fresh buns can be lightly toasted and cooled before dipping.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Cook French toast slices in batches to ensure even cooking and prevent sogginess. Use a wire rack to keep cooked slices warm while frying the rest.
  • Fry Gently: Use medium-low heat to fry French toast, allowing the egg mixture to cook through without burning the outside.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 453kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 190mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 133mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 324IU | Vitamin C: 0.02mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 1mg

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