If you're looking for the perfect boozy breakfast, you've come to the right place. This Baileys French Toast is a soaked custard French toast (using Baileys) and gets topped with Baileys whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and fresh berries!
This is the perfect stack of French toast, if I do say so myself. A thick custard base gets spiked with Baileys Irish Cream, then in goes the thick brioche bread or challah bread for a nice soak.
The enriched bread with the thick custard results in such a creamy texture that "cuts like butter" as they say. It gets topped with a quick homemade chocolate sauce, a Baileys whipped cream, and fresh berries.
It's not overly boozy, but you get the that Baileys flavor as soon as you bite in. If you're not a fan of Baileys Irish Cream, try my Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce for another breakfast or brunch option that includes liquor!
If you're making this for a St. Patrick's Day brunch, you should also consider my Bakery Style Pistachio Muffins to keep in line with the festivities.
- Bakery bread. This recipe is best with challah or brioche bread from the bakery. A French or Italian loaf can also be used. I do not recommend a pre-sliced bread from the bread aisle, as they tend to be too squashy.
- Eggs. For the custard base.
- Heavy whipping cream. This will be used every component: custard, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce.
- Baileys Irish Cream. For both the custard and the whipped cream. This is the star of the show, friends!
- Semi-sweet chocolate. For the luscious chocolate sauce! Chopped chocolate or chocolate chips can be used.
- Fresh fruit. I find that berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries) go best with this recipe.
- Salted butter. I like to use salted butter to fry up the French toast, as it slightly soaks into the bread and is the perfect contrast.
- Large nonstick frying pan. If you have the ability, you can also make the French toast on a griddle!
- Large, shallow bowl
- Stand mixer or handheld mixer (for Baileys whipped cream)
How to make Baileys French Toast
Before beginning, heat an oven to 200℉ and place an empty sheet pan on the middle rack. The French toast will get transferred here in between batches to remain warm.
Additionally, add the bowl of a stand mixer (or metal mixing bowl if using a hand mixer) and the whisk attachment(s) to the freezer. This will be used to whip up the Baileys whipped cream more quickly.
STEP 1: Use a serrated knife to slice the brioche or challah into ½"-¾" slices at the thickest parts of the bread loaf. Poke holes throughout each slice with the tines of a fork. This allows the liquid to absorb better.
STEP 2: In a large, shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, Baileys Irish Cream, milk (water could also be used, if necessary), and vanilla.
Soaking the French Toast
Chef's note: All of the mixture should get used up for 6 brioche or challah slices.
STEP 3: Place two slices of bread into the custard and allow it to soak for about two minutes on each side. Use your best judgement here as you check the bread - soak until it feels noticeably softer and is taking in the mixture.
STEP 4: When the first batch of bread is almost done soaking, heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, then add the butter and swirl it to coat the pan.
STEP 5: Pick up one piece of bread and allow some of the custard to slide off, then add to the frying pan. Repeat with the other slice of bread. Fry for about two minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer to the pan in the oven.
Timing tip: Start soaking the next two pieces after flipping the slices in the pan.
STEP 6: Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter, then add the next two pieces of bread and pan fry. Repeat with the final two slices.
STEP 7: When the final two slices go into the pan (or after all are done and in the oven), make the whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
Making the Toppings
Add the heavy cream, Baileys, and powdered sugar to the cold bowl and whip on medium high, then high speed until fluffy with stiff peaks forming on the edge of the whisk.
In a small bowl, add the chocolate and heavy cream and microwave for 30-60 seconds until hot. Stir until it becomes smooth and glossy, heating for 10 mire seconds and stirring again, as necessary.
STEP 8: Add two slices of French toast to a plate, then top with chocolate sauce, Baileys whipped cream, and fresh berries.
I prefer this Baileys French Toast without syrup, as the custard makes it quite soft and lightly sweet already (plus the chocolate and whipped cream!). However, feel free to add syrup, if desired.
There are a few ways you could mix up this Baileys French Toast recipe. First, you can switch up the alcohol to Kahlua, Rumchata, or eggnog.
Next, you can go with a few bread choices. While I do prefer brioche or challah best, my next suggestions would be: Italian loaf, French loaf, or even croissants!
Because this recipe is developed using a custard base, I do not suggest omitting or substituting the heavy cream.
Storing and Freezing
Store any leftover slices of baileys French toast (before adding chocolate sauce or whipped cream) in a zip top bag with the air removed. Store in the fridge for 5 days or the freezer for one month.
Reheat in a relatively hot skillet with butter.
FAQs & Tips
You cannot just whip Baileys as it does not contain enough milk fats. You need to add heavy cream for this the Bailey whipped cream to fluff up appropriately.
French toast is ready when it has become significantly softer and noticeably absorbs some liquid. It should feel very soft, but still have just enough structure that it can be transferred to the frying pan without breaking.
First, be sure to coat the pan in a fat like butter, cooking spray, or olive oil.
Second, be sure not to crowd the pan when frying the bread! It the pieces are too close together, they will steam rather than pan fry.
Next, check your heat settings. It may be too low and need to be increased slightly.
More Breakfast Recipes
- Cranberry Orange Rolls
- Chocolate Espresso Babka
- Fruit & Cream Cheese Puff Pastry Danish
- Ham and Swiss Quiche
Baileys Irish Cream French Toast
- Serrated knife
- Large shallow bowl
- Large frying pan
- 6 slices challah or brioche bread ½" - ¾" thick
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup Baileys Irish Cream 120ml
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream 120ml
- ¼ cup whole milk 60ml
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
- 3 tablespoons salted butter for frying
Baileys Whipped Cream
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream 120ml
- 2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream 30ml
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar 15g
Homemade Chocolate Sauce
- 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate (60-70% cacao) chopped or chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (45ml)
- Fresh berries optional, for serving
Baileys Whipped Cream
- Start by making the whipped cream. Place the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk attachment in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- Whip the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar on medium high speed until it starts to thicken, then increase the speed to high and drizzle in the Baileys. Whip until it holds stiff peaks on the whisk.
- Whisk together the eggs, Baileys, heavy cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large, shallow bowl.
- Slice the bread into ½-¾" thick slices. You'll need 6 slices for this recipe. Poke each slice all over with the tines of a fork (this aids in better absorption).
- Place two slices of bread into the custard and allow it to soak for about two minutes, then flip and soak for another two minutes. Soak until the bread is noticeably softer, but still holds enough structure to transfer it to the pan.
- Preheat a frying pan over medium to medium low heat, add a tablespoon of butter, and swirl it around to coat.
- Pick up the bread and allow some of the custard to slide off, then add to the frying pan. Cook for about two minutes, then flip and cook another two minutes on the other side until golden.
- Clean out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter, and repeat with the remaining pieces of bread. Adjust the heat up or down as necessary
- Add the chocolate and heavy cream to a bowl and microwave for 30-60 seconds until hot. Stir until completely combined, heating 10 more seconds at a time as needed.
- Drizzle chocolate sauce over the French toast, then top with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh fruit.