It’s our favorite spread for sweet crêpes, but Nutella also makes a luscious, unexpected filling for French toast. The key is using challah bread, cut thick and slit to create a pocket in the center of each slice. Fill that pocket with chocolate-hazelnut spread, and make French toast in the usual way. The result is warm, soft, and slightly crisp slices oozing deliciousness.

For more, check out our Challah French Toast with StrawberriesFrench Toast Casserole, and Eggnog French Toast.

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Total: 25 mins 
  • Active: 20 mins

Ingredients (11)

  • 1 (1-pound) loaf of challah or brioche, cut widthwise into 6 (2-inch-thick) slices
  • 1/2 cup Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut spread
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Chopped toasted hazelnuts, for serving (optional)
  • Powdered sugar, for serving (optional)
  • Maple syrup, for serving


  1. Heat the oven to 200°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place a baking sheet in the oven.
  2. Insert the blade of a paring knife through the top crust of a challah slice, forming a pocket in the center of the slice (take care not to pierce the bottom of the slice). Spread a scant 1 1/2 tablespoons of Nutella in the pocket, distributing it as evenly as you can around the sides of the pocket; set aside. Repeat with the remaining slices.
  3. Place the eggs, milk, vanilla, orange zest, and salt in a shallow dish (a 13-by-9-inch baking dish works well) and whisk until the eggs are broken up and evenly incorporated and the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Melt the butter in a large cast iron or nonstick frying pan over medium heat until foaming, about 2 minutes. Dip a few slices of the bread in the milk mixture, turn to coat, and let the excess drip off. Lay the soaked bread in a single layer in the pan and cook until browned on the bottom, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Flip and cook the second side until browned, about 2 minutes. Place the cooked French toast on the heated baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bread slices. Serve sprinkled with the hazelnuts and dusted with powdered sugar, if using. Pass maple syrup at the table.