Michael Laiskonis, former executive pastry chef of Le Bernardin, dresses up this breakfast classic by adding spices, spiked pineapple, and ice cream. (Here’s the Roasted Pineapple recipe—which is also great on pancakes, waffles, and ice cream.)

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 45 mins 
  • Active: 30 mins

Ingredients (11)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest from 1 medium orange
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 to 12 (3/4-inch-thick) slices country bread, challah, or brioche
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Roasted Pineapple with Rum
  • Vanilla ice cream or coconut sorbet (optional)


  1. Heat the oven to 200°F. Whisk together milk, eggs, sugar, orange zest, vanilla seeds (or extract), cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large, shallow dish. Dip bread slices in egg mixture, coating each side and letting the excess drip off.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add butter. When butter foams, place a single layer of soaked bread slices in the pan and cook until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes; flip to brown the other side, about 3 minutes more. Place the cooked French toast on an ovenproof plate or baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you finish cooking the rest.
  3. To serve, place two or three slices of French toast and several slices of roasted pineapple on each plate. (Reserve extra pineapple for another use.) Spoon spiced pineapple juices over top and, depending on your mood, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or coconut sorbet.