Cinnamon French Toast with Rum Bananas

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Make French toast even more of a treat with this restaurant-worthy recipe from chef Bill Poirier. Thick country bread (brioche and challah work, too) is sautéed in cinnamon, nutmeg and cream but the real tour de force is the toppings. Flambéed bananas and homemade caramel sauce tip the dish into luxurious territory—perfect for breakfast in bed.


Servings: 4


For the caramel sauce:
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
For the French toast:
  • 1 1/2 cups light cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 (1/2-inch) slices of country bread, brioche or challah
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 4 bananas, split lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • caramel sauce
  • confectioner’s sugar
  • mint for garnish


For the caramel sauce:
  1. In 2-quart saucepan add sugar, water, and cream of tartar. Brush the sides of the pot with water to prevent crystallizing. Heat the mixture, stirring, until golden caramel.
  2. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in heavy cream. (Caution: the cream will produce steam) Reserve sauce warm.
For the French toast:
  1. In a bowl mix together the cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Dip each slice of bread in the mixture and set aside.
  2. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Melt half of the butter and sauté the bread on each side until golden. Keep warm in the oven.
  3. Add the remaining butter to the pan and brown the bananas on each side. Add the rum and flambé (with pan lid handy, use a long lighter to light the rum and shake the pan over the stove to distribute the flames. Allow to die down, or cover with lid.)
  4. Add the reserved caramel sauce and bring to a simmer.
  5. Spoon bananas and sauce over warm French toast. Garnish with confectioner’s sugar and mint.

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