Donut French Toast
July 25, 2020 by Nicole Collins
Sometimes, my brain is a scary place to be.
But sometimes, the lights shine so freakin' bright in there. And, I have theses true moments of brilliance. Sometimes, the brilliance is masked in madness, and that's usually when I end up producing the best recipes of all.
I don't really have a process when it comes to thinking about recipes that I want to develop. It usually starts as an idea that comes out of absolutely nowhere, and I figure out how I'm going to make it work from there. Sometimes, I work through ideas backwards. Sometimes, they change and evolve while I'm in the middle of cooking. There's really no rhyme or reason to how things come together. But, they almost always do. Almost.
For every 10 delicious recipes I make, I usually have at least one dud. And, it is what it is. Those go in the “revisit” folder, and they're easily replaced by the next delicious thing.
Today's recipe is one of those real strokes of genius if you ask me. It's simple. It's delicious. And it takes two traditional meals and fuses them together to make the most amazing breakfast baby on the planet. So, what are we making? Today, we're making Donut French Toast.
Yup, you read that right. DONUT FRENCH TOAST!
The process to this french toast is simple. We're going to follow all of the same steps: make a custard, dip our subject, pan fry in butter, and prepare for a yummylicious treat. For our custard, we need a standard mix of eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk them really really well to break up all of the egg whites, and it's ready for dipping.
Instead of using bread for our french toast, we're going to use store bought cake donuts. If you can resist them and let them sit for 2 or 3 days before you use them, that's even better. If not, that's ok too. Since our donuts are so thick and cakey, we really need to give them lots of time to soak up all of the custardy goodness. They need a full minute on each side in the custard to really absorb the custard so they can be nice and creamy on the inside. Then, to the buttered frying pan they go until they're nice and caramelized on the outside.
To accompany our Donut French Toast, we're going to make a super easy vanilla bean whipped cream. All we need is some more heavy cream, a little powdered sugar, and a touch of vanilla bean paste. Whip them together until it's nice and stable, and that part of our breakfast is finished too! To serve, we're going to dollop some whipped cream on top or alongside our donuts, invite some fresh berries to the party, and get ready to savor every last bite.
There's only one problem with these donuts. They disappear ridiculously fast. It's incredible. I've never seen anything like it! One minute, you have half a dozen donuts sitting front of you. The next minute...GONE! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
These donuts are everything. They're soft, a little cakey, a little creamy, a little sweet, and a lot incredible. They honestly don't even need the garnishes. They're that good. And, how cute would they be for a brunch party or bridal/baby shower situation? They're so easy to make thanks to the store bought donuts, you could whip up a big batch in no time!
You never know what kind of nutty ideas are going to come out of my mind. But all of the wacky ones are worth every last brain cell when we get recipes like this in the end! So far, we've turned baguette into french toast. We've turned PB&J sammies into french toast. We've turned donuts into french toast. What should we french toastify next?
I have an idea...but it DEFINITELY falls in that cuckoo-kachoo category. You trust me? For now, enjoy! And, let's eat!
Donut French Toast
Serves: 6 Print
For the Donut French Toast:
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
6 cake donuts, 2-3 days old, if possible
1-2 tbsp unsalted butter
fresh berries, for serving
For the Whipped Cream:
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Make the Whipped Cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add heavy cream. Whisk on high for 1-2 mins until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste. Whisk on high for about another minute until stiff peaks form. Set aside in the fridge.
In a wide, shallow bowl, add ½ cup heavy cream, eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Whisk well to combine, making sure to break up the egg whites completely.
Take one donut, and dip both sides of the donut in the egg custard mix for 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate, and repeat with remaining donuts.
Melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add donuts to the skillet, making sure not to crowd the pan. Cook for 4-5 mins until the bottoms are golden brown. Flip, and cook for an additional 4-5 mins until the other side is golden brown. Repeat with any remaining donuts, adding 1 tbsp butter to the pan for the new batch.
To Serve: Place donuts on a serving platter. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries. Enjoy!
*Since these donuts are nice and thick, we need to make sure enough custard soaks into the bread so the insides aren't dry. They truly do need to soak for a full 60 seconds per side in the batter.
*You could make the whipped cream by using a hand mixer instead of breaking out the stand mixer for just ½ cup of cream. It'll just take a little longer. To help speed up the process a smidge, put your bowl and the beaters in the freezer until you're ready to use them so everything is nice and cold when you're ready to whip your cream.
*This could be a fun brunch/bridal/baby shower treat if you turned it into a donut bar. French Toast topping possibilities are endless. Try serving these with powdered sugar, maple syrup, melted chocolate, and different assorted fruits on top!
*I'm obsessed with vanilla bean paste right now. I really like it, because you get the concentration of an extract but the aesthetics of the little black specks from a vanilla bean. I also really love the sweetness it adds to the whipped cream. You could substitute vanilla extract, if necessary.