Banana Baked French Toast with Peanut Butter Drizzle

Banana baked French toast with peanut butter drizzle

Peanut butter toast and I go a long way back. When I was a kid, I was so picky that I refused to eat cereal and sandwiches. I would, however, happily eat peanut butter on toast, so I ate peanut butter on toast every single morning for breakfast.

Here’s how my morning routine went. Every morning, after staying up too late reading Nancy Drew books in bed the night before, I dragged my sleepy little self and my latest Nancy Drew book over to the table. A plate of peanut butter toast would magically appear before me (thanks, Mom), which I would savor as I read my book. The corners of my old Nancy Drew collection are smudged with peanut butter stains—a fact that lies somewhere between cute and gross.

whole grain bread and bananas

Eventually, I learned to like cereal and sandwiches, but neither are my favorite foods. I still stay up too late at night, and I’m always happy with peanut butter on toast (or avocado on toast, but that’s a different post). These days, I like to add a drizzle of honey, and sometimes bananas, to my peanut butter toast.

This baked French toast dish is an adult spin on my old favorite. Hearty whole grain bread, soaked in a rich custard and studded with bananas that caramelize in the oven. All that, finished with a drizzle of peanut butter and maple syrup. Total comfort food. It’s a perfect holiday breakfast/brunch menu item that will stick with your guests until dinner time.

baked French toast recipe

If anyone wants to geek out over the recipe details with me, I’ll explain why the recipe is written as it is below. First of all, most French toast recipes call for stale bread, but who actually has stale bread lying around when they need it? I took a cue from America’s Test Kitchen and dried my slices of fresh bread out in the oven a bit beforehand, which helps the bread soak up the custard mixture. I suspect that’s why this French toast does not require an overnight soak before baking. It might be better that way, but it’s really fantastic if you just mix it all up and bake it.

Also, I tried spreading peanut butter on the bread before baking, but the peanut butter dried out in the oven and lost its warm, gooey appeal. The maple syrup and peanut butter drizzle bypasses that issue. If you’re not aiming for presentation points, you could just serve warm slices of baked French toast with a jar of peanut butter and maple syrup on the side. Add a Nancy Drew book, if you’d like.

peanut butter and French toastBaked banana French toastBaked banana French toast with peanut butter

I used my favorite whole grain sandwich bread for this recipe, which is made by Farm to Market here in Kansas City. You can use any bread you would like here, but I really love the nutty flavor of hearty, whole grain bread. It’s more filling and nutritious, too. For more information about the health benefits of whole grains, visit GrainsforYourBrain.org.

Peanut butter and banana baked French toast

5.0 from 1 reviews
Banana Baked French Toast with Peanut Butter Drizzle
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 8
 
Whole grain baked French toast with sliced bananas, drizzled with maple peanut butter sauce. To skip a step, just serve the French toast with peanut butter and maple syrup on the side.
Ingredients
  • 8 to 10 slices quality whole grain sandwich bread
  • 2 bananas
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk of choice (low fat milk or nut milk works)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado (raw) sugar
Peanut butter drizzle
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ⅓+ cup peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the whole slices of bread on a large baking sheet and bake them for 8 minutes, turning halfway. This dries out the bread a little so it soaks up more of the egg mixture.
  2. In a mixing bowl, scramble the eggs, then whisk in the milk, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Melt the butter in the microwave or over the stove. Whisk the honey into the melted butter before pouring it into the egg mixture.
  3. Grease a 9 by 9-inch baker. Cut most of the slices of bread in half, and the last couple of slices into quarters. Arrange the halved slices in the baker in rows, as shown in the pictures above, to make a roughly even layer of bread. Fill in the empty spots with the smaller pieces of bread.
  4. Peel and slice the bananas into ¼-inch wide rounds. One by one, stick the banana slices in between the slices of bread at random. Slowly drizzle the egg mixture over the bread. Use your hands to press down on the bread so it is fully submerged in the egg mixture for a few seconds (it's ok to squish the bread a little). Wash your hands, then generously sprinkle the French toast with a couple teaspoons of raw sugar. Bake until the top is golden and the custard is set in the center, around 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  5. To make the peanut butter drizzle, heat the maple syrup in small pan over low heat (you can also do this in the microwave). Whisk in ⅓ cup peanut butter or more, until it suits your tastes (keep in mind that the French toast is pretty sweet already). Remove from heat. Let the French toast cool for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing into 6 large or 8 smaller servings. Serve with maple peanut butter sauce.
Notes
  • Roughly adapted from Alton Brown, Bobby Deen and America's Test Kitchen.
  • You can prepare the French toast up to 24 hours in advance. Once you've drizzled the egg mixture over the bread, cover the baker and place it in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake it. Or, bake the French toast as directed, let it cool, and store it in the refrigerator overnight. When you're ready to serve, reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until warmed through.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Grains for Your Brain and I received compensation for my participation. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who allow me to serve up more recipes. Opinions are my own, always.

Comments

  1. says

    This looks positively radiant! Easy enough to make at my father-in-law’s house for Christmas morning who has nary a mixing bowl to his name. xo thank you Kate!

  2. says

    Kathryne, I’m a longtime peanut butter toast girl too! And I love PB and banana sandwiches. Your banana french toast with PB drizzle ….. yum! Sign me up for this grown up version too.
    I hope all is well with you and the holidays are treating you right!
    xoxo
    Erin
    P.S. Love the image of you with your nose in a Nancy Drew book. Very cute.

  3. says

    Heheh I think you and I had similar childhoods – I used to read before bed, but rather than peanut butter toast, I always had an apple in hand. I was never really a big french toast fan, but this version sounds so good that I think I need to give it a try!

  4. says

    OMG this looks so so good. I think I must make it for my family this holiday break. Thanks for sharing, Kate. And the photos, as always, are fantastic. xx

  5. says

    Oh how I miss staying up late reading Nancy Drew books! It was always the best when you could figure out the mystery. I’ve never had baked french toast but this one looks delicious and would be a great family breakfast!

  6. Sophie says

    Heck yes, Kate! This sounds sooooo good, I love peanut butter toast, too (also, peanut butter/honey grilled sandwiches!) and with the addition of banana and drizzly maple-peanut butter? Oh yes. We host an annual after-Christmas Breakfast for Dinner party and fill people up with comfort food and booze after all the crazines of the holiday has subsided…. I’m thinking this is a perfect dish for feeding our crowd some dang amazing french toast! Cheers!

    • says

      Hey Sophie! How have I never tasted peanut butter and honey grilled sandwich?! I’m making one as soon as I polish off all of this French toast. Love the idea of an after-Christmas B4D party! I hope your guests enjoy the French toast!

  7. says

    Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley Twins were the only novels I read as a kid. Haha. So cute you still read the former. OMG.. pb + banana in bread pudding has been on my list of things to make.. I love the combo too. I have made this over a griddle, but I have to bake it next time. I love healthy recipes.

  8. says

    I eat PB+J on a toasted english muffin every morning! I guess old habits die hard. And are delicious. This French toast definitely takes that idea up a few notches!

  9. Katie says

    Wow, this looks fantastic! A question though – is it good as leftovers? I would love to make this, but I would be the only one eating it, and wouldn’t want to throw out the rest if it turned into a soggy mess when I tried to reheat it. (I’m sure I could eat the whole pan at once, but I doubt that my pants would be pleased with that!)

    • says

      Hey Katie! Great question. I’ve been the only one eating this French toast for days, and the leftovers are great. If you happen to have a smaller baker than 9×9 (like 9×6-ish), you could make less by using 6 slices of bread and 1.5 cups milk (leave the other ingredients about the same). I threw the leftovers of my first attempt in the freezer, but whether or not it is good defrosted is TBD.

  10. says

    I’ve seen a few recipes for tray-baked French toast in the past few days, I think that means I’m supposed to make it..! For some reason I’ve only ever fried individual pieces before; this method seems much more efficient for a crowd (or for one very hungry person, haha). LOVE pb&banana, particularly with honey or maple syrup. Looks divine, thanks Kate!

  11. Angie says

    I am setting here completely stuffed after a wonderful breakfast of banana baked french toast with peanut butter drizzle! I mixed it up yesterday afternoon and baked it this morning before my husband left for work, worked out great. I have been following your blog for a while now and have recently moved to a somewhat remote island in Alaska and have ample time to try all of the recipes I haven’t gotten to previously (and actually post comments!). Since I don’t have Farm to Market or WheatFields bread here, I have been experimenting with baking bread. I used my 100% whole wheat bread I baked for the french toast, which made it even better. I had lived my entire life in the Kansas City area so I am also enjoying your little tidbits about KC, makes me feel a little closer to home :)

    • says

      Angie, thanks for commenting! I haven’t gotten much feedback on this recipe but I loved it. Glad you enjoyed it, too, and from all the way in Alaska! I bet it is killer with your homemade bread. I’m traveling to Minneapolis in a couple of months to attend baking classes hosted by King Arthur Flour, so I hope to learn a thing or two about baking bread while I’m there. I usually get so intimidated by the process that I don’t even try. Oops!

      • Angie says

        Baking classes, that’s great, I would love that! So I can look forward to some bread recipes in the future?!? I have suffered from intimidation myself, but now that I have started trying a few things I really enjoy it, I hope you have the same results :)

        • says

          I hope I leave with some great bread recipes, yes! I think I’ll be less intimidated once I get some hands-on experience. Hope your week is off to a great start!

  12. Megan says

    Kate, this is absolutely delicious! I made it for a late brunch today, and we both LOVED it! we didn’t have any bananas when I made it, but my boyfriend went and picked some up and I added them into the dish with about 20 min left to bake–still turned out great! Thanks for sharing your awesome recipes! :)

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