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a white plate with two slices of Buttermilk Vanilla French Toast topped with Blackberry Cinnamon Syrup, fresh blackberries, and roasted walnuts

Buttermilk Vanilla French Toast

Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: Compliments many cuisines
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Blackberry Cinnamon Syrup: 15 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 500kcal
Buttermilk vanilla french toast sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with cinnamon, orange zest, and cardamom is served with rich blackberry syrup.
Print Recipe


  • blender
  • fine mesh strainer
  • small bowl
  • saucepan for blackberry syrup
  • medium bowl
  • glass baking dish
  • nonstick skillet or griddle for french toast


Blackberry Cinnamon Syrup

  • 12 ounces blackberries 240 grams
  • ½ cup granulates sugar 4 ounces/113 grams
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Buttermilk Vanilla French Toast

  • 1 loaf challah bread 15 ounces/424 grams
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk 473 mls
  • 1 cup light brown sugar 6.4 ounces/182 grams
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter


Blackberry Cinnamon Syrup

  • The first step is to puree the blackberries. Rinse the berries and place them in a blender. Process until the berries have been completely pureed.
  • Place a fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl. Pour the puree through the strainer to catch the blackberry seeds. If you have a high speed blender, the seeds may have been pulverized. But it helps to strain the puree just in case.
  • To make the syrup, caramel is being made first and the puree is being added. In a small saucepan, add ½ cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of water.
  • Over medium heat, melt the sugar until it has dissolved in the water. You can turn up the heat to medium-high at this point. It takes about 10 minutes for the sugar to turn an amber color. The temperature of the sugar syrup will be approximately 320 degrees and can burn easily. It helps to have the puree next to the stove so that you can add it once the temperature of the sugar is high enough.
  • Being careful to avoid splatters, add the blackberry puree to the caramelized sugar. There will be steam and the puree will bubble up once it hits the caramel. The caramel will seize from the addition of the fruit puree.
  • Using a wooden spoon or high heat spatula, stir the blackberry caramel combination until the sugar has melted and is combined with the puree. This will take about 2 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and add the cinnamon and vanilla extract, stirring to combine.
  • Pour the syrup into a bowl so that it can cool. It will continue to thicken.

Buttermilk Vanilla French Toast

  • Cut a loaf of challah bread into 1-inch slices.
  • In a medium bowl, combine 8 eggs with 2 cups of buttermilk, 1 cup of light brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of orange zest, ¾ teaspoon of cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoons of cardamom. Split a vanilla bean open and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the bowl. If you don't have a vanilla bean, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • Whisk all ingredients together and pour into a baking dish. Add the bread slices to the baking dish, submerging them into the buttermilk. After 15 minutes, flip the slices over. The bread will soak for a total of 30 minutes. This is to make sure that the interior of the slice is soaked so that the french toast will be fluffy.
  • After 30 minutes, add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to a skillet. If you are using a griddle, add the butter once the griddle is hot.
  • When the butter is bubbling, add a couple of slices to the skillet. Make sure the bread is not touching or is crowded in the skillet. If you are using a griddle, add lay the slices with room in between.
  • With medium heat, toast the bread for approximately 4 minutes per side until golden brown. The french toast will puff up a little as the interior of the bread is cooked. Continue to cook the remaining slices, adding more butter as needed.
  • Serve with the blackberry cinnamon syrup and some additional berries. Roasted walnuts are a nice addition.


The buttermilk mix is more than enough for 8 slices of challah bread.  You can definitely add more bread.  It is important though that the slices are submerged so that the interior of the bread is soaked.  


Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 218mg | Sodium: 350mg | Potassium: 317mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 768IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 186mg | Iron: 3mg