Take Your French Toast To A Whole New Level With This Easy Switch

When you're in the mood for a decadent breakfast treat, French toast is always an enticing option. Its fried, bread-y goodness gives us all the carbs we could possibly want to start the day off while also satisfying our sweet tooth with maple syrup, powdered sugar, cinnamon, or fresh fruit (or, honestly, all of the above).

So, how, you may ask, could you make this weekend brunch staple any better? How about cutting down preparation time and still managing to make your toast sweeter and fluffier by substituting a simple ingredient?

French chef and cooking show legend Jacques Pépin shared a recipe for French toast he developed in the 1950s while working at a hotel restaurant to make the breakfast rush go quicker. His recipe incorporates vanilla ice cream, and it has taken off online, with Buzzfeed recommending it as a delicious cooking hack to save time, money, and effort.

As Pépin notes on Instagram, most French toast is made by dipping the bread in a mixture of eggs and either cream or milk, two of the primary ingredients in ice cream. So all you need to do is throw a little bit of ice cream on a plate, stick it in the microwave, and you've saved yourself the trouble of measuring and mixing multiple ingredients for your breakfast! You can even reuse the plate with the leftover ice cream to serve your toast.

Screaming for ice cream

While numerous recipe variations exist, the original requires only vanilla ice cream, butter, and maple syrup. Simply soak the bread in the ice cream, melt the butter in a pan, fry your toast up as usual, and then serve with maple syrup.

Like the one shared by Two Peas & Their Pod, some recipes say to mix the ice cream with extra egg and vanilla. However, that eliminates the one-step nature of this hack. So instead, In Katrina's Kitchen suggests using full-fat ice cream for the recipe to keep the mixture thicker and prevent the toast from cooking too quickly and burning.

While most recipes note that vanilla or vanilla bean ice cream are the obvious best choices for this recipe, technically, any flavor of ice cream could work. In Katrina's Kitchen notes that strawberry ice cream also worked well, and the possibilities are essentially endless. Just be careful what sorts of toppings you use on your flavored toast!

If you decide to stick with the traditional vanilla route, Today recommends making this breakfast even more flavorful by adding a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to the ice cream before dunking the toast, which can of course also be sprinkled on top with the syrup before serving.

Whatever flavors you prefer on your French toast, this recipe gives you lots of room to experiment. One thing's for sure — they're super easy, so hopefully, you'll have time to try them all.