This Grand Marnier French Toast is an easy, elegant breakfast or brunch treat! Plus, it’s kicked up a few notches with orange liqueur!!!

I don’t get all that excited about pancakes or waffles,  but I truly love Homemade French Toast. Memories of Sunday breakfasts come pouring back with every bite. Simply made, my mom’s recipe was just eggs, milk, and a pinch of nutmeg. The bread wasn’t anything fancy, either, just plain ol’ sandwich bread. Brioche French Toast is even better!

Grand Marnier French Toast stacked on a decorative plate with fresh berries.

Why You Must Make

  • The simple addition of Grand Marnier and orange zest adds a subtle flavor enhancement.
  • Using Brioche instead of sandwich bread prevents the bread from falling apart and getting soggy.
  • The custard is rich and eggy, especially if you splurge and use half and half.
  • It’s elegant enough for weekend company but easy enough that you won’t break a sweat getting breakfast or brunch on the table.

But to up the game, with Mother’s Day right around the corner, I gave an orange twist to this classic breakfast dish by adding some freshly grated zest and a slosh of Grand Marnier. That’s a double dose of orange for the ultimate morning treat.

Reader Endorsement:

From the comments: This is THE best French Toast I have ever made. I set my thick-cut bread out overnight and it held the custard and kept its shape perfectly! This is a keeper, thank you for posting!

How to Make

  1. Start with nice sturdy bread. If it’s super soft, spread the slices out on the kitchen counter and let it air dry, flipping at least once as you make the custard. This will allow more of the liquid to be absorbed.
  2. Use a pie plate to make the custard of milk or half and half and eggs. Add the salt, vanilla, sugar, and any additional flavorings if using. 
  3. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  4. Dip the bread in the egg and milk mixture briefly, then flip to repeat on the other side.
  5. Place the bread in the skillet and cook until lightly browned, then flip and cook the other side. Repeat until all slices are cooked.
  6. Serve while hot with butter, warm maple syrup, powdered sugar, and/or berries.
Grand Marnier French Toast on a square white plate with a stream of syrup pooling onto the surface.

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Eggs, Salt, Butter, Sugar
  •  Whole Milk or Half and Half – The extra milk fat makes a richer custard for soaking the bread
  •  Vanilla – Always use real vanilla extract, never artificially flavored
  • Orange Zest – Finely grated off of a fresh orange. Don’t use the jars of dried orange zest.
  • Grand Marnier – An orange liqueur that will enhance the flavor of the French toast even more. Most should evaporate while it cooks, but you can leave it out if that’s your preference. If you have another orange liqueur like Cointreau or Triple Sec, you can use those instead.
  • Brioche, Challah, or another sturdy bread – Let your slices get a little stale by cutting them ahead of time and flipping them over at least once. They will be able to soak up more of the egg mixture.

Expert Tips

  • Pan perdu is the French term for lost bread, which refers to the best bread to use for your French toast.
  • Fresh bread will often fall apart when dipped in the egg mixture so stale or sturdy bread work best. Try with a loaf of challah or brioche, but even a day-old baguette will work!
  • Adding a French orange liqueur was only a natural way to go with this classic breakfast dish that has a history back to King Henry V.
  • It takes some practice to get the dipping right—too long in the egg mixture and the bread will fall apart, but you need enough time for the bread to soften.
  • Pain perdu has stood the test of time, and I’m certain this Grand Marnier French toast will, too.
A stack of Grand Marnier French Toast on a white, decorative plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is in French Toast Batter?

French toast batter is made of eggs and milk. But a richer version can be made by using half and half instead of milk or adding a little heavy cream. You can also add a bit of sugar, vanilla, or other flavorings.

How Thick Should Bread Be for French Toast?

Aim for slices about ¾-1-inch thick. This will give you a substantial slice of bread that will be less likely to fall apart once soaked in custard.

How Long Do You Soak Your French Toast?

It depends on your bread. Bon Appetit magazine suggests soaking for 15-20 minutes, but I suggest a minute per side. As long as the bread is saturated with custard, it is ready to cook.

How Do You Prevent Soggy French Toast?

There are a number of tips to prevent soggy French toast like using sturdy bread, not oversoaking, not adding too much milk to the custard, and not undercooking.

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Grand Marnier French Toast - a double dose of orange added to this classic breakfast dish

Grand Marnier French Toast

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 2

A delicious, double dose of orange added to this classic breakfast dish


  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk or half and half
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (I used Dixie Crystals)
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, optional if you prefer no alcohol*
  • 4 slices Brioche, or another sturdy bread (stale bread preferred as it will soak up more of the egg mixture)
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. In a shallow bowl Pyrex pie plate, whisk together eggs and milk. Add the salt, vanilla, zest, sugar, and Grand Marnier, if using.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Dip the bread in the egg and milk mixture briefly, then flip to repeat on the other side.
  3. Place in the skillet and cook until lightly browned, then flip and cook the other side. Repeat until all slices are cooked.
  4. Serve with butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar, and/or berries.


*The small amount of Grand Marnier will evaporate during the cooking time, but you may want to omit if serving to children or others who should be avoiding alcoholic beverages.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 slices

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 780Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 407mgSodium: 874mgCarbohydrates: 79gFiber: 3gSugar: 22gProtein: 23g occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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