Nutella French Toast in a Cast Iron Skillet

french toast with nutella stacked on a plate with powdered sugar on top

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If you love french toast, then you’ve got to try this Nutella French Toast! Cook it in your cast iron skillet for the perfect, slightly crispy outer crust. Top with a dusting of powdered sugar and a few sliced strawberries for an indulgent gourmet breakfast prepared right in your own kitchen!

Nutella is a staple in our house.

Our daughter uses it to make sandwiches, we mix it in homemade frosting, and a mystery family member keeps sneaking a taste and leaving the dirty spoon in the sink.

Yup, Nutella is like chocolate gold. You can put it on all sorts of foods to add instant decadence… So why not take a classic sweet breakfast and make it even better?

This Nutella French Toast is super easy to make, and it will impress the socks (and maybe even a few other undergarments!) off your wife. If you can make a sandwich, beat an egg, and even remotely use your cast iron skillet, then you can make this breakfast. Here’s how:

How to Make Nutella French Toast

Ingredients

  • Nutella – how much you need will vary depending on how much french toast you make
  • Thick slice bread (I used Pepperidge Farm Brown Sugar bread, but you can also use brioche, challah, or other thick sliced bread) – Be sure to lay your bread out on the counter the night BEFORE you make your Nutella French Toast.  Or, if you forget, you can put it in the oven at 150 degrees for 1 hour.
  • Butter – enough to coat the bottom of your cast iron skillet
  • 1 cup Half and half
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • Strawberries (optional)
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

Step 1: Make the French Toast Custard

Did you know that the mixture that you dip your bread into for french toast is called french toast custard? You learn something new everyday! Here’s how to make it:

In a pie pan or shallow, wide bowl, beat 3 eggs, 1 cup half and half, 2 tbsp brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract until well combined. And that’s it!

Step 2: Make Nutella Sandwiches

container of nutella with cinnamon bread slices

Spread approximately 2 tablespoons of Nutella on one slice of your dried out bread.  If you’re a HUGE Nutella fan, you can add a bit more, but remember Nutella is pretty rich so a little goes a long way. Top that with another slice of bread to form a sandwich.

Step 3: Dip your Nutella Sandwiches in the French Toast Custard

nutella sandwich in bowl with french toast custard

Dip both sides of the sandwich into the custard mixture for approximately 20-30 seconds per side.  You want the bread to absorb the mixture, but not get too soggy.

*Side Note – The drier or staler your bread is, the more custard it will absorb, which means more flavor. That’s why it’s best to use stale bread.

Step 4: Fry to perfection

Preheat your skillet on medium low and pour yourself a cup of coffee because the perfect french toast takes a bit of patience. Once your skillet is preheated, add butter AND oil. Just a bit of oil goes a long way, so be sure not to add too much… A good rule of thumb when making french toast in a cast iron skillet is 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of oil per sandwich.

nutella french toast cooking in cast iron skillet

Here are some more questions you may have about the actual cooking process for the BEST french toast:

Why do you need to add butter AND oil to the pan?

The oil has a higher smoke point, so when combined with the butter, it helps prevent the butter from burning. The combination of butter AND oil helps your French Toast with Nutella to “fry” and develop those nice, crunchy edges.

What kind of oil should I use to make french toast?

The type of oil that you use is up to you. Vegetable oil, canola oil, avocado oil, and olive oil are all perfectly fine to use when cooking Nutella french toast.

I don’t have butter… Can I use margarine to make french toast?

NO! Margarine may be cheaper than butter, but you get what you pay for. Margarine has a higher water content than butter, and thus will not allow the bread to “fry”. If you try to make french toast with margarine, it will turn out soggy. And nobody likes soggy french toast!

I’m in a rush… Can I cook french toast on high heat?

Preferably not… Butter has fat, and fat burns at a lower temperature. AND your french toast custard has sugar in it, which will also burn. So cooking french toast on high heat is a double whammy. Plus, by cooking french toast on a medium low heat, you can cook it for longer which allows the moisture to evaporate and your french toast to crisp up.

If you’re in a rush, just make cereal.

Step 5: Serve your Nutella French Toast with toppings of your choice

After your french toast is perfectly cooked, remove it from your skillet, plate it, and top with your favorite french toast toppings.

Nutella french toast stacked up on a plate

Since the Nutella is pretty rich, I like to top my Nutella french toast with just a tad bit of maple syrup and a slight dusting of powdered sugar to prevent sugar overload. You can also add fresh berries and tell yourself that you’re eating a healthy breakfast because it contains fruit… at least that’s my wife’s rationale.

FAQs about Making the BEST French Toast

Why is my french toast soggy?

If your french toast is soggy, it’s probably because of one of these reasons:

  1. Your bread was too fresh. You always want to use STALE bread when making french toast because the moisture in stale bread has already evaporated, allowing the bread to properly soak up your french toast custard. If you use fresh bread, there is too much moisture in the bread to start with, so your bread will be too soggy before it even hits the pan.
  2. Your french toast was not cooked long enough. You want to be sure that you cook your french toast long enough to allow the excess moisture to evaporate. That’s why it’s important to cook french toast on medium low and use butter AND oil to help the bread fry. If you cook your french toast on high, it will burn before it has a chance to cook long enough.

What kind of bread should I use for french toast?

To make the BEST french toast, you need to have the right bread. Don’t use breads that are too thinly sliced… so that pretty much eliminates all pre-cut sandwich loaf style breads.

Challah, brioche, and thick cut Texas toast are all good options. For added sweetness, you can also use a thick-sliced cinnamon swirl bread. And remember, for this Nutella stuffed french toast recipe, you are stacking two slices of bread on top of each other, so you don’t want your bread to be TOO thick.

Just remember that the thickness of your bread, and how much custard it soaks up, will cause your cooking times to vary.

What if I don’t have stale bread? Can I use fresh bread?

NO! If you don’t have stale bread, you can lay your sliced bread out on the counter over night to dry it out. Or, if you forget to leave your bread out the night before making french toast, then you can put your bread in the oven for 1 hour at 150 degrees to help dry it out.

If you make french toast with fresh bread, it will likely turn out soggy.

Why should I cook french toast in a cast iron skillet?

A cast iron skillet retains heat very well, which is important when you need to cook at a low heat setting. With french toast you want crispy edges, rather than soggy toast, so you want to cook it on lower heat to allow it to cook long enough without burning. With this type of cooking method, a cast iron skillet works best.

What are some other ways to make stuffed french toast?

Making stuffed french toast is a great and EASY way to elevate your french toast for special occasions like an anniversary or Valentine’s Day. Here are some other stuffed french toast ideas to try:

  • Cream cheese and berries – Whip cream cheese and blueberries or raspberries together and stuff french toast
  • Peanut butter and jelly stuffed french toast
  • Peanut butter and banana stuffed french toast
  • S’mores french toast – Stuffed with mini marshmallows and chocolate spread
  • Funfetti french toast – Stuffed with vanilla icing and sprinkles… maybe go light on the syrup for this super sweet version of stuffed french toast
french toast with nutella stacked on a plate with powdered sugar on top

Nutella French Toast in a Cast Iron Skillet

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

What’s better than a thick slice of French toast?  How about French Toast with Nutella?!  Make it with a thick sliced cinnamon swirl bread and top with strawberries for a decadent treat... and of course, this French Toast is cooked right in your cast iron skillet! 

Ingredients

  • 12 slices of thick slice bread - we used Pepperidge Farm Brown Sugar bread
  • 3/4 cup Nutella
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Half and half
  • 1 TBSP Vanilla Extract
  • 2 TBSP Brown Sugar
  •  3 TBSP Butter - enough to coat bottom of cast iron skillet
  • 3 TBSP Light Olive Oil - or other oil with high smoke point
  • Strawberries (optional)
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. The night before making this french toast with Nutella, lay your bread out on the counter so that it can dry out. If you forget, you can put the bread in the oven at 150 degrees for approximately 2 hours.
  2. To prepare the French Toast Custard: In a pie pan or shallow wide bowl, beat eggs, half and half, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Spread approximately 2 tablespoons of Nutella on one slice of your dried out bread.  If you’re a HUGE Nutella fan, you can add a bit more, but remember Nutella is pretty rich so a little goes a long way.
  4. Place another slice of bread on top of the slice with Nutella to form a sandwich.
  5. Dip both sides of the sandwich into the custard mixture for approximately 20-30 seconds per side.  You want the bread to absorb the mixture, but not get too soggy.
  6. Preheat cast iron skillet on medium low. Once skillet is heated, add butter and oil to your skillet. You will need approximately 1/2 TBSP of butter and 1/2 TBSP of oil per Nutella sandwich.
  7. Add 1-2 Nutella french toast sandwiches and cook on first side until slightly crispy, about 5-7 minutes on medium low.
  8. Carefully flip french toast sandwiches and allow to cook on other side.
  9. After french toast is done, transfer to a plate and serve with your favorite toppings.

Notes

*If you cook it too fast, the Nutella doesn't have time to absorb the heat and melt. Also, it's best to fry the french toast on medium low because it allows the bread to properly fry without burning, so you don't get soggy french toast.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 501Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 2gSugar: 42gProtein: 7g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. Different online calculators may calculate nutritional information differently. Also, the addition of optional ingredients and varying brands and products may change the information. For the most accurate data, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients that you us

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