This is the perfect recipe for Easter brunch. Make it ahead the night before, and then just pop it into the oven. Top it with your favorite syrup or try our buttery vanilla syrup on the blog. I love to add fresh berries when ready to serve. Whatever’s in season is always great! 


  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 loaf challah or brioche, about 1 lb. (500 g), cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) slices
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 VanillaPura Madagascar vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. VanillaPura Madagascar/ rum vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) sliced almonds
  • confectioners sugar for dusting


Preheat an oven to 425°F (220°C). Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking dish. Set aside.

Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast until the bread is lightly golden brown and dry, about 7 minutes, flipping the slices about halfway through the cooking time. Transfer the bread slices to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, brown sugar, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. With the tip of a paring knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean halves into the egg mixture and whisk to combine; reserve the vanilla bean halves. In batches, dip the bread slices into the egg mixture, turning the slices to coat them evenly and letting the bread sit in the bowl for about 2 minutes to absorb the liquid.

Arrange the bread slices in the prepared baking dish, overlapping them slightly. Pour any remaining egg mixture in the bowl evenly over the bread in the dish. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

Transfer the dish, still covered with the foil, to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the dish, increase the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and continue baking until the French toast is puffed up and browned, about 15 minutes more.Top with your favorite syrup and fresh berries.

Thanks Williams Sonoma for sharing this recipe. It's delish!





Just recently got my vanilla in the mail. Cant wait to be able to use some of it. I bake a lot of carrots cakes for family and friends.

— Jennie Riddle