Hazen Inn Caramel French Toast

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Caramel French Toast

Recently, Larry and I were guests at the lovely Hazan Inn Bed & Breakfast in Phelps, WI. Each of our four mornings, we were treated to fabulous breakfasts, made by hostess Janet and served by our host Joel. We were waited on hand and foot while Janet outdid herself preparing luscious baked goods, tempting fruit salads and hot entrées.

When I learned that Janet had published a cookbook of her favorite breakfast and brunch recipes, I had to have a copy, of course, for my ever-growing collection of cookbooks. It was hard for me to decide exactly which recipe to make first, but I finally settled on this scrumptious caramel French toast.

What a perfect recipe to make for guests, as the dish can be assembled the night before and is baked as a casserole, avoiding the need to play short order cook and grill each serving of French toast. I opted to use my 7 1/2 x 11 1/2 – inch baking dish instead of the 9 x 13 inch-size that Janet recommends. In retrospect, I wouldn’t do this again. I should have listened to Janet’s advice! Me and my big ideas…

I also added half of a scraped vanilla bean, in addition to the vanilla extract, just because I am a vanilla freak. Be certain to soak up all the egg with the baguette slices. And if you want to go over the top, drizzle a little pure maple syrup over the top of each serving.

This week marked my third anniversary as a food blogger. Many thanks to all my readers who never fail to inspire, encourage and support me in my efforts. See you next week!

Hazen Inn Caramel French Toast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
A baked French toast dish for a crowd, topped with caramel sauce.
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ⅓ cup whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • French Toast:
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ vanilla bean, scraped
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 slices sour dough or French baguette, cut on the diagonal, about 1 inch thick
  • maple syrup (optional)
  1. Spray a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick canola-based cooking spray.
  2. Using a medium-sized saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cream, butter and corn syrup. Heat over medium heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Do not allow the the mixture to boil!
  3. Spread topping in bottom of baking dish.
  4. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Add the milk, vanilla, vanilla seeds and salt - mix well.
  5. Dip each baguette slice into the egg mixture, thoroughly soaking and coating each piece.
  6. Place dipped slices over topping in a single layer. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  8. Uncover baking dish and bake 20-25 minutes, or until dish is bubbly and toast is golden brown.
  9. Allow to stand 5 minutes, then invert onto a warmed platter. Scrape extra caramel sauce onto the warm toast and serve, along with a warmed pitcher of maple syrup, if desired.



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21 Responses to Hazen Inn Caramel French Toast

  1. SallyBR September 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    You will probably think I am a mutant of some kind, but I’ve never had French toast in my life…

    now your version made me dream, I love anything with caramel… what a perfect way to awe your guests!

    • Liz September 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

      It IS interesting that you’ve never had French toast – try this!

  2. Lynda - TasteFood September 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    This looks very very dangerous. In a good way.

    • Liz September 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

      I was licking the caramel sauce from my fingers while I was shooting, Lynda – LOL.

  3. Toni Palafox September 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    this looks amazing, I want a cold Sunday morning so I can try.

    • Liz September 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

      Larry ate 3 pieces for lunch today, Toni –

  4. Wendy Read September 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    Oh Liz! Was waiting for this 🙂 Now I have to figure out how to do this well but GF, just looks so delish really. Congrats on three years my friend!

    • Liz September 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

      I didn’t realize you ate gluten-free. This was to tasty that I would try it with your favorite g-f bread.

  5. Jayne September 28, 2013 at 1:16 am #

    Happy 3rd blog anniversary Liz! French toast is a real favorite of mine!

    • Liz September 28, 2013 at 7:44 am #

      Thank you, Jayne – It seems so long ago when we both started blogging, doesn’t it?

  6. Beth (OMG! Yummy) September 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    Congrats on the three years Liz!

    Your trip sounds like it was wonderful. I have Wisconsin on my list…

    French Toast you can prepare the night before – I have to try this. Great idea. I usually just do the quick dip in the morning but this sounds luscious!

    • Liz September 28, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      I hope you try it, Beth – the caramel sauce is divine.

  7. Averie @ Averie Cooks September 30, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    Wow, this looks like a gorgeous piece of French toast! Caramel, vanilla, brown sugar – delish, Liz!

    • Liz September 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

      Thanks, Averie – I will make this again – no need for maple syrup – lots of caramel sauce.

  8. Lisa @ Whisk & Cleaver September 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    What a fun cookbook to have, I love collecting books from places I go. I am going to have to try this on my little one and see if she likes it – it sounds delicious, and I think my gluten-free bread would hold up well.

    • Liz September 30, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

      I will be interested to hear how this works with gluten-free bread. Should be fine, Lisa.

  9. mare October 1, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    I am gaining weight just looking at this fabulous breakfast/lunch/dessert!!!! Caramel is my favorite flavor.

    • Liz October 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm #


  10. Oui, Chef October 8, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    Oh my…..I know some kids who are gonna love this one! That is, if they’re fast enough to get a slice before I finish it all.

    • Liz October 8, 2013 at 10:17 am #

      I hope your kids like it – the 2 of us ate the whole batch in one day – piggies…

  11. The Wimpy Vegetarian November 17, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    This post should carry a warning! It gorgeous and makes you want to drop everything you’re doing, and run into the kitchen to make it. 🙂

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