Bagel French Toast

Bagel French Toast - Ditch the flimsy bread and try making french toast with bagels. Topped with vanilla whipped cream cheese. It will change you.


Bagel French Toast

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Anybody who makes French toast regularly will tell you that the trick to great french toast is using great bread. You want something sturdy that won’t fall apart in the custard mixture or on the griddle.

Flimsy loaves like Wonder bread are a joke when it comes to French toast. In fact, some of the best French toast I’ve had didn’t use sandwich bread at all. Thick pieces of challah bread or rustic sourdoughs are a good start.

I thought I would crank that theory to 11 and use the sturdiest bread I could find to make my French toast: BAGELS.

There is a lot of awesomeness about this Bagel French Toast recipe and it becomes extremely flexible because you can use any bagel you like. My favorite part though? Vanilla whipped cream cheese.

Bagel French Toast

Ditch the flimsy bread and try making french toast with bagels. Topped with vanilla whipped cream cheese. It will change you.
3.40 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast & Brunch, Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings


  • 4 smallish bagels
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter for cooking
  • Strawberries for serving

Whipped Cream Cheese:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • To make whipped cream cheese, combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat on medium-low speed with a hand mixer until the mixture is one consistency. It should be light and fluffy and will work best if you start with softened cream cheese. Store in the fridge until needed.
  • In a wide, shallow dish, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
  • Cut bagels in half and let them soak in the custard mixture for about 30 seconds. Then flip them and let them soak for another 15-30 seconds.
  • Remove bagels from the mixture and let them sit for a few minutes so the custard can really absorb into the bagels.
  • In a large nonstick skillet or griddle, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted and bubbly, add bagels, cut-side down (you might have to do this in batches). Cook bagels for 4-5 minutes on the cut side and then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes on the second side. They should be browned nicely on both sides and cooked through.
  • Serve bagel french toast immediately with a big schmear of whipped cream cheese, maple syrup, and strawberries on the side.


Serving: 1bagelCalories: 589kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 25gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 182mgSodium: 884mgPotassium: 448mgFiber: 3gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 916IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 310mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Bagels, French Toast

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Bagel French Toast

Whipped Cream Cheese Is A Thing

Usually I would serve French toast with whipped cream and bagels with cream cheese so I figured it made sense to smash those two things together.

This creation was almost worth a post on its own. Softened cream cheese, cream, a pinch of sugar, and vanilla and you’re on your way to something special.

This is going to be good no matter what.
This is going to be good no matter what.

I used a hand mixer to beat the crap out of this until it was a softened, light consistency. Definitely thicker than whipped cream, but still airy.

You can still schmear it, but you’ll want to just eat it with a spoon.

 Vanilla Whipped Cream Cheese to top Bagel French Toast

Bagel Time

You can use plain store-bought bagels for this recipe. No need to get something fancy because you are just going to soak them in custard anyway.

I would shoot to find some bagels that are on the smaller side since the recipe is so rich. You don’t need a huge New York style bagel for this recipe. Save those good bagels to eat as intended.

Smallish bagels work best for Bagel French Toast
Smallish bagels work best.

The custard mixture I used is pretty standard. Some milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, a pinch of salt. I also used cinnamon raisin bagels for my version which worked great. You can use any bagel you want, but I would stick to the sweet side of the spectrum. I’m not sure how sun-dried tomato bagel french toast would be…


Whisk the custard mixture together well so it can be evenly absorbed.

custard mix for Bagel French Toast
Action shot.

Then just let your bagels sit in the mixture. Unlike breads which will get soggy after a few seconds, you can let these bagels sit for at least a minute. In fact, I recommend poking them with a fork to really let some of the custard mixture penetrate.

I let mine sit for about a minute in the mixture, flipping them once, and then I let them sit on a plate for a few minutes before cooking to really let the mixture soak all the way into the bagel.

A long soak - Bagel French Toast
A long soak.

You can cook these just like you would French toast! For me, that’s in a large nonstick skillet with about a tablespoon of melted butter over medium heat.

Let them cook for 4-5 minutes on the cut-side first.

Butter baby - Bagel French Toast
Butter baby.

Then give them a flip! Turns out I had my pan a bit off center on the heat so one of my bagels ended up a bit on the dark side!

A little dark in the back...
A little dark in the back…

Let them cook for another four minutes or so on the second side and then serve them up immediately with a good schmear of whipped cream cheese, syrup, and fresh berries on the side.

Bagel French Toast ~ Macheesmo

If you think about it, dense bagels are the perfect French toast vessel, so try this Bagel French Toast recipe out the next time you have a craving.

At a minimum, make the damn whipped cream cheese. Put it on everything.

6 Responses to “Bagel French Toast” Leave a comment

  1. My goodness…this will happen for breakfast. Tomorrow.
    *looks sadly at her bowl of cereal*
    Wish I had read this earlier, hahaha

  2. Love this!

    Only difference is that for many years I never knew of sweet french toast (weird for you I guess). I grew up with a Sunday treat of savoury french toast my Dad made, the custard usually flavoured with garlic powder & mixed herbs.

    These days, I vary the herbs & spices, & often use the much more readily available fresh variety (in the 70’s & 80’s home spice racks were an evolving thing).

    If I made your version, I’d use an onion bagel & perhaps some chilli & garlic in the custard.

    I am however, saving your sweet version for my friends: I know they’ll love it & that cream cheese sounds incredible!

    PS) For another twist, check out Jamie’s Eggy Crumpets (scroll right down for the recipe)

    Substitute good bread, english muffins or bagels for the crumpets if you like!

    1. Ya. You’re right. Savory french toast actually sounds amazing. I’m gonna try out a version for sure. Thanks for the comment!

  3. I was actually out of bread and only had bagels but I had a craving for some French toast, so being lazy me, I decided to make French toast bagels. I’m glad I found your website because the whipped cream cheese definitely sounds amazing! Thank you!

  4. Ok I don’t usually comment but this recipe is DELICIOUS! My mom suggested cutting the bagels vertically instead of horizontally, which was nice for a less bready version (our bagels were quite fat). Thank you!

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