Chocolate Walnut French Toast Two Ways

Walnut French Toast

I’m English. I live in England. Yet here I am, posting a Thanksgiving recipe! But here’s the thing, I love holiday baking. Especially if that holiday is in the autumn, because it’s my favourite time of year with all my favourite flavours (I know, I’m such a revolutionary). So while I came up with this yummy French Toast recipe with Thanksgiving breakfast in mind, you can totally enjoy it on any day, anywhere in the world. My total Englishness can attest to that, because enjoy it is something I did with great enthusiasm! 

Walnut French Toast

I set out to make a yummy breakfast for Thanksgiving because I figured there’s enough amazing Thanksgiving dessert recipes out there already, my input isn’t need. And you need a fabulous breakfast on Thanksgiving morning before all that food you’re going to eat – call it stretching! I knew I was going to make French toast because I’d just made a Sourdough loaf (I may have made the bread with the sole intention of using it for french toast) and I of course wanted it to be Thanksgivingy, so I was trying to think of desserts I could use for inspiration. Pumpkin Pie was obviously one of my first thoughts, which lead to pecan pie – pecan pie french toast! Perfect! But then I couldn’t find any pecans (what kind of dystopian world am I even living in?!) so I landed on walnuts instead. 

Walnut French Toast

Last year I actually celebrated Thanksgiving with my best friend’s family in Atlanta. Her mum made an amaaaazing pecan pie, the thing that tipped it over the edge for me was the chocolate chips – so I knew I had to include chocolate chips in my pecan walnut pie french toast. Why two ways? There’s a couple of reasons actually – I initially made stuffed french toast but I couldn’t eat it myself because the issues I have with my jaw means I’m limited in what I can eat. Plus baked french toast has been on my list of things to bake for a while now, so after I fell in love with the stuffing for this french toast I knew I had to make it in baked form. So Chocolate Walnut French Toast Two Ways was born! Those two ways being Chocolate Walnut Stuffed French Toast and Chocolate Walnut Baked French Toast with a Streusel Topping.

Walnut French Toast

Whichever way you make it, you’re going to love it. The chocolate and walnut filling is sticky and sweet just like pecan pie, you can of course make it with pecans but honestly I loved the walnuts. It made it feel more festive for me! The baked version would probably be your best option for Thanksgiving (or Christmas!) breakfast since you’ll prepare it the night before, no fussing about in the morning when you have 1001 other things to do, you can just wake up, pop it in the oven and serve a delicious breakfast that your family will think you’ve been up since the rooster’s crow slaving away for them! Don’t worry, I won’t tell them πŸ˜‰ 

Walnut French Toast


Even on the morning, either version is pretty easy to prepare. With the stuffed version though, you do have to wait around for things to cool which I know isn’t ideal when you have a big day ahead of you. Of course, you can use that cooling time to get other things sorted, like vegetable prep or table setting. The baked version is simpler and quicker to put together, but it’s obviously not the same as traditional french toast (which, coincidentally, isn’t French), it reminds me a lot of bread pudding actually. So it all depends on your family’s needs and wants! 

Walnut French Toast

A lot of french toast recipes will tell you to use stale bread, but it isn’t necessary. French toast is a great way to use up stale bread of course, but you don’t have to wait around for your bread to go stale just to make a yummy breakfast! I used a loaf fresh out of the oven for this. All you need to bear in mind is if you do use stale bread, you’ll want to soak the slices in the egg mixture a little longer for the stuffed version. 

Walnut French Toast


Oh my gosh, I just realised I haven’t even mentioned the streusel topping on the baked version!! How could I forget this delightful and delicious addition?! Why did I put streusel on my french toast? Because I could, that’s why!! Streusel makes everything 10x more fabulous, you don’t necessarily need to put it on but, I mean, why wouldn’t you? I’m not here to judge, but if you don’t want streusel I am going to worry about you a little bit! Do you need to talk about it? I’m here for you friend! But seriously, the streusel really takes this baked french toast from a delicious holiday breakfast to the ultimate holiday breakfast! 

Walnut French Toast

I may sound a bit biased towards the baked version, but that’s only because I could actually eat more than one bite without crying! But if you have a working jaw and you like your french toast the old fashioned way, you won’t be disappointed – it’s just as decadent and yummy. You can make it with whatever bread you like, I love sourdough so it was an obvious choice for me – but go with your fave bread. Same goes for the baked version. 

Walnut French Toast

Two breakfasts is a lot even for me, so I’m bringing both along to Fiesta Friday! Come and party with us, there’s so many wonderful posts to read, yummy food to eat and awesome people to chat with! This week it’s co-hosted by the wonderful Tracy and Stephanie. I’m still pretty poorly at the moment, but I couldn’t not post something especially for my wonderful FF friends, if that’s not a testimonial for this party I don’t know what is! 

Speaking of chatting, come hang out with me on social media! You can hang out with me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and Bloglovin’

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And now, I have two recipes for you, yay!

Chocolate Walnut Stuffed French Toast
Serves 4
Yummy french toast stuffed with a sweet and sticky chocolate and walnut filling
Write a review
For the filling
  1. 115g unsalted butter
  2. 180g brown sugar
  3. 180g golden syrup*
  4. 200g walnuts, roughly chopped
  5. 200g chocolate chips
  6. 2 eggs
For the toast
  1. 8 slices of bread
  2. 3 eggs
  3. 500ml milk
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 tbsp sugar
  7. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  8. Icing/powdered sugar for serving
  1. Add the butter, sugar and syrup for the filling into a saucepan and heat over a medium/high heat. Melt everything and bring to a boil.
  2. Stirring frequently, keep cooking at a boil for 5 minutes. Then remove from heat and stir in walnuts and vanilla.
  3. Leave to cool completely, speed this up by placing the saucepan in a bath of cold water, stirring the mixture frequently.
  4. Stir the 2 eggs into the cooled filling mixture. Return to a medium heat, and cook for 3 minutes, until thickened.
  5. Preheat oven to 200C/400F
  6. Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the toast.
  7. Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon together.
  8. Heat a skillet or frying pan on a medium heat and coat with butter.
  9. Soak each slice of bread for 30 seconds - 1 minute and fry the slices until each side is golden brown.
  10. Place four of the slices of bread on a baking tray
  11. Stir the chocolate chips into the filling mixture, then spread the filling on each of the four slices of bread. Top with the other four slices of bread.
  12. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes
  13. Serve with a dusting of icing sugar (and syrup and whipped cream if you like)
  1. *If you're in the US, you can use corn syrup instead of golden syrup
  2. Halve or double recipe to suit your needs
A Tipsy Giraffe

Chocolate Walnut Baked French Toast with Streusel Topping
Serves 8
Baked french toast with walnuts, chocolate chips and a streusel topping
Write a review
For the baked french toast
  1. 115g unsalted butter
  2. 180g brown sugar
  3. 180g golden syrup*
  4. 200g walnuts, roughly chopped
  5. 1 half to 1 whole loaf of bread (approximate, depends on size of your loaf)
  6. 200g chocolate chips
  7. 3 eggs
  8. 325ml milk
  9. 130g white sugar
For the streusel topping
  1. 75g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  2. 90g brown sugar
  3. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 115g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
The night before
  1. Grease a 12x8" baking dish with cooking spray or a release spray.
  2. Add the butter, brown sugar and syrup into a saucepan and heat over a medium/high heat. Melt everything and bring to a boil.
  3. Stirring frequently, keep cooking at a boil for 5 minutes. Then remove from heat and stir in walnuts and vanilla.
  4. Pour the walnut mixture into your prepared baking dish and spread all over the bottom
  5. Cut or tear the bread into bite sized chunks and place evenly over the walnut mixture.
  6. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the bread.
  7. Whisk the eggs, milk and white sugar together and pour over the bread.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight.
  9. Make the streusel - combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and cut it into the flour mixture either with two knives or a pastry cutter, or rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers. Work quickly so your fingers don't melt the butter.
  10. Once the mixture resembles large crumbs, with a few pea sized balls, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge over night.
In the morning
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
  2. Take the prepared french toast out of the fridge, remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the prepared streusel over the top.
  3. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the french toast is set and golden brown on top.
  4. Serve warm.
  1. *If you're in the US, you can use corn syrup instead of golden syrup
  2. Will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. Reheat in portions in the microwave or oven.
A Tipsy Giraffe


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Foodie Fridays,  Fiesta Friday, Show Me Saturday, Super Saturday, Scraptastic Saturday, Inspiration Monday, Bewitchin’ Projects, Pure Blog Love, Sweet and Savoury Sundays, Motivation Monday, Frugal Crafty Home, Time To SparkleHit Me With Your Best Shot, Project Parade, Inspire Me Wednesday, Create It Thursday, Found and Foraged, Cook It! Craft It! Share It!Best Recipes of 2014: Breakfast



  1. Stephanie says:

    This weeks’ Fiesta Friday is really making me in the mood for breakfast, I’ve seen pancakes, oatmeal, and now this amazing french toast…. TWO ways!! I’m happy that you’re celebrating Thanksgiving- a holiday that circles around food, how could you not πŸ™‚ As a food blogger it just wouldn’t be right! Thanks for this one Michelle… I’m thinking I might have to enjoy this on Thanksgiving morning, it’s my first time cooking the Thanksgiving meal so I get to call the shots and I say this one’s a winner πŸ™‚

    • Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake says:

      Breakfast is the most important meal of the day after all! I’m sad I’m not gonna be in the US this year to celebrate thanksgiving, but at least I can have my own mini one here! I have a dessert recipe too, because I couldn’t not do dessert! Ooh good luck cooking the meal, that’s a big job but at least that means you can do what you want haha! Thank you Stephanie πŸ˜€

  2. Tracy says:

    Oh wow, how do you chose?! Both of these look absolutely amazing! Hey, I fully support celebrating Thanksgiving no matter where you are on the globe! Everyone has something to be thankful for and why not indulge and feast while you do it? Thanks so much for sharing- I’m definitely going to have to try both of these. My husband looveees french toast but we haven’t had it in so long. This’ll be a great treat for him! πŸ˜€

  3. Dini @ giramuks kitchen says:

    Oh good lord Michelle! This is phenomenal!! πŸ˜€ I love holiday baking too! Plus I agree that Streusal topping makes EVERYTHING better!! πŸ™‚ It’s already cold here now and just looking at the baked version makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside! Happy FF!

  4. Kloe's Kitchen says:

    Yummmmmm….I think I found something I would enjoy. My mom and I can never get enough French Toast, so this is going to have to happen in my kitchen. I absolutely love it! Thanks so much for sharing Michelle, I always adore your recipes!

  5. Johanne Lamarche says:

    These look amazing Michelle! What problems do you have with your jaw? I am a periodontist…

    Your site appears in a strange format today. I can’t get on a home pageof any kind. Just wondered if you knew.

    • Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake says:

      Thank you Johanne. I think I have TMJ but I’ve not been diagnosed with anything yet, I have an appointment with an oral surgeon in January.
      I think they’re might be something weird going on with the wordpress side of things, because my admin is going all wonky today! Thanks for letting me though, will see if I can figure it out when I finish work!

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