San Francisco Tower Cafe Custard French Toast

Prep Time
Cook Time
1d 1h
Ready In

Recipe: #39072

July 07, 2022

Categories: French Toast

"Copycat needs overnight soak"

Original is 8 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (325 g)
  • Calories 562.7
  • Total Fat - 29.3 g
  • Saturated Fat - 11.2 g
  • Cholesterol - 480.9 mg
  • Sodium - 719.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 47.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 1.4 g
  • Sugars - 16.3 g
  • Protein - 26 g
  • Calcium - 238.9 mg
  • Iron - 4.2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 0.1 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.4 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Cut French bread into 2 1/2-inch slices and set aside.

Step 2

Combine remaining ingredients except butter and oil in a bowl and mix well.

Step 3

Place bread in a container large enough to hold all slices without stacking.

Step 4

Pour milk mixture over bread.

Step 5

Bread will float.

Step 6

Cover and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 7

Turn bread slices and let soak until all the batter has been absorbed.

Step 8

Place in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 9

They will be ready to cook in the morning.

Step 10

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 11

Heat some butter and oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.

Step 12

Fry the soaked bread until golden brown on each side, then place on a sheet pan.

Step 13

Continue until all soaked bread is browned, adding more butter and oil as needed.

Step 14

The burner temperature may need to be adjusted to medium as you fry.

Step 15

Bake for 20 minutes.

Step 16

Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup.


No special items needed.

Editorial Notes

The ingredient tips, suggestions, variations, facts, questions and answers below are not edits to the original author's recipe. They are not meant to imply any change would improve the recipe. They're offered for convenience, alternative ideas, and points of interest. If you have any comments about them, please post in the Help & Ideas forum.

  • Use the best quality French bread you can find for the best results.
  • If you don't have lemon zest, you can substitute with a teaspoon of lemon juice.

  • Substitute almond milk for the regular milk - Almond milk is a good substitution for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, and it is also lower in calories and fat than regular milk, making it a healthier option.
  • Substitute coconut oil for the butter and oil - Coconut oil has a higher smoke point than butter, making it a healthier option as it does not release carcinogens when heated. It also adds a delicious coconut flavor to the French toast.

Chocolate Chip French Toast Prepare the batter as directed, but add 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to the batter before soaking the bread. Fry as directed and serve with chocolate syrup instead of maple syrup.

Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Glaze.

RECOMMENDED DISH DESCRIPTION: Fresh Fruit Salad with a Honey-Lime Glaze is a perfect accompaniment to the San Francisco Tower Cafe Custard French Toast. The sweetness of the honey-lime glaze complements the custard-infused french toast, and the variety of fresh fruit adds a colorful and healthy touch.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Maple Syrup

RECOMMENDED DISH DESCRIPTION: Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Maple Syrup is a classic breakfast dish that pairs perfectly with the Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Glaze. The sweetness of the maple syrup complements the honey-lime glaze, while the chocolate chips add a delicious contrast. A perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors!


Q: How long should I soak the French bread?

A: The French bread should be soaked overnight in the milk mixture for 10 to 15 minutes, then refrigerated until morning.

Q: How do I make the milk mixture?

A: To make the milk mixture, combine 2 cups of milk with 2 tablespoons of sugar and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

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Fun facts:

This French toast recipe is inspired by the famous San Francisco Tower Cafe's custard French toast, which was made famous by celebrity chef Guy Fieri.

The Tower Cafe is a San Francisco institution that has been around since the 1920s and is known for its delicious comfort food.