French Toast Cupcakes

I’m not always a huge breakfast person but when it comes to brunch, I’m all in. Throw in some french toast cupcakes and I’m happy for the rest of the day.

Every few months, some girl friends from college and I get together to catch up over food, drink and good stories. Of late, this gathering has taken the form of a potluck brunch. Never one to disappoint my sweets-loving friends, I usually use this as an opportunity to test out a new recipe and go all out on the brunch theme.

Brunch was first thing Sunday morning and yet, by Saturday mid day I still wasn’t sure what to make. Luckily was flying back to DC on Saturday, which meant I still had lots of time to sleep on it. Anyone else get their best ideas just as they are about to fall asleep? I always find myself crawling out of a state of semi sleep to jot down just one more idea for a flavor combination or recipe to try. My plan worked and just before nodding off after takeoff, I thought: why don’t I make a cupcake of my favorite brunch treat, french toast!

These cupcakes are a delicious blend of the sweet, buttery cinnamon flavors everyone loves in french toast but are nicely balanced by the simple vanilla cupcake base. Plus, by adding the brown sugar and cinnamon bits to the batter in parts, it bakes separately which allows you to see the swirls in the baked cupcakes. I love flavors I can see, don’t you?

Do you have a favorite brunch item? Think about turning it into a cupcake to put a twist on it next time you are tasked with baking for brunch!

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (190g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup (135g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Icing ingredients

  • 1 stick (½ cup) of butter
  • 3 cups (375g) icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¼ cup french toast cereal

Recipe (adapted from Food Network’s ‘Go-To Vanilla Cupcakes)

  • Line a 12 cupcake baking pan with cupcake liners and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat eggs and granulated sugar until light, Beat in the butter and vanilla. Turn mixer to low and mix in half of the flour mixer. Mix in the milk, followed by the rest of the flour mixer. Set aside once fully combined - be careful not to overmix! In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and the brown sugar.
  • Spoon a tablespoon of cupcake dough into each muffin tin slot. Sprinkle some of the brown sugar mixture on top. Repeat until the dough and sugar is evenly distributed among all 12 cupcakes. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  • While the cupcakes cool, make the icing. Cream butter and icing sugar together. Once light and fluffy, mix in the cinnamon and the vanilla. Mix in one tablespoon of heavy cream at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Once the cupcakes are completely cool, scoop icing into piping bag and pipe onto each cupcake. Top with a handful of french toast cereals.