Cinnamon Raisin Bagel French Toast with Crème Fraîche

By Amanda Paa – Updated April 15, 2023

I never quite caught on to the allure of bagels. I’ve always been more partial to regular toast, not too thick or thin, and plenty of surface area for smears of peanut butter and jam if I’m going sweet, or avocado if I’m going savory. I also blame my Midwest roots for never having a proper New York doughy, yeasty bagel that they say life-blood in food form. And the fact that I couldn’t access gluten-free versions up until just a few years ago.

But this bagel french toast …….. I’m 110% behind. Sliced on the diagonal, dipped in a vanilla milk bath, and griddled into mini french toasts. Not only a different way of doing things, but definitely the closest thing to a damn good gluten-free cinnamon roll that I’ve ever tasted. The combination of sweet, cinnamon raisin studded bagel slices + mild, creamy creme fraiche is a brunch marriage, the kind that’s destined to stay together forever.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel French Toast with Creme Fraiche - tastes like a cinnamon rollCinnamon Raisin Bagel French Toast with Creme Fraiche - tastes like a cinnamon roll

Another advantage to using to using bagels (my go-to brand and partner is Udi’s Gluten-Free) instead of bread was how they soaked up the milk. In the past I’ve had issues with bread getting a little soggy, and more eggy than I’d like. But the sturdy characteristic of a bagel means it soaks on the outside so the surface can caramelize in the pan, and the inside stays soft and bready. Yes, like the interior layers of a cinnamon roll….. the best part.

I didn’t sweeten the crème fraîche because I thought it offered the perfect cool and creamy counter to the warmly spiced bread. And it left room for a drizzle of maple syrup, a must in my books for french toast.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel French Toast with Creme Fraiche - 10 minutes to make and tastes just like a cinnamon rollCinnamon Raisin Bagel French Toast with Creme Fraiche - 10 minutes to make and tastes just like a cinnamon roll

Because it’s a little more indulgent, I totally get your thinking of “this is a weekend recipe”. But on the contrary, it took me less time to make than my weekday bowl of oatmeal. Knowing that, it’d be a great option if you’re hosting brunch. Quick, easy, and semi-homemade.

Have a safe and happy holiday-esque rest of the week. And maybe this for Christmas morning breakfast.
xo, Amanda

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel French Toast with Creme Fraiche - 10 minutes to make and tastes just like a cinnamon roll

side note: This recipe came about because I was recently jealous of cinnamon raisin french toast that Brian ordered when we were in Michigan last month. On a whim, I decided to use the gf cinnamon raisin bagels because I didn’t have any bread. After I had created the recipe, I noticed others have done something similar, most notably, Molly Yeh and this blueberry version from Yammie’s Noshery.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel French Toast with Crème Fraîche
Recipe Type: gluten-free
Author: Amanda Paa
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cinnamon raisin Udi’s Gluten-Free Bagels, cut on the diagonal without taking apart, into 8 pieces
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • creme fraiche and maple syrup for serving
  1. In a shallow pan, whisk together egg, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla. Dunk the bagel pieces in, letting them float for 30 seconds, then flipping them over, and spooning the liquid over. Then let them sit for 1 minute, and remove, setting on a plate.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter on a griddle or in a cast iron skillet. Bring to medium heat, and add some of the bagel slices. You’ll be doing this in a few batches. Cook on one side for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and put foil over to keep warm while you finish the others. Before adding bagel slices for each batch, melt 1 tablespoon butter, and proceed.
  3. Serve with dollops of creme fraiche and maple syrup.

Did you make this?

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December 21, 2016


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  1. Claire

    I just made some cinnamon raisin bagels today for this recipe. Tomorrow will be bagel day and Sunday will be French toast bagel day!!! Loving this:)

    • amandapaa

      wow, cinnamon raisin bagels from scratch?! amazing. hope you enjoyed using them in the french toast. :) xo

  2. Bethany @ Athletic Avocado

    Bagel french toast? This looks incredible amazing! Now I know what to do with all of my bagels that are stored in my freezer :)

    • amandapaa

      yes, yes! the perfect solution. it helped me clear some room. :)

  3. Jayme | holly & flora

    Amanda, this sounds so GOOOOOOOD. And I’m all about making every weekday feel more indulgent, and I’m more than willing to pay any price for that. ;-) I hope you had a great Christmas!!

  4. Ruby

    Yaaass I was so excited to see this recipe and it totally delivered. It sounds amaaazing- I love the splash photo! I think would like to take a vanilla milk bath too please. xx

    • amandapaa

      the funniest thing about that photo — two days later i was in the same room and went to plug something into the wall. and realized it had a nice coating of milk splatter. lol!

  5. Sarah

    Beautiful! I love that splash shot. :) xx

  6. Alison

    Just beautiful! Those are chunks of love in there <3

  7. Sara @ Cake Over Steak


    • amandapaa

      brunch love!

  8. Aysegul

    My Goodness.. I am not a big bagel person either, but bagel French toast looks amazing. I think creme fraiche is a life changing ingredient and I can only imagine how delicious this French toast with a big dollop of creme fraiche.
    Happy holidays Amanda!

    • amandapaa

      i can’t get over how much it tastes like a cinnamon roll! and i agree, creme fraiche deserves more love. so creamy and mild. xo

  9. Betty

    whoaa bagel french toast! I’ve never been much of a bagel person either, and when I went to college in STL and became more introduced to non-Asian foods, you’re right – there’s not too much of a bagel scene in the midwest. I do love bagels in NY and Montreal, but I can’t get over t he fact that it’s so dense! HOWEVER. As a french toast that sounds AMAZING. That texture + the custard coating. Insanely genius Amanda.

  10. Shelly @ Vegetarian 'Ventures

    I feel you on the lack of good bagel options in the Midwest but I still love them (even if they aren’t anything like the NYC ones). Both french toast and bagels are my two favorite breakfast foods (carb obsessed, always) so I LOVE this! Also, that action shot with the milk is so so so good!

  11. Abby @ Heart of a Baker

    Bagel french toast, why isn’t this more of a thing?! I am a bagel lover, but I have to say, I’m going to love them even more now that I know I can make them into french toast :) xoxo

  12. michelle @ hummingbird high

    wow wow wow! BAGEL french toast??? that is pure decadence. love that shot of the bagel piece splashing into the milk! xo

  13. Tori//

    Wow, now this is my kind of breakfast! #doingitright

    • amandapaa

      so good! i’ve always loved french toast, but this is such a fun new way. xo