Lemon blueberry French toast is the breakfast food my family always asks me to make.  Seeded semolina bread is soaked in a mixture of vanilla, eggs, sugar, and cream and fried until golden.  Fresh blueberries, lemon zest, and copious amounts of powdered sugar seal the deal on this very simple but delicious breakfast.  

Lemon blueberry French toast with butter and syrup.

Editor’s Note: Originally Published on June 4, 2018.  Updated with full process shots and expanded info.

Weekdays are usually pretty busy in our house and quick breakfast items like chocolate chip banana bread are usually consumed in the car while driving the kids to school.  

But on the weekend we can usually find some time to eat breakfast together and when we do, lemon blueberry French toast is almost always on the menu.

 

I love using leftover semolina bread to make the French toast because it stands up really well to the eggy mixture and the pop of flavor from the sesame seeds takes it over the top.

And the aroma of the lemon zest after it hits the warm French toast – there’s nothing like it!

Pair this with a peach bellini or cranberry mimosa and you’ve got yourself a winning brunch combo!

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Heat your oven to the lowest temperature or 170f and set the rack to the middle level.  You’ll use the oven, later on, to keep the french toast warm.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, sugar, and vanilla.  

Lemon blueberry French toast recipe process shot collage group number one.

  1. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter.  While that’s heating, soak four slices of bread in the bowl for at least 30 seconds.  
  2. Remove the bread from the bowl, allowing it to drip for a bit, and place it into the warm pan.    

Recipe process shot collage group number two.

  1. Fry for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden on both sides.  Move the cooked French toast onto a baking sheet and place it in the oven to keep warm.  Add a little more butter to the pan and repeat the frying process for subsequent batches until you’ve used up all the bread.  When all the pieces are finished, plate and divide the blueberries, and lemon zest.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with some melted butter and maple syrup.  Enjoy!  Note: If you think you have too much lemon zest, reserve a bit for guests to sprinkle on themselves.

Platter of lemon blueberry French toast with bowl of blueberries on the side.

Top tips for epic French toast with lemons and blueberries

  • The bread.  I usually have a loaf of semolina or other seeded Italian bread in our house at all times so that’s my bread of choice for French toast.  You can really use any bread you like though.  Brioche, challah, country white, or rustic bread would work well.  If possible, buy a loaf that is not sliced so you can control the thickness of the slices.  Ideally, they should be around 1-inch thick.  
  • The batter.  I used half and half because it adds additional creaminess but you can use whole milk, skim milk, or plant-based milk of your choosing.  I also use 3 tablespoons of sugar in the batter which can be reduced if you prefer your French toast to be less sweet.  When dipping the bread in the batter, press it down a bit to ensure it’s really soaking up the mixture.  
  • The heat.  I fry lemon blueberry French toast on low to medium heat.  You might be tempted to increase the heat to speed the process along, but please resist the urge to do that as it could result in burnt toast.  Trust my process and you’ll come out with perfect French toast every time.  
  • The fruit.  My family really loves this dish with fresh blueberries and lemon zest but really, you can use other fruit depending on your likes and availability at the grocery store.  Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries would all be great here.  If you can’t find berries in season, you can definitely top with some berry preserves.  

Lemon blueberry French toast with butter and syrup in white plate on wood board.

More breakfast recipes you’ll love

Breakfast is such a joy and we love it so much that we sometimes eat it for dinner!  Check out some of our most loved breakfast recipes below:

  • Eggs in purgatory – Eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce with cannellini beans.
  • Pepper and egg sandwich – The quintessential Italian-American sandwich of scrambled eggs, green peppers, and mozzarella on a round roll.
  • Potato frittata – Eggs, potatoes, Pecorino, and chives with a wilted cherry tomato topping.
  • Bacon egg and cheese – The NY-style deli sandwich everyone should know how to make!

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Lemon Blueberry French Toast

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Classic french toast made with semolina bread, blueberries, and lemon zest.

Ingredients 

  • 8 slices semolina bread sliced to about 1-inch thick
  • 2 large lemons zested, about 1 1/2 tablespoons of zest
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar for dusting before serving
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 ounces fresh blueberries or 1 dry pint

Instructions 

  • Heat your oven to its lowest temp or 170f and set the rack to the middle level.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, sugar, and vanilla.
  • Heat a non-stick pan to medium-low heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • Soak 4 pieces of bread in the bowl for at least 30 seconds. Remove bread from the bowl, letting it drip for a bit, and place it into the pan.   Fry for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden on both sides. 
  • Place cooked French toast onto a baking sheet and right into the oven to keep warm. Add a bit more butter to the pan and repeat the frying process for subsequent batches.
  • When all the pieces are finished cooking, plate and divide the blueberries, and lemon zest. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with some melted butter and maple syrup.  Enjoy!

Notes

  • Calorie info does not reflect butter or syrup for serving.
  • Makes 4 servings.  The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
  • Some of the lemon zest can be served at the table for those who might not like it as much.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated by frying in butter until warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 41.1g | Protein: 8.8g | Fat: 22.9g | Saturated Fat: 12.8g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 337mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 22.2g | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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This recipe was originally published on June 4, 2018.  It was completely updated on May 7, 2022.

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15 Comments

  1. Loretta DeVito says:

    5 stars
    Always enjoy your recipes!

  2. Mark Putnam says:

    5 stars
    We loved it!! Even was good with gluten free bread, as I make all of your recipes that way for my love… thank you James for elevating both my interest and my abilities to cook better meals!!

  3. Margot says:

    Made the lemon blueberry French toast tonight. Oh my it was delicious. The only bread I could find was an artisan sourdough bread, but it worked out really well.
    The lemon zest on the toast takes it to another level. Fresh and lemony. Will definitely make this again. Served with maple syrup, there’s nothing better.
    Thanks for a great recipe.

  4. Brian says:

    Are you no longer posting your recipes and videos on Youtube?

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Brian, I post new videos every week on YouTube – every Thursday at 10:30 am Eastern.

  5. Adriana Dragan says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for your great recipes. Every time I learn something new.

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Adriana, thanks for the comment and so happy you’re enjoying the recipes!

  6. Geri Callahan says:

    5 stars
    Delish! Made me wonder if you have mastered NY Bakery
    Crumb Cake.?

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Geri, thanks for the comment and so happy you liked this one. I don’t have a crumb cake recipe yet but at some point I might!

      1. Carolyn says:

        5 stars
        Love ur recipes. Can u please post one for grain pie which is traditional for Easter

  7. Dawn Wilmoth says:

    Made this for brunch today. So delish!

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Dawn, I’m happy to hear you enjoyed this one and thanks for the comment!

  8. Alene says:

    My husband is not a big fan of lemon zest. I think I will incorporate it into the egg mixture so it is disguised a little bit. Lol! Like a child. But I love this idea! I’ve never thought of doing that. It’s always plain old French toast. Thank you.

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Alene, thank you for the comment and you can definitely disguise it in the egg mixture if you’d like!