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.
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 breakfast is 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!
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove the bread from the bowl, allowing it to drip for a bit, and place it into the warm pan.
- 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.
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.
More breakfast recipes you'll love
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- 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.
- Bacon Egg and Cheese - The NY-style deli sandwich everyone should know how to make!
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- 8 slices semolina bread sliced to about 1-inch thick
- 2 large lemons zested, about 1 ½ 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
- 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!
- 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.
This recipe was originally published on June 4, 2018. It was completely updated on May 7, 2022.