Grand Marnier French Toast

A Mississippi chef’s punched-up way to prep the breakfast classic

Photo: Kate Dearman

Grand Marnier French Toast.

In his charming new cookbook, Mississippi Mornings: Deep South Breakfasts, Brunches, and Musings, chef Robert St. John shares some strong opinions about pancakes:

“If I were asked to rank waffles, pancakes, and French toast, I will always rank pancakes first, French toast second, and waffles third. That is the correct ranking. Period. End of discussion. 

This version of French toast could go a long way toward attempting to unseat pancakes at the top of the breakfast bread pecking order. In the meantime, I’ll be at table 19 at the Midtowner [my restaurant in Hattiesburg, Mississippi], at 7:00 a.m. every morning I’m in town, ready to debate.”


  • Grand Marnier French Toast (Yield: 4 to 6 servings)

    • 6 large eggs

    • ½ cup heavy cream

    • ½ cup half-and-half

    • 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar

    • ⅓ cup Grand Marnier

    • 1 tbsp. grated orange zest

    • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

    • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

    • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter

    • 12 slices thick-cut sourdough bread

    • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F.

  2. Whisk together the eggs, cream, half-and-half, brown sugar, Grand Marnier, orange zest, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.

  3. Melt a small amount of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat or on a nonstick griddle set at 325° to 350°F.

  4. Place 2 slices of bread in the Grand Marnier batter and let them soak for 1 minute, flipping them once.

  5. Place the soaked bread on the heated surface and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side.

  6. Place the toasts on a wire rack in the oven until all the bread has been cooked. Cut in half on an angle and dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Excerpted from Mississippi Mornings: Deep South Breakfasts, Brunches, and Musings by Robert St. John. Copyright © 2023 by Different Drummer Publishing.