Orange Zest French Toast Waffles

These Orange Zest French Toast Waffles are a fusion of crispy waffles and the bright orange citrus flavors of your favorite French toast. They are super easy to prep in under 10 minutes. That’s just enough time to get that waffle iron heating up.

So if you’re looking for something different from your basic (read: yawn) French toast or pancakes, these waffles are a delightful twist. Breakfast will never be the same.

French toast waffle covered in maple syrup on a plate.
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Ingredients

The key ingredients to these orange French toast waffles are, of course, the bread; the orange flavor from zest, juice, and Grand Marnier; and your waffle iron.

What’s the best bread for French toast?

You’ll get the tastiest French toast with a bread enriched with egg and butter or oil. This Portuguese sweet bread French toast is delicious, but you can also use brioche or this orange raisin challah. For once, stale bread is better than freshly baked bread because it will soak up more of the tasty liquid!

Tip from the wise quacker: thick slices of bread, about one-half inch or more, will soak up more of the French toast batter.

Orange

A single orange adds tons of flavor with the oils from the orange zest and the juice. Add in Grand Marnier or another orange liqueur and you’ve got a triple punch of orange in your orange French toast waffles.

Do you love orange? Check out these orange and poppy seed muffins and orange poppy seed waffles, this chocolate orange cake with chocolate orange ganache, or dehydrated orange slices to bring orange aroma to your tea or cocktails.

Waffle iron

The waffle iron is a great tool to make all sorts of things beyond simple waffles or even more indulgent Nutella waffles. You can use your waffle iron to make savory ham and cheese waffles or waffles with apples and caramelized onions. Make kale waffle chips to dip into your favorite dip. Or go even further and waffle falafel or your favorite mac and cheese!

You don’t need an expensive waffle iron to make great waffles. This Cuisinart classic waffle iron makes waffles just as perfectly as one that costs much more.

Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations and substitutions

  • Zest another citrus fruit, like lemon or grapefruit or blood orange for blood orange french toast. Or, if you only have a carton of orange juice, use about one quarter cup in the mixture to make orange juice French toast.
  • Sub anything from milk to heavy cream for the half-and-half. The richness of the mixture will vary accordingly. You can also use almond or another non-dairy milk in this recipe.
  • Sub more vanilla for the Grand Marnier.
  • Make regular ole orange French toast in your cast iron skillet or griddle: fry the French toast in a bit of butter or oil until the first side has browned (about 3 to 5 minutes). Then flip it over with a large spatula and brown the second side (2 to 3 minutes). This time will vary depending on the thickness of your bread and how much mixture it has soaked up. It should be fluffy and not wet inside at all.
a plate with two slices of orange zest French toast.

 

Recipe tips and tricks

Step 1: Plug in and heat up your waffle iron. If you are using homemade bread, slice the loaf into slices at least one-half inch thick.

Step 2: Whisk the ingredients for the French toast mixture (eggs, half-and-half, orange zest, orange juice, Grand Marnier, vanilla, and salt) in a large measuring cup or small bowl.

Step 3: pour about quarter of the mixture into a shallow baking dish that can accommodate two or three slices of your bread. Then pour a bit more on top of your bread to soak in.

three slices of bread soaking up the orange zest French toast mixture.

Step 4: When your waffle iron is hot, carefully remove a slice of bread, letting the excess French toast mixture drain back into the baking dish, and place it on your waffle iron. Every waffle iron is different, so cook until it crispy and cooked through.

Step 5: Repeat with the rest of the bread slices, add adding the remaining French toast batter to the baking dish and on top as needed.

Serve warm. If you want to serve the French toast waffles all at once, you can hold the waffles in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven so they are still warm when you serve.

What to serve with orange French toast waffles

Recipe FAQs

Is French toast French?

French toast exists across the world with other names like pain perdu or eggy bread. If you believe wikipedia, the first reference to French toast appeared in the 1st century. But the “French” doesn’t refer to the country. According to legend, French toast arose from a chef named Joseph French who was better at cooking than punctuation. The things you learn.

How do you zest an orange?

Wash and dry the orange well. Then I use a microplane grater to grate my orange right over the bowl.

I just made a loaf of bread. Can I still make French toast?

Slightly stale bread soaks up the orange zest and Grand Marnier mixture best, but you can make French toast with freshly baked bread. Just slice your bread and toast them very slightly to dry them out.

Can these orange French toast waffles be frozen?

Yes. Lay the waffles on a baking sheet in a single layer in the freezer. Once they have frozen (about 8 to 12 hours), put them into a freezer bag. Reheat in an oven or toaster oven.

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.

Recipe

Orange Zest French Toast Waffles

5 from 1 vote
Category: Breakfast
Cuisine: Unspecified
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 5 slices
Calories: 247kcal
These orange zest French toast waffles are made with a fragrant, citrus French toast batter. Use orange zest, orange juice, and Grand Marnier in this delicious twist on a classic!
Print Recipe

Equipment

  • 1 Waffle iron

Ingredients

  • 5 slices bread ideally thickly sliced and stale
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1 small orange zest and juice
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • neutral oil or cooking spray as needed to grease your waffle iron

Instructions

  • Plug in and heat up your waffle iron.
  • Slice the bread into slices at least one-half inch thick.
    5 slices bread
  • Combine the ingredients for the mixture (eggs, half-and-half, orange zest, orange juice, Grand Marnier, vanilla, and salt) in a large measuring cup (e.g. 4 cup) or small bowl.
    4 eggs, ½ cup half and half, 1 small orange, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 pinch salt, 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
  • Use a shallow baking dish just large enough to accommodate two or three bread slices. Add a quarter of your French toast mixture, put the bread in the dish and pour another quarter of the mixture over it to soak.
  • When your waffle iron is hot, brush or spray oil to lightly coat if using.
    neutral oil or cooking spray
  • Carefully remove a slice of bread, letting the excess French toast mixture drain back into the baking dish, and place it on your waffle iron. Add another slice of bread to the dish and a bit more French toast mixture to the top while the waffle cooks.
  • Cook the French toast waffle until it is crisp and cooked through This time will vary depending on your waffle iron, the thickness of your bread and how much mixture it has soaked up.
  • Repeat with the remaining slices of bread, using first ones that have been soaking the longest.
  • Serve warm with maple syrup, powdered sugar, or jam. If you want to serve them all at once, you can keep the French toast waffles warm in a 200℉ oven.

Notes

These orange zest French toast waffles are one place where stale bread is better than freshly baked bread because stale bread will soak up more of the orange mixture.
Feel free to substitute another orange liqueur for the Grand Marnier. Or use an extra teaspoon of vanilla instead.
My waffle irons do not ever need additional oil or cooking spray, but please do use this if your waffles tend to stick.
If you want to serve them all at once, you can keep the French toast waffles warm on a rack in a 200℉ oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 199mg | Sodium: 233mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 635IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1mg
Love this recipe?Mention @Uglyducklingbakery or tag #uglyducklingbakery!

This orange zest French toast waffle recipe was first shared April 28, 2021. It was last updated May 27, 2023.

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