Rabanadas (Brazilian and Portuguese French Toast) Recipe

Rabanadas Brazilian Portuguese French toast recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
285 Calories
9g Fat
43g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 285
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 295mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 163mg 13%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 176mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Brazilians like to make this delicious version of "French toast" at Christmas, but rabanadas are delicious any time of year. The recipe for rabanadas migrated to Brazil from Portugal. Rabanadas are very similar to Spanish torrijas, which are typically eaten during Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Spain.

Rabanadas are so popular in Brazil and so traditional for Christmas, that during the holidays you can buy special bread—pan de rabanada—just for making them.

Rabanadas differ from American French toast in several ways, though both are a great way to use up stale bread. Rabanadas are commonly enjoyed as a dessert or afternoon treat, rather than as a breakfast food. The bread is soaked in milk and/or wine, dipped in egg, then deep-fried in oil.

In Spain, they use olive oil for this, which is especially good. The resulting "toasts" have crispy exteriors and are soft and custard-like on the inside.


For the Bread:

  • 1 large loaf stale bread

  • 4 cups milk

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 stick cinnamon sticks

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 6 large eggs

  • Olive oil, for frying

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Coating:

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Rabanadas
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Cut the bread into about 16 slices, each about 3/4-inch thick and ideally oval or round in shape.

    Cut bread
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Place the bread slices in a shallow baking dish, in 1 layer if possible. If the bread is not very stale, let the sliced bread dry out in the open air overnight if possible.

    Bread in pan
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Place the milk (or wine), cinnamon sticks, sugar, and pinch of salt in a pot over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil and let the mixture simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove cinnamon sticks.

    Cinnamon and milk
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Pour milk mixture over the sliced bread, distributing the liquid evenly over all of the pieces. Let bread soak for 20 to 30 minutes, allowing it to soak up as much of the milk as possible.

    Add milk to pan
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Heat a couple of inches of olive oil in a large heavy skillet until oil is hot enough that it sizzles gently when a piece of bread is adding to it. Cover a large plate with a layer of paper towels.

    Heat oil
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. Whisk the eggs together in a medium bowl until very well mixed.

    Whisk the eggs
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  8. Use tongs to pick up a piece of the milk-soaked bread (handling it gently) and dip it into the egg, coating both sides with egg, and allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl.

    Soak bread
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  9. Place the bread into the oil and cook until well-browned on one side.

    Put in pan
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  10. Flip the bread and cook until both sides are golden brown, then​ carefully transfer rabanada to the plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining slices of bread, cooking several simultaneously if the skillet is large enough.

    Flip bread
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  11. Mix the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle mixture over both sides of the cooked rabanadas. If you would like to also coat the rabanadas with a sugar syrup, heat equal parts honey or maple syrup with water and quickly dip each pastry into the hot sugar syrup.

    Mix cinnamon and sugar
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  12. Serve rabanadas warm or at room temperature with extra honey.

    Serve Rabanadas
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga


  • Rabanadas are usually sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, but can also be coated with honey or sugar syrup (like croissants). Breads like brioche, challah, and rosca de reyes work especially well for this recipe, but French baguettes or Italian bread work well too.
  • The bread should be stale and dry so that it doesn't fall apart after soaking up the liquids.


Substitute red wine or port for the milk, or a combination of red wine and milk, or port and milk.