Banana Bread French Toast Sticks with Rum Caramel Sauce
March 10, 2022
Breakfast is already the best meal of the day, so why not make it even more delicious, decadent, and sweet? These Banana Bread French Toast Sticks are the perfect way to start your morning, each coated in a layer of cinnamon sugar. Don’t forget a bowl of rum caramel sauce for dipping!
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Banana and rum are one of those flavor combinations that you just can’t go wrong with. Bananas foster anyone? Well, this breakfast treat is kind of like a deconstructed version of the classic flaming dessert, with less fire, more cozy carbs, and just the perfect amount of sticky sweet rum caramel sauce.
I started with my favorite banana bread recipe to make this into a full breakfast dish. It’s super moist and dense and tasty, thanks to perfectly overripe bananas, white whole wheat flour, and browned butter at the base. It was just begging to become french toast sticks.
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for these banana bread french toast sticks at your grocery store:
- Pantry: Sugar, Corn syrup
- Fridge: Butter, Heavy cream, Eggs, Milk
- From the Bar: Dark rum
- Spice Rack: Vanilla extract, Sea salt, Cinnamon
- Equipment: Saucepan, Thermometer, Griddle pan
- Extras for the Banana Bread: Bananas, Brown sugar, Baking soda, Allspice, Salt, White whole wheat flour, Potato masher or pastry blender, Loaf pan, Cooling rack
Let’s Make Rum Caramel Sauce
This banana bread french toast stick recipe picks up right where my cinnamon brown butter banana bread left off: You’ve got a delicious, moist loaf of banana bread, and you are ready to bring some extra pizzazz into its existence. And that starts with a rum caramel dipping sauce.
I love making caramel. It used to be one of my kitchen nemeses, but now that I understand it a little bit better, and have a good instant thermometer, I find it to be a really simple and impressive sauce to pull together. Start by combining sugar, water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan.
The corn syrup helps keep the finished caramel from crystallizing, so I don’t suggest skipping it. Over medium heat, stir just until the sugar is dissolved into the liquid, and then set your spatula aside. Instead, add a candy or instant read thermometer to the pan.
Continue to cook without stirring while the sugar begins to bubble up and brown slightly, keeping an eye on the temperature. When the caramel is a light golden brown and the thermometer reads 325F, turn off the heat.
Immediately add in some butter and cream. Do this especially carefully, since adding the cold ingredients to the hot caramel can cause it to seize and bubble violently. This is okay, just stir it all together until it’s smooth and an amber, caramelly color.
Then add in the rum, vanilla, and sea salt for flavor. I definitely suggest using real dark or spiced rum, but if needed, you can replace it with rum extract or additional vanilla extract instead. The amount of alcohol in a serving of the caramel is fairly negligible.
Transfer the caramel sauce to a glass jar or other heat-proof container, and set it aside for later. Now grab that loaf of banana bread, because we are making french toast sticks.
How to Make Banana Bread French Toast Sticks
Begin by slicing the bread into sticks. Banana bread doesn’t act quite the same as a sourdough or brioche that you may be used to when it comes to french toast, so it’s important to make sure that these sticks are thick enough to be sturdy. I found that cutting each one-inch slice of bread into four one-inch sticks worked well.
Then, set up all the pieces that you will need to make your french toast, starting with the egg custard in a flat-bottomed pan or dish. For this recipe, I decided to keep this simple, just combining eggs and milk, so go ahead and whisk those together. Be sure to mix thoroughly so the eggs are fully beaten.
Next, make some cinnamon sugar. An easy way to do this is to combine both in a jar and shake them together. However, you can also mix them right in the flat-bottomed dish you’ll be using for dipping.
Grab your griddle pan, grease it with some cooking spray, oil, or butter, and place it over medium-high heat on the stove. Then be sure to have everything lined up to make your french toast: banana bread sticks: the egg custard, the cinnamon-sugar, and finally a clean plate for the finished sticks.
One at a time, once the griddle is hot, dip each stick of banana bread into the egg mixture. It will soak up the liquid like a sponge, so there is no need to soak these for a long time. Simply dip, turn to coat all the sides, and then let the excess drip off back into the egg pan.
Place each stick on the griddle, and repeat until it’s full. Depending on the size of your pan, you will likely need to work in batches. Unless you have one of those double-burner griddle pans, which is definitely on my kitchen wish list.
Cook the banana bread french toast sticks for about five minutes, turning frequently to allow all four sides to cook evenly. These will be done when any visible egg appears dry and solid, and the sides are starting to turn a golden brown.
Immediately toss the french toast sticks in the dish of cinnamon sugar. Using a spoon, cover all the sides with cinnamon sugar, turning and pressing gently so it sticks to each of the french toast sticks. Then transfer them all to the clean plate to get ready to serve.
These definitely taste best warm, just off the griddle. If you are working in batches, cover the plate of cooked french toast sticks to keep the temperature up.
Serve a big pile of french toast sticks along with the rum caramel sauce. You can pour it into small dipping bowls, which is my favorite way to eat these. Or to feel a little bit fancier, you can drizzle the sauce on top of the french toast sticks.
You can store the cooked french toast sticks in a sealed container in the fridge for a few days. Use the microwave or toaster oven to reheat these until they are warmed through. You can also freeze the sticks in a sealed container or freezer bag for up to two months, and reheat them directly from frozen.
The rum caramel sauce can also be made in advance and stored in the fridge. Allow it to cool to room temperature in a glass jar, then seal it tightly. It will keep for a couple months. Or maybe longer: I’ll admit, I’ve had forgotten jars of caramel in my fridge last much longer than that.
Want to make banana bread even better? Cut and fry it into these French Toast Sticks, coated in cinnamon sugar and served with a rum caramel dipping sauce. Hello breakfast!
How to Serve Banana Bread French Toast Sticks
Breakfast, brunch, breakfast for dinner… oh sorry I thought we were naming my favorite meals. And well, those are the best times to serve these banana bread french toast sticks. If you have a big enough plate of them, it will feel like a full meal on its own, but you can also add more for a full fancy brunch.
Try pairing these french toast sticks with a savory egg dish. An egg bake like a smoky broccoli and cheese frittata can be a fun way to balance the sweetness. Or lean into sweet, and serve them with a tasty fruit bake, like a blueberry cobbler with cornbread biscuits.
When it comes to drinks, you can definitely go for something with rum, like a mango rum tropical sunrise. If you’d rather not serve alcohol, try making it with a zero-proof spiced rum alternative. For coffee drinkers, these french toast sticks would go excellently with a vanilla spice cold brew.
Use Up Leftover Ingredients
- Use both bananas and dark rum to make the similar but different bananas foster stuffed french toast.
- Bananas and dark rum also make an appearance in banana rum yogurt muffins.
- If you end up with extra rum caramel sauce, try stirring a spoonful into your morning coffee, or drizzling it over some coffee ice cream, which will also help you use up some eggs, sugar, and heavy cream.
- Try mixing dark rum into a spiced pear, rum, and vanilla cocktail, which also features vanilla extract, sugar, and cinnamon.
Banana Bread French Toast Sticks with Rum Caramel
Rum Caramel Sauce
- ½ Cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Corn Syrup
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- ¼ Cup Heavy Cream
- ¾ oz Dark or Spiced Rum
- ½ tsp Vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt
Banana Bread French Toast Sticks
- 1 Loaf Brown Butter Banana Bread cut into 1 inch sticks, see note
- 6 Eggs
- ⅓ Cup Milk
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
Rum Caramel Sauce
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar corn syrup and water. Heat on medium, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once it begins to bubble, stop stirring. Continue cooking, as the mixture bubbles and begins to turn a light golden color.
- When an instant read thermometer measures 325°F, turn off the heat. Immediately add in the butter and heavy cream, and stir until smooth. The caramel may seize and bubble when you add the cold cream, so be careful.
- Stir in the rum, vanilla, and sea salt. Then transfer to a jar and set aside.
Banana Bread French Toast Sticks
- Make a loaf of Cinnamon Brown Butter Banana Bread according to the instructions. Allow it to cool completely, then cut into 1-inch thick slices. Cut each slice into 4 1-inch thick sticks.
- In a flat-bottomed pan or dish, combine the eggs and milk. Whisk together until smooth and the eggs are fully beaten. In another flat pan or dish, mix together the cinnamon and sugar until combined.
- Set up your stove area with a plate of banana bread sticks, the dish of egg, a greased griddle pan on the stove, the dish of cinnamon sugar, and a clean plate for the finished sticks. Heat the griddle over medium-high.
- Dip each stick of banana bread into the egg mixture and coat all sides. Let the excess drip off, and then add to the griddle. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your pan. Cook each stick for about 4-6 minutes total, turning to cook all sides, until the egg is dry and browned.
- immediately toss the French toast sticks in the dish of cinnamon sugar. Use a spoon to coat all sides, and press the cinnamon sugar into the sticks.
- Serve warm with the caramel sauce on the side or drizzled over top.
- Cinnamon Brown Butter Banana Bread is the best choice for this recipe. However, it will also work with store bought or any other banana bread you happen to have on hand.
- Make it alcohol-free: Simply omit the rum from the caramel sauce, replace it with 1/2 teaspoon of rum extract or vanilla extract.
- Make ahead tips:
- French toast sticks can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days and reheated in the microwave or toaster oven until warmed through. You can also freeze the sticks in a sealed container or freezer bag for up to 2 months. Reheat directly from frozen.
- The rum caramel sauce can be stored in the fridge. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then seal tightly and store for 1-2 months.