Rabanadas are mouthwatering Brazilian-style French Toast with condensed milk that are dusted with cinnamon and sugar. They are super easy to make and are delicious for breakfast, brunch, or dessert!
Rabanadas, pronounced ha-ba-na-das, are indulgent, sweet, and delicious Brazilian version of French Toast. Slices of thick soft bread are dipped in a luscious bath of sweet condensed milk and vanilla. Then they are dipped in egg and quickly fried. As they sizzle to golden crispy perfection, they transform into crispy, caramelized jewels, preserving the secrets of their rich and custardy core.
They are finally dusted with cinnamon and sugar so that with each heavenly bite, you get the crispy and sweet outside with the soft and custardy inside. This is definitely not just a regular French Toast recipe!
- From Portugal to Brazil
- Simple Ingredients and Substitutes
- Simple Equipment You'll Need with Options
- Tips for Making Rabanadas
- Making Brazilian French Toast with Condensed Milk
- French Toast with Condensed Milk FAQs
- Want More Brazilian Breakfast Recipes?
- Rabanadas! ~ Brazilian French Toast with Condensed Milk Recipe
From Portugal to Brazil
Like many traditional dishes in Brazil, Rabanadas originated in Portugal. They were a way to use stale bread and repurpose it as a new indulgent treat. And a treat they are! They are often seen around the holidays or on special occasions served as a dessert in addition to being served for breakfast and brunches.
Simple Ingredients and Substitutes
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Soaking and Coating Ingredients
- Baguette - You will want about 16 slices of white bread that are each 1 inch thick. The best bread used in the traditional recipe is sliced from a crusty bread or rolls, such as baguette or Portuguese rolls or pão francês. You will not want a sandwich or overly soft bread that will fall apart when soaked in the milk. In terms of stale vs. fresh, either will work. Stale is a great way to use up leftover bread and because it is dry, it soaks up the milk nicely.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk - The sweetened condensed milk is what gives the bread the custardy and creamy consistency as well as sweetness. If you don't want the sweetness of the condensed milk, you can substitute with coconut milk or heavy cream, or even regular milk, but you will want to also add in a sweetener, such as honey, agave, sugar, or even brown sugar.
- Whole Milk - You can substitute with milk alternatives, such as almond milk, or lower fat content milks, but you may not get the same rich and creamy flavor.
- Vanilla extract - I love the warm nostalgic flavor that vanilla brings. You could also use coconut, almond, or other extract that you like.
- Salt - The salt helps to bring some balance to the very sweet ingredients. I used kosher salt, but any fine or coarse salt will work.
- Large eggs - The eggs seal in the custardy center and give a crispy outside when fried.
Frying and Finishing Ingredients
- Granulated sugar - You can go as light as you want for the sugar dusting. You can roll the fried rabanadas in it or simply sprinkle some on top.
- Ground Cinnamon - If you don't like cinnamon you can eliminate the cinnamon all together. You can also use pumpkin spice, add a pinch of nutmeg, or other delicious warm spice blend that you like.
- Oil for Frying - As with any deep frying, you will want a neutral oil with a high cooking temperature. I used soybean oil, but canola oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil all work for this.
See recipe card for quantities.
Simple Equipment You'll Need with Options
There is no fancy equipment required for this delicious recipe, but you will want to get all of the bowls and dishes and skillets or pots ready before you start. Just keep scrolling and below the picture is a list of what you need!
- Cutting board and serrated knife
- Three Shallow bowls or deep dishes. One for the condensed milk mixture, one for the eggs, one for the cinnamon sugar.
- Large casserole dish or baking sheet to place the soaked/coated bread slices before frying.
- Wide bottom pot, deep skillet, deep pan, or frying pan for frying. I used my dutch oven for frying these.
- You will wire rack over baking sheet or paper towels on plates to place the rabanadas after being removed from the oil.
Tips for Making Rabanadas
Tip #1 Get organized - This is a very simple recipe, but it does require several steps and hot oil, which can be dangerous. So, make sure that you have all of the ingredients and kitchen tools and equipment ready and organized.
Tip #2 Dredge ALL before Frying - Dredge all of the rabanadas BEFORE starting to fry. Because the oil is hot and can splatter when adding the french toast, you want to make sure that you are paying attention and not multitasking. These also cook very fast, so if you are dipping some bread slices, frying some, and dipping others in sugar, they could accidentally burn in the oil.
Tip #3 Make a day ahead and warm in the oven! If you have to make lots of these for your family or a crowd, you can fry them and then store them in the fridge in an airtight container. Then lay them flat on a sheet pan and warm in a preheated 350 F degree oven for 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and dip into the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Making Brazilian French Toast with Condensed Milk
Soaking and Coating
Start by cutting the baguette into 1-inch thick slices. The reason you want them this thick is because you will really be soaking them in the condensed milk so that the inside bread becomes this custardy center. This recipe will soak and coak about 16 one-inch slices of baguette. You can do this step a day in advance since dry bread will soak up the milk and be just perfect.
Even though the sugar is the last step, I like to mix together the sugar and cinnamon in ahead and set aside.
For the soaking and coating, you will need 2 separate bowls.
Bowl 1 is for the custard mixture. Whisk together the condensed milk, whole milk, salt, and vanilla extract.
In bowl 2, whisk the eggs.
First, soak 1-2 bread slices at a time in the milk mixture letting each side soak for about a minute.
Carefully lift to allow excess milk to drip off.
Next dip the slices in the egg mixture to coat both sides. Again, gently let excess egg drip off.
Then place the coated bread in a shallow pan or casserole dish. Continue until all slices are coated.
Frying the French Toast with condensed milk
Now, to fry these French Toast with condensed milk, you need to fill a deep skillet with oil to about 2-inches deep. Heat over medium heat until it reaches 330 F degrees. To check the temperature, use a candy thermometer. Use can also use the handle of a wooden spoon and if the oil starts to bubble around it, you are good to go.
Using a large slotted flat spoon or spatula, gently lay each soaked and coated slice of bread into the hot oil, taking caution as it may splatter.
Pan fry 2-3 bread slices in the skillet or pot for 1-2 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown and crispy.
Remove the bread with the slotted spoon, place on paper towel and set aside.
NOTE: Keep the oil hot while frying (check temp), raising the heat if needed.
Once done frying and while the Rabanadas are still warm, dip the slices in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat and place on a serving platter.
French Toast with Condensed Milk FAQs
Is it possible to make these Rabanadas without frying?
Yes, you can bake Rabanadas in the oven for a healthier alternative. Arrange the soaked bread slices on a baking sheet, brush them with melted butter or oil, and bake until they are golden and crispy.
What are other toppings for this Brazilian French Toast?
There many different toppings that you can put on these Rabanadas. Here are a few ideas. Dust them with powdered sugar, or try drizzling them with honey. You can add fresh fruit, whipped cream, or of course maple syrup. Strawberry jam or any fruit preserves would be great. How about nutella or doce de leite or caramel sauce for extra flavor?
Can I make these french toasts in advance?
Yes, you can make them in advance, fry them and then store them in the fridge in an airtight container. Then lay them flat on a sheet pan and warm in a preheated 350 F degree oven for 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and dip into the cinnamon sugar mixture.
How do I prevent Rabanadas from becoming too soggy?
To prevent them from becoming overly soggy, be sure to dip the bread slices in the soaking mixture just briefly, allowing them to absorb some liquid without becoming too wet. Also, use slightly stale bread, which can hold up better to the soaking process.
Want More Brazilian Breakfast Recipes?
Fill out your breakfast or brunch table with more delicious Brazilian recipes!
Rabanadas! ~ Brazilian French Toast with Condensed Milk Recipe
- 1 Baguette, one 16-17", two 8-9" baguettes (You need enough for 16 one-inch slices)
- ¾ Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
- ¾ Cup Whole Milk
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 3 Large eggs
- ½ Cup Granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- 3-4 Cups Vegetable oil for frying (enough to fill your pan with 2 inches of oil)
- Cut the baguette into 1-inch thick slices. You should get about 16 pieces.
- Mix together sugar and cinnamon in a small shallow bowl big enough to hold one or more slice bread. Set aside for after frying.
- Get 2 separate bowls. In bowl 1, whisk together the condensed milk, whole milk, salt, and vanilla extract. In bowl 2, whisk the eggs.
- First, soak 1-2 bread slices at a time in the milk mixture letting each side soak just until the saturated, but not too long that the bread starts to fall apart (about 30 seconds per side). Carefully lift with slotted spoon or large fork to allow excess milk to drip off. Next dip the slices in the egg mixture quickly to coat both sides. Again, gently let excess egg drip off and place the coated bread in a shallow pan or casserole dish. Continue until all slices are coated.
- Fill a deep skillet or pot with oil to about 2-inches deep. Heat over medium heat until it reaches 330 F degrees(use a candy thermometer or handle of a wooden spoon to check if the oil bubbles around it).
- Pan fry 2-3 bread slices for 1-2 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown and crispy. Keep the oil hot while frying (check temp), raising the heat if needed.
- Remove the bread from the oil with a slotted spoon, place on paper towel and set aside. Once done frying and while the Rabanadas are still warm, dip the slices in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat and place on a serving platter.