drizzling glaze onto Basil Blueberry French Toast Cups

A look back on my favorite brunches

First, let us define brunching. ‘Brunching ˈbrənch-iŋ : a social participation in the act of eating the combination of breakfast and lunch.’

That’s a lot of ‘the’s. But it’s true. I consider brunch to be a very social thing. It’s purposefully waking up to go eat brunch food, usually in the company of others. Some of my fondest memories include brunching. Or rather, maybe many of my fondest memories are brunching memories. Let us recap:

Starting early in my life, I remember that my family frequently brunched with our family friends on Sundays after church. Their house had a large table off of the kitchen, which they filled with fruits, sausages, and the most amazing homemade quiches I have ever had. As a kid, I didn’t like quiche — heck, even now I don’t like quiche — but I loved these quiches. So my first memories of brunch are a sun-filled room and table full of hot quiches ready to be devoured.

I remember making pancakes with real maple syrup what seemed like every weekend with my dad and sister. Aunt Jemima was not welcome in our house. As New Englanders, we only bought the good stuff. Countless mornings with jazz music weaving its way through the house, me with my high stack of pancakes drenched in syrup. These mornings are forever in my mind.

Then there are the weekends in college at NYU when we’d boozy brunch through the afternoon. Sitting at a patio table, watching people pass by with their dogs while sipping bellinis and scarfing waffles with our sunglasses on. Walking through Washington Square Park, a little tipsy, finally to settle down on a blanket in the sun.

Basil Blueberry French Toast Cups on a towel

There are brunches when I was on the serving end, too. Waking up at 6am each Sunday to serve hundreds of people at the small bakery and cafe I worked at in Boston. Drinking quadruple lattes to keep up with the line going out the door. Then, a few years later, working brunch at a 250-seat restaurant, still waking up at 6am, but by now settling on 1 (very large) coffee. Eating from the brunch buffet in a stairwell after it closed to the public, surrounded by 12 other chowing servers.

Most recently I’ve become keen on waking up late on Sunday mornings with Alex, brewing coffee, and lounging around the house. It’s my new version of brunching. No frills no mess, just us, coffee, and some good food. Like these french toast cups. They come together in minutes, and take a similar amount of time to be devoured. They’re perfect for brunching, as they have that unspoken but understood classiness that is so integral to a good brunch.

The blueberries and basil are so fresh and summery, and make for a great contrast to the thick french toast base. And they’re filling without leaving you stuffed, so you can eat other delicious brunch things like eggs, lox, and hash browns. Mmmm.

Basil Blueberry French Toast Cups with maple icing

Tips for making french toast cups

Use day old bread — You want slightly stale bread for this recipe, as it holds up best when combined with the eggs and buttermilk. I used challah, but any sturdy bread will do!

Use only fresh basil — Fresh basil is the only way to go here. It brightens up these hearty french toast cups and absolutely can’t be replaced with dried basil. If you don’t have any fresh basil on hand, just skip it.

Don’t over bake — You’re looking for the tops of these french toast cups to be golden brown and the centers to be moist and gooey. If you over bake these babies, they’ll dry out and taste sad.

Glaze them while warm — Unlike most other baked goods, you want the maple glaze to be nice and runny on top of these french toast cups, so ice them while still warm.

Basil Blueberry French Toast Cups in a muffin tin

Happy Friday, friends. Hope you all have great weekends. And hope some of you end up making these babies!

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Blueberry Basil French Toast Cups

  • Author: Sarah Fennel
  • Yield: 8 french toast muffins 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, julienned
  • 8 cups day old bread (I used brioche), diced in 1/2 to 1 inch cubes
  • 4 oz blueberries

For the white maple icing

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8 muffin tins with large muffin cups. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, butter, and basil, whisking until light and frothy. Toss in diced bread and mix until each piece of bread is thoroughly coated.
  3. Scoop half of the bread into muffin cups, filling each cup half way. Place half of the blueberries on top of the bread, then fill the cup with the remaining bread, topping again with the remaining half of the blueberries. Bake for 30 minutes, until the tops of the muffins are perfectly golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before frosting & serving.
  4. Make the icing while the cups are in the oven. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly until glossy. Right before you spread over the muffins, place the icing in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. This will allow it to spread more easily, but will then harden in a nice glaze!

More French toast recipes from Broma Bakery:

Almond Bostock Recipe

Strawberry Nutella French Toast

Baked Cinnamon Apple French Toast

Overnight Cinnamon Raisin Pumpkin French Toast

French Toast Scone Bread

29 comments

Avatar
June Burns
Reply

What a great breakfast idea! Love the use of basil, goes so well with blueberries 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Doesn’t it? So springy! Thanks, June 🙂

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Liz @ Floating Kitchen
Reply

Oh you know how I feel about individual sized servings of things. These are adorable and oh so yummy. Love bloobs + basil together. And love brunch. It’s the best. It sort of got ruined for me for a while when I was working the brunch shift (egg station = hell), but now I’m loving it again!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Bloobs! You speak my language! And ugh, egg station. Never again.

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Mary Ann @ the beach house kitchen
Reply

I have never combined blueberries and basil! Excited to try! Perfect for a Mother’s Day Brunch!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Oh you should, Mary Ann! They’d be perfect 🙂

Avatar
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice
Reply

These cups are so gorgeous, Sarah! And I’m loving the blueberry basil flavor. Sounds so refreshing and delish!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thanks, Gayle! Refreshing is right!

Avatar
Jenna
Reply

These are just soooooo gorgeous!! I’ve never tried blueberry and basil together, sounds like such a fresh flavor combo! def love the idea of french toast cups, so easy! Have to try it 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

You should, Jenna! How perfect would they be for Mother’s day?!

Avatar
Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)
Reply

I am a brunch fanatic so they is absolute perfection to me. You hit the nail on the head with the best memories of brunch. I have some great ones too!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

I’d love to hear yours one day!

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Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
Reply

I love everything about these and the blueberry basil combination, especially. Perfect for brunching 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

You speak my language 🙂

Avatar
Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
Reply

Weirdly enough, I didn’t know how amazing brunch was until I moved to Wisconsin! They do it UP here, with bloody marys, mimosas, everything, so I think I’m in the right place! : Basil and blueberries are a match made in heaven, forever and ever.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Whaaaat! Sounds like paradise to me. I’ll have to visit!

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Maryanne @ the little epicurean
Reply

LOVE it! Such a great idea!

I used to work Sunday brunches. I had to get to the restaurant by 430am to start baking breads and pastries. I didn’t truly appreciate my weekend mornings until I left that job. 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

No way. That’s awful. Seriously, once you’re out of that world, you appreciate weekends more than EVER

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Beeta @ Mon Petit Four
Reply

I love individual French toast cups like this – they’re so cute and simple! Yours look beautiful, and I love the addition of basil – very fresh! XO

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Traci | Vanilla And Bean
Reply

Brunch is so much fun! It sounds fancy, but really, its just a casual gathering of deliciousness and I love your idea of a slow Sunday morning – THE best!! French toast in a Cup/Muffin!? Wow! Love this, Sarah… the addition of buttermilk and brioche makes my mouthwater! I think its time to make some brioche and pull these lovely cups together! Thank you my dear!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Yes, exactly! It’s a perfect combo of fabulous food and laid back atmosphere. And I’ve been using buttermilk left and right! Can’t stop won’t stop.

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Joanne
Reply

If I could brunch every day, I SO SO would. It’s my favorite meal!! I mean, how could you turn down any meal that involves these French toast cups?! Case in point.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Let’s brunch together.

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DessertForTwo
Reply

Praise the Lord for brunch! I don’t think I could get through the upcoming week without it these days!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Yeeeeee! Thanks Christina. Good luck in the coming weeks!!!!!

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kristie {birch and wild}
Reply

Rosemary and basil sound like a combination made in heaven. Lovely.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thanks, Kristie! You’ve just gotta try it

Avatar
Ana
Reply

These are so yummy. I would never have thought to put blueberry and basil together, but it is an amazing combo. Thanks for the recipe!

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