King cake is one of the joys of Mardi Gras season, but it's sadly difficult to find outside of Louisiana and Mississippi. Sure, you can always get one shipped, but sometimes the craving for a sugary Mardi Gras treat hits hard and fast and you don't have that kind of time. Luckily, there are ways to recreate the classic King Cake flavor profile of cinnamon and cream cheese goodness on the breakfast table. That's correct: We're talking about King Cake French Toast. Is it a little bit much to add colorful sugar sprinkles to your French toast? Naaaaaaaah. These days, you have to take your kicks when you can get it. Grab some beads, grab a friend, and laissez those bon temps roulez, you know?
4 very thick slices challah or brioche, ideally slightly stale
1 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter
Colored sugar (gold, green, and purple)
For the glaze
4 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1/2 cup powdered sugar
How to Make It
Whisk together eggs, 1 cup half-and-half, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar until thoroughly blended. Place bread slices in a baking dish and pour wet mixture over top of the slices. Chill for 1 hour, carefully flip slices, and chill for 1 more hour. Pour out any excess liquid, and allow the slices to drain for 1 more hour, pouring off liquid as needed.
Meanwhile, whisk or blend together cream cheese, remaining milk, and powdered sugar until smooth.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat, and when frothing has stopped, add two slices of soaked bread. Cook until slightly crunchy on the bottom, being careful not to burn it. Flip the slices, and cook until the bottom is browned, and the French toast is heated all the way through. Place the cooked slices on a paper towel on a plate, and cover with a clean kitchen towel.
Remove the pan from the heat, wipe it out, add butter and cook the next slices.
For each serving, spoon cream cheese glaze over top, sprinkle colored sugar, and serve warm.