Cassie’s Orange Vanilla French Toast with Blackberry Syrup

This was a big hit in the Drake household circa 1974


  • 8 slices King’s Hawaiian bread (or buttermilk bread)
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 1 orange (for juice and zest)
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping teaspoon brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3-4 shakes (less than a pinch) of cinnamon (Cassie’s signature ingredient)
  • Shake of nutmeg
  • ½ cup blackberry jam


  1. Lightly beat eggs in a bowl. Squeeze in juice from orange. Lightly beat together. Add orange zest, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, and seasoning. Lightly beat one last time.
  2. Dip bread slices in egg mixture, making sure to coat both sides.
  3. Place dipped bread on a hot, pre-buttered skillet or griddle. Brown one side then flip. (That is, flip the bread. Do not flip yourself.)
  4. Dust browned bread (overlain with paper doily) with confectioner's sugar to create snowflake effect.
  5. Serve with butter and blackberry jam syrup. (Simply place ½ cup blackberry jam in a sauce pan with 2 Tablespoons water. Heat and stir until pourable.)