Portuguese French Toast: Easy Christmas Rabanadas Recipe

Written By Lara Silva

A Christmas dessert from the 15th century, the traditional “rabanada” recipe has been passed through generations without much change. It remains one of the most popular desserts in Portugal during the Christmas season, one similar to the French toast. Enjoy after Christmas Eve dinner or even at breakfast with an espresso before the festivities begin, this Portuguese holiday staple is set to stand out at your next Christmas dinner. 

What is a rabanada?

Rabanada, also known as golden slice, is a sweet treat made from slices of wheat bread that once soaked in milk, wine (commonly red or white green wine in the Minho region), or sugar syrup, are dipped in beaten eggs and then fried in olive oil.

They are then typically served dusted with cinnamon sugar or drizzled with various syrups, including sugar, maple syrup, honey, wine, or port wine. 

Rabanadas. Photo by florian meyer (Flickr)

Easy Christmas Rabanadas Recipe

10 Portions 


  • 500 grams wheat bread loaf
  • 300 grams of white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 Lemon Zest
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • 750 ml of milk


  1. Prepare the ingredients. Cut the loaf of bread into slices, put the milk and lemon zest on a plate, and in another bowl, the 2 whisked eggs.
  2. Heat up the vegetable oil in a pan. You will be frying the bread slices one by one.
  3. Before doing so, dip them in the milk and lemon zest plate, allowing them to absorb the milk without falling apart. Then, do the same for the eggs.
  4. When the oil is ready, fry the slices until they are golden on one side and then flip, doing the same for the other side.
  5. Do this for each rabanada, letting them sit on a plate with a paper towel after frying to strain the excess oil.
  6. Top with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon to taste and then serve!
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