Portuguese Christmas Traditions: Rabanadas (French Toast)

You are probably asking yourself what rabanadas are so I will start by explaining. Rabanadas are a sort of French toast and in Portugal we prepare it as a Christmas dessert. It’s one of my favourite Christmas desserts and my grandmother certainly made the best rabanadas ever. Fortunately for us, before she passed away she showed my mum how to make her recipe but it was never written down. This Christmas I decided it was time to learn to make my grandmother’s famous rabanadas with my mum and write the recipe down so hopefully I can one day pass it down to my own children and so on.

I had a great time learning to make this recipe with my mum on Christmas Eve. My mum had no idea about quantities or timings and neither did my grandmother. They just knew what to do. So I did all the measuring and timing and we finally have a recipe that can be followed by all.

I hope you give this a try because they really are delicious and a great treat.

Portuguese Christmas Traditions- Rabanadas (French Toast).png


1 Loaf of bread (preferably a couple of days old)

1 Lemon

1 1/2 tbsps of butter

1 lt of milk

2 cinnamon sticks

1/4 cup ground cinnamon

1/2 cup of Port wine

415 g of sugar

3 eggs


  1. Cut the bread into thick slices.
  2. In a pan add the milk, butter, the skin of 1 lemon, cinnamon sticks and 1/2 cup of sugar and Port wine. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down very low.
  3. Dip the bread slices in the milk mixture and set aside (make sure they are not on top of each other otherwise they will stick together).
  4. Beat the 3 eggs in a bowl. Dip the slices of bread into the egg mixture allowing them to soak on both sides. Transfer each piece to the hot griddle and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
  5. Place what’s left of the sugar on a deep plate and add the ground cinnamon. Mix well.
  6. Coat the fried bread in the sugar and cinnamon mixture and place them on a deep serving dish or casserole.
  7. Let it cool down before serving allowing enough time for the sugar to melt into a syrup.

This recipe is very special and delicious so I do hope you give it a try. Would love to read your thoughts so please leave me a comment below.

Love, P


You may also like


  1. What a tasty family heirloom to be able to pass down, I love that your grandmother taught your mum who in turn taught you and that there was nothing written down it was all done by eye I guess that’s how it was always done. It’s a lovely sounding dish I would love to try next Christmas


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *