French Toast Casserole
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This easy and flavorful french toast casserole recipe has an incredible cinnamon crunchy crust. Prep all the ingredients in advance to make this overnight casserole for breakfast the next day. It’s the perfect Saturday morning tradition!
We love easy brunch recipes like our sheet pan pancakes, easy breakfast pizza and sweet potato spinach sheet pan omelette.
French Toast Bake Recipe
Skip the hassle of making french toast two at a time over a frying pan with this no-fuss recipe. Instead, you can quickly put together this recipe at night, keep it in the fridge to soak up all that goodness, and then bake it in the morning for the perfect breakfast treat. You’ll save time and still get the best parts of french toast that you’re craving but with much less effort.
- OVERNIGHT PREP – Mix the ingredients together the night before you plan to bake. The bread will soak up all the liquid for the perfect texture.
- TOTALLY DELICIOUS – This recipe is rich and sweet with the perfect hint of cinnamon.
- PERFECT FOR BRUNCH – Serve this delicious treat to a crowd of 10 with a side of fruit and whipped cream.
This mouth-watering recipe is absolutely bursting with a cinnamon-sweet, buttery flavor. Each bite offers a soft and slightly crunchy texture and requires only a few ingredients.
You probably already have most, if not all, of these ingredients in your fridge and pantry. You can even use a loaf of bread that is close to its expiry date. Here’s what you’ll need with full ingredient details in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
FRENCH BREAD – For this dish, I chose to use French bread, which is easily found in most grocery stores (I found mine at Walmart), but you can use any dense bread like my Dutch oven bread recipe. Or try a gluten-free option which will work amazingly well.
EGGS – You’ll need 8 large eggs.
WHIPPING CREAM – I used heavy whipping cream but half and half cream will also work for this dish. Alternatively, you can use a dairy-free option like almond milk or soy milk.
BROWN SUGAR – Brown sugar will add a warm, sweet, molasses flavor. You can easily substitute it with coconut sugar.
BUTTER –Butter is used in the topping. You can use salted or unsalted butter.
CINNAMON – Cinnamon adds flavor and is a classic spice in both breakfast and brunch.
VANILLA EXTRACT – This will an extra layer of sweetness.
ALL PURPOSE FLOUR – A small amount of flour is used in the topping to add to the texture.
What Kind Of Bread Do You Use For French Toast Casserole?
It’s important to note that dense bread will give you better results for this recipe. I used french bread, but you could also use sourdough, challah, or brioche bread. If you use regular sliced bread, then your french toast casserole might turn out soggy.
Pro Tip: In a pinch, you can use plain donuts or left-over cake in place of the bread.
Create your own signature dish by adding some of these flavorful ingredients below. These can be sprinkled on top of the casserole dish before baking:
- BACON – Sprinkle a few bacon bits over the dish and drizzle with honey or maple syrup.
- ORANGE ZEST – Zest an orange peel and sprinkle on top.
- HONEY – If pure maple syrup isn’t an option, try drizzling honey instead.
- DRIED FRUIT – Dried cranberries are my favorite, but dried strawberries, blueberries and even mango will add more flavor.
- NUTS – For a little added crunch or saltiness, try sprinkling shaved almonds, crushed peanuts, or pumpkin seeds over the top.
Pro Tip: For added sweetness, dust with powdered sugar after syrup or honey has been drizzled.
How To Make French Toast Casserole
Don’t forget to leave yourself at least 4 hours for this recipe to set in the fridge. Best prepared the night before, follow the steps below to make this delicious breakfast (See full details in the printable recipe card below):
- PREP – Grease a 9” x 13” casserole dish with non-stick spray or cooking oil. Then slice or tear the bread into 2” cubes and spread evenly along the bottom of the casserole dish.
- MIX – In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs and stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, liquid whipping cream (or half and half), and vanilla extract. Pour this over the bread cubes in the casserole dish.
- SOAK AND CHILL – Cover the dish with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. This will allow the bread to soak up all the delicious flavors. Gently toss the bread and liquid together halfway through to ensure the bread is evenly coated.
- TOPPING – In a clean mixing bowl, add the topping ingredients: brown sugar, cinnamon, all-purpose flour, and pieces of butter. Using a pastry cutter or fork, mix this all together until small clumps start to form. Add this to the casserole dish by sprinkling it over the top using your hands.
- BAKE – Preheat oven to 350°F, remove plastic wrap and place the casserole dish on the middle rack to bake for 45-55 minutes or until it reaches a desired consistency.
- SERVE – Add your toppings and drizzle with real maple syrup.
Pro Tip: Chop the bread in advance and allow it to dry out for about 12 hours. This will help it to soak in all the sweet custard flavors better.
How To Store
Leftovers can easily be stored on the counter, in the fridge, or frozen. Here’s how to do it:
- REFRIGERATE – Allow the casserole to fully cool, then cover it with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- FREEZE – Allow to cool to room temperature then cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. This recipe can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- REHEAT – Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until warmed through.
Ways To Serve
This french toast bake can be served for breakfast, brunch, afternoon snack, or dessert. It tastes incredible on its own, but here are some options for sides and toppings.
- CLASSIC TOPPINGS – Drizzle on maple syrup, or honey, or sprinkle powdered sugar
- BACON & EGGS – Served on the side, or placed on top, bacon, and eggs are a classic breakfast option.
- FRESH FRUIT – Top with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or sliced bananas
- TOASTED ALMONDS – Use as a garnish and as an added flavor. I like the sliced almonds lightly toasted in a dry pan.
- BUTTER – Fresh out of the oven or reheated in the microwave, butter is always a good topping.
- CHEESE – Add a spoonful of cream cheese, our delicious cannoli dip, or cottage cheese while the french toast is still warm
- YOGURT – Top with your favorite yogurt (I love greek yogurt)
- MAPLE SYRUP – Use pure maple syrup and drizzle right over top.
- WHIPPED CREAM – Add a dollop of whipped cream. For a dairy-free version try my whipped coconut cream.
- ICE CREAM – For a special treat, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- BREAD OPTIONS – Try a different bread for unique flavors like my strawberry banana bread.
Why Is My French Toast Casserole Soggy?
Using dense bread will help to solve this. There should be enough dense bread cubes to fully soak up all the custard.
The french toast should be crisp on top and soft on the bottom. This is what makes it so incredibly delicious. But if you’re finding that your french toast casserole is soggy, then try these tips.
- Be sure to use the right kind of bread. Not every bread will work for this recipe. Regular sliced bread will probably turn out soggy because it won’t be able to hold the egg mixture as well. You want to choose a more dense bread like french bread, sourdough, challah, brioche, or Pullman loaf.
- Make sure you soak the bread long enough. If you only soak it for a couple of hours, then the bread might not have enough time to properly absorb all the egg mixture. This is why I highly recommend you prepare it in the evening, then the casserole can soak overnight in the fridge and create that soft custard texture.
- Soak the bread in a bowl instead of a casserole dish. If all else fails, add the ingredients to a large bowl and let them soak overnight. Then just before baking, pour the soaked bread into the casserole dish leaving the extra egg mixture in the bowl. Top with the sprinkle with cinnamon butter topping and bake.
I like a little crunch around the edges of my bread pieces. For this, I will set the timer for 45 minutes and then check every 5 minutes after till I am happy with the result. Depending on your preference, you may want to set the timer for 40 minutes and continue checking every 5 minutes after.
The bottom should be soft, but not mushy. Check by poking a hole with a knife in the center. If the top is baking too fast you can cover with aluminum foil while baking in the last few minutes.
It is important to completely mix the eggs. Undermixed eggs will have a scrambled texture and eggy taste.
Yes you can. And this is definitely the secret to a great french toast casserole consistency. Prepping your ingredients at night will allow for everything to fully absorb, and also make things easier for you in the morning.
This french toast casserole can also be baked in advance and frozen. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat in the oven at 350°F until it’s warmed through.
If you’re looking for a delightfully sweet dish that will fill empty stomachs, then this french toast casserole is for you. Don’t expect any leftovers after this meal because everyone at the table will be reaching for seconds!
More Breakfast Recipe
Weekends are perfect for a big breakfast or brunch. Have a look below and start planning for your family’s morning meals.
- Sheepherders Breakfast – the perfect all-in-one meal
- Bacon Sausage Breakfast Pizza
- Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches
- Fluffy Pancakes Recipe
- Quiche Muffins
French Toast Casserole
- 1 loaf french bread - or sourdough bread
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups liquid whipping cream - or half and half cream
- ¼ cup brown sugar - or coconut sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup cold butter - cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- Spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with cooking oil.
- Slice bread into 2-inch chunks using a bread knife. Cut the butter into small cubes with a knife.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, liquid whipping cream (or half and half cream) and vanilla extract.
- Pour the liquid into the casserole dish and add the bread pieces. Gently stir together so that all bread is covered in the liquid. Spread evenly in the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for at least four hours, but preferably overnight. Gently mix the bread halfway through this time.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Make the topping: add brown sugar, cinnamon, all purpose flour and cut up cold butter pieces to a bowl. Use a pastry cutter or fork to mix everything together and help crumble the butter.
- Use your hands to sprinkle the cinnamon butter topping over the casserole.Bake the casserole for 50-55 minutes or until it has reached the desired consistency (the more you bake, the less moist – so it depends on preference here). Cover with foil in the last few minutes if the top is turning too brown. Check for doneness by looking at the bottom pieces of bread in the casserole. they should be a bit soggy but not too much.
- Slice into squares and serve with whipped cream, fresh berries and syrup.
- I recommend preparing the casserole the night before. This will allow the bread to soak up all the liquid for the perfect french toast casserole.
- Not every bread will work for this recipe. You want to choose a more dense bread like french bread, sourdough, challah, brioche, or Pullman loaf. Regular sliced bread might turn out soggy because it won’t be able to hold the egg mixture as well.
- Make sure you soak the bread long enough. If you only soak it for a couple hours, then the bread might not have enough time to properly absorb all the egg mixture. This is why I highly recommend you prepare it in the evening, then the casserole can soak overnight in the fridge and create that soft custard texture.
- Once fully cooked, the top should be crispy and the bottom should be soft, but not mushy. Check by poking a hole with a knife in the center and looking at the bottom. If the top is baking too fast and the bottom is still mushy, you can cover the baking dish with aluminum foil while baking a few more minutes.