This French toast casserole is made by soaking bread cubes in a creamy custard overnight, then sprinkling with sugar and baking. It’s like a dream you don’t want to wake up from!
What Is French Toast Casserole?
French toast casserole is a large-scale, baked version of French toast. Instead of the conventional method of dipping a slice of bread into an egg mixture and frying on a skillet, this casserole is made by baking everything together. An overnight stint in the fridge saves time in the morning, and it allows the flavor to develop more. The sweet crumb topping adds an extra flair and crunchy textural contrast to the soaked bread pieces. This casserole is rich, indulgent, and sure to satisfy your sweet cravings!
How To Make Overnight French Toast Casserole
This French toast casserole is perfect for making the night before — all it takes is 15 minutes to assemble, then an overnight rest in the fridge. Get ready to enjoy a no-stress breakfast or brunch!
- Cut the bread: Slice the bread into one-inch cubes or bite-sized pieces.
- Make the soaking custard: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and sugar.
- Assemble the casserole: Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and place the bread cubes inside. Pour the custard over the bread and toss to completely coat. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
- Mix up the crumb topping: Combinethe sugars for the topping, then grate or cut the butter in with a pastry cutter and mix until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Bake the casserole: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle on the topping evenly. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and let it cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until golden. Enjoy!
Choosing the Right Bread
Bread is the star of French toast, so it’s important to pick carefully. Whether you opt for an enriched bread or a simpler choice, remember to use day-old or slightly stale bread.
- Brioche: Brioche is a French bread enriched with plenty of butter and eggs. It’s typically yellow in color, with a rich buttery flavor and fluffy texture. Arguably the most popular choice for French toast, brioche is incomparably delicious.
- Challah: Jewish in origin, challah is a braided bread enriched with honey and eggs. It is often sprinkled with sesame seeds, and it has a similar taste to brioche. Because challah does not contain dairy, it is an ideal complement to the rich custardiness of French toast.
- French bread: Baguette, boule de pain, pain de campagne… ironically enough, French bread makes for wonderful French toast. It is characteristically crusty, with a soft crumb and amazing flavor.
- Croissant: Croissants are made by laminating layers of butter in a yeast pastry dough, resulting in an ultra-flaky, irresistible treat. Although they are an unconventional choice for French toast, we promise your mouth will be watering from the buttery goodness!
Tips From the Kitchen
French toast has a tendency to turn out soggy or mushy — but not this French toast casserole! Follow these tips to achieve the perfect texture and a mouthwatering taste.
- Use stale bread. Day-old bread is ideal for French toast because it absorbs the custard mixture better than fresh bread, preventing a soggy outcome. Allow the bread to sit out overnight or pop it in a 275°F oven for 10 minutes to dry it out.
- Cut the bread into bite-sized pieces. Aim for consistency — one-inch cubes are best for soaking up all the custardy goodness without becoming mushy.
- Embrace full-fat dairy. French toast is meant to be an indulgent treat. This is not the time to skimp on the dairy! A mixture of heavy cream and whole milk (or half & half) produces the creamiest, most flavorful casserole.
- Add mix-ins or toppings. The night before, decide what mix-ins or toppings you’d like on the casserole. Fold in walnuts, pecans, or fresh berries for a burst of flavor in every bite. Maple syrup, whipped cream, and berries are a few delicious options for toppings. For even more decadence, drizzle cream cheese icing over the baked casserole!
Storage & Reheating
Are you stuffed and ready to pack away the leftovers? Follow these tips to enjoy your French toast casserole again later.
- Refrigerator: To store for up to four days, allow the baked French toast casserole to cool completely, then place in an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Freezer: To store for up to two months, transfer the cooled casserole to an airtight container and freeze.
- Reheating: To restore the most flavor and crispness to your leftover casserole, reheat it in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes. If you’re short on time, the microwave also works.
More Delicious Breakfast Recipes
- Breakfast Quiche — A savory egg pie loaded with mushrooms, bacon, and cheese
- French Toast Sticks — Slices of brioche finished off with a cinnamon sugar coating!
- Breakfast Charcuterie Board — A mouthwatering array of all your favorite breakfast treats
- Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole — Custardy eggs, sautéed veggies, and crispy hashbrowns
- Breakfast Burritos — Make-ahead burritos stuffed with bacon and scrambled eggs
- Cut the bread into one-inch cubes. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan and place the bread cubes inside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy whipping cream, milk, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon. Pour the mixture over the bread.
- Lightly toss the bread in the liquid to completely coat. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
- In a separate dish, mix together the sugars for the topping. Grate or cut the butter into the sugar until the mixture is combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle on the topping evenly. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil and let it cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the top is golden. Enjoy!