Overnight French Toast Casserole Recipe

Everyone is always looking for new and exciting breakfast options. This is especially true for mornings when there is extra time to lounge around without having to guzzle down a cup of coffee and run out the door, or when you have weekend guests. For these times, it's great to have some delicious breakfast or brunch casserole recipes on hand that can be pre-assembled the day before. This way, in the morning, you just have to complete a few steps, preheat your oven, and enjoy your downtime with a scrumptious breakfast. In fact, you'll even have time to whip up some bloody Marys or mimosas!

Kristen Carli, recipe developer and private practice registered dietitian of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness, loves creating nutritious recipes that taste great. Well, part of feeding your body includes feeding your soul, and this overnight French toast casserole does exactly that. Basic pantry ingredients are mixed together for this sweet recipe, then baked and served with fresh berries and maple syrup. It is just about the most satisfying dish you could enjoy on a relaxing morning at home.

Gather the ingredients to prepare French toast casserole

In this recipe, half of the ingredients are used the day before you want to enjoy this casserole. The rest will be used in the morning right before baking. You'll need plenty of bread for this casserole. After all, it is French toast! White bread makes a light and fluffy version, but feel free to experiment with your favorites. Carli says, "I bet brioche would be fantastic," and we're inclined to agree. 

Next, eggs add protein and help the ingredients bind. While Carli hasn't tested it herself, a flax egg should work as well for a vegan option, and whole milk can be replaced with any non-dairy milk. Brown sugar adds tasty caramelized aromas, so you won't want to skimp or replace it in the topping for optimal texture. Salt and cinnamon are classic seasoning agents for baked goods, so grab those, too.

After an overnight soak, you'll need to mix unsalted butter with brown sugar and cinnamon for the crumble topping. Vegan butter would be the closest nondairy option here, according to Carli. Finally, powdered sugar and maple syrup served with each portion bring out the sweetness. Strawberries are always a favorite with French toast, but feel free to use whatever fruit you have on hand to add some freshness and a pop of color. For a fun twist, Carli says, "This would be delicious with chocolate chips or blueberries before baking," and we are here for the suggestion.

Cube the bread, and add it to a greased baking dish

The first step requires cutting up your bread. Using a serrated knife, cut the bread up into evenly sized cubes. Aim for small to medium sized pieces so your French toast casserole will be consistent throughout each portion. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray — you don't want to miss out on any piece of this casserole sticking to the sides. Scatter the cubed bread uniformly, covering the baking dish.

Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl

In a small bowl, properly whisk together the eight eggs. Add in the milk, ¼ cup of brown sugar, the salt, and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Whisk the mixture until it is of uniform consistency with no chunks. It might seem like a lot, but as long as you use the proportions of bread as directed in the recipe, everything will be absorbed. Aside from the bread soaking up the mixture, it will also create a heavenly custard for the ultimate melt-in-your-mouth texture. Yes, this is going to be as tasty as you are imagining it to be right now!

Pour the egg mixture over the cubed bread, cover, and refrigerate overnight

Once your egg mixture is properly combined, carefully pour it over the cubed bread in your baking dish. You may want to transfer the liquid mixture to a cup with a spout to facilitate the pouring. Make sure to spread the egg mix evenly over the bread so that every piece can begin to absorb the mixture. If need be, gently push the top layer of bread down in order to submerge it in the custard. Plenty of absorption will happen overnight, so you don't have to soak every last bit of bread. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, and place it in the refrigerator overnight. 

Just a note: If you won't have time to pull your casserole out of the fridge to bring the dish down to room temperature before baking in the morning, it's a good idea to assemble your French toast casserole in a disposable pan.

In a bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon with a fork

Now that everyone will most likely wake up hungry, it's time to finish off the casserole so you can get some amazing aromas going in the kitchen. To begin, preheat the oven to 350 F. In a bowl, add the butter, the remaining brown sugar, and the rest of the cinnamon. Using a fork to break the butter into pieces, mix the ingredients together. You're aiming for small pebble-sized bits of butter coated in cinnamon brown sugar to cover the surface of the casserole. Once the ingredients are combined, remove the casserole from the fridge, and set the aluminum foil aside — you'll need it for baking.

Top the casserole with the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon mixture, and bake

Top the casserole evenly with the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon mixture. Cover the baking dish with foil once again, and place it into the oven when it has reached the proper temperature. Bake the casserole for 20 minutes, covered with foil. 

After 20 minutes, remove the tin foil, and bake the dish for another 15 minutes. When the time is up, check that the crumble is golden and crispy, and remove the dish from the oven. 

Serve this sweet casserole with berries, powdered sugar, and maple syrup

Serve each portion with a generous helping of fresh strawberries or any other fruit you like — berries and bananas work well. Top the plate with a dusting of powdered sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup. (We won't tell anyone if you top it with whipped cream.) 

Your guests should wait a few minutes before digging in with a spoon, since the dish will be quite hot. If you're enjoying this alone, you will probably have some leftovers. Carli confirms the casserole will store nicely refrigerated in an airtight container, up to two days. This will be a real crowd-pleaser, so be sure to make it one weekend soon.

Overnight French Toast Casserole Recipe
4.9 from 27 ratings
This overnight French toast casserole is just about the most satisfying dish you could enjoy on a relaxing morning at home.
Prep Time
8
minutes
Cook Time
35
minutes
Servings
8
servings
portions of French toast casserole
Total time: 43 minutes
Ingredients
  • 15 slices of white bread, cubed
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, diced
Optional Ingredients
  • strawberries, for serving
  • powdered sugar, for topping
  • maple syrup, for serving
Directions
  1. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Add the cubed bread to the baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, add the eggs, milk, ¼ cup of brown sugar, salt, and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, and whisk the ingredients together.
  4. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the cubed bread. Cover the dish with foil, and allow it to chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 F.
  6. In a bowl, add the butter, the remaining 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, and the remaining ½ cup of brown sugar. Mix the ingredients together using a fork to break up the bits of butter.
  7. Remove the casserole from the fridge, and remove the foil. Top the soaked bread with the cinnamon butter topping, and cover the dish with foil.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, covered. Then, remove the foil, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  9. Serve the French toast casserole with strawberries, powdered sugar, and maple syrup.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 404
Total Fat 19.4 g
Saturated Fat 10.2 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 196.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 45.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.7 g
Total Sugars 19.7 g
Sodium 439.7 mg
Protein 13.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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