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French Toast Casserole: soft in the middle, crispy on the edges, with hints of maple, cinnamon, & vanilla. Make this easy recipe the night before!

Baked french toast with powdered sugar in a blue casserole dish with a copper serving spoon

Good morning my friend!

How was your Memorial Day weekend? Did you enjoy?

Ours was fun but BUSY! We had a BIG party on Sunday with lots of people. It was so great to have all of our friends together in one place. The prep and cleanup took us most of the weekend, and by Monday afternoon I was toast, lol.

Luckily I had lots of leftovers so I didn’t need to cook again. We feasted on deviled eggs, guacamole and chips, and pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream. It was glorious.

And now today I am back with a new recipe I think you are going to love. I made this a couple of weeks ago when my younger son had 4 of his friends sleep over. I love when my kids have friends over but I don’t always love having to make them a big, elaborate breakfast. So on this particular Saturday morning, I was looking for an easy shortcut where I wouldn’t have to stand over the stove all morning long!

And that is how French toast casserole was born.

Baked French toast in a blue dish, with a text overlay reading "French Toast Casserole."

WHAT IS FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE?

Confession time: as much as I love to bake for my boys, I cringe when they ask me to make French toast or pancakes on a weekend morning.

I don’t know what my problem is! I feel like it’s something I should really enjoy doing, but I just don’t. Standing in front of the stove, spatula in hand, flipping and flipping just does not seem fun.

I’d much rather push a dish into the oven, and then pull it back out a little while later, piping hot, puffy, and smelling delicious.

That’s why I’m so glad to be sharing this French toast bake with you today. It’s all the same ingredients and flavors of the French toast you already know and love, baked to soft-in-the-middle, crispy-around-the-edges perfection.

HOW TO MAKE FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

To make this recipe, you’ll first need a baking dish. Here is a link to the one I used: Emile Henry Ruffled Rectangular Baker. It’s got a 1 3/4-quart capacity. I’m sure you could get away with a 9×13-inch pan too- preferably a heavier one made of glass or ceramic.

Mist your baking dish lightly with nonstick spray, then get going on the ingredients.

Ingredients for making baked French toast.

Just a few basic pantry staples here:

  • Bread
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Maple Syrup
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla

You know, all the stuff you run out to buy when you hear there’s a snowstorm coming, lol!

WHAT KIND OF BREAD TO USE FOR FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

You can use whatever kind of bread you happen to keep on hand. I used a simple soft white loaf, but you could also use a whole wheat sandwich bread, a nice challah, or even croissants would be fantastic!

Cutting bread for overnight French toast casserole.

Cut the sliced bread on the diagonal, so it fits nicely in the baking dish.

Arranging bread in a baking dish for French toast casserole.

I like to arrange it with the corners sticking up, so the tips get crispy-crunchy as they bake.

Making custard for French toast casserole.

Next, mix up the custard. It’s just eggs, milk, and cream, mixed with a little maple syrup for sweetness, and a hint of warm cinnamon and vanilla.

Whisk everything together, then pour it over the bread.

Pouring custard over bread for French toast casserole.

If you don’t have cream, you can substitute half & half, or just use all milk. This recipe is really forgiving!

You can also jazz up your French toast bake by adding some unique flavors! Here are a few ideas:

  1. Grate in the zest of an orange
  2. Swirl in a little berry jam
  3. Add a splash of your favorite liqueur
  4. Sprinkle in some chocolate chips

Unbaked dish of French toast casserole.

Once you’ve got it assembled, just give it a little time to soak, and then bake it up!

DOES FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE HAVE TO SIT OVERNIGHT?

If you’re hosting a breakfast or brunch, and need to feed a crowd, this baked French toast is a great way to take the pressure off! Just make it the night before, cover it tightly, pop it into the fridge, and it can be baked off the next morning.

If it goes straight from the fridge to the oven, it may need a slightly longer bake, or if you allow it to come to room temperature first, it could need a little less time.

But you don’t have to let it sit overnight. This dish comes out just perfect with as little as a 20-minute soak.

If you plan on making it any more than an hour or so ahead of time, it’s probably best to keep it refrigerated, since it does contain eggs and dairy.

Overhead view of easy baked French toast casserole with powdered sugar and blueberries.

HOW TO SERVE FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

This French toast bake is already sweetened to perfection, but I do like to give it a little dusting of powdered sugar, just to make it pretty.

A handful of fresh berries makes a really nice garnish too. And I love to serve it alongside some crispy bacon or a few breakfast sausages. That sweet/savory contrast is definitely my jam.

You can also drizzle it with a little syrup or honey, to make it extra sweet!

HOW TO REHEAT FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

If you have any leftovers, just keep them tightly covered and pop them into the fridge.

This overnight French toast casserole can be reheated in the microwave, or in a warm oven (170 degrees F), covered, until heated through.

CAN FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE BE FROZEN?

You can definitely freeze this dish! I would recommend freezing it already baked- I’m not sure that the uncooked dairy and eggs would hold up so well through the freeze/thaw process.

Just cover your casserole tightly with foil and stash it in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw it and reheat according to the directions above.

And it might be a nice idea to prep it in a foil pan, so that your nice baking dish isn’t tied up in the freezer for weeks or months!

Fresh baked overnight French toast bake in a blue dish with blueberries.

Next time you’ve got a hungry crowd wanting breakfast, and you’re feeling lazy, give this French toast casserole a try!

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French Toast Casserole
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
 

French Toast Casserole: soft in the middle, crispy on the edges, with hints of maple, cinnamon, & vanilla. Make this easy recipe the night before!

Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: baked French toast recipe, French toast bake, French toast casserole, overnight French toast casserole
Servings: 8
Calories: 382 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Lightly mist a 1 3/4-quart baking dish with non-stick spray.

  2. Cut the bread in half on the diagonal, and arrange the slices in the prepared dish.

  3. In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk the eggs, milk, cream, maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla together, and pour the custard over the bread.

  4. Allow the custard to soak into the bread for 20 minutes to overnight (if making ahead, cover the dish tightly and keep refrigerated).

  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  6. Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through and set.

  7. If desired, garnish with fresh berries and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Nutrition Facts
French Toast Casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 382 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 126mg 42%
Sodium 500mg 21%
Potassium 274mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 54g 18%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 15g
Protein 14g 28%
Vitamin A 8.3%
Vitamin C 0.2%
Calcium 20.1%
Iron 19.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.