This make-ahead baked French toast casserole is so easy to assemble the night before and then bake in the morning for breakfast or brunch.
When my grandsons spend the night at our house, their favorite breakfast the next morning is French toast. When we have time, I will stand there like a short order cook and make French toast until they’ve had their fill. It’s my favorite way to spend the morning with these boys.
For French toast for a crowd, I love this easy make-ahead baked French toast. Everyone gets served at the same time, and I get to sit down with my guests.
I served this French toast bake on Christmas morning. I had actually hosted Christmas Eve dinner for 26 the night before, and was able to easily pull off preparing this breakfast the next morning.
What is the easiest way to make this French toast bake?
First, you can use any stale bread you have on hand, but I prefer using day old baguettes. The crust to crumb ratio is just right, and the bread is “lean,” meaning it does not have any fat, sugar, or eggs. My grocery store actually sells bags of day old baguette slices, which makes it even easier to tear apart the bread. I used a mix of sourdough and French baguettes.
Second, you can make the topping a day or two in advance and refrigerate it in a Ziploc bag.
Finally, if you have the bread pieces and topping prepared in advance, all you need to do is whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla and pour it over the bread the night before.
The next morning, just sprinkle the chilled bread and egg mixture with the cinnamon topping and bake for about 50 minutes. I also tucked some blackberries into chilled casserole before adding the topping.
This French toast casserole is delicious with warm maple syrup.
My favorite breakfast recipes from 2018:
- Instant Pot steel cut oatmeal with apple raisin compote: It’s so is so easy to prepare in the Instant Pot (or an electric pressure cooker). With this recipe, you will get the perfect texture every time.
- Multigrain English muffins: You will be surprised at how easy these are to make on a griddle, and these muffins are loaded with whole grain nutrition.
- Jalapeño and cheddar bagels: These bagels are killer good. Enough said.
- Gruyère Prosciutto scones: These are soft and flaky, and loaded with the savory flavors of Gruyère and Prosciutto.
- Shakshuka: Eggs poached in an amazing spicy tomato sauce. The sauce alone is amazing. I’ve also used it for poaching fish.
- Ham and cheese breakfast casserole: It’s layered with eggs, ham, cheese, sautéed onion, and jalapeños.
- Sausage and spinach pie: Oh man! This pie is decadent and “healthy” at the same time. There are two pounds of spinach in here. Just saying.
- Cheesy hash brown casserole: Loaded with sausage, eggs, hash brown potatoes, and lots of cheese. It can be assembled the night before, and then baked and served for breakfast or brunch the next morning.
- Irish potato cakes: These potato pancakes are a great substitute for hash browns at breakfast.
- Bouchon Bakery style carrot muffins: These Bouchon Bakery Carrot Muffins are delicious for breakfast, for a coffee break, or an afternoon snack. They would also be wonderful for an Easter brunch.
French toast, breakfast,
Easy Make-Ahead Baked French Toast Casserole
- 1 pound of stale crusty sourdough or French bread, torn into pieces.
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- Berries or other fruit (optional)
- 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 stick (4 ounces) cold butter, cut into small pieces
- Fresh berries (optional)
- Butter a 9 inch by 13 inch baking dish and fill with the bread pieces.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla, and pour the mixture over the bread. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and butter pieces to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly until you have a mixture that is pebbly. Do NOT over mix. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- The next morning, heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove the casserole from the refrigerator. Tuck the optional fruit into the nooks and crannies of the bread.
- Sprinkle the topping over the top of the casserole.
- Bake the casserole for 45 to 60 minutes, depending on your preferred texture. I baked mine for 50 minutes.
- Serve with melted butter and warmed maple syrup.
Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Recipe adapted from The Food Network