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French Toast Casserole

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close up shot of French toast casserole on a plate
French Toast Casserole is a tasty make ahead breakfast or brunch your whole family will love. Bread soaked overnight in a sweetened egg custard spiced with cinnamon and allspice—just bake in the morning and enjoy a wonderful hot breakfast!
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French Toast Casserole is a tasty make ahead breakfast or brunch your whole family will love! Whip up this casserole the night before and then just bake in the morning and enjoy a wonderful hot breakfast.

An easy breakfast recipe is always a favorite. For a savory option, check out our Sausage Breakfast Casserole. If you’re an Instant Pot fan, you also won’t want to miss the Instant Pot French Toast recipe.

A plate of food on a table, with Casserole and Bread

MORE BREAKFAST RECIPES
Cherry Breakfast Braid | Sausage Breakfast Casserole


FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS

A tray of food, with Casserole and French toast

You will need

For the bread

  • 2 day old French bread
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup half and half
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • Powdered sugar

For the crumble topping

  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

NO NUTS: The nuts add a nice crunch to the casserole, but they can most certainly be left out if you do not prefer nuts or in the case of any nut allergies.

VANILLA: Don’t love the taste of almond extract? No problem! Just use vanilla extract instead for a wonderful hint of flavor.

DIFFERENT BREAD: The recipe calls for 2-day old French bread, but you can use other types of bread. Just be sure you’re using a sturdy white bread that will hold up well in the casserole. Basic packaged white bread will become too soft and mushy in the casserole, so opt for a very firm bread. Brioche would be delicious! It does need to be 2 days old for the best results.

APPLE PIE SPICE: If you don’t have allspice on hand, you can use apple pie spice instead.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE RECIPE

STEP ONE: Prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray. Cut the 2-day old bread into cubes and place them in the dish.

PRO TIP: This casserole makes a great meal to take to a friend who has just had a baby, someone in the process of moving, or when someone loses a loved one. Just make the casserole in a disposable foil pan, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and deliver with baking instructions for the family to have a hot breakfast to eat the next morning.

STEP TWO: In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, whole milk, half and half, sugar, almond extract, cinnamon, salt, and allspice. Pour the mixture over the bread in the casserole dish, making sure to soak all of the pieces. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over top of the casserole.

STEP THREE: In a separate mixing bowl combine the brown sugar, cold butter, and cinnamon using two knives to cut the mixture together until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of the casserole.

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STEP FOUR: Cover the casserole dish with foil and refrigerate overnight.

STEP FIVE: When you’re ready to cook the casserole, start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the casserole uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown and the center of the casserole is no longer jiggly.

PRO TIP: If the casserole is not quite done after 40 minutes, continue cooking in 5-minute increments until it is ready.

A container with food in it, with Casserole and Bread

STEP SIX: Remove the casserole from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

STEP SEVEN: Sprinkled powdered sugar evenly over the top of the casserole and serve with maple syrup.

A box filled with different types of food, with Casserole and Bread

HOW TO PREVENT SOGGY TEXTURE

THE BREAD: As mentioned above, the bread you choose is important. Use a 2-day old French bread or another white bread with a firm texture. Fresher and softer breads contain too much moisture and will not soak up the egg custard, leaving the casserole with a less desirable texture.

DON’T UNDER-BAKE: Under-baking can be the main reason for a soggy casserole. If the casserole is not yet set but the top is browning very quickly, lay a piece of foil on top to slow down the browning process and allow the casserole more time to cook.

LET IT SIT: After removing the casserole from the oven, letting it sit for 5 minutes will give it more time to firm up.

HOW TO SERVE

Since butter and syrup are favorite French toast toppings, they are perfect on this casserole! Either place softened butter pats on top of each slice of the casserole, or pour on a little melted butter, then add a generous amount of maple syrup.

There are so many different ways to serve this delicious French toast casserole. You can add a dollop of freshly whipped sweetened cream to the warm casserole. For a really decadent breakfast treat, add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. You can even drizzle a bit of caramel sauce over each slice of the French toast casserole.

We LOVE fresh berries served alongside the casserole. Try blueberries, sliced strawberries, raspberries, black berries, or a mix of several different berries.

For a stuffed French toast twist on this recipe, add sweetened cream cheese. Just beat an 8-ounce package of cream cheese together with ¼ cup of granulated sugar until creamy. Dollop the mixture on top of the French toast casserole slices when serving.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

IN THE FREEZER: You can prepare the French toast casserole and freeze it to thaw and bake later. Just put the casserole together as instructed, then wrap it well in plastic wrap and then foil. Freeze the casserole for up to one month. To bake, thaw the casserole overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as instructed in the recipe.

TO REHEAT: Place slices of the breakfast casserole on microwave safe plates and heat in the microwave in 20-second increments until warm.

A plate of food on a table, with Casserole and Bread

French Toast Breakfast casserole is a perfect way to start any morning. Enjoy this warm, sweet, satisfying breakfast with a cup of coffee and have a lovely day!

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close up shot of French toast casserole on a plate

French Toast Casserole

5 from 1 vote
French Toast Casserole is a tasty make ahead breakfast or brunch your whole family will love. Bread soaked overnight in a sweetened egg custard spiced with cinnamon and allspice—just bake in the morning and enjoy a wonderful hot breakfast!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 55 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Bread

  • 10 cups French Bread cut into cubes (2 day old loaf)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup half and half
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup pecans chopped (optional)
  • powdered sugar for the top

Crumble Topping

  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 stick salted butter cold
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  • Cut the 2 day old loaf of french bread into cubes and place in the bottom of the 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl combine eggs, whole milk, half and half, sugar, almond extract, cinnamon, salt, and allspice. Whisk together well.
  • Pour egg mixture over the cubes of french bread in the 9×13 baking dish, making sure to soak all pieces as you are pouring.
    NOTE: If using optional pecans, go ahead and top the bread mixture in the casserole dish with ½ cup chopped pecans.
  • In a separate medium mixing bowl combine the brown sugar, cold butter, and cinnamon. Use two knives to cut the mixture together until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of the french toast casserole.
  • Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  • When ready to cook the french toast casserole preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Uncover and place on the middle rack in the middle of the oven and cook for 35 to 40 minutes. Check to make sure the center of the french toast casserole is set and not jiggly. Continue to cook, checking every 5 minutes until the casserole is set in the middle.
  • Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes to allow it to completely set.
  • Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the casserole and serve with maple syrup.

Video

Notes

Can substitute vanilla extract if you don’t have almond extract on hand.
Can substitute apple pie spice if you don’t have allspice on hand.
It is very important to use 1 to 2 day old bread. If you use fresh bread your casserole will turn out soggy.

Nutrition

Calories: 1631kcal | Carbohydrates: 272g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 218mg | Sodium: 2311mg | Potassium: 752mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 885IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 329mg | Iron: 16mg
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