French Toast Casserole
French Toast Casserole is everything you love about french toast, in an easy to make form.
It can be made ahead of time or quickly the morning of, making it the perfect choice for when you want to impress without the stress.
Serve this french toast casserole with a tasty fruit salad, and oven baked bacon for a complete breakfast!
This baked French Toast Casserole has all that you could ever want in a crave worthy slice of French toast goodness. With the perfect crusty exterior and soft interior, accompanied with a crumbly brown sugar pecan topping, this easy French Toast Casserole recipe will be a home run in the kitchen each and every time.
It is the perfect Saturday morning breakfast, or a weekday surprise, or for an easy, yet special holiday breakfast. If we aren’t making overnight cinnamon rolls for Christmas, you can bet we are making this French Toast Casserole and an Breakfast Egg Casserole.
This French Toast Casserole recipe will become your new best friend.
What You Need For French Toast Casserole:
The ingredients are easy, yet combined together make something spectacular for you and your family to enjoy.
And one of the best parts is chances are you already have a lot of what you need. So, before you go shopping look at this list and peruse your cupboards. This recipe is loaded with pantry essentials so you can make it just about anytime. I love it when that happens.
- Bread ( We’ll talk later about what kind )
- Dairy: Milk, Heavy Cream or Half and Half, and Melted Butter
- Sugar: Granulated Sugar and Brown Sugar
- Flavor adders: Orange Zest, Ground Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Salt
- Chopped Pecans
While some substitutions can be made based on personal preference, this particular combination is always a hit. And has been the talk of more than one brunch with friends. As always though, make the changes that you deem necessary based on your personal needs and preferences.
The Best Bread For French Toast Casserole:
Here is the deal. I am all about being flexible and using what you have on hand. However, to get the most optimal results, the bread you choose matters.
If you choose thin pieces of bread, the bread may not be durable enough to hold the liquid, producing a soggy French toast.
No one wants soggy bread.
To prevent this you want a bread that is thick enough to hold the liquid.
My Favorite Bread Choices For French Toast Casserole:
- French Sour Dough Bread
- Challah ( good choice if you want to add more sweetness )
Can You Use Stale Bread?
Yes! Absolutely! In fact I recommend it. It helps the bread to stay intact and hold the liquid without getting soggy.
A quick way to help bread become stale:
- Chunk bread up.
- Lay bread flat on a baking pan, in one layer, not on top of each other.
- Put bread in the oven at around 300 degrees for about 15 minutes, give or take.
- It should crisp up nicely.
Making French Toast Casserole
One of the many reasons I love this recipe is it is so simple to make. You can whip it up in about 5 minutes, and sit back while it bakes. Or work on making other delicious breakfast foods to accompany this delicious breakfast casserole.
The basics for making it:
- Chunk up bread.
- Prepare egg mixture and dump over bread.
- Mix topping and dump over all of it.
How To Make This An Overnight French Toast Casserole?
While this recipe can be made quickly the morning of, with very little hands on effort, if you want to make it ahead of time you can. It is best to prep everything and bake fresh.
In some instances, I actually prefer to make it ahead as it gives the bread plenty of time to soak up the egg mixture.
To make ahead:
- Simply follow the recipe, but don’t add the topping mixture. Either make the topping the morning of or make it ahead and put in a container in the fridge.
- Cover with plastic wrap, and place casserole dish with French toast covered in egg mixture into the fridge.
- In the morning, mix up the topping, add it and prepare to bake.
- Note: Make sure to allow time for casserole to sit out at room temp before baking, about 5-10 minutes. Which can be done while the oven pre-heats.
- Then bake as normal!
Does French Toast Casserole Need To Be Refrigerated?
Yes. If you are making it the night ahead it will sit in the fridge overnight. If you aren’t making it the night before, then just use the refrigerator to store left overs.
How To Avoid Soggy French Toast:
- Drain Excess Liquid: After the French Toast is ready to go and in the casserole dish, look for any excess liquid that is not being absorbed by the bread. Carefully drain the excess, unwanted liquid. It if sits overnight this may be needed. But the recipe has been fully tested and depending on the bread type and the size of eggs this should not be an issue.
- Pick The Right Bread: If you pick the right bread, then hopefully there won’t be any excess liquid in the first place. Use a thick bread like French sour dough, ciabatta, or challah. Also use stale bread to further ensure liquid absorption.
- Follow This Recipe! Some recipes use too much liquid, hence there is unnecessary excess liquid contributing to the sogginess. The ratios for the recipe have been tried and tested. Follow this recipe and use one of the recommended breads and you should be able to avoid soggy French toast.
- Bake a little longer if needed. Despite the bread and recipe if you find your french toast casserole to be a little soggy, bake it a bit longer. Every oven is a tad different, so it may just need a little more time to fully set.
Variations For French Toast Casserole:
There are so many things you can do with this French Toast Casserole recipe and with French toast casseroles in general.
- Bacon: Add a salty factor into the mix. Bake with crumbled bacon for a sweet and salty factor.
- Fruit: Fruit is always a fun addition to French toast and it doesn’t have to be just used as a topping. For this recipe some yummy apples included into the dish would add a little extra pizzaz. The apples would further sweeten while being baked.
Also, sweetened cranberries would be fun for the holidays. They are quite tart on their own so I recommend mixing with sugar first.
- Chips (chocolate, cinnamon, etc): Add chocolate or white chocolate chips. Cinnamon or butterscotch chips would be fun too. However, this French Toast Casserole recipe is plenty sweet on its own, as well.
- Cream Cheese: If you want to be adventurous, you could add sweetened cream cheese and provide an undertone of cheesecake flavor. However, adding cream cheese to this recipe would require a little trial and error with changing proportions of liquids etc. I say cut your liquids down by 1/3 and replace with the cream cheese. Or use all the liquids, and bake longer.
- Cinnamon Rolls: Sub bread out for cinnamon rolls and have a cinnamon roll French toast casserole. Note: Liquid portions may need to be adjusted depending on how dry/wet the cinnamon rolls are.
The possibilities are endless! Use this recipe again and again or make slight changes for a new creation.
This French Toast Casserole is a great the way it is, but can serve as a great foundation for many other creations too!
Toppings For French Toast Casserole:
Let’s continue the creativity and talk toppings. There are so many things you can add to this delicious breakfast recipe.
While it has a delicious crumbly pecan topping, why stop there? Let’s continue on the path to decadence, shall we?
- Whipped Cream
- Syrup ( fruit, maple, buttermilk )
- Caramel Sauce
- Chocolate Shavings
- Crumbled Candied Nuts
Want to keep it simple? Drizzle with just a little bit of syrup.
Want to up the game? Don’t end with syrup. Add a combination of additional toppings.
Either way the dish will be delectable and delicious.
How Do You Reheat French Toast Casserole?
If you are lucky enough to have leftovers of this yummy dish, then you can refrigerate and reheat it when you are in the mood. Don’t wait too long though. French toast casserole does not stay good for long.
- Reheat in the oven at about 325 for about 30 mins.
- Or, simply reheat a slice for yourself at a moment’s notice in the microwave. Put in microwave for 45 seconds to a minute.
- If the slice is not heated enough to your liking then put it back in the microwave for a few more seconds.
French Toast Casserole, What Your Breakfast Needs!
With delicious contrasting textures, crunchy on the outside, custardy goodness on the inside, this French Toast Casserole has the perfect balance of both flavor and texture, making this method of cooking French toast your go to way to make it.
Feed a crowd french toast, without having to make individual slices. Make this baked French Toast Casserole for an easier than French toast fix. You will love it!
Other French Toast Favorites:
- Classic French Toast – 3 ways (Classic, churro, banana fosters, with a buttermilk syrup recipe).
- Peach Cobbler Overnight French Toast Casserole
- S’mores Overnight French Toast Casserole
- Red Velvet Raspberry and Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast
Or enjoy these other delicious breakfast options:
How to Make French Toast Casserole: Video Tutorial
French Toast Casserole
- 9-10 cups of chunks of bread French, sourdough, ciabatta, or challah Approx. 1 large loaf
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream can substitute milk or half and half
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 medium orange zest only
- 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- ½ cup pecans chopped
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 375F with oven rack in the center position.
- Prepare your bread by ripping or cutting it into 1 inch cubes. Leave crust on.
- Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish (or smaller if you want a thicker casserole), by spraying it with cooking spray.
- Fill pan with bread cubes.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together, then add the rest of the custard ingredients (milk, cream, sugars, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt). .
- Pour the egg and milk mixture evenly over all the bread chunks. Set aside.
- Mix the topping ingredients together (melted butter, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt), and drizzle over the bread chunks, evenly distributed.
- Bake the casserole for 35 to 45 minutes, until cooked through and top bread is browned and slightly crunchy.
- Remove from oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
- Serve with maple syrup and toppings of choice.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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