This baked french toast casserole is the perfect make ahead breakfast or brunch! It's made with brioche, challah or french bread, soaked overnight, and baked in the oven. Flavored with cinnamon and topped with blueberries for an easy brunch!
This baked French toast casserole is an easy breakfast or brunch you can serve your friends or family! It's perfect for the holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving, it's great for Mother's Day brunch, or for large gatherings like birthdays or baby showers.
To make the baked French toast, I use thick slices of day old brioche but you can use any type of sliced bread. The bread is soaked in a rich, custard base of eggs, milk, and cinnamon for a minimum of 15 minutes but overnight is best.
The next day, simply bake it in the oven for a simple, make ahead breakfast that's perfect for the holidays or when you have company! The only thing left is to serve your French toast casserole with an assortment of toppings for your guests to customize to their liking.
The Best Bread for French Toast
- French baguette
- Or plain white bread
- Use day old bread to help the bread absorb the custard base.
- Use thick slices between ¾ and 1 inch thick.
- Soak overnight for the best results using the casserole dish you plan to bake with.
- Eggs - I used large eggs.
- Milk - Any kind of milk will do, you can even use plant based milk. I used 2% dairy milk.
- Spices - Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, all spice, pumpkin spice, etc
- Nuts - Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, sliced almonds.
How to Make Baked French Toast Casserole
- Make your custard base by combining the milk, eggs, half and half, sugar, and spices.
- Dip each bread slice into the mixture, thoroughly submerging it.
- Lay the bread slices overlapping in the casserole pan and pour the remaining milk mixture over it. Let it soak for at least 15 minutes to overnight in the fridge.
- Right before baking, sprinkle sugar over the top to create a crunchy caramelized crust.
- Bake while covered with foil for 25 minutes at 375 degrees F.
- Uncover and bake for an addition 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops get crispy and golden brown. The sugar topping should caramelize. Turn on the convection fan if you oven has one for the last 10 minutes. If you see spots turning too dark, loosely tent that area with foil to prevent burning.
- Add your toppings. I went with blueberries, raspberries, powdered sugar, walnuts, and maple syrup.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Fruit - blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, peaches, etc
- Nuts - walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, sliced almonds
- Sweeteners - maple syrup, powdered sugar, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, caramel drizzle
For this recipe, I used a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. The loaf of bread I used was 18oz or 511g and it came with 12 slices.
You can use any sliced bread but I recommend brioche, challah, sourdough, or French baguette.
Baked French Toast Casserole
- 1 loaf sliced bread - use brioche, challah or French; 18oz or 511g
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups milk - use any kind of milk
- ⅓ cup half and half
- ⅓ cup sugar, plus 2 Tablespoons - (divided)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup nuts - walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts
- 3 cups berries
- maple syrup
- powdered sugar
- Custard base: In a large bowl, add the eggs, milk, half and half, ⅓ cup sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk it together until well combined.
- Dip bread: Dip each bread slice into the custard base then lay it flat in your casserole dish. Continue laying all slices so they overlap and fit.
- Pour in custard base: Pour the remaining custard base on top and cover with foil. Let it soak refrigerated for 15 minutes or overnight for best results. Make sure the bread has absorbed enough of the custard base before baking. Spoon remaining liquid on top for better absorption prior to baking.
- Top with sugar: Right before baking, top with 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar to create a crunchy, golden brown caramelized crust.
- Bake: Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 minutes on the middle rack.
- Remove foil: To get a golden brown and crispy crust, remove the foil and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. You should see the sugar topping bubble and caramelize. Loosely cover any dark areas with foil to prevent burning. Turn on the convection fan the last 10 minutes if available.
- Serve: To serve, top with berries, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. Cut out slices and enjoy!
✎ Recipe Notes
- Leftovers - Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheating - Reheat in the toaster oven or microwave.
- Make ahead option - Soak the bread overnight and bake the next morning. It makes for an easy and delicious holiday breakfast!
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.