This simple French Toast Casserole bake is a decadent cross between French toast and bread pudding. The aroma while it bakes will wake everyone up!
Hi cousins! Looking for a weekend brunch or holiday breakfast recipe? This Overnight French Toast Casserole is prepped the night before, so all you have to do is pop it in the oven in the morning. Fry up some eggs and bacon or ham as sides, and you’re all set!
How to Make Overnight French Toast Casserole
Frech Toast Casserole
- Brioche bread—2 loaves of this soft and fluffy French bread.
- Eggs—8 large eggs, either white or brown.
- Whole milk—1 ½ cups whole milk or unsweetened soy, almond, or oat milk.
- Sweet Cream creamer—1 cup, use the rest to sweeten your coffee.
- Brown sugar—3/4 cup of packed brown sugar.
- Cinnamon—1 tablespoon for flavor and aroma.
- Nutmeg—1 tablespoon for warmth and balance.
- Vanilla—1 tablespoon of vanilla extract or pure vanilla.
- Toppings—I top with vanilla icing, whipped cream, and powdered sugar. This recipe is already sweet, but some guests may want maple syrup.
- Garnish—fresh mint, strawberry, or berries of choice.
- Powdered sugar—2 cups for sweet icing.
- Whole milk—2 tablespoons of whole milk or unsweetened non-dairy milk.
- Vanilla extract—you can use pure vanilla.
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Cutting board
- Bread knife or serrated knife
- Large baking dish
- Oven mitts
- Non-stick baking spray
- Large bowl
- Medium bowl
- Aluminum foil—if your baking dish doesn’t have a lid
Overnight French Toast Casserole Recipe FAQs
Is French toast really French?
Just like French fries aren’t French cuisine, French toast isn’t either. However, it was popularized in America by French immigrants. In France, it’s referred to as “pain perdu”, which translates to “lost bread”. While today’s recipes call for fresh bread, it was initially an innovative way to use stale bread.
Lost bread dates back to ancient Rome during the 15th century. Romans would dip bread in milk and/or eggs before frying it to create what they called “pan dulcis”, which also translates to “lost bread”. It was a favorite of Henri V and his court, and similar versions spread throughout Europe—and to the French who introduced it to America.
Why do I need a bread knife for this French Toast recipe?
Brioche comes in loaves, so you will need to slice them yourself. As a soft and fluffy bread, it can squish down when you slice it with a standard knife. A bread knife has scalloped edges that cut without squishing.
If you don’t have a bread knife, use any serrated knife. If your only serrated knife is a small paring knife, cut your bread in half lengthwise before slicing it into 1 to 2-inch chunks.
No worries if all you have is a standard knife, as the bread will puff up a bit while it bakes.
What is the best bread for French Toast?
Even if I’m making Traditional French Toast, I prefer to use brioche because it is soft, fluffy, and slightly sweet. Some recipes call for sourdough or French bread, but even with soaking the bread overnight, I find these breads to be a bit dry.
Brioche can be found in Walmart or any grocery store. If you can’t find brioche, you could substitute for another thick-cut bread.
Top options for French toast include:
- Pullman loaf
- Thick-cut white bread
Do I have to let the bread sit out overnight after cubing it?
After cubing the bread, warm it in the oven at 200 degrees for 1 hour, or let it sit out overnight. Or for any 8 to 10-hour block of time. This dries the bread a bit (not too much) so that your Overnight French Toast Bake won’t be soggy.
How long does French Toast Casserole last in the fridge?
This recipe will stay fresh for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, but it isn’t likely to last that long!
If you are serving a small group, freeze your leftovers.
How to Store Leftover French Toast Casserole
If your baking dish has a lid, let it cool and pop the lid back on. If not, transfer your leftovers to an airtight container to keep them fresh. Saran wrap or aluminum foil won’t create the airtight seal required to keep this recipe soft. Consider ordering a silicon baking dish lid for the next time you have leftovers in your casserole dish. Leftovers will stay fresh for 3 days.
Freezing: Bread is airy inside, which can lead to freezer burn. To prevent freezer burn, cool your Overnight French Toast Bake on the counter. Then wrap it in saran wrap or freezer paper before placing it in an airtight freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight before eating.
Reheating in the microwave: bread can get hard if microwaved for too long. So, microwave single servings on low in 30 second intervals.
Reheating in the oven: you can use a toaster oven or your standard oven to reheat but your air fryer may dry the bread out. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Single or small servings will reheat in 8 to 10 minutes, while larger portions will take 15 to 20 minutes.
Fun French Toast Casserole Recipe Variations
I always encourage you to make your recipes your own! Below are a few seasonal adjustments and delicious ways to personalize this recipe.
- Christmas variation—swap the milk for eggnog for a festive holiday variation.
- Fall variation—swap the cinnamon and nutmeg for pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice.
- Fruity toppings—top with any kind of fresh or defrosted fruits, fruit preserves, or fruit pie filling.
- Drizzle—instead of the vanilla frosting, you could drizzle caramel sauce or chocolate sauce on top.
- Cream cheese frosting—instead of the vanilla frosting, spread a light layer of cream cheese frosting on top. You can find a cream cheese frosting recipe in this recipe!
- Texture—add a bit of crunch by sprinkling chopped pecans or walnuts on top or add texture with chopped dried banana, raisins, or other dried fruits.
- Brighten—add a tablespoon of lemon or citrus zest to the milk and cream mixture.
- Chocolate and strawberry—make this recipe instead Chocolate Strawberry French Toast Casserole!
If you enjoyed my Overnight French Toast Casserole, give some of these other brunch recipes a try!
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Overnight French Toast Casserole
- Whip Cream or Powdered Sugar
- Fresh Berries or Mint to garnish
- Cut the Brioche bread into chunks and lay them on a large baking dish.2 loaves Brioche bread
- Set the bread out overnight or place it in an oven at 200 degrees for 1 hour.
- Coat your baking dish with non-stick baking spray.
- Add the bread chunks to the baking dish. Set to the side.
- In a large bowl, add your milk, cream, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.8 large Eggs, 1 ½ cups milk, 1 Cup Sweet Cream coffee creamer, ¾ cups Brown Sugar, 1 tbsp ground cinnamon, 1 tbsp ground nutmeg, 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
- Pour your cream mixture on top of the bread.
- Lightly press down on the bread with your hands for 3-40 seconds so the bread on top can soak in the cream mixture.
- Cover the baking dish and place it in your refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cover your French toast casserole with foil that has been coated with non-stick baking spray.
- Place the baking dish in the center of your oven.
- Bake for 35 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- In a medium-sized bowl add all of your icing ingredients.2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tbsp Whole milk, 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- Whisk to combine until it is smooth and no visible clumps.
- Top your French toast with the vanilla icing.
- Serve and enjoy.