Looking for a delicious and easy brunch recipe that will impress your guests? Try this overnight French toast bake. A buttery, crunchy nut topping makes it simply divine!
French toast is a favorite with everyone in my family, so when I found a recipe for overnight baked French toast in one of my old church cookbooks, I knew I had to try it.
After several years of tweaking, I finally came up with the perfect recipe! With just a few simple ingredients and some prep the night before, you can have a crowd-pleasing dish that’s sure to be a hit.
BAKED FRENCH TOAST – OVERNIGHT!
If your family loves French toast as much as mine does, you must give this overnight version a try. All the work is done the night before, so it makes for a fuss free breakfast or brunch.
Not only is it great for weekend family breakfast, it’s special enough to serve for any holiday or special occasion.
Imagine Christmas morning with the smell of cinnamon wafting through the air. And of course it’s great for Easter or Mother’s Day brunch, especially if you serve it with some fresh berries.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
- I think it is perfectly sweet without any additional syrup, but of course my kids wanted to add some to theirs. They love this buttermilk syrup recipe, but maple syrup is of course always great.
- My favorite way to eat it is topped with fresh berries like blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries.
- A sprinkling of powdered sugar is a nice touch.
- It’s also tasty topped with whipped cream, either fresh or the kind in the can.
- For a bit of salty to balance out the sweet, serve crisp bacon or sausage links on the side.
The main reason French toast bake is soggy is that you didn’t use the right type of bread. Fluffy white bread isn’t dense enough to soak up the egg mixture, you need to use a hearty, dense bread.
It’s also best if your bread is slightly old and dried out. Again, if it’s too moist, it can’t soak up the liquid. To dry it out in a hurry, you can toast it very lightly.
A few other reasons for soggy French toast casserole is that you didn’t bake it long enough. Make sure the middle is completely set before you take it out of the oven. Using too much milk or cream can also end in soggy results. Follow the recipe as written, and you should be just fine!
HOW TO MAKE OVERNIGHT BAKED FRENCH TOAST
- PREP – This recipe works best with day old bread, so let your loaf sit for 1-3 days. Spray a 9×13″ pan with cooking spray; set aside. Melt the butter for the topping.
- BREAD – Cut the bread into 1″ cubes and spread in the prepared pan.
- EGG MIXTURE – In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, half & half cream, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour evenly over the bread cubes.
- TOPPING – In a small bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, or overnight. (Or you can make it the next morning.)
- REFRIGERATE – Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
- BAKE – Remove the French toast and topping from the refrigerator. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. The topping will have hardened, it will soften up as your oven heats. Break it into clumps and sprinkle over the top of the bread cubes.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the middle is set and the topping is browned.
- SERVE – Serve hot with your choice of toppings or syrup. Enjoy!
- Instead of French bread, you can use sourdough, brioche, or challah bread. Don’t use regular white bread, it isn’t hearty enough to soak up the egg mixture.
- Add about 1/4 tsp of nutmeg with the cinnamon for a warm, earthy flavor.
- If you don’t have half & half, you can use a cup of milk and a cup of cream.
- Feel free to substitute walnuts or any other nut for the pecans, or just omit the nuts altogether.
MORE BREAKFAST FAVORITES:
- Raspberry Coffee Cake
- Easy Granola Recipe
- Chocolate Chip Pancake Recipe
- Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas
- Swedish Pancake Recipe
- Homemade Biscuits and Gravy
OVERNIGHT FRENCH TOAST BAKE
- 1 (1 pound) loaf of French bread, cubed
- 8 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups half & half cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
- Cut bread into 1" cubes. Arrange in a 9x13" pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
- Vigorously whisk eggs, half & half, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon till frothy.
- Pour mixture evenly over the top of the bread cubes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight (or for 8 hours).
- For topping: Mix flour, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Stir in the melted butter until just barely combined. (You can make the night before and refrigerate, or make it in the morning.)
- The next morning, remove the casserole and topping from fridge. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or so while you preheat your oven to 350°.
- The topping will have hardened in the refrigerator, so after it softens a bit, break it into clumps and sprinkle over the bread cubes.
- Bake uncovered at 350° for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, and the top is browned.
- Serve warm as is, or with syrup, honey, powdered sugar, whipped cream, and/or fresh fruit.
-Make sure you use hearty bread like French bread, sourdough, challah, or brioche. It's best if it's a couple days old and has had time to dry out a bit.
-If your bread is fresh, you can dry it out by toasting it lightly, or slicing it and letting the slices sit out for a few hours.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 353Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 190mgSodium: 259mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 9g
You will love how the topping on this French toast overnight bake gets nice and crunchy, but the inside is soft. This will be making an appearance at your breakfast table often I’m sure!