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How to make a deliciously easy French toast casserole, the best make ahead recipe that’s perfect for a crowd and makes a quick breakfast on busy mornings.
Sometimes on weekends, and especially on holidays and birthdays, we’ll make blueberry buttermilk pancakes or our favorite recipe for cinnamon French toast. An overnight French toast casserole is a win win for those special times when we don’t necessarily feel like going to all the work of making actual French toast.
A good French toast bake pairs really well with eggs and bacon, or better yet, eggs and sausage. It adds a little sweet treat to breakfast time.
While you can make this cinnamon French toast bake without the topping, it won’t be nearly as good. The topping is super quick to mix up, and you can just crumble it right onto the casserole before baking.
You can also change it up and add apples with this delicious recipe for apple French toast casserole.
I love a deliciously easy breakfast casserole, don’t you? Especially when it involves maple syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?
If you’d rather skip all of my cooking tips, important cooking info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the delicious French toast casserole recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card with how to video.
WHAT KIND OF BREAD SHOULD I USE TO MAKE AN EASY FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE ?
While you can make a French toast bake with Texas toast, sourdough, challah bread, French bread, or really any other type of fresh baked bread, I used a regular loaf of plain old butter bread.
Butter bread is a type of sandwich bread (or white bread) you can find at just about any store.
This recipe is simple, so you can hopefully either use what you already have or easily find what you need while you’re at the store.
CAN I MAKE THIS BAKED FRENCH TOAST RECIPE GLUTEN-FREE?
Yes, you can. Just substitute in your favorite gluten-free bread in place of the regular sandwich bread included in the ingredients.
TIPS FOR HOW TO MAKE FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
This is a fairly simple overnight French toast recipe. There are really only 3 steps (4 if you count the topping) to getting this casserole ready to go in the oven.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, real maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Cube the bread and place it in a greased 9″x13″ baking dish, along with the pecans. You can layer the bread cubes and pecans so everything’s blended well in the dish.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread and pecans. Make sure all the bread is good and soaked.
- Cover and chill in the fridge for a good 4 to 6 hours or more. Overnight is best. Before baking, mix up your topping and just crumble it on as best you can. It’s a really moist mixture, so it’s more like clumps of cinnamon brown sugar. Then just bake.
And that’s it! It’s easy peasy to make.
CAN I LEAVE OUT THE PECANS? OR USE SOMETHING ELSE?
I get it. Not everyone’s a fan of French toast casserole with pecans.
DO I REALLY HAVE TO CHILL THE CASSEROLE OVERNIGHT?
While it’s best if you do refrigerate overnight, you don’t have to. But let me just say, that the flavors will be at their best after chilling for at least a few hours.
If you’re in a hurry, don’t have time to plan ahead, and need to make it a quick and easy French toast casserole for a crowd, that’s ok. Just mix it up, make sure the bread cubes are moistened well with the egg and milk mixture, add the topping, and bake it.
CAN YOU FREEZE FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE?
You can freeze a French toast bake. While I recommend freezing it after it’s already been baked, you can also freeze it before baking.
Keep in mind it’ll keep longer in the freezer if it’s already been cooked. And I'd add the topping later right before you actually bake it.
Be sure to cover it well or seal it in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn.
Also, be sure you have plenty of time for it to thaw and re-heat when taking it out of the freezer. Allow time for it to thaw in the fridge; then cook or re-heat.
MORE FRENCH TOAST RECIPES FOR YOU TO ENJOY
Check out all our breakfast recipes for more easy breakfast ideas.
SHOP KITCHEN TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE:
Aluminum Foil – for baking.
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- 20 ounces sandwich bread*, cubed
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup**
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish.
Cube the bread into small 1-inch cubes, and layer with the pecans in your baking dish.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, real maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread and pecans in the baking dish.
When you’re ready to bake the casserole, remove it from the fridge, and pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
Meanwhile, mix the sliced butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a small mixing bowl.
Crumble or clump the topping over the entire casserole.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake at 350°F for about 25 to 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake it for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
Once it’s thoroughly cooked through, remove it from the oven and let it cool for just a few minutes.
Then slice and serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup.
*20 ounces was about 22 slices of the butter bread I used.
**Be sure to use real maple syrup. Table syrup will likely change the recipe.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 346 Total Fat: 16g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 138mg Sodium: 506mg Carbohydrates: 39g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 17g Protein: 11g