Overnight French Toast Casserole


Are you looking for a delicious, easy-to-make breakfast that will impress your family and guests? Look no further than the Overnight French Toast Casserole. This dish combines the classic flavors of French toast with the convenience of a make-ahead casserole. Perfect for busy mornings, holiday brunches, or a special weekend treat, this recipe is sure to become a household favorite.


To make this delightful breakfast casserole, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of French bread or brioche: Cut into 1-inch cubes.
  • 8 large eggs: Beaten.
  • 2 cups of milk: Whole milk works best for a richer texture, but you can use any milk of your choice.
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream: Adds a luxurious creaminess to the casserole.
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar: For sweetness.
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar: Adds a hint of caramel flavor.
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract: Enhances the overall flavor.
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon: For that classic French toast taste.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg: Optional, but adds a warm, spiced note.
  • Pinch of salt: Balances the sweetness.
  • 1/2 cup of pecans or walnuts: Optional, for added crunch.
  • 2 tablespoons of butter: For greasing the baking dish.


Preparation the Night Before

  1. Prepare the baking dish: Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter.
  2. Arrange the bread cubes: Place the bread cubes evenly in the greased baking dish.
  3. Mix the custard: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well combined.
  4. Soak the bread: Pour the custard mixture evenly over the bread cubes, ensuring all pieces are well coated. Gently press the bread down with a spatula to help it absorb the custard.
  5. Add the nuts: If using, sprinkle the pecans or walnuts over the top of the casserole.
  6. Cover and refrigerate: Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours.

Baking in the Morning

  1. Preheat the oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Bake the casserole: Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then, bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center is set.
  3. Serve: Let the casserole cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve warm with maple syrup, fresh berries, or a dusting of powdered sugar.

Serving and Storage Tips for Overnight French Toast Casserole:

Serving Tips:

  1. Let it Cool Slightly: After baking, allow the casserole to cool for about 5-10 minutes. This helps the custard set further and makes slicing easier.
  2. Slice or Scoop: For a more elegant presentation, slice the casserole into squares. If you prefer a more rustic approach, simply scoop it out with a large spoon.
  3. Add Toppings: Enhance the flavor and presentation by adding toppings such as:
    • Maple Syrup: Drizzle generously over each serving.
    • Fresh Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries add a burst of freshness.
    • Whipped Cream: A dollop of whipped cream adds a touch of indulgence.
    • Powdered Sugar: Lightly dust with powdered sugar for a classic finish.
    • Nuts and Seeds: Sprinkle with chopped nuts or seeds for extra crunch.
  4. Serve with Sides: Pair the casserole with breakfast sides such as:
    • Bacon or Sausage: The savory flavors complement the sweetness of the casserole.
    • Fresh Fruit: A fruit salad or sliced fruits add a refreshing contrast.
    • Yogurt: Serve with a side of yogurt for a balanced meal.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: If you have leftovers, cover the casserole tightly with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezing: For longer storage, you can freeze the casserole:
    • Before Baking: Prepare the casserole up to the point of baking, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed.
    • After Baking: Allow the baked casserole to cool completely. Cut into individual portions, wrap each portion in plastic wrap, and place in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or oven.
  3. Reheating: To reheat the casserole:
    • Microwave: Place a portion on a microwave-safe plate and heat on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.
    • Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the casserole (or individual portions) in an oven-safe dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until warmed through.
  4. Avoid Overheating: When reheating, be careful not to overheat, as this can dry out the custard. Aim for a gentle reheat to maintain the creamy texture.

Variations of Overnight French Toast Casserole:

The beauty of the Overnight French Toast Casserole lies in its versatility. Here are some delightful variations to suit different tastes and occasions:

1. Berry Bliss French Toast Casserole

Add a burst of fresh, fruity flavor to your casserole.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 cup of mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
    • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
    • 1/4 cup of berry jam (optional, spread between layers of bread)
  • Instructions:
    • Layer the berries between the bread cubes before pouring the custard mixture.
    • Sprinkle lemon zest over the top before baking.
    • Serve with additional fresh berries and a dollop of whipped cream.

2. Cinnamon Roll French Toast Casserole

Enjoy the classic flavors of cinnamon rolls in your French toast casserole.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup of melted butter
    • Cream cheese glaze (optional)
  • Instructions:
    • Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle between layers of bread.
    • Drizzle melted butter over the top before baking.
    • After baking, drizzle with a cream cheese glaze made by mixing cream cheese, powdered sugar, and a bit of milk.

3. Apple Pie French Toast Casserole

Perfect for autumn mornings, this variation adds the warmth of apple pie spices.

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 cups of peeled and sliced apples (Granny Smith or Honeycrisp work well)
    • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
    • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • Instructions:
    • Toss the apple slices with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and brown sugar.
    • Layer the spiced apples between the bread cubes before adding the custard mixture.
    • Serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

4. Chocolate Banana French Toast Casserole

Indulge your sweet tooth with this decadent variation.

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 ripe bananas, sliced
    • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
    • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder (optional, for a richer chocolate flavor)
  • Instructions:
    • Layer banana slices and chocolate chips between the bread cubes.
    • Add vanilla extract and cocoa powder to the custard mixture.
    • Serve with a drizzle of chocolate syrup and sliced bananas.

5. Savory French Toast Casserole

For those who prefer savory over sweet, this variation is a hearty breakfast option.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 cup of cooked and crumbled sausage or bacon
    • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or your favorite)
    • 1/4 cup of chopped green onions or chives
    • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Instructions:
    • Mix the cooked sausage or bacon, shredded cheese, and green onions with the bread cubes.
    • Add garlic powder to the custard mixture.
    • Serve with a side of salsa or hot sauce.

6. Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole

Celebrate the fall season with this pumpkin-flavored delight.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 cup of pumpkin puree
    • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
    • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • Instructions:
    • Mix the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and maple syrup into the custard mixture.
    • Pour the mixture over the bread cubes.
    • Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

7. Nutty Caramel French Toast Casserole

Add a crunchy, caramelized touch to your breakfast.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts
    • 1/4 cup of caramel sauce
  • Instructions:
    • Layer chopped nuts between the bread cubes.
    • Drizzle caramel sauce over the top before baking.
    • Serve with extra caramel sauce on the side.


Overnight French Toast Casserole is a breakfast delight that combines ease of preparation with delicious results. By preparing it the night before, you can enjoy a stress-free morning and serve a dish that’s sure to impress. Give this recipe a try and make your next breakfast or brunch a memorable one!

FAQ’s About Overnight French Toast Casserole:

1. Can I use any type of bread for Overnight French Toast Casserole?

Answer: While you can use various types of bread, it’s best to use a sturdy, slightly stale bread like French bread, brioche, or challah. These types of bread hold up well to the custard mixture without becoming too soggy.

2. Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Answer: Yes, you can make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free bread. Ensure that all other ingredients, such as flavorings and toppings, are also gluten-free.

3. How far in advance can I prepare the casserole?

Answer: You can prepare the casserole up to 24 hours in advance. This makes it a perfect option for busy mornings or when you want to get a head start on your breakfast preparations.

4. Can I freeze Overnight French Toast Casserole?

Answer: Yes, you can freeze the casserole. You can either freeze it before baking or after baking. If freezing before baking, cover it tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking. If freezing after baking, cut it into portions, wrap them well, and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in the oven or microwave.

5. What if I don’t have time to refrigerate it overnight?

Answer: If you’re short on time, you can refrigerate the casserole for a minimum of 2-3 hours. This will allow the bread to absorb the custard mixture sufficiently, though overnight is best for maximum flavor and texture.

6. Can I add fruit to the casserole?

Answer: Absolutely! Adding fruit such as berries, sliced apples, or bananas can enhance the flavor and texture of the casserole. Mix the fruit with the bread cubes before adding the custard mixture.

7. How can I prevent the casserole from being too soggy?

Answer: To prevent a soggy casserole, use slightly stale bread, ensure it’s well-coated but not drenched in custard, and bake it uncovered. If the top is browning too quickly while baking, cover it loosely with foil for the remaining bake time.

8. Can I make a dairy-free version of this casserole?

Answer: Yes, you can make a dairy-free version by using non-dairy milk (such as almond, soy, or oat milk) and a non-dairy cream substitute. Also, use dairy-free butter or a suitable alternative for greasing the dish.

9. What toppings go well with Overnight French Toast Casserole?

Answer: Popular toppings include maple syrup, fresh berries, whipped cream, powdered sugar, nuts, caramel sauce, or even a drizzle of chocolate syrup. You can choose toppings based on your preference and the variation of the casserole you’re making.

10. How do I know when the casserole is done baking?

Answer: The casserole is done when the top is golden brown and the center is set. You can check for doneness by inserting a toothpick or knife into the center; it should come out clean or with only a few moist crumbs. The casserole should be slightly puffed and not wobbly in the center.

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