Overnight French Toast Casserole is a simple breakfast recipe for a crowd that everyone loves! This easy french toast casserole features a maple custard and light vanilla glaze and is perfect for brunch or Holiday breakfast. Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Modifications included.
Looking for more delicious breakfast casseroles? Try out my Easy Breakfast Casserole with hash browns, sausage, and eggs, or my Green Chile Egg Casserole. If traditional french toast is more your thing, be sure to grab my recipe for Classic French Toast.
Overnight French Toast Casserole
Baked French Toast is one of my staple recipes for entertaining guests.
Not only is it absolutely delicious, it is so easy to make, in fact it is almost embarrassing how easy it is–but we all need easy recipes-right?!
This casserole takes 15 minutes of hands on prep and because it is made the night before, it is as simple as popping the french toast casserole into the oven in the morning and breakfast is done!
This French Toast Casserole is perfectly sweet and spiced and guests always rave about this easy breakfast casserole. It is fluffy in the center and a bit crispy on the edges. The cinnamon and maple are the dominant flavors, but the light vanilla glaze finishes off the french toast bake perfectly. Only crumbs remain EVERY SINGLE TIME I serve it and people beg me for the recipe–that is how you know it is a winner!
How to Make French Toast Casserole
Like I said, this casserole is SUPER easy to make. It is as simple as cubing up the bread, whisking up a simple egg custard, and placing in the fridge overnight to let the bread soak up the egg custard before baking.
French Toast Casserole is best when given time for the bread to soak up the delicious custard, hence why overnight preparation is best. If you skip the step of letting your bread sit in the custard overnight, the casserole will not be as fluffy. Plus, if you are like me, mornings are always hectic or I am not at my sharpest until that cup of coffee hits–so preparing the night before not only makes this casserole easier to make, it makes it turn out better!
While the casserole is baking in the morning, I whip up a simple vanilla glaze to serve over top of the french toast casserole. It is absolutely not needed, and you can opt to serve this french toast bake with maple syrup instead.
What is the best type of bread to use?
Traditionally Challah Bread or Brioche Bread is the choice for French Toast Casserole. However, I recommend a more basic loaf of bread, such as French bread, Italian bread, or whole wheat bread. Because Challah and Brioche are a very sweet, eggy bread, there is not much contrast to the sweet custard and I find the french toast casserole a bit too sweet, when using those types of bread. If you like sweet casseroles, by all means, opt for Challah or Brioche as the base to this casserole.
Ideally, any bread you choose to use needs to be able to be cut into 1 inch cubes and bread, and dried out to absorb the custard. To dry out your bread, I like to use stale bread and cut up into cubes and lay out on baking sheets for 12 hours before preparing the French Toast Casserole. If you don’t have the time, you can dry out your bread in a 300 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. If your bread is not fully dried out, you may end up with a soggy casserole–so it is important to take the time to dry out your bread.
Pro-Tip: Save leftover scraps of bread or stale bread. Cube and place in freezer safe bag and then use that bread to make this delicious Overnight French Toast Casserole for pennies.
What if my casserole is soggy?
Chances are if your casserole is soggy, you did not use enough bread or your bread was too fresh (soft) to absorb the egg custard. To prevent this from happening, use dried out bread. And if after the casserole has set overnight in the fridge, be sure that most the custard is absorbed before baking. If you have more than 1/2 cup liquid not absorbed by the bread, you may want to drain off a bit of that custard before baking.
Leftover French Toast Casserole can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave for 1 minute per serving. Or place casserole covered with foil in 325 degree oven for 30 minutes until warmed through.
You can also freeze French Toast Casserole for up to 3 months after baking if desired. If you are freezing the full casserole, be sure to bake in a freezer safe container, such as a foil baking dish and let the casserole cool fully before freezing. You also want to wrap well in plastic wrap and foil to prevent freezer burn.
Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole
You can make Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole by following my instructions exactly, except for swapping out the bread for your favorite thick gluten-free bread.
Dairy-Free French Toast Casserole
To make Dairy-Free French Toast Casserole, use almond milk or coconut milk in place of cow’s milk. I personally have tried both with delicious results. I highly recommend canned coconut milk for Dairy-Free French Toast is rich and decadent, but it does have notes of coconut in the final product.
Also be sure to use coconut oil or a non-dairy butter substitute, instead of greasing the pan with butter.
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Easy Overnight French Toast Casserole
For the French Toast Casserole
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 16 ounces bread (French Bread, Italian Bread, Whole Wheat Bread) cut into 1 inch cubes (this is about 8-10 loosely packed cups)
- 2 cups milk (or 1 cups milk and 1 cup half and half)
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Vanilla Glaze (optional)
- 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- Cube up bread into 1 inch cubes. If time permits, spread the bread out on baking sheets and let dry out for several hours. If time does not permit, dry bread out in a 300 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Grease a 9x13 baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter.
- Place cubed bread in prepared casserole dish.
- Mix together eggs, maple syrup, milk, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Pour custard over bread, lightly tapping bread down to be fully sumberged in custard.
- Cover casserole with plastic wrap and refridgerate for 8 hours or overnight.
- To Bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and cover with foil. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 15 minutes. Serve warm with glaze and/or additional maple syrup.
- Whisk together milk, salt and vanilla. Add in powdered sugar and whisk until thin glaze forms. Add in more milk 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed to thin out.
- Drizzle over cooked French Toast Casserole and serve.
- Store leftover casserole in air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This post was originally published in March 2018, but has been updated in December 2019 with new tips and pictures. The recipe remains the same.