Overnight French Toast Casserole delivers the classic flavor you know and love of French Toast in a delicious hands-off, prep-ahead breakfast casserole.
When it comes to entertaining guests for breakfast or brunch, I love turning to recipes that can be made in advance. Recipes like Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, Hashbrown Brown Breakfast Casserole, and this French Toast Casserole all can be assembled ahead of time, meaning you can still enjoy your sleep and present a hearty, delicious spread that your guests will rave about.
And this French Toast Casserole is a show-stopping brunch recipe you need to make!
Reasons To Love This French Toast Casserole
- Amazing Flavor & Texture. Filled with warming spices and rich maple syrup, this French Toast Casserole is perfectly sweet and bakes up fluffy in the center and a bit crispy on the edges. Finished with a sweet vanilla glaze, this is a simple breakfast recipe for a crowd that everyone loves!
- 15 Minutes of Hands-On Prep. It couldn't be easier to whip up this French Toast Bake. And when it comes to entertaining, easy recipes are best!
- Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole. French Toast Casserole is best if the bread is given time to soak up the egg custard, meaning not only is possible to prepare this recipe in advance, but it will turn out better. Perfect for entertaining or a holiday breakfast.
- Crowd-Pleasing Recipe. Only crumbs remain every single time I serve this French Toast Casserole and people beg me for the recipe, that is how you know it is a winner! It has also been a favorite with my readers as well for nearly 10 years!
- Easily Made Gluten-Free and/or Dairy-Free. With simple, tested modifications, you can easily make this French Toast Casserole dairy-free and/or gluten-free.
Ingredients Needed for French Toast Casserole
- Bread: Stale or day-old bread is best so that it can absorb the custard. Use any type of bread you like such as sourdough bread, whole wheat bread, french bread, Italian bread, challah, or cinnamon raisin bread. Keep in mind that using challah bread will result in a richer casserole, as the bread itself is quite sweet and eggy.
- Maple Syrup: Instead of using brown sugar or granulated sugar, I opt to use maple syrup to sweeten this French toast casserole. It adds warmth and flavor to the recipe, along with sweetening it.
- Eggs: Eggs will help the casserole to set up and give this casserole the flavors of classic French Toast.
- Half and Half: Half and half will make a rich, creamy custard. In place of half and half, feel free to use heavy cream or milk.
- For Flavor: To flavor the casserole, I recommend a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract which will pair well with the flavor of the maple syrup. A pinch of salt will enhance the flavor of the French Toast Casserole, not make it taste salty.
- Vanilla Glaze: While totally optional, a simple combination of powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk makes a deliciously sweet glaze that finishes off the French toast casserole perfectly. In place of the glaze, feel free to serve with maple syrup.
- Dairy-Free French Toast Casserole: To make Dairy-Free French Toast Casserole, use almond milk or coconut milk in place of cow's milk. The coconut milk will produce a richer custard, but it does have notes of coconut in the final product. Also, be sure to use coconut oil or a non-dairy butter substitute for greasing the pan.
- Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole: You can make Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole by simply using your favorite gluten-free bread.
Tips for Making the Best French Toast Casserole
The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect results. You will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Prepare in Advance: 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.
- Use Dried-Out Bread. Ideally, any bread you choose to use needs to be stale or dried out to absorb the custard. If your bread is not fully dried out, you may end up with a soggy casserole, therefore it is crucial to dry out your bread properly before soaking the bread in the egg custard. You can either let cubed bread dry out overnight at room temperature or speed up the process by baking the bread in a 300-degree oven for about 15-20 minutes.
- Submerge the Bread in the Egg Custard. After pouring the egg and cream mixture over the dried-out bread, use your hands to gently push down the bread cubes into the custard to fully submerge. That will help ensure that the bread absorbs the casserole.
- Refrigerate Overnight. Cover the assembled casserole with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 18 hours.
- Take the Chill Off the Casserole Before Baking. In the morning, remove the casserole from the refrigerator while the oven is preheating. This will help to take the chill off your casserole and prevent your casserole dish from cracking due to extreme temperature changes.
Storage & Reheating Instructions
- Refrigerate: Leftover French Toast Casserole can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Reheat: Reheat individual servings in the microwave for 1 minute per serving. Or place the casserole, covered with foil, in a 325-degree F oven for 30 minutes until warmed through.
More Favorite Brunch Recipes
- Asparagus Frittata
- Quiche Lorraine
- Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
- Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- Overnight Breakfast Strata
If you tried this Overnight French Toast Casserole, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Easy Overnight French Toast Casserole Recipe
For the French Toast Casserole
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 16 ounces Italian or French bread cut into 1-inch cubes (this is about 8-10 loosely packed cups)
- 2 cups half and half or milk or cream
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Vanilla Glaze (optional)
- 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- Cube the bread into 1-inch cubes. Spread the bread cubes out onto a large sheet pan and allow the bread to dry out at room temperature for 4-12 hours. If time does not permit, dry the bread quickly in a 300-degree F oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Grease a 9x13 baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter and place the cubed, dried-out bread inside the casserole dish in an even layer.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, maple syrup, milk, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined.
- Pour this mixture over the cubed bread, gently tapping the bread down to be fully submerged in the custard. Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a least 8 hours or up to 18 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator while and allow it to come to room temperature as the oven preheats.
- Once the oven has preheated, remove the plastic wrap and cover the baking dish with foil. Bake covered for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until set.
- Serve warm with the vanilla glaze and/or additional maple syrup.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine milk, salt, and vanilla. Add in the powdered sugar and whisk until thin glaze forms. Add in more milk 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed to thin it out. Serve with the French Toast Casserole.
This post was originally published in March 2018 but was updated in December 2019 and December 2023.