Baked French Toast {French Toast Casserole}

Updated: ·
Posted: 06/21/2021·
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Looking for a yummy weekend breakfast to try? You’re going to LOVE this baked French toast. I am quite confident that this recipe will become a new family favorite enjoyed for years to come!

This recipe is E A S Y and oh-so-delicious! It’s full of cinnamon flavor with a crunchy top and a just gooey enough center. If you love French toast, this is really going to knock your socks off. Now let’s get cooking!

Baked French Toast {French Toast Casserole}

Baked French toast is like normal french toast, but it is baked like a bread pudding! This easy recipe is made using sliced french bread baked with a sweetened egg mixture, then topped with a delicious streusel topping.

I may be biased, but I really think the streusel topping makes this a five-star recipe! Definitely don’t skip adding it to the top of the dish before baking!

A healthy dose of cinnamon and a generous dash of vanilla bring out a wonderful flavor. This is my go-to weekend recipe whenever we have guests over, everyone loves it!

I will tell you a few secrets to getting this recipe just right. First, it has a tendency to stick to the baking dish, so be sure to grease the dish before baking. Second, you want to make sure each slice of bread is coated with the egg mixture. I’ve found that this requires using my hands to gently separate each slice, and pouring the egg mixture slowly over the top in small batches until each piece of bread is coated.

Lastly, this recipe does take the full 25-30 minutes to bake even if it is golden on top. The first time I made it, I pulled it out too soon, and the center was too gooey. I mean, if you like a gooey center then don’t sweat it, but it’s best when cooked through. If you notice the top is browning too much, but the dish still needs some time, simply cover it with some tin foil and finish baking.

I really hope you and your family love this recipe as much as we do, enjoy!

Birdseye view of baked french toast topped with powdered sugar and blueberries.

What is Baked French Toast?

Baked French toast is like normal french toast, only it is baked like a bread pudding! This sweet breakfast dish is made using French bread, eggs, butter, sugar, and cinnamon. It’s positively delicious!

To make baked french toast you’ll slice the French bread and layer it into a baking dish, then you’ll whisk together a sweet and creamy egg mixture. The egg mixture smothers the bread and then the whole dish is topped with a crumbly streusel topping and baked to golden perfection.

Baked french toast in a white baking dish served with whipped cream, blueberries, maple syrup and topped with powdered sugar.

Ingredients for Baked French Toast:

  • French Bread
  • Eggs
  • Whole Milk
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Brown Sugar
  • Nutmeg, optional
  • All-purpose Flour

Substitutions

This recipe is very easily adaptable – within reason :). Essentially, you’re putting together a breakfast bread pudding! Enjoy this breakfast any way you like.

  • Milk can be substituted with a dairy free alternative such as almond milk or coconut milk. If you only have skim milk, or 2%, that will certainly work too!
  • Sugar can be substituted with pure maple syrup if desired. Sugar free alternatives are not recommended.
  • All-purpose flour can be substituted with quick oats or your favorite gluten free flour.
  • You can add additional extracts if you’d like, such as almond or orange. I would not recommend skipping the vanilla extract, it adds an excellent flavor!

I would not recommend substituting the French bread, eggs, or cinnamon.

Milk poured into a white bowl on a wood countertop with surrounding ingredients including bread and eggs.

How to Make Baked French Toast

  • The night before, slice the loaf of French bread into 3/4″ thick pieces.
  • When ready to bake: Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, melted buter, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and brown sugar. Whisk until well combined.
  • Arrange the slices of bread, crust side up, in a large greased baking dish so that they are loosely packed. I arranged mine in a herringbone pattern, but you could layer the slices in two rows, or any other arrangement you like.
  • Slowly drizzle about 1/3 of the egg mixture over the top of the french toast. Use your hands to pull apart the pieces of bread so that the egg mixture fills in between slices. You want all of the bread to soak up the eggs. Repeat until all of the egg mixture is poured over the bread.
  • Tip: Use your hands to firmly press down the bread. Like a sponge, it will rise back up, soaking up the egg mixture as it does. Double check to make sure all of the bread is smothered in egg mixture.
  • Now make the streusel. In a small mixing bowl combine the softened butter, brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and cinnamon. Use the back of a fork to mash the topping into a crumble. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the French toast.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 350° F
  • Once baked, top with syrup, powdered sugar, whipped cream, or any other desired toppings.
Bread arranged in a herringbone pattern in a white baking dish

Topping Ideas

Maple syrup and whipped cream are tried and true favorites, but there are tons of different toppings you can try on this baked French toast!

  • Vanilla Yogurt & Granola
  • Lemon or Orange Curd
  • Strawberry Preserves
  • Sliced Fresh Fruit
  • Chopped Nuts
  • Powdered Sugar
An up close image of baked french toast served on a white plate with maple syrup poured over the top.

Baked French Toast FAQ

What Bread to Use for French Toast?

It comes as no surprise that French bread is the best bread for French toast! I like a nice thick loaf of French bread with a crunchy crust and pillowy center.

Still not sure? Use the same type of bread you’d use for garlic bread!

Why is my French Toast Soggy?

If the center of the French toast is soggy, you haven’t cooked it long enough. Place the dish back in the oven and continue to cook until the center is no longer soggy. I suggest 10 minute intervals.

If the top is becoming too golden, cover with tin foil and then continue baking.

How to Make Ahead?

You can easily make this casserole ahead of time by preparing the dish up until it’s time to bake. Rather than baking, cover the dish and refrigerate until ready to enjoy! When ready, bake as you normally would.

Can a French Toast Casserole Be Frozen?

Yep – you can bake this French toast casserole and freeze it. To do so, bake as you normally would and do not pour any sauce o syrup over the top.

Slice into serving sizes and place each serving into a freezer safe bag. If there are multiple pieces left over, layer parchment paper between slices to prevent sticking.

When ready to enjoy, reheat in the oven. No need to thaw, simply place a piece in an oven safe baking dish and heat until warmed through at 250° F.

Does a French Toast Casserole Have to Sit Overnight?

No, the casserole doesn’t need to sit overnight. However, letting it sit overnight will give you some really wonderful results.

Many recipe recommend resting the casserole overnight so that the bread has a chance to soak up all of the egg mixture. To speed up the process, simply press the bread down with your hands like a sponge. When you release the bread, it will begin to soak up the egg mixture. Use clean hands to gently separate pieces of bread to make sure that each piece is coated with egg mixture.

How to reheat?

French toast casserole is best when reheated in the oven rather than the microwave. Place a slice, or the entire dish, in a 250° F oven and warm until your desired temperature is reached. As a note, reheating may cause the dish to dry out a bit, a little extra syrup or whipped cream on top is recommended ;).



Looking for more brunch recipes? Give this Dutch Baby Pancake recipe a try and let me know what you think! These Strawberry Muffins happen to be a reader favorite too! Enjoy!

Birdseye view of baked french toast topped with powdered sugar and blueberries.

Baked French Toast

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Your weekends just got a little sweeter with this baked fresh toast recipe! Everyone will love this brunch treat!

Ingredients

French Toast

  • 1 loaf french bread (a large sub sandwich style loaf, not a baguette)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • pinch of nutmeg, optional

Streusel Topping

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. The night before, slice the loaf of French bread into 3/4" thick pieces.
  2. When ready to bake: Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, melted buter, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and brown sugar. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Arrange the slices of bread, crust side up, in a large baking dish (roughly 8x10) so that they are loosely packed. I arranged mine in a herringbone pattern, but you could layer the slices in two rows, or any other arrangement you like.
  4. Slowly drizzle about 1/3 of the egg mixture over the top of the French toast. Use your hands to pull apart the pieces of bread so that the egg mixture fills in between slices. You want all of the bread to soak up the eggs.
  5. Repeat until all of the egg mixture is poured over the bread.
  6. Tip: Use your hands to firmly press down the bread. Like a sponge, it will rise back up, soaking up the egg mixture as it does.
  7. Double check to make sure all of the bread is smothered in egg mixture.
  8. Now make the streusel, in a small mixing bowl combine the softened butter, brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and cinnamon. Use the back of a fork to mash the topping into a crumble.
  9. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the French toast.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes at 350° F.
  11. Once baked, top with syrup, powdered sugar, whipped cream, or any other desired toppings.

Notes

This recipe can easily be adapted to fit any dietary restrictions! See the blog post for substitutions. Have fun tweaking it to make it your own!

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  1. By french bread, do you mean a baguette? And what size pan is shown being used in the photos? This looks amazing!

    • The pan used is an 8×10, but a little bigger would work as well! I used a French loaf (larger than a baguette, like a large sub sandwich type of bread). I will update this post to include those details – they are great questions! It would work with a baguette, but I think a larger loaf is a better option for this :) Enjoy!

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