French Toast Casserole is the perfect breakfast treat with chunks of bread soaked in a classic French toast mixture and topped with a sweet brown sugar crumble on top. Serve this French toast casserole with powdered sugar, syrup, and fresh fruit.
French Toast Casserole Recipe
This easy to make French toast casserole is one of our favorite breakfasts to make for the weekend. My kids love French toast but I don't always love the idea of standing over the stove and cooking each piece one by one. Which is why this casserole version of French toast is perfect.
One pan and some simple ingredients and you have French toast for the whole family. The toppings are the best part so make sure you top each piece with some powdered sugar, syrup, and fresh berries. We love strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
What You'll Need
You need some simple ingredients to make this recipe.
- Bread - 10 cups of cubed bread is what this recipe calls for, which equals out to about 16 ounces (or 1 pound) of bread. Use a hearty and sturdy thick bread like French bread, brioche, challah, or Texas toast bread. The tip I always tell people is to go to the bakery area of the grocery store and get bread for there. That bread is going to be sturdier and thicker than the normal sliced sandwich bread.
- Whole Milk - Don't substitute this with a lower fat milk. You need the fat and thickness that whole milk has to prevent a soggy French toast.
- Large Eggs
- Ground Cinnamon
- Vanilla Extract - For best flavor use pure vanilla extract. It is pricey but the flavor is far better than imitation.
- Butter - You will want salted butter for this recipe. If you use unsalted butter then be sure and add a pinch of salt with the brown sugar crumble mixture.
- Light Brown Sugar
How To Make Easy French Toast Casserole
It's easy to make French toast casserole with a 9x13 baking dish and two mixing bowls.
Cube Bread : You do not want to cube into small pieces or else the end result will be a soggy casserole. Be sure and cut the bread into larger pieces so that they can soak up that milk and egg mix. When you're done, put the cubed bread inside the baking dish and evenly spread it out.
French Toast Mixture : Time to mix up a class French toast batter with milk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla. Whisk it until it's combined well and then pour over the cubed bread chunks. Use your clean hands or a spoon and gently mix the bread into the milk mixture to cover all the bread cubes.
Crumble : Make the sweet crumble by stirring together the softened butter and brown sugar until a wet crumble mixture forms. Evenly sprinkle it over the bread cubes.
Bake : Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the center is set and not jiggly. If you pull the casserole out too early then it will be soggy, so make sure the center is cooked and set before taking it out. Let the casserole cool for about 5-10 minutes and serve.
Serve : Serve each piece with powdered sugar, syrup, and fresh berries. You can also top it with any toppings you prefer like a peanut butter drizzle, Nutella drizzle, or make a buttermilk syrup.
Tips For Success
I have a few tips to share that will hopefully make this recipe easy for you to replicate at home.
- Bread : As mentioned a few times now, use a sturdy, thick, and hearty bread for French toast casserole. Regular sliced sandwich bread will not work for this recipe. Where I live they do sell a sandwich bread that is thick and sturdy (Grandma Sycamore brand) and that will actually work well in this recipe. Otherwise, use a bread from the bakery area of the grocery store.
- Milk : Do not substitute with a lower fat milk. Use whole milk or half & half but nothing lower fat than that.
- Toppings : The French toast casserole, as is, is not super sweet (which is how we like it) but once you add the brown sugar crumble and the toppings like powdered sugar and syrup, it's just perfect and not too sweet. If you prefer a sweeter French toast batter than you can try adding a couple tablespoons of granulated sugar in with the milk and eggs. To really make this dish delicious be sure and have all the toppings available.
Serving Suggestions For French Toast Casserole
We love to eat this with powdered sugar, maple syrup, and fresh berries.
I chop up some strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries and serve it alongside this casserole. You can top it with anything you like.
Peanut butter drizzle. Any fresh fruit you have. Make a vanilla sauce or buttermilk syrup.
Can I Make French Toast Casserole Ahead Of Time?
Yes you can! To prepare it ahead of time, simply prep the casserole until the baking step. Instead of baking it, cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Can I Freeze This?
Yes you can freeze French toast casserole. It's best to freeze it after it has already been baked. Otherwise, the bread will get too soft and soggy and the milk will curdle once thawed.
Why Is My French Toast Casserole Soggy?
If your French toast casserole is soggy there could be a few reasons why.
- It could be a sign that you need to bake the casserole for longer. If you take the casserole out of the oven when the middle is still wet looking and jiggly, then the casserole will end up soggy. Make sure that you are not taking it out of the oven too early. Depending on your oven you may need to bake it up to 10 minutes longer than what the recipe calls for.
- It could also be because you used the wrong bread. Make sure you are using a thick, hearty bread (NOT regular sandwich bread) for this recipe. It's best to use bread that you find at the bakery area of the grocery store. I use the sliced French bread (found by the regular bread) from Costco. It's a thick and sturdy bread that does well in this casserole.
- You used a lower-fat milk. To help the bread soak up the milk and egg mixture, you need to make sure you are using a thick milk with lots of fat. I recommend using whole milk for this recipe. You could use half and half milk as well. Nothing lower in fat than whole milk!
What Is The Difference Between French Toast Casserole and Bread Pudding?
French toast casserole typically has more eggs in it while bread pudding tends to have more milk and cream. Another big difference is the flavor profiles of the dishes. French toast casserole is not as sweet as bread pudding, and it tends to taste more eggier thanks to the eggs and the French toast aspect of it. Bread pudding is usually served for dessert or a fancy sweet item at brunch. You also serve it with chocolate or caramel syrups as opposed to French toast casserole that is served with syrup and fresh berries for breakfast.
More Breakfast Recipes You'll Love
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Egg Muffin Cups : A healthy breakfast made in a muffin pan with eggs, spinach, red pepper, and cheese. These make for a perfect grab n' go breakfast that can be store in the fridge. Eat cold or warm it up in the microwave.
Sausage Breakfast Casserole : Hash browns, crumbled sausages and cottage cheese make this a hearty protein filled breakfast casserole.
Fruity Baked Oatmeal : A baked oatmeal casserole with fresh blueberries and canned peach chunks.
French Toast Casserole
- 10 cups large cubed white bread *see notes below
- 2½ cups whole milk
- 6 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons salted butter softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by spraying it really well with cooking spray.
- Spread the cubed bread evenly into the prepared baking dish.
- In a mixing bowl combine the milk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Stir together with a whisk until it's combined well. Set this bowl aside.
- In a separate smaller bowl, combine the softened butter and brown sugar. Stir together to form a crumbly mixture.
- Pour the milk and egg mixture over the cubed bread. Use your clean hands or a spoon to very gently stir and coat all the bread cubes in the milk mixture. Sprinkle the brown sugar crumble over the top.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the middle of the pan is set.
- Let the French toast casserole cool for 5-10 minutes so it can set. Serve with powdered sugar, syrup, and fresh berries.