French Toast Bake

This super delicious overnight French Toast Bake recipe takes French toast to a whole new level! Pieces of sourdough bread covered in an egg mixture, topped with cinnamon sugar, and baked to perfection! This easy French toast casserole is the ultimate holiday or weekend breakfast!!

Overnight breakfast casseroles are my favorite thing to make on weekends, or for holiday gatherings and brunches. This french toast bake is by far my most popular, but people also love my Cinnamon Roll French Toast Bake, and for a savory casserole, Breakfast Strata is a winner!

Easy French Toast Casserole

Overnight French Toast Casserole Recipe

I’ve blogged before about my love of breakfast foods. I could eat it any time of the day, and it’s fairly common to come over to the Merkley home on an evening and find us eating Belgian Waffles or Buttermilk Pancakes.

Breakfast recipes are just that great! I feel like we don’t get to eat them often enough in the mornings since we’re usually in a rush, but we occasionally get to enjoy them on the weekends and holidays. One holiday we always have breakfast is on Mother’s Day. And usually I’m not the one that has to bake it!! 😉

One of my favorite recipes to enjoy on this day is French Toast, and more specifically, today’s French Toast Bake. This breakfast bake is simple to make and is beyond delicious!!

This french toast casserole is made from pieces of sourdough bread, covered in an egg mixture, and topped with a buttery cinnamon sugar topping. Talk about DELICIOUS, right?!

Cut up sourdough bread for french toast bake

What is the best bread for french toast?

This baked french toast casserole recipe calls for sourdough bread, which is my personal favorite (and the only kind I’ve ever used). But if you don’t have sourdough on hand, there are a few other options you could try!

The main idea is that you want the bread to be sturdy enough that it will hold up after being combined with the egg mixture. Thinly sliced or squishy bread (think wonder bread) can fall apart while cooking after being soaked in the egg mixture. It’s also a bonus if it’s available in an uncut loaf, because then you can slice and cube it perfectly. Here are some other options:

  • Brioche
  • Challah
  • Pullman Loaf
  • French Bread

If you try any other breads, you’ll have to let me know how it turns out!

I think what makes it so good is the sourdough bread… oh, and the butter and the cinnamon and the sugar. It’s definitely one of our favorite dishes to make for holidays and weekend breakfasts!

French Toast bake brown sugar topping

How to Make French Toast Bake:

This recipe takes a few steps but is quite simple. To begin, cut your bread or loaf into cubes and place into a greased 9×13 pan.

In a bowl, mix together eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover your pan with cling warp and refrigerate overnight.

Make streusel topping by mixing together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with this mixture until crumbly and place in a Ziploc bag. Refrigerate this mixture overnight as well.

When ready to bake, sprinkle crumbly mixture evenly over bread and bake.

Variations:

For a more savory casserole add: ham and cheese, chorizo, green chile, sausage or crumbled bacon.

For a sweet casserole add: thinly sliced apple, orange zest, sliced apricots, sliced pineapple, blueberries, chopped pecans

Overnight French Toast Bake Process Pic

TIPS, TRICKS, and FAQ

Why is my french toast bake soggy? This casserole should be soft on the bottom and crisp on the top. If you find your casserole comes out too soggy try some of these tips:

  • Soak the bread in a separate bowl: If there’s too much egg in the pan it may be left a little soggy. One way around this is to store your bread mixture overnight in a bowl. In the morning transfer the bread to the baking dish leaving behind the extra liquid.
  • Choose the correct bread: choose a dense bread such as Brioche, Challah, Pullman Loaf, or French Bread.
  • Use a lipped cookie sheet instead of a 9×13 baking dish. You will have to adjust the bake time and watch carefully.
  • Not soaking the bread long enough: You want the egg mixture to seep deep into the bread for a soft custardy center. If the mixture doesn’t have time to soak into the bread it may end up creating a soggy mess.

Can you freeze it? Yes, you can choose to freeze it before or after baking. Wrap dish with plastic wrap then foil. It can keep for up to 2 months in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat thaw overnight in the fridge, remove all the wrapping and bake. If it been prebaked cook at 350 degree F for 20 minutes. If it has not been pre-baked, cook according to recipe directions.

Can french toast casserole be cooked in crock pot? Yes make according to recipe directions. Refrigerate for 6-10 hours in the ceramic crock pot. Place the ceramic pot into the heating base, cover and cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.

French Toast Casserole in baking dish

what to serve with french toast bake:

For more french toast recipes, check out:

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French Toast Casserole Recipe

4.98 from 353 votes
This super delicious overnight French Toast Bake recipe takes French toast to a whole new level! Pieces of sourdough bread covered in an egg mixture, topped with cinnamon sugar, and baked to perfection! This easy French toast casserole is the ultimate holiday or weekend breakfast!!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Refrigerate Overnight 6 hours
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Calories 580 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf sourdough bread
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 c milk
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 TB vanilla

Topping

  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c butter cold, cut into pieces

Instructions
 

  • Cut loaf into cubes and place evenly in a greased 9x13 pan.
  • In a bowl, mix together eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread.
  • Cover your pan with Saran Wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Cut in butter with this mixture until crumbly and place in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight as well.
  • Take pan and Ziploc out when ready to bake. Sprinkle crumbly mixture evenly over the bread.
  • Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on how soft you like it.

Video

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    A keeper. Made Sunday added raisins to bread and pecans in the topping . Leftovers heated up well

  2. 5 stars
    Hi just confused on the type of bread. You mention “sour dough”, but you give examples of Brioche, Challah, etc. Those are not sour dough, though, right? would it be correct to get sour dough from a Bakery for the denseness needed? It looks awesome! So anxious to try it with my grandchildren!
    Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    Hi,
    I have a question on the sour dough bread. You mention Brioche, Challah, etc, but are these sour dough types? Would it be best to say I could get my sour dough bread at a Bakery for the denseness needed? It looks awesome! I cannot wait to make it for my grandchildren
    Thank you!!!

    1. Brioche is a type of French bread and Challah is a Kosher loaf of braided bread. Both of these breads are more dense so they would work well with this recipe. Getting your sourdough bread at a bakery is a great idea. There are also sourdough loaves I have used from the regular bread aisle in the grocery store that have worked great as well. Hope this helps!

  4. 5 stars
    This dish has been a hit with my family for the last few years at our Christmas brunch! I want to bring this to my upcoming book club brunch but was thinking about splitting it into two 8×8 dishes so I can leave some with my hubby! Do you have any recommendations for adjusting the cooking time or heat?

    1. I’m so glad you and your family like it as much as we do! You can keep the heat the same for baking it in an 8×8 dish but you will need to adjust the baking time. There is no hard and fast rule for calculating how long to bake when changing the size of a pan but I would lessen the baking time by at least 15 minutes (so for this recipe I would check it at the 30 minute mark) and then check for doneness every 5 minutes or so. It’s just one of those things you have to check every few minutes to see when it looks done. Hope this helps!

    1. I’m not quite sure why it turned out burnt on the bottom. It could be the type of pan you were using. You could try using a lipped cookie sheet instead of a 9×13 baking dish. You will have to adjust the bake time and watch carefully though. I hope this helps! Thanks for trying it!

  5. 5 stars
    This is our family MUST have for our large extended family Polar Express pajama Christmas white elephant party. It’s such a great easy to put together beforehand dish that is loved by everyone! I don’t do well with gluten or a lot of sugar so I always make one pan with my sourdough start and use coconut palm sugar instead of brown sugar, and only 1/2 cup of and sugar in the egg mixture along with a little nutmeg and rum extract. For the topping to make it gluten free I’ll use gluten free flour or arrowroot powder and 1/2 cup or more chopped pecans. We love to top it off with our warm homemade coconut syrup! 🤤This is such a yummy wonderful recipe! We also use it a lot for baby & bridal shower brunches. But right now I’m thinking I need to do this for Easter Sunday brunch next week!

    1. I’m so glad you and your family like it so much! That makes me so happy to hear! And thank you for sharing your gluten free tips for making this breakfast. I appreciate it!

  6. hi! I’m thinking about making this for our Easter brunch! We are traveling for it and I need to make ahead, would it be best to prep tonight, bake tomorrrow, and then freeze until Sunday or would it be okay just refrigerated for a few days?
    Thanks!

    1. You could leave it refrigerated for a couple days or you can freeze it. To freeze: wrap dish with plastic wrap then foil. When you’re ready to eat thaw overnight in the fridge, remove all the wrapping and bake. If it been prebaked cook at 350 degree F for 20 minutes. Hope this helps and that you have a wonderful Easter brunch!

  7. This doesn’t specify how big the loaf of sourdough is do you have any suggestions for ounces?

    1. I usually use a 9×5 size loaf that I buy from the store. It has 16 slices in it. I hope this helps!

  8. Hello! I’m looking to make this for Easter tomorrow. My in laws will be here around 1. Since you said overnight, what would you recommend in terms of timing for refrigeration so it doesnt get soggy?
    Thank you!

    1. You would be fine to make it the night before and let it refrigerate until you are ready to bake it around noon or so the next day. I hope it turned out okay!

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times now (including this morning for Easter Brunch) and everyone always loves it. We like to experiment with fun flavors of brioche bread from Aldi. Delish!

  10. 5 stars
    Fantastic! Made it for Easter breakfast this morning & it was a hit!
    I added 1 cup fresh blueberries. Will make again!

  11. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time for Easter breakfast…what a hit with everyone! I used 2 Sourdough baguettes and it was perfect! Definitely a keeper!

  12. 4 stars
    I made this for Easter morning and it turned out good. I have made french toast casseroles in the past that turned out soggy so this time used a French loaf and let it soak in a separate dish than I cooked in. I cut the recipe in half as it was just three of us. It cooked through quite well but the brown sugar topping did not come out well so I would leave that out next time and just use maple syrup for added sweetness. It made for an easy breakfast and I’d make it again!

  13. 5 stars
    This was amazing. Not overly sweet either. I realized I didn’t have any whipping cream or vanilla so I substituted thawed vanilla ice cream for these two times and decreased sugar by 1/3. Loved it so much so I will do this every time now. Yummy

  14. 5 stars
    This was FAB! I toasted (in the oven) the sourdough bread first because that’s what every other French toast recipe calls for and then followed the rest do the recipe exactly. Everyone loved it! There really is no need for syrup. The topping gave it plenty of sweetness.

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