Visual learner? Watch me make this Baked French Toast Casserole from start to finish!
Wanna know something? For the longest time, I thought I didn’t like French Toast Casserole. I never understood what the fuss was about when this dish started making its rounds across the internet years ago.
I wanted to love it. I really did yall. It seemed like such the perfect addition to a Christmas morning breakfast or Mother’s Day Brunch.
I’d tried several recipes. Some I made myself and others I tasted at different events.
They all were soggy, blah or slightly rubbery.
I figured it was just me since people around me were raving about it. I mean, I’m not one for “wet” bready items anyway so….yeah it was me.
But then one day when I had some homemade challah bread about to go bad on me, I decided to try french toast casserole again.
I didn’t have time to let it sit overnight again as recommended, nor did I have eight eggs or enough milk. Oh well. What do I have to lose right?
I mixed everything up and got it ready to go into the fridge. It sat on the counter for about 30 minutes before I made the topping and threw it in the oven.
What happened next? Out came the perfect french toast casserole. I let it cool off a bit and drizzled it with the glaze. The inside texture was fluffy & yet still slightly custardy. I loved it!
So if you like this kind of texture keep reading!
Two VERY IMPORTANT things to remember when making French Toast Casserole:
1. Different bread requires different things. Seriously, I’d only recommend using sourdough, challah or French bread for this recipe. You might not need all of the egg mixture, not unless you want a really wet inside texture. LET YOUR EYES BE THE GUIDE FOR HOW MUCH EGG MIXTURE TO USE. YOU JUST WANNA COAT THE BREAD IN EGG MIXTURE AND LET IT SOAK IN A BIT IF YOU WANT THAT FLUFFY, BREADY YET SLIGHTLY CUSTARDY TEXTURE. Make sure your bread is a few days old. This DOES NOT work with fresh bread. You’ll have soggy mush on your hand’s sister.
2. To sit overnight or not to sit overnight? I prefer the texture when this hasn’t sat overnight. 1 hour is plenty. Heck, I’ve even done 15-minutes before.
Also, if this is your first time having French Toast Casserole, please remember that it is French Toast and not coffee cake. It’s bread.
You may choose to add syrup or add the glaze. Or do both! Whatever makes your heart smile.
This recipe makes A LOT!!! So if you don’t have a big crowd to feed you might want to reduce it or you’ll be eating french toast casserole for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
My boys and I don’t eat reheated bread, so after that first serving, it was up to my husband to finish off the entire pan.
He did well!
Ok I’m gonna hush now because I feel like I’m talking your head off.
Happy french toast casserole making!
French Toast Casserole
- FOR THE FRENCH TOAST
- 1 loaf dry French Bread (about 14-16 cups when cubed. MUST be a bit dry.)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups half n half
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- FOR THE BROWN SUGAR TOPPING
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter cut into pieces
- FOR THE GLAZE
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons half n half or enough to make a thick glaze
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x13 glass casserole dish.
- Cut bread into cubes and place in casserole dish. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, melt butter.
- Add half n half, brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Stir until sugar is dissolved, do not boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs until uniform in color.
- Stir warm half n half mixture into the eggs.
- Add vanilla extract if using.
- Pour just enough egg mixture ( YOU MAY NOT NEED IT ALL) *see note* over the bread cubes.
- Toss the bread cubes gently so that all of them are covered in the egg mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Make the crumb topping by combining flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
- Cut in the butter until crumbly.
- When all or at least most of the egg mixture has been absorbed into the bread, remove it from the fridge and sprinkle with the crumb topping.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes (check on it at the 45-minute mark since different breads seem to cook differently)
- Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit.
- Prepare the glaze by combining powdered sugar, half n half and vanilla until smooth.
- Drizzle glaze over french toast casserole.
- Serve hot!