This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Delicious and decadent, this French Toast Casserole is the perfect make ahead breakfast for any special occasion. Top it off with a sweet streusel topping for fresh and easy take on the classic French Toast. If you’re looking for a more savory option, you MUST try my Breakfast Casserole Recipe.
First of all, what is French Toast Casserole?
French Toast Casserole is just like it sounds: french toast turned into a casserole. Basically, bread pieces that are soaked in a sweetened egg and milk custard, topped with a brown sugar streusel and baked. This can easily be turned into an overnight french toast casserole by soaking in the fridge overnight OR by baking immediately.
It is a special, sweeter breakfast that is perfect for any Holiday, especially Christmas Breakfast.
How to Make French Toast Casserole
I love french toast as much as the next person, but man oh man, one bite of this and you might just be converted to this bread and custard breakfast casserole. Bake it right away or refrigerate overnight for a quick and tasty breakfast. Maple Syrup, whipped cream and extra butter are all optional additions.
Believe it or not, this french toast casserole is SO much simpler than making actual french toast. Less prep work and tastes just as delicious if not more so, thanks to that sweet streusel.
Preheat Oven + Prep Casserole Dish
Butter a 9×13 or other casserole dish. Preheat oven.
Cut or Tear the Bread into Cubes
Cut or tear the bread into bite size pieces or cubes. Place bread cubes into buttered dish. I used a large, day-old loaf of french bread from costco that yielded about 10 cups of bread cubes. You want to fill your 9×13 or other casserole dish almost to the top with bread cubes.
Make Custard Mixture
In a large bowl, whisk milk, heavy cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together until well mixed and uniform in color. Pour over bread cubes. Using a large spoon or your hands, press the bread cubes down into the custard to help everything soak in.
Cover and refrigerate at this point if making ahead and storing overnight.
Make Streusel Topping
Create streusel by mixing flour, sugars, butter, salt and pecans together to create moist crumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the bread.
Bake uncovered for 45-60 minutes or until thoroughly cooked and the top of the casserole has browned. (If you notice the casserole is getting too brown, cover with foil).
Allow to Cool Before Cutting + Serving
Cool 10-15 minutes before cutting into squares and serving. Top with powdered sugar and serve with warm maple syrup, fresh fruit, whipped cream, or anything else you’d like.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave until heated through.
Making Overnight French Toast Casserole
If you are planning on making this ahead, be sure to soak your bread in the custard overnight in a buttered casserole dish that is covered with plastic wrap or foil. I like making mine right before bed between 9 and 11pm. Then, the next morning you just have to remove from the fridge, add the streusel and bake. It’s such an easy, no fuss, forgiving recipe. Your family and friends will wake up to the delicious sweet smell of french toast without all the work for you. Prepare to blow them away at how delicious this french toast casserole bake is. A fabulous breakfast without having to break a sweat by 8am.
Adapting This Recipe
The sky is nearly the limit to making this recipe your own. Based on your likes and dislikes, you can turn this into a new family favorite masterpiece! Here are a few ideas:
- Add a tablespoon or two of booze into the custard (amaretto or rum!)
- Zest a lemon or an orange into the custard for a burst of flavor
- Instead of french bread, try using brioche, cinnamon swirl bread or plain glazed donuts (YUM!!)
- Dice apple or pear and add that in with the bread for a fun surprise
- Layer fresh raspberries in with the bread for a more festive french toast casserole
- For extra texture, add oats, chopped nuts or dried fruit to the streusel topping
Love French Toast? Try these other delicious variations:
- Perfect Brioche French Toast
- Lemon Cream French Toast
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch Encrusted French Toast
- French Toast Pigs in a Blanket
- Caramelized Banana & Cream Cheese Filled French Toast
- How to Make French Toast
Be sure to print/pin/bookmark/save this recipe because it’s a real winner. I fell in love with this sweet and lightly spicy recipe and know you and your family will love it too.
Merry Christmas, friends!
French Toast Casserole
- 1 loaf crusty french bread cubed, about 10 cups*
For the custard
- 1 3/4 cups cold milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the streusel topping
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup pecans chopped, optional
- Butter a 9×13 or other casserole dish. Place bread cubes into buttered dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients for the custard together until well mixed and uniform in color. Pour over bread cubes. Using a large spoon or your hands, press the bread cubes down into the custard to help everything soak in. (Cover and refrigerate at this point if storing overnight.)
- Create streusel by mixing flour, sugars, butter, salt and pecans together to create moist crumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the bread.
- Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until thoroughly cooked and the top of the casserole has browned. (If you notice the casserole is getting too brown, cover with foil).
- Cool 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving. Top with powdered sugar and serve with warm maple syrup, fresh fruit, whipped cream, or anything else you'd like.
Does this freeze well? I’m an 86 yo single male who follows you all the time. I make the recipes
and cook then I freeze and remove what I want for the next meal.
Can I make this 24 hours before baking and leave it in the fridge?
I HAVE ALWAYS MADE MY FRENCH TOAST WITH TEXAS TOAST BREAD, WOULD YOUR RECIPE WORK WITH THIS??
yes, I recommend using a thick sliced bread like texas toast.
Hi Lauren – love following your blog and love your recipes! My question is do you also use the crust part of the bread? I assume so but wanted to check – can’t wait to try this one! Happy Holidays to you and your family 🙂
Yes! Use all parts of the bread.
Making this for Christmas morning..looks delicious.
Can this recipe be cut in half? There I are only 2 of us.
Looks AMAZING! This will be perfect for the holidays!
This is such a great recipe when we have houseguests! Quick and delicious!
Love this! So much easier than making it the traditional way!
I’ve now made this twice:) once for a family get together and then again, because my husband and I wanted breakfast for dinner. This recipe is heavenly!!! Thanks Lauren!!!
Yes! This is exactly what I was looking for to make for the family! Can’t wait to give it a try. Looks absolutely delicious!!
I love French toast and this looks perfect! So excited to try it!
Lauren, this looks so delicious! Love the streusel topping.