One of the best holiday gifts you can give yourself is to make Christmas morning breakfast super easy to pull together! That means you get to spend more time enjoying your family and less time working in the kitchen.
This French toast casserole is a perfect option for Christmas morning! You make it the day before and stash it in the fridge. When you’re ready for breakfast, pop the casserole in the oven for a bit, whip together a fruit salad, and voila—Christmas breakfast is served. This baked French toast has a soft, gooey inside, a crisp topping, and loads of holiday flavor. Let me show you just how easy Christmas breakfast can be!
What kind of bread is best for French toast casserole?
You’re looking for a crusty, firm bread that will hold up well to being soaked in eggs and milk. I usually opt for a French baguette or a sourdough bread (a boule is a great size).
Let the bread sit unwrapped on the counter for a day before baking. Dried out bread = no soggy French toast!
What else do I need to make baked French toast?
This casserole is for a celebration, so we aren’t skimping on the ingredients here! We’re going for rich, sweet, decadence. For the French toast itself, you’ll need:
- Whole milk
- Half and half
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar or coconut sugar
- Cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla extract
- The zest of an orange
The whole thing is topped with a crunchy topping similar to what you’d find on a fruit crumble—it’s made with butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. It adds a nice texture to the finished French toast casserole.
How do I make an overnight French toast casserole?
The thing I love most about this recipe is that it is almost fully make-ahead. You prep it entirely and stash it in the fridge. Then on the morning of, all you have to do is preheat your oven, sprinkle on a topping, and pop the French toast in! Here’s what you’ll need to do, prep-wise:
- Grease your casserole dish and spread the bread along its bottom.
- Whisk together the rest of the ingredients, and pour everything over the bread. Press the bread down with a wooden spoon so that it is soaked in the liquid.
- Cover the baking pan, and stick it in the fridge.
- Mix together the topping: blend flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt with butter. Stick the topping in the refrigerator too.
When you’re ready to bake, just sprinkle the topping on top of the French toast, and bake for 30-40 minutes. So easy!
Can you soak French toast overnight?
Sure can! This casserole needs to chill in the fridge for at least an hour, but overnight is even better. The longer it soaks, the more the flavors mingle and soak through all the bread. You can make it up to 48 hours in advance.
Tell me how to bake French toast!
Because you mostly make ahead the French toast, your morning will be open for spending more time with friends and family. All you need to do is sprinkle the topping over the French toast, and slide the baking dish into the oven. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes for a soft French toast, or 40 minutes for a more solid French toast.
Your French toast casserole is baked through when the top is golden brown and crunchy!
Can French toast casserole be reheated?
Absolutely! You can pop individual pieces in the microwave at 50% power for 30 second increments until warmed through, or do my preferred method—warm it in the oven! Cover the entire dish in foil, and then pop in a 350°F oven until warmed through, about 15 minutes.
How long will it last in the fridge?
After baking, you can keep this French toast bake in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Can I make vegan French toast casserole?
Sure can! You’ll need to replace the eggs, milk, and butter. Here’s how to do each:
To make it egg-free: Replace the eggs with silken tofu and cornstarch.
To replace the milk and half and half: Use full-fat coconut milk, the kind in a can.
To replace the butter: Use vegan margarine in the topping, instead of butter.
For vegan French toast casserole, do all three of these, and you’ll be set!
What should I serve with baked French toast?
For the French toast itself, serve it with warm maple syrup, butter, and fruit for topping. For additional dishes, I like to counter all the sweetness of the French toast with some savory options in my brunch spread. These are some of our favorites:
- Poached eggs
These are all excellent options. It is nice to have something refreshing and fresh, too: you can serve up some fruit salad, cute individual yogurt parfaits, or some homemade yogurt (or coconut yogurt) with fruit.