Baked French Toast Casserole (Vegan Option!)

Pouring maple syrup over a single slice of french toast casserole with fresh fruit.
Recipe At-A-Glance
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Holiday Recipe55 minutes (plus chill time)
This make-ahead Baked French Toast Casserole has a secret ingredient that adds tons of flavor! This hearty breakfast is perfect to serve for the holidays.

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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!

A single bite of french toast bake held up on a fork.

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).

Wholefully Protip

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:

  • Eggs
  • 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:

  1. Grease your casserole dish and spread the bread along its bottom.
  2. 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.
  3. Cover the baking pan, and stick it in the fridge.
  4. 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!

Overhead of single serving of french toast with butter and maple syrup on top.

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.

Wholefully Protip

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.

Close-up of pouring maple syrup over serving of baked french toast.

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!

Overhead of a single serving of overnight french toast topped with butter and maple syrup on a plate surrounded by fresh strawberries and orange slices.

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:

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.

 
Overhead of a single serving of overnight french toast topped with butter and maple syrup on a plate surrounded by fresh strawberries and orange slices.

Baked French Toast Casserole (Vegan Option!)

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

This make-ahead Baked French Toast Casserole has a secret ingredient that adds tons of flavor! This hearty breakfast is perfect to serve for the holidays.

Ingredients

For the French Toast

  • Cooking spray or butter, for greasing pan
  • 10 cups torn bread chunks from crusty, day-old bread (baguette or a sourdough boule work great)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 large orange

For the Topping

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
  • Warm maple syrup, butter, and fruit, for serving

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9" x 13" casserole dish with cooking spray or butter. Spread the torn bread chunks in an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, half and half, sugar, brown sugar or coconut sugar, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla extract, and orange zest. 
  3. Pour the egg mixture over top of the torn bread, making sure to evenly distribute the liquid. You might need to press down the bread with the back of a wooden spoon to get it to absorb some of the mixture.
  4. Cover the casserole dish tightly with plastic wrap, bee’s wrap, or aluminum foil. Place in the fridge for at least an hour, but preferably overnight. You can also prep it up to 48 hours in advance.
  5. Make the topping by combining the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter in the basin of a food processor or in a large bowl. Pulse the food processor, or use a pastry blender or two forks, to blend it until the mixture resembles the size of peas. Place topping in a food storage container and place in fridge until ready to bake.
  6. When ready to bake: preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the cover from the casserole dish, and sprinkle the topping in an even layer over the bread.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crunchy. 30 minutes will give you more of a soft texture, 40 minutes a more solid texture. Serve topped with pats of butter, maple syrup, and fruit of your choice.

Notes

  • To make it egg-free: In a blender, combine 12 ounces silken tofu and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with the milk, half and half, sugars, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla extract, and orange zest. Use it in place of the egg mixture in Step 3 of the recipe.
  • To make it vegan: In a blender, combine 12 ounces silken tofu, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 2 13.5-ounce cans full fat coconut milk with the sugars, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla extract, and orange zest. Use it in place of the egg mixture in Step 3 of the recipe. Use vegan margarine for the topping.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 705Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 286mgSodium: 629mgCarbohydrates: 108gFiber: 4gSugar: 64gProtein: 20g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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