Easy French Toast Casserole Recipe {with Video}

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Make breakfast simple with an easy French toast casserole baked in one pan. You can make it ahead overnight or the same day. Topped with a cinnamon brown sugar topping, it's the best recipe to make breakfast or brunch for a crowd!

Like Crock Pot French toast casserole, this easy French toast casserole recipe is a win win for those special times when we don't necessarily feel like going to all the work of making traditional French toast. And let me tell you, one of my pet peeves is when the French toast I've already cooked gets cold while waiting on the rest to cook.

A good French toast bake pairs really well with eggs and bacon, or better yet, eggs and sausage. So you don't have to have all sweet for breakfast, but it does add a little sweet treat to a delicious breakfast time.

While you can make this rich overnight French toast without the topping, it won't be near as good. The topping is super quick to mix up, and you can just crumble it right onto the casserole before baking.

Be sure and check out the accompanying video in the post below. It'll walk you through all the steps of how to make this delicious breakfast bake, so you don't miss a beat.

Want more breakfast favorites? My kids' absolute favorites are brioche French toast casserole and blueberry French toast casserole.

Why Make This Recipe for Breakfast?

French toast meets bread pudding. You'll love this cinnamon French toast bake recipe because it…

  • Takes 30 minutes to make – While it takes longer to chill and bake, it's super easy and quick to make. And you're not standing in front of the stove making breakfast while everyone else is having fun or off doing their own thing. Instead you can throw it together the night before, then put it in the oven when you're ready to eat.
  • Everyone can eat at the same time, and it'll still be warm – While you can keep French toast warm in the oven, while waiting on the rest of it to cook, this is just so much easier because it's all in one pan, all baked at the same time.
  • It's perfect for Sunday morning or a special occasion, like Christmas morning. It makes a great everyday breakfast or holiday breakfast. It's always a hit and a great option for Mother's Day too, because it's pretty easy for kids to make, with a little guidance from Dad or a trusted adult.
  • It's delicious – I've been told this delicious French toast casserole is much like a bread pudding. Oh my word, the cinnamon brown sugar topping on top of the French toast casserole is my absolute favorite. With a drizzle of maple syrup, a slice of this wonderful casserole is just so mouthwateringly delicious.
  • It's budget-friendly – I usually always make the best French toast casserole with white bread, just plain old sandwich bread. While it does use quite a few eggs, the rest of the ingredients you likely already have in your pantry or freezer. I'd estimate you can make baked French toast for less than $8, depending on the ingredients you already have on hand.
easy French toast casserole ingredients on white marble countertop

Ingredients and Substitutions Notes

Just gather up a few simple ingredients to get started making this easy French toast bake…

  • Sandwich bread – The main decision you have to make is which bread is the best bread for French toast casserole. And to that I'd answer the best type of bread is just a good old loaf of sandwich bread; in fact, I prefer to just use butter bread. Now you can use a loaf of whole wheat bread, sourdough bread, Texas toast, challah bread, crusty French bread, Italian bread, Kings Hawaiian Rolls, brioche bread, cinnamon swirl bread, crescent rolls, or really any other type of fresh baked bread. Any of them will be delicious. But a good French toast bake with white bread is just as good, in my opinion.
  • Pecans – We use chopped pecans. You can also use walnuts, black walnuts, or almonds if you want.
  • Large Eggs
  • Whole Milk You can use 2% milk or skim milk, but I recommend using whole milk, or a mixture of whole milk with half-and-half for an even creamier texture. If you need to make it dairy-free, substitute almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, or oat milk instead.
  • Pure maple syrup – Be sure to use real maple syrup, not table syrup. There's a distinct difference, and subbing artificial table syrup will change the texture, flavor, and especially the amount of sweetness in your casserole.
  • Vanilla Extract This is going to add a cozy flavor to the baked French toast casserole.
  • Sea Salt – I prefer to use Redmond Fine Sea Salt.
  • Spices – You'll need ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Of course, if you want a bit more fall flavor to your casserole, you can also substitute pumpkin pie spice.
  • Topping – The topping is, in my opinion, the best part about this overnight breakfast casserole, and it includes butter, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon. Again, if you need to make it dairy-free, you can substitute vegan butter.

Alternative Ingredients Ideas from Readers

Readers have given us a lot of creative ideas for ways to really switch up this recipe for French toast casserole and add your own touch to this sweet breakfast casserole.

  • Top with a powdered sugar glaze instead of, or in addition to, the brown sugar topping.
  • Mix some of this apple pie spice recipe into the cinnamon streusel topping!
  • Add raisins or dried cranberries when you add the bread and pecans.
  • Add fresh strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.
  • Speaking of milk, use eggnog in place of milk, especially around the holidays.
  • Use part heavy cream, part whole milk for an extra rich casserole.
  • In place of pecans, try other nuts, like chopped walnuts or almonds.
  • Add a handful of chocolate chips for melty chocolaty flavor.
  • Try adding bacon… Because everything's better with bacon!
  • Try baking the casserole in a bundt pan, inverting it after baking, to make it even prettier.

How to Make Easy French Toast Casserole

This is a fairly simple French toast casserole with sliced bread. It only takes a few steps to make.

Make the Casserole…

  1. First cut the bread slices into 1-inch cubes and place it in a greased 9×13 baking dish, along with the chopped pecans. You can layer the bread cubes and pecans so everything's blended well in the dish. Tip: You can cut the bread into cubes using a knife or a pastry cutter.
  2. Then in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, pure maple syrup, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, to make a sort of custard mixture.
  3. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and pecans, making sure all the bread is good and soaked. Then cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap, and chill the casserole in the fridge for a good 4 to 6 hours or more, just to let that custard mixture soak into the bread really well. Overnight is best.
how to make French toast casserole with white bread in 3 steps, including cubed bread and pecans in baking dish, beating eggs with milk and spices, and pouring egg mixture over bread cubes

Make the Topping…

  1. Before baking the next morning or the next day, pre-heat the oven to 350° F; then in a small bowl, mix up your topping by combining the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon with a pastry blender.
  2. Crumble the topping on the top of the casserole as best you can. It's a really moist mixture, so it's more like clumps of cinnamon brown sugar.
mixing French toast bake topping with pastry blender in glass Pyrex bowl and crumbling topping over top of casserole

Bake It…

  1. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake at 350°F for about 25 to 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake it for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, 'til it's golden brown.
  2. When you remove it from the oven, let it cool for just a few minutes. Then slice into individual servings, and serve with powdered sugar or maple syrup.
baked French toast casserole with sliced bread in white baking dish, with slice served on white plate with maple syrup

It also pairs well with flavored syrups like blueberry syrup, whipped cream, fresh berries, fresh fruit, sausage, or bacon and eggs. You'll especially enjoy a slice of French toast breakfast casserole with your morning cup of coffee or hot tea.

Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ's

Do you really have to chill the casserole overnight?

While this really is best as an easy overnight French toast casserole, you don't have to chill it. But let me just say, the flavors and texture of the casserole will be at their best after chilling for at least a few hours. If you're in a hurry, didn't have time to plan ahead, and need to make it now, that's ok. Just mix it up, make sure the bread is moistened well with the egg mixture, add the topping, and bake it. But if you do have time, just cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and chill in the fridge overnight.

What are gluten-free and dairy-free options for this baked French toast recipe?

Just substitute your favorite gluten-free bread in place of the regular sandwich bread included in the ingredients. You can also substitute almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, oat milk, or another non-dairy milk, instead of whole milk; and you can use a dairy-free butter substitute in the topping. Always check all of your other ingredients, as well, to make sure they're really gluten-free and dairy-free.

Why is my French toast casserole soggy?

There can be multiple reasons for this. 1. There may be too much egg mixture to soak into the bread or it may need longer to soak into the bread, in which case you can soak the bread in a separate bowl overnight, then transfer to the baking dish (without all the extra liquid) right before baking. 2. It may not have baked long enough. 3. And if you want to prevent soggy French toast casserole altogether, I'd suggest leaving your bread open the night before, so it can dry out just a bit; stale bread, crusty bread, or day-old bread soaks up the egg mixture more easily and readily.

Can you freeze French toast casserole?

Normally, you'll just store any leftovers in the fridge. But if you wish to freeze it, you can. While I recommend covering it well and freezing it after it's already been baked, you can also freeze it before baking (though I'd add the topping later before actually baking it). Keep in mind it'll keep longer in the freezer if it's already been cooked. Just be sure you have plenty of time for it to thaw and re-heat when taking it out of the freezer. Allow time for it to thaw in the fridge before cooking or re-heating in the oven or microwave.

How should you store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge; they should keep for 2-3 days.

slice and bite of cinnamon French toast bake with fork on white plate

More Breakfast and Brunch Recipes for You to Enjoy

Sometimes on weekends, and especially on holidays and birthdays, we'll make blueberry buttermilk pancakes or our favorite recipe for cinnamon French toast.

April J. Harris has a delicious recipe for blueberry bread and butter pudding. And cook up a batch of make ahead stuffed French toast with Mommy Hates Cooking.

Check out all our breakfast recipes for more easy breakfast ideas, like my grandma's cinnamon streusel coffee cake.

Reader Comments and Praise for This Recipe

This easy baked French toast casserole is a tried and true reader favorite!

I have made this wonderful and perfect french toast casserole TWICE!!! 💕 The first time I was sad I didn’t make more,lol. The next batch is finishing in the oven for our neighbors. Thanks Mel for posting and showing how easy it really is to make.” – Denise

I made this today and it was delicious. I prepped it the night before and let the bread sit out to get a little dry and it worked out great. One of my granddaughters said, I can just taste the love you put in this. So thanks for sharing the recipe.” – Mandy

Best French toast casserole we’ve ever had. This is our new go to for all special occasions. Everyone loved it! Thank you for the wonderful and delicious recipe!” – Jojo

This French toast casserole was AMAZING! Instead of milk I used eggnog, as you suggested, and it was ooooh so good. Everyone loved it. Is my go-to crowd pleaser now!” – Valerie

If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback. You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. And subscribe to my email list too!

slice of easy French toast casserole on white plate with maple syrup and fork

Easy French Toast Casserole

Make breakfast simple with easy French toast casserole baked in one pan. Make ahead overnight or same day. Best recipe for a crowd!
4.60 from 389 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast & Brunch, main dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 345kcal
Author: Mel Lockcuff

Ingredients

Casserole:

Topping:

Instructions

  • Grease a 9"x13" baking dish.
  • Cut the bread into small 1-inch cubes, and layer with the chopped pecans in the baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, pure maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, to make a sort of custard mixture.
  • Pour the egg milk mixture over the bread and pecans in the baking dish.
  • Cover and chill for a good 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
  • When you're ready to bake the casserole, remove it from the fridge, and pre-heat the oven to 350° F.
  • Using a pastry blender, mix together the sliced butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl.
  • Crumble or clump the topping on the top of the casserole.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake at 350° F for about 25 to 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake it for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, 'til it's golden brown.
  • Once it's thoroughly cooked through, remove it from the oven and let it cool for just a few minutes.
  • Then slice and serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup.

Notes

*20 ounces is about 22 slices of the butter bread (or white bread) that I use. You can use a loaf of sourdough, Texas toast, challah bread, French bread, Kings Hawaiian Rolls, brioche, cinnamon swirl bread, crescent rolls, or really any other type of fresh baked bread. Any of them will be delicious.
*Be sure to use real maple syrup. Table syrup will change the texture, flavor, and especially the amount of sweetness in your casserole.
*While this really is best as an overnight French toast casserole, you don't have to chill it. But let me just say, the flavors will be at their best after chilling for at least a few hours. If you're in a hurry, didn't have time to plan ahead, and need to make it now, that's ok. Just mix it up, make sure the bread is moistened well with the egg mixture, add the topping, and bake it.
Store any leftovers in the fridge.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servings | Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 527mg | Potassium: 220mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 369IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 214mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag us Today!Mention @mellockcuff or tag #aomrecipes!

168 thoughts on “Easy French Toast Casserole Recipe {with Video}”

  1. 5 stars
    I have made this a few times and it is the BEST! I made it ahead of time for camping and our friends said this was EXCELLENT! I have share this recipe with my friends and they are going to make it for their family.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    I followed the recipe as written with two exceptions of no pecans and using unsalted butter in the topping (I only buy unsalted butter). It was still absolutely delicious! My family devoured it. Had only a small slice left afterwards. I think the key delicious ingredient was using pure maple syrup as she recommends. Pure maple syrup is expensive but worth every penny. I will for sure make this again.

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I made this today and it was delicious. I prepped it the night before and let the bread sit out to get alittle dry and it worked out great.
    One of my granddaughters said, I can just taste the love you put in this. So thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    Best French toast casserole we’ve ever had. This is our new go to for all special occasions. Everyone loved it! Thank you for the wonderful and delicious recipe!

    Reply
  5. I made this recipe and did half whole milk and half heavy cream, but then before I added the egg mixture, I added 6 oz of cream cheese cubed through out it. It was absolutely to die for!!!!!

    Reply
  6. Absolutely loved this and it was a hit at my church Bible study! Used margarine for the top and unsweetened almond milk instead of whole milk. Husband said the recipe is a keeper and the people at Bible said it’ll be hard to top this one! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

    Reply
    • 5 stars
      Great reciep! THANKS! I adapted a bit to goods on hand. 10 LG. eggs . Half cup vanilla creamer, Half cup lactose free milk. I mixed the bread into the bowl and coated the eggs, then spread it into the greased sheet cake pan. Baked up nicely! Thanks for the inspiration!!

      Reply

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