Friday, February 19, 2010

Overnight French Toast Casserole {Make Ahead Recipe}

Today I'm posting a recipe for a Overnight French Toast Casserole. We made this for for our Valentines Day Breakfast. I've had a few people on face book asking about when I was going to post the recipe. It's been so crazy around our house so I apologize for not getting this post up sooner. This dish is very easy to throw together and perfect if you have overnight guests.

We had a pretty big day planned out, so I didn't want to be stuck in the kitchen trying to get breakfast together.  I thought a overnight casserole would work out best. Mackenzie helped me assemble the casserole the night before, so this is a fun recipe to get your kids involved in the kitchen. Mackenzie did everything except the baking part. You can use just about any type of bread to make this recipe. 

Plus it is a great way to use up any leftover bread you have hanging around. I have tried other recipes for overnight french toast and have been disappointed with the end result. We always have hamburger and hot dog buns left over from a meal so they work perfect as well.
Usually from any given dinner meal we always have leftover bread.This is the first recipe I found that isn't really soggy inside.  Now it is soft inside since the bread is soaked up with the yummy milk and egg mixture over night. But it wasn't a runny soggy mess.

This french toast casserole turned out perfect and was so crispy on top. Some people still might have a problem with the middle being a little soft. You have to keep in mind that it's an overnight casserole.

Overnight French Toast Casserole

1 – stick butter (1/2 cup) melted
12 - slices Texas toast or any leftover bread, cut into pieces
1 - cup brown sugar
1 - teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 - teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 - cup chopped pecans, optional
1 - teaspoon vanilla extract
3 - eggs, beaten
1 1/2 - cups milk


Melt butter and pour in a 9 x 13 . Mix the  brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and nuts if you are using them. 

Whisk beaten eggs, milk and vanilla together. Layer bottom of pan with half the bread pieces Sprinkle half brown sugar mix over the bread. 

Layer second half of bread. Pour egg mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly. Sprinkle remaining brown sugar on top.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and cover with a new piece of foil. Preheat oven to 350 bake the casserole for 30 minutes. 

Bake uncovered for 15 more minutes the French toast bake should be browned and set.

Optional: Pour a little bit of maple syrup on top of casserole. Place back in the oven and using your ovens broiler, broil for about 5-7 minutes to caramelize the top. 

Cook's Note: This french toast casserole is moist in the center and crunchy on top. 


Leslie said... #

yum yum yum..I make one similar!

Tina Butler said... #

Hi Leslie,

This french toast casserole is pretty versatile. You can even add apple pie filling to the bottom or add a praline topping on top. So I guess this is a pretty easy casserole to work with.

Colleen/And Baby Makes Five said... #

I love a good breakfast before casserole! I make one with ham & cheddar for Christmas and I also have a recipe for a french toast version that uses cream cheese and cinnamon swirl bread. So good!

Any luck finding a wooden bowl yet???

Have a good weekend...

Tina Butler said... #

Hi Colleen, The cinnamon swirl with cream cheese sounds wonderful. I haven't ventured out yet. Tomorrow my dh has a fishing tournement all day so I plan on heading out to Garden Ridge and Micheals. Wish me luck.

Erin | Bygone Living said... #

This recipe made my stomach growl... definitely making it asap!

Colleen/And Baby Makes Five said... #

Good luck!!!

I'll have to make the cream cheese version so I can post about it. Hmmm... I feel a Breakfast Dinner Night coming on...

Megan said... #

Mmmmm! Looks good! I think I will have to give it a try!

amber@This Mommy Cooks said... #

looks yummy! I love to make a sausage, egg, bread casserole. DELICIOUS!

Michele said... #

I love breakfasts! This one looks fantastic. I'll definately have to try it soon.

Libby@CookingWithLibby said... #

Yummm! What a great way to use up all that left over bread. I'm always up for making meals with left overs. This looks great! I left an award for you over at my blog :) Come pick it up :)

Mandy Bird said... #

Looks so good! I love these kinds of dishes. So it isn't at all soggy inside? My hubby doesn't like that, so this would be perfect. Thanks!

mommyoffaith19 said... #
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said... #

Love your website! woohoo, have another one to add to my favorites. Have a feeling dh will like me spending time on this website cooking some of these creations!

Renae said... #

Mmm...that looks like a good recipe! I will plan on trying that! Thanks for sharing!

Jane said... #

Hi Tina,
I'm dying to try this! It looks so good!

When you have a minute, come on over to my blog. I have a Sunshine Award for you!

Unknown said... #

I have an award for you!

sheila said... #

This looks so good. I have been a follower for a while, love your recipes! I wanted to tell you of a giveaway on my blog if you want to enter, just visit and leave a comment. Im giving away a gourmet cupboard heavenly chocolate pie mix. Thanks Tina!

Jolyn said... #

Oh I found you..I just posted on my blog your french toast recipe, when I wrote it down I didn't put where I got it...But I found you. We made this last night and had this morning and it was a huge hit..very very good. Thank you for posting and I will go back to my blog and give you the much deserved credit...
Have a wonderful day.
seasons of life/ Jolyn

Unknown said... #

From one Tina to another:

I have a NEW favorite website. Although I also like Christie Jordan's Southern Plate a lot too. In fact, I started up a new theme on my blog for Sundays - GivingNSharings Sunday Recipes. Thanks for giving me more work. LOL

I'll be back, I'm following you now.
Tina "The Book Lady"

Anonymous said... #

I made two casseroles for a carry in. One as written, the second with eggnog. Both were a huge hit. Thank you!

Unknown said... #

Just wanted to let you know I tried this and my family loved it. I posted it on my blog, and we will be making this often. Thanks!

Traduceri said... #

This is wonderful, I love to make it on a cold morning, especially when the family is home for the Holidays....even have made it for late night when they are arriving very late....they associated this with "coming home"!

Heather said... #

I am excited to try this! I have a recipe but can't find it, so always up for something new.=)

Heather said... #

I tried it and it got a big YES from my family! Although only on special occasions.=) I am posting it here on my blog.

KatBouska said... #

Yum! I pinned it!

Anonymous said... #

I'm making this today for my Education Class! I'm also making one with cream cheese and cherry pie filling in the middle. Yum!

Anonymous said... #

It's in the oven right now....can't wait to taste it!

Patamomma said... #

Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe. I omitted nuts, and made this for our Christmas Brunch at the farm this year. It was a hit. I went back for seconds it was so yummy. Crunchy top with yummy middle and bottom.

Anonymous said... #

I made this while vacationing in Sweden and I have to admit I had to substitute a couple of ingredients due to limited access. This still turned out awesome! My skeptical hubby loved it. Your recipes never let me down.

Anonymous said... #

I made something similar, but with a couple of twists. 1/2 of the brown sugar mixture was layered in the bottom with the butter and then the entire thing was inverted into another identical pan for the last 10 min of baking. This allows the excess moisture to be evenly spread through the bread and makes a caramel glaze on the top. Watch closely for over cooking in the last 5 min tho. Also, inverting a 9x13 hot pan is not for the feint at heart.

matthew said... #

looks good i love cooking new things so im going to try this out

Anonymous said... #


Tina Butler said... #

Thank you so much. I love having new readers. LMK if you need help finding anything.

marian said... #

Has anyone tried to make this ahead and freeze? Is that possible?! I am just starting to venture out into freezing meals & would love to find something like this to throw in there too!

Anonymous said... #

I was wandering if I could prepare this late on a Friday night to bake on a Sunday morning

Anonymous said... #

Hello! This recipe looks delish and I can't wait to make it for my in-laws for Thanksgiving morning. I bought a fresh loaf of french bread to use (from the grocery store bakery). Will one loaf be enough for the amount of egg/milk called for? I plan to cube the bread.

Anonymous said... #

What kind of bread is the best to use with this. I bought french toast bread today in the bread isle but I'm worried that it may end up being soggy since it's normal bread but just thicker. Could you tell me exactly what kind of bread you used for this, maybe the brand name? I want to do it just like yours! Thanks for all of the great recipes! :)

Tina Butler said... #

I used Texas Toast this particular time. I usually just use what I have on hand in the freezer from leftover bread.

Lil' This...Lil' That... said... #

Has anyone made this and not let sit overnight but cook right then???

Gigi said... #

This looks delicious and is just what I'm wanting for to make for Christmas breakfast! Thank you!

Carly said... #

I just made this for Xmas morning and it was AHHH-MAZING! Heated it up in a 400 degree oven for about 15 min this am and it was just as good, gonna do that again tmrw too!

Unknown said... #

Can u use reg. Sugar iinstead of brown sugar?

Tina Butler said... #

I have never used regular sugar in place of brown sugar. Keep in mind if you substitute the result will be different.

chad said... #

can u make it the same day as cooking it

Anonymous said... #

I tried this with Angel food cake and it was really good. I also added some shaved almonds, that was really wonderful.

MadlyBain said... #

just wanted to remind anyone curious about using regular sugar instead of brown sugar that brown sugar can be made pretty easily. My son and I needed to some for choc. chip cookies and were out...we tossed the required amount of reg.sugar into the kitchenaide and slowly drizzled molasses until it looked the part. once you add the molasses turn up the speed before adding any more it helps get it to meld better since at a lower mixspeed it seems lacking.

Holly T. said... #

Just made this today and it turned out great! I used one package of wheat hot dog buns and only 1/2 stick butter and 3/4 cup brown sugar - still turned out delicious! Great recipe!

Anonymous said... #

I am have a sunday brunch engagement party with about 40 people. My goal is all food prepped the night before!!!! This one looks great. Does anyone know how much it serves (keeping in that half of the guests are young adult men!). Thanks

Tina Butler said... #

A 9x13 inch pan serves about 6-7 people.

Unknown said... #

I make something very similar to this. But I don't let it sit overnight or at all for that matter. And mine is not soggy at all. I'm wondering if people have a sogginess problem if it's attributed to letting it sit. Maybe try only a few hours or not at all next time? Mine is still soft but not one bit soggy. Maybe this helps some people! Always a hit when I make it!!

(Single)Mommy said... #

oooh I'll be making this for Christmas morning breakfast thanks!

Anonymous said... #

Fabulous recipe! We made it for the first time this Christmas and it was votes family favorite and a definite keeper! Even my son who doesn't like eggs polished off his entire plate! Thank you for sharing and merry Christmas!

Anonymous said... #

Replaced 1/2 cup milk with a flavored coffee creamer----it was incredible!!!

The6ofusinca said... #

To question #39, I made the morning of Christmas, simply followed the directions and stuck it in the oven. turned out AMAAAAZZZING!!! My honey doesn't like bread pudding, so the texture to this recipe was realllllly important. I added dollops of butter to the top and covered with foil. after the set time was done, I cooked an additional 10 to 12 minutes without the foil on and it gave the top a nice crispy buttery topping. We will be making this again, since I can't wait to just have it one time a year lol!
Thank you for sharing your recipe, this made my family very happy Christmas morning!
Blessings from Ca,

Chris said... #

I followed the recipe -- but cut the butter in half--(just seemed like a lot) then my sister said NO NO use all the butter -- but I had already to go -- so I drizzled the other 1/2 on top and put in fridge overnight-- Baked in the am as per recipe instructions and it turned out great! My family was 1 hr late so left on 150 in the oven to keep warm and still was great. I will make this again -!! Have ready the day before and -- just put in the oven-- I am all for that!
That is why I make the egg strata and Hash Brown Casserole.
Thank you --added so much to my Christmas Brunch--

Anonymous said... #


Unknown said... #

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This recipe is just OMG delicious !!! I made this last week, just as the recipe directed and it turned out fabulous. Don't change a thing !
Yesterday, we had friends over for breakfast and I made this again. This time, the only thing I added was after the first layer of texas toast, I used an 8 oz container of Mascarpone cream cheese( at room temp-easier to spread on bread); then the sugar mixture, etc. It was amazing and our friends just raved and raved and raved.
I absolutely will be making this again and again.

Anonymous said... #

Just made it! As I was wrapping the dish to go into the fridge for the night my kids yelled out "HEY! We thought we were having breakfast for dinner!!". Hahaha! Sorry kiddos.

Can't wait to see how it tastes. I'll let you know.

Unknown said... #

Making it as we speak. I used actual french bread because I think it will be less soggy. Last night I was worried there wasn't enough custard in it because the top layer was only soaked on top. But I notice now that the bottom layer is soaked enough that touches the bottom top that helps keep the
top moist. Figures crossed ill post again once its done

denny said... #

didnt we used to call this "bread pudding"?

Stacy said... #

My family LOVES this casserole! It's so good it makes me wanna jump out of bed and eat immediately. :-)
I use homemade bread and only 3/4 cup of brown sugar (I use sucanat) and it works fantastic. I actually just made another one for the freezer as I am working on new-baby-food-prep. Thank you!

Anonymous said... #

I was able to somehow mess up this EASY dish and forgot to add the milk! Just added it to top of casserole in the middle of the night! Hope it will be ok...any ideas?

grnppyeyes said... #

I just made the Overnight French Toast recipe and when I first took it out of the oven I was a little leary because the bottom was not firm. However, once we tasted it....Wow! This is to die for. Its more like a bread pudding but wonderful. The carmelizing on the top was amazing. I've already had people ask me for the recipe and I was happy to share it and Mommy's Kitchen with them all. Thank you for a delicious recipe.

Anonymous said... #

I love to make this and I recommend checking the day old bread section at your market if u don't have enough old bread on hand - the day old is a little more dry and absorbs the milk mixture well. Occasionally I find great flavored breads to use there - making this with day old cranberry orange bread tonight for brunch tomorrow - great hints on your site!!

Jhon said... #

Mmmm! Looks good!

Anonymous said... #

This is the best....just like my mom used to make. I lost this recipe last time I wanted to use up my old bread and used another recipe and the kids wouldn't eat it! So glad I found this again...I have lots of bread ends to use up!

Anonymous said... #

EXCELLENT recipe!!....PERFECT on the palate!
In the past year, I've tried several similar recipes for breakfast parties, and every one of them was soggy at the bottom. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical about this one too because of the melted butter at the bottom of the pan, but it was PERFECT!!!
I made it last night, refrigerated it, and baked it this morning for 9 people.....and there was a little left over for tomorrow.
This one's getting written down!! Thank you!

Unknown said... #

I have made this many, many times for church brunches and events. It doubles well to go in full size commercial pans. Our favorite bread to use is brioche (to die for!!), but have used literally whatever is on hand and it works great. Use Ceylon Cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg for the most punch. ;-)

Anonymous said... #

Is it suppose to be liquidly at the bottom?

Grr8tmom said... #

Made this yesterday, we're on a super tight budget and this was economical and yummy. Used leftover bread, hotdogs buns of course, and sprinkled a little powdered sugar on top and nobody asked for syrup, that's a first in my house. Only regret I didn't make more, but my son is going to make another tonight. So easy and delicious!