French Toast Casserole makes the perfect brunch recipe. You can even make it the night before and throw it in the oven the next morning. Everyone will ask for seconds!
This French Toast Casserole is basically magical. It comes together with minimal ingredients, it can be made overnight, and it tastes like heaven on a plate. It is the perfect recipe for a holiday brunch, but if you wanted to make it every single weekend, I would not judge you.
How to Make Baked French Toast Casserole
- Dry the bread. Just like in regular French Toast, dry bread is the key. Read more about how to do this below.
- Combine the wet ingredients. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, whole milk, and vanilla.
- Make the streusel topping. Combine the butter, oats, and brown sugar. You can read more on this below.
- Add the bread to the egg batter. Make sure that the bread is fully covered by the mixture.
- Put it all together and bake. Pour the bread and egg mixture into a greased baking dish. Top with the streusel and bake. Serve and enjoy.
Drying Bread for French Toast Casserole
Drying bread before making French toast or bread pudding is key to helping the bread soak up the egg batter. The drier it is, the more it can soak it up.
You can dry out the bread by cutting it up and setting it out overnight. Or you can pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. If you put it in the oven, make sure to flip it once during baking so that it is dried out all around.
What type of Bread to Get
My favorite type of bread to make this French Toast Casserole recipe is French Bread. I like buying a 16 ounce loaf from the grocery store. Once it is cut up and dried out, it will give you 10 cups of dry bread cubes, which is perfect for this recipe.
Streusel Topping for French Toast Casserole
One of my favorite parts of this recipe is the streusel topping. Typically streusel is made by combining flour, butter, and brown sugar. In this recipe, we are using quick cooking oats instead of the flour to change things up a bit.
Here are a few tips and tricks:
- Make sure the butter is cold. This can make it harder to combine, but it will help it hold up to baking.
- If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can use two forks. (My pastry cutter is KitchenAid and I love it.)
- If you would prefer flour over oats, you can replace the 1/2 cup oats with 2/3 cup all purpose flour.
- If you only have rolled oats, you can give them a quick chop in your blender to get the consistency of instant oats.
Overnight French Toast Casserole
It is easy to make this the recipe for French Toast Casserole the night before. Follow these simple steps:
- Follow the recipe as written through step three.
- Cover the casserole dish and put it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- When ready to bake, make the streusel topping and add it to the casserole.
- Bake the French toast casserole uncovered for 40 minutes.
If you want to prepare this in advance, you can freeze this French toast casserole after pouring it all in the baking dish. (After you have completed step three in the recipe card below.)
Wrap the casserole dish at least two times with aluminum foil and place in the freezer for up to three months.
Proceed with caution when using glass or ceramic baking dishes. I have had baking dishes shatter when putting them directly from the freezer into the oven. You are better off using an aluminum baking dish if you want to freeze it.
When ready to serve, bake the casserole for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Then add the streusel topping and bake for an additional 45 minutes.
Your casserole – or really any egg bake – is done when it starts to pull away from the side of the baking dish it is in. You can even seeing this happening in the photo below.
You can use any bread you like as long as it makes 10 cups of dry bread cubes. I love using French bread for this recipe but challah is another popular choice. You could even use dried croissants.
Yes, please see my instructions above on freezing.
The most likely reason is that your bread wasn’t dry enough before you combined it with the egg batter. This will keep the bread from soaking up the mixture, leaving excess mixture in the casserole, or sogginess. The other down side to this is that the inside of the individual pieces of bread will be dry rather than full of batter goodness.
Other Brunch Recipes
Not sure what to serve with this? Any of these ideas would be perfect with this great recipe.
If you make this easy baked French Toast Casserole or any of my other recipes, please let me know! I love hearing from you.
French Toast Casserole
- 16 ounces French Bread cut into cubes, and dried (see note)
- 8 eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk until all the eggs are fully broken down and the mixture is smooth.
- Toss the egg mixture with the bread until all of the bread is fully coated. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- In a small bowl, using two forks or a pastry cutter, combine the butter, oats, and brown sugar.
- Top with the streusel, and bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes or until the casserole begins to pull away from the sides of the baking dish.
- Cut, serve, and enjoy with powdered sugar and syrup.
Sarah McElroy says
Should the butter be cold or soft for the French Bread Casserole?
Thanks, can’t wait to have this for Easter Breakfast.
Lisa Longley says
Hi Sarah! The butter should be cold to cut with the other ingredients and make tat nice crumbly top.
Oh my goodness, Lisa!!! Another easy and delicious recipe. Definitely a keeper!
Lisa Longley says
So glad to hear, Karen!
How big should the bread cubes be?
Lisa Longley says
You can sort of see in the video, but a little less than 1 inch by 1 inch.
Everyone enjoyed the French Toast Casserole even when I had to make it dairy free (my daughter has a severe dairy allergy). I used Almond milk and margarine. It turned out great! I served it with crispy bacon and of course lashings of maple syrup. Delicious! Thanks once again Lisa.
Lisa Longley says
I’m so happy it was such a hit, Linda! Thank you for letting me know those substitutions worked! I’m sure that will come in handy for someone else too.