This Classic French Toast Bake recipe is the perfect breakfast casserole for Christmas morning, or brunch during any time of the year that you have friends and family in town. It uses simple ingredients like French bread, eggs, maple syrup and everyday baking spices and is easy-peasy to put together ahead of time, or just make and bake.
Best French Toast Bake Recipe
It’s almost impossible not to love this sweet and buttery breakfast classic, topped with cinnamon and brown sugar streusel. It is warm, inviting, easy to throw together and tastes great with whipped cream, fresh berries and your favorite maple syrup.
You can use this recipe to make as an overnight French toast bake, letting your prepared recipe sit in the refrigerator overnight so all you need to do in the morning is pull it out to room temperature, pre-heat your oven and bake. I’ve even made this 48 hours in advance, and it still turns out perfectly.
How to Make this French Toast Bake Recipe – Overnight or A la Minute
Overnight: This is the ideal way to bake this as long as you have the time. The extra time in the fridge allows for all of the egg mixture to soak into the bread.
Morning Of: If you don’t have time for an overnight casserole, you can still make it work – just give yourself an additional 20 minutes.
- Add the 1” bread cubes to a large bowl and pour the egg and milk mixture over. Toss lightly and let sit at room temp for at least 10 minutes.
- Toss again and let sit for at least another 10 minutes or so before you put it into your baking dish.
- You can now add your streusel topping and bake as directly in the original recipe.
This recipe for Coconut French Toast with Coconut Syrup is also a morning-of favorite to make on Saturday mornings or whenever company is in town. Pair it with Cheesy Hashbrowns with Ham and Bacon or Candied Bacon.
What kind of bread to use for this Overnight French Toast Bake
There are several types of bread that will work for this recipe:
- French bread (day old works best)
- Challah bread
- Cinnamon Rolls (day old)
- Texas Toast
Ingredients in Classic French Toast Bake
- French Bread – day old bread works best because it soaks up liquid better
- Milk – any kind that you have on hand will work
- Eggs – this is what binds the whole casserole together
- Maple Syrup – you can also substitute an equal amount of brown sugar
- Vanilla – extract or imitation will work fine
- Butter – we recommend room temp and cutting into small cubes
- Brown Sugar – we use light brown sugar
- Flour – all-purpose flour
Variations of this French Toast Bake to try:
Add your favorite berries on top of the French Toast Bake before adding the streusel topping, and bake as directed.
For a cheesy variation, divide your bread and egg mixture in half. Spread half of the bread mixture evenly into your baking dish, then dollop 2- 8oz packages of cream cheese evenly over the top. Be sure your cream cheese is room temp so it’s easier to work with. Then cover with the rest of your bread, your streusel topping and bake as directed.
Serve with Classic Buttermilk Syrup and whipped cream, or try these other syrups:
Classic French Toast Bake Recipe
- 12-15 slices French Bread or about 1 loaf, cut into 1" pieces
- 2 cups Milk
- 12 large Eggs
- 1/3 cup Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 pinch Nutmeg
- 6 T Butter at room tempreture, cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup Brown Sugar light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Flour all-purpose
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- The day before you want to serve this, spray a 9 by 13" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cut or tear the French bread into 1" pieces and place them evenly in your baking dish. (The bread should be about even with the top of your baking dish.)
- In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and whisk to break them up. Add the milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg and whisk again until all the ingredients are combined.
- Pour your egg mixture evenly over the bread, covering as much of it as possible. Use a fork to gently stir your bread and egg mixture together.
- Cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 4 hours to allow time for the bread to soak up all of the liquid.
For the Streusel Topping
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, add the room temperature butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Stir or mix with a fork until the streusel has 1/4" pieces. You can also use a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed, making sure to stop the mixer once you have 1/4" pieces.
Baking the Classic French Toast Bake
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Take the baking dish out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Be sure the baking dish has a chance to come up to room temperature before putting it in the oven so that your baking dish doesn't crack.
- Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the bread and egg mixture and put into your preheated oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top and edges are light golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, and cut into 12 portions once it has cooled slightly. Serve with whipped cream, berries or your favorite syrup. Enjoy!
Here are some other French toast bake recipes we love too!
- Mixed Berry French Toast Bake with Cream Cheese
- Coconut French Toast Bake
- Pumpkin Stuffed French Toast Bake
- Apple Cinnamon French Toast Bake
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This Classic French Toast Bake recipe uses simple ingredients like French bread, eggs, maple syrup and everyday baking spices and is easy-peasy to put together ahead of time, or just make and bake. It makes for the perfect Christmas morning breakfast, or brunch during any time of the year.