This easy Coconut French Toast Bake is perfectly custardy on the inside and topped with a crisp pecan crumb. It’s a delicious sweet treat for breakfast or brunch that is simple enough to make for a crowd and can even be prepared ahead of time.
Coconut French Toast Recipe
If you love a good make-ahead breakfast, this Coconut French Toast Bake recipe is sure to find its way into your weekend recipe routine. The sweet coconut flakes and nutty pecans put a delicious new twist on the classic French toast bake, making it a perfect option for out-of-town guests or special occasions. No one needs to know how simple it is to prepare.
This can be made the morning-of, if you find yourself in a pinch. But, the best part about a make-ahead French toast casserole is being able to make it ahead! Just throw the ingredients together and put it in the fridge overnight so all you need to do in the morning is heat your oven and bake!
For an extravagant presentation, try serving with powdered sugar, fresh berries, whipped cream and our Coconut Syrup. It would also taste great paired with something on the more savory side, like Cheesy Hashbrowns with Ham and Bacon or Candied Bacon.
Ingredients in Coconut French Toast Casserole
- Brown Sugar - we use light brown sugar for this recipe. It caramelizes as it bakes and gives a delicious flavor.
- Butter - this should be melted and mixed with the brown sugar to form the sweet and chewy crust underneath the bread.
- Bread - bread should be sliced into 1” thick slices, or you could try cutting or tearing into 1” bread cubes. I prefer French bread, but challah, brioche, or even stale bread will all work great.
- Coconut Flakes - you can usually find coconut flakes or shredded coconut in the baking section of your grocery store.
- Eggs - any type of large eggs will work.
- Milk - you can also use half and half, or even try making this recipe with coconut milk.
- Nutmeg - this gives a nice hint of baking spice.
- Pecans - you can use either whole or pre-chopped since they are going to be chopped further anyway.
- Cinnamon - this is to flavor the crumb topping
- Salt - sea salt works great.
How to Make This Coconut French Toast Recipe
- Make the brown sugar crust. In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter and the brown sugar. Press this mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Add the bread, coconut and egg mixture. Arrange 1" thick slices of French bread over the brown sugar mixture, then sprinkle the coconut flakes evenly over the French bread. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and nutmeg, then pour your egg mixture over the coconut and French bread.
- Add the crumb topping. To make your crumb topping, add the pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt into a food processor and pulse until the nuts are chopped to desired size. Sprinkle this crumb topping over the top.
- Bake. Bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and the egg mixture has set.
- Serve. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
Overnight French Toast Bake
If you want to make this French toast bake the night before, like the popular Paula Deen French Toast Casserole recipe, follow these simple instructions:
- After you have poured the egg mixture over the French bread, cover your pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 12 hours, or overnight.
- The next day once you are ready to bake, pull the baking dish out of the fridge while you preheat the oven. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the French toast.
- Bake as directed.
Recipe Variations for Coconut French Toast Bake
Enjoy experimenting with these delicious variations of the classic Coconut French Toast Bake recipe!
- Chocolate Coconut French Toast Bake: Add chocolate chips to the coconut mixture before pouring it over the bread slices. This will give the bake a rich and indulgent flavor.
- Banana Coconut French Toast Bake: Layer sliced bananas between the bread slices before pouring the coconut mixture over it.
- Almond Coconut French Toast Bake: Sprinkle sliced almonds on top of the bread slices before pouring the coconut mixture.
- Berry Coconut French Toast Bake: Scatter a mixture of fresh berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries on top of the bread slices. The sweet and tart flavors of the berries complement the coconut perfectly.
- Peanut Butter Coconut French Toast Bake: Spread a layer of peanut butter between the bread slices before pouring the coconut mixture.
- Coconut Cream Pie French Toast Bake: Mix coconut cream into the coconut mixture for an extra creamy and decadent texture. Top it with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes for a dessert-like twist.
- Matcha Coconut French Toast Bake: Mix matcha powder into the coconut mixture for a unique and vibrant green color. The earthy and slightly bitter flavor of matcha pairs well with the sweetness of coconut.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best bread to use for French toast is one that is hearty, dense and chewy like French bread, challah, brioche, a pullman loaf or even just stale bread. These will soak up and hold onto all of the custard without falling apart or turning to mush.
Absolutely! See our instructions above about making overnight French toast bake. Also, the crumble topping can be made ahead and frozen for up to 2 months if you want.
As bread sits out, moisture slowly evaporates from it causing it to become stale. Since moisture has left, that means there is now room for more moisture to be added. This is why French toast recipes often call for stale bread.
Absolutely! This Coconut French Toast would taste great if you substituted coconut milk for regular whole milk. For an extra creamy, decadent breakfast you could even try using coconut cream.
Storing and Reheating
- Refrigerator: store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To reheat: cover your baking dish with aluminum foil and reheat in a 350 degree oven for about 15-25 minutes, or until warmed through.
Coconut French Toast Bake Recipe
- ½ cup Butter melted
- ½ cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1 loaf French Bread sliced into 1" thick slices
- ½ cup Coconut Flakes or shredded coconut
- 4 large Eggs
- 1 cup Milk
- ¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
- ½ cup Pecans
- ½ cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with non-stick baking spray and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter and the brown sugar. Press this mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange 1" thick slices of French bread over the brown sugar mixture, then sprinkle the coconut flakes evenly over the French bread.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and nutmeg, then pour your egg mixture over the coconut and French bread.
- To make your crumb topping, add the pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt into a food processor and pulse until the nuts are chopped to desired size. Sprinkle this crumb topping over the top.
- Bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and the egg mixture has set.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
More of Our Favorite Breakfast Casserole Recipes
- Strawberries and Cream French Toast Bake
- Blueberry French Toast Bake
- Apple Cinnamon French Toast Bake
- Red, White and Blue French Toast Bake
- Pumpkin Stuffed French Toast with Pecan Crumble Topping
- Mixed Berry French Toast Bake with Cream Cheese
- Classic French Toast Bake
- More Breakfast Favorites
- More Coconut Recipes
If you’ve tried this recipe, please rate it and leave a comment on this post. I love hearing feedback from you. It helps me and other readers too! If you love Pinterest, feel free to leave a comment and photo there too. Also, if you like to share, use the hashtag #thecarefreekitchen on Instagram and tag me @thecarefreekitchen so I can find you and give your post some love. You can also find me on Facebook at The Carefree Kitchen. Thank you!!
This easy Coconut French Toast Bake is perfect for breakfast, brunch or a special holiday. If you love a good make-ahead breakfast, this recipe is sure to make its way into your family’s weekend recipe routine.