This French Toast Casserole with cinnamon sugar topping is soft and fluffy on the inside, and golden brown on top. It can be refrigerated overnight or baked immediately for a delicious breakfast that feeds a crowd.
**This recipe was originally posted October, 2018, and updated June 8, 2020 with new photos and recipe tips**
If you love French toast – then you need to try this French toast casserole. It’s a delicious take on French toast that’s extra fluffy, filled with cinnamon, and perfect for soaking up lots of maple syrup.
Plus – you skip the hassle of having to stand over the griddle frying each piece of bread individually. Instead, all the ingredients get tossed into a large casserole pan. No-fuss, no frying, just delicious French toast bake.
How to Make French Toast Casserole
Making this French toast bake is actually easier than making regular French toast. First, we slice the bread into little squares. I like to use brioche bread but any kind of fluffy, thick-cut white bread will do the trick. Hawaiian bread, Italian bread or a French loaf work perfectly too. Then place the bread into a greased casserole dish. You’ll want to use a 3-quart dish for this recipe. A glass 9×13 inch pan will work.
Pro Tip: When making any kind of French toast, it’s better to use stale, day-old bread. Stale bread soaks up more of the batter without getting soggy. If your bread isn’t stale, no worries. You can easily dry it out in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 200F degrees.
- Place slices of bread on cookie sheets.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, until the bread is dried out (but not toasted).
Then we make the French toast batter by whisking together the eggs, milk, a little sugar, a little butter and cinnamon. I like to add a little sugar and butter to my french toast because they add flavor and help to caramelize the top. Then cinnamon is always key 😉
Then pour the batter over top of the bread so it’s evenly coated. You may need to give it a little stir to ensure that all the bread is evenly coated. Important Note: Depending on the type of bread you chose and how stale the bread is – you may not need all of the batter to evenly coat the bread. Go slowly, gently stirring the mixture whit a rubber spatula as needed until all the bread is coated in the egg mixture.
Last but not least, I like to add a little drizzle of buttery cinnamon sugar drizzle to the top. It’s made by whisking together melted butter, brown sugar & cinnamon.
Now at this point, it’s totally up to you. You can either bake it immediately or turn it into overnight French toast casserole.
If Baking Immediately
I personally prefer to make this the night before, because the bread has time to really soak up the batter. But you can definitely bake it immediately if you like. You’ll want to bake it at 35oF with the pan covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes, then continue baking for about 15-25 minutes or until the top is golden.
If Baking Overnight
After preparing the French toast bake, cover the pan in aluminum foil and place in the fridge. Then when you’re ready to bake preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Bake for 30 minutes covered with the aluminum foil, then remove the foil and continue baking for 15-25 minutes until the top is golden. You can make the casserole up to 24 hours in advance – however, I wouldn’t prepare it any longer than this or else the bread can get too soggy. (I think about 12 hours is ideal).
Note: The longer you bake the casserole for, the less gooey it will be. When it’s done baking, the top should be golden and the bread will have puffed up. For even more deliciousness, you can also:
- Add in 1 cup of fresh berries
- Stir in 8 oz of cream cheese cut into pieces
- or swap white bread for cinnamon raisin for extra cinnamon goodness.
This French toast bake is such a delicious breakfast recipe and tastes incredible whether you make it ahead of time or not. I love it for holidays because it feeds a crowd, but you definitely shouldn’t wait til then to enjoy this delicious breakfast recipe.
If you love this French toast casserole, then make sure to try these other delicious French toast recipes:
- The BEST French Toast Recipe
- Eggnog French Toast
- Pumpkin French Toast
- Pumpkin French Toast Bake
- Blueberry Streusel French Toast Bake
French Toast Casserole
- 3-quart casserole dish (such as a 9x13 inch glass or ceramic pan)
French Toast Casserole
- 1 large loaf of bread* 16-18 oz
- 2 cups milk
- 8 large eggs
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Cinnamon Sugar Drizzle
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and lightly grease a 3-quart (or 9x13 inch) casserole pan.
Make the Casserole
- Lightly grease a 3-quart casserole dish (such as a 9x13 inch ceramic or glass pan).
- Chop the bread into squares and place in the casserole dish.
- In a large bowl whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and cinnamon.
- Slowly pour the mixture over the bread being sure to cover evenly. Give the mixture a stir using a rubber spatula to coat if necessary. You want the bread to be evenly coated and wet - note that you may not quite need all the batter, depending on your bread.
- In a small bowl whisk together the ingredients for the cinnamon sugar drizzle.
- Drizzle it overtop of the French toast casserole.
If Baking Immediately
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes covered. Remove the foil and continue baking for 15-25 minutes, or until the top looks golden. *
- Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into slices and serving. Careful - the pan is HOT.
- Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or cinnamon, maple syrup and/or whipped cream.
If Making Ahead of Time
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- When ready to bake, remove the casserole from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
- Bake the casserole covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue baking for 15-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the bread has puffed up.
- Use thick-cut, fluffy white bread - such as brioche or challah. Your bread should be stale/day-old for best results. To quickly dry out your bread:
- Preheat the oven to 200F degrees.
- Place slices of bread onto cookie sheets.
- Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the bread is dried out (it shouldn't be toasted.
- Depending on the type of bread you choose to use and how stale it is, you may not need all of the French toast batter (egg and milk mixture). The bread should be fully coated and wet.
- This recipe can be halved and made in an 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan. Bake time will be about the same.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Warm up in the microwave before enjoying.
- Nutrition information is meant as an estimate only. It is based on one serving, assuming the recipe is evenly divided between 10 people (without any maple syrup, whipped cream or toppings).
This smelled soooo good, but sadly was so soggy. There’s too much liquid ans not enough bread. I used a 16 oz pumpkin brioche and followed the recipe exactly. The top got dark and crispy like it was done, but was super soggy in the middle. What did I do wrong? If not for the sogginess, this would’ve been fantastic.
I’m sorry this didn’t turn out for you. Different breads can soak up the liquid differently – it’s funny because I’ve often had the opposite problem of not having enough liquid. Next time I’d try covering the pan with aluminum foil to avoid the top from over browning and allowing it to bake for longer so that the center is less liquidy. You could also remove 1/4 cup milk. I hope this helps!
Fantastic recipe! I made this “ overnight style” French toast casserole for a baby shower brunch. Everything came out perfect. Sorry I didn’t take a picture of the finished dish. I added pecans for a bit of crunch. Thank you for sharing your recipe because this casserole was a huge hit.
I love this recipe but Everytime I make it I have to cook it for way longer than 45 mins. It is delicious though!
Thanks for reporting back and your tip! I’m glad you loved the flavor. 🙂
We made this for a large group while on a weekend vacation in January. We loved it so much we cooked it again the next morning! Only thing is the instructions don’t include the vanilla extract (still tasted good, but we remembered it the second time). Going to try making this again on a smaller scale!
Thanks so much for the catch. For a smaller batch, you could half the recipe and prepare it in an 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan. The bake time will be about the same 🙂
Made this for Sunday morning breakfast! Big hit! We did add cream cheese and blueberries. Turned out perfect! Diffinitely a keeper!
One question…have you had any luck in freezing the left overs?
I love the combo of cream cheese and blueberries – I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. I personally haven’t tried freezing leftovers, so I can’t say for sure. If you’re worried about it being too much/having leftovers, you could half the recipe and make it in an 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan instead. The bake time would be about the same
Really delicious and so easy. Everyday ingredients makes this a go-to recipe. Thank you!
Delicious! Added a package of sausage crumbles and didn’t have vanilla so subbed vanilla creamer, it worked! Sweet but savory with the sausage in it 😄