French Toast Casserole
Make your mornings special with this easy French Toast Casserole. It has everything you love about traditional French Toast, and is baked all in one pan!
When I was growing up, my older sisters did a lot of the cooking. They each had their own specialties, and my younger brother and I always looked forward to their meals.
One of our favorites is French Toast, and to this day my sister makes it better than anyone I know. Since we are separated by lots of land, I don’t get to scarf down her French Toast as much as I would like.
But I have found that no matter if you’re missing your family or simply just the food of your memories, sometimes the only solution is to head to the kitchen and get a little creative.
I’m telling you right now that this French Toast Casserole is so good, you may find yourself wanting it for not only breakfast, but also for your lunch, midday snack, dinner, and dessert as well!
You will make the bottom layer with brown sugar and melted butter, and it is just absolutely swoon-worthy!
Ingredients to make French Toast Casserole
- french bread
- brown sugar
- vanilla extract
- powdered sugar
How to Make French Toast Casserole – Step by Step
- You’ll start out with half a loaf of French Bread and then cut it into cubes. I am going to be a stickler for this one, because while you could substitute other breads, it really just won’t have that perfect flavor and texture. After you chop up the bread, then next melt some butter in a small sauce pan and stir in a cup of brown sugar. This is the bottom layer of your French Toast Casserole and it gives it an amazing caramelly flavor once it’s been baked.
- Next you’ll add in your bread cubes, then pour a mixture of eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla over the top.
- Pop it into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, and you are on your way to one of the most yummy breakfasts you’ll ever sink a fork in to! Really, I mean it!
Tips and Notes
Which bread is best for French Toast Casserole?
I prefer to use french bread, and it’s best if the bread is dry and not too soft. This allows it to soak up the yummy sauce from the casserole better and prevents the the french toast from becoming too soggy. If time allows, cut your french bread into cubes and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet over-night or for around 12 hours to help the bread dry out before baking.
You could also use sourdough, brioche, or Italian bread in this recipe, but like I said french bread is my favorite!
Can French Toast Casserole be Frozen?
Yes! Make the casserole in a freezer safe baking dish (such as a disposable aluminum foil pan) and bake as directed, then allow it to cool completely. Wrap in both plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to three months. Allow the casserole to defrost completely in the refrigerator for roughly 24 hours before baking. Reheat the casserole, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Can this be Made Ahead of Time?
Yes, and that’s one reason why I love it for the holidays! It makes a great Christmas morning breakfast because you can prepare it in advance and pop it in the oven to bake while you open presents! Simply prepare as directed up until the final baking step. Cover the unbaked casserole with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight, then bake as directed in the morning!
Gluten Free and Dairy Free Options
This recipe can be made with gluten free french bread, and can also be made dairy-free by substituting the butter and milk. You can replace the butter with either coconut oil or dairy free butter, and the milk with your favorite dairy free substitute like almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk. All of these substitutions would be a 1:1 ratio.
More Delicious Breakfast and Brunch Recipes
French Toast Casserole
- ½ a loaf of French bread, (about 8 oz) cut into cubes
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, for topping
- powdered sugar for topping, optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 13x9 inch baking pan and set aside.
- In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Once butter has melted, stir in brown sugar until dissolved and mixture is smooth. Pour mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 pan and spread evenly.
- Add bread cubes to the pan, spreading over the top of the brown sugar/butter mixture.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and 1 tsp of cinnamon. Pour egg mixture over the top of bread cubes, insuring that all pieces of bread are saturated. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!
- Best Bread to Use: I prefer to use french bread for this recipe, and it's best if the bread is dry and not too soft. This allows it to soak up the yummy sauce from the casserole better and prevents the the french toast from becoming too soggy. If time allows, cut your french bread into cubes and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet over-night or for around 12 hours to help the bread dry out before baking. You could also use sourdough, brioche, or Italian bread in this recipe, but like I said french bread is my favorite!
- Freezer Option: This can be frozen by making the casserole in a freezer safe baking dish (such as a disposable aluminum foil pan) and bake as directed, then allow it to cool completely. Wrap in both plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to three months. Allow the casserole to defrost completely in the refrigerator for roughly 24 hours before baking. Reheat the casserole, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
- Make Ahead Option: This recipe can be made in advance and makes a great holiday breakfast or a great option for busy mornings. Simply prepare as directed up until the final baking step. Cover the unbaked casserole with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight, then bake as directed in the morning.
- Gluten Free and Dairy Free Options: This recipe can be made with gluten free french bread, and can also be made dairy-free by substituting the butter and milk. You can replace the butter with either coconut oil or dairy free butter, and the milk with your favorite dairy free substitute like almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk. All of these substitutions would be a 1:1 ratio.
Very yummy. Next time I make it I’d like to cut down the sugar. Very tasty but very sweet.
Made this the night before Easter. Was so, so easy to make and came out delicious. Was a party hit! The amount of bread may vary. Will be making this again since you can make the night before.
Made this new recipe for Easter brunch for our family and another family. Great reviews from everyone. They especially loved the crunchy tasted. I used french baguettes and texture held up perfectly…thank you for this great new addition.
Made this French toast the night before Easter for Easter breakfast. I only used 1/2 cup of brown sugar for the sauce as it would have been too sweet for my family’s taste. Otherwise followed the recipe exactly as written. It was so delicious!! Everyone loved it! This is a keeper and it’s so easy to make. I’ll be making this many times over. Thank you!!
So good, make 2 batches for Easter Brunch. Even with 11 people, including 4 children it was all eaten. When making the recipe I used 12oz French baguette & it worked out great!!!
Fantastic dish! I tripled the recipe for Easter brunch, and put fresh blueberries in one batch. It was so easy and delish. Everyone raved about it. Definitely a keeper.
Made this for Easter. I was a little confused because my French loaf was 14oz and half of that definitely didn’t fill a 13×9 pan. Plus I wanted to feed a group so I used the whole loaf cubed, let it sit in oven overnight to get a little stale. I premade the egg mixture so I only had to melt butter and just poured over the eggs. I made sure every piece got juicy, let it sit about 10 minutes then baked it. I didn’t add any extra brown sugar on the top. Everyone liked it and it didn’t turn out too mushy or too dry with the extra bread and no additional egg or liquid. Phew!
Also, I had leftovers and I’m eating it cold while I write this to let everyone know OMG it’s so good cold. It’s like bread pudding and a perfect dessert fix. Best done alone when kids are asleep and it’s quiet and peaceful 😉
This was perfect! I followed the instructions exactly and family loved it!
This was delicious! Big hit for Easter Brunch. I followed the recipe exactly, including letting the french bread dry out. Perfecto!!!
Too sweet. Could not even use our usual fresh bluberry syrup. Made with brioche.
Delicious! Made it for a brunch buffet as one of the dishes and it was such an efficient way to make French toast. I even used a cheap loaf of sliced white bread. Thank you!
I will never make French Toast by the slice again! My 9 year old grand daughter made this for breakfast. It was delicious. And we all sat down together because I didn’t have to stay in kitchen manning the frying pan.
I use Brioche Bread and make it for the family for our Easter brunch. It’s a big hit. Thank you.
I did make a few changes. I know I dislike it when individuals review after changing the recipe as it was written. With that said, I used a whole brioche loaf I got at my grocery store and added about a tablespoon of maple extract. Everything else was the same. The taste was awesome and texture was on point. My 1 star reduction came from the sugar/butter bottom layer. Maybe I overcooked the mixture due to instructions to melt the sugar prior to placement in the bottom, but it turned into a sugar rock once placed in mouth to chew. I, of course will make this again, but change a few things. I will be mindful to just get the butter and sugar to combine and I will pour it over the bread prior the the egg mixture. I will let you know how the next attempt turns out.
I have made French toast casserole many times over the years. This was the best recipe I have ever used!!! Thank you for sharing.
**I used days old brioche bread.
Made it this morning with regular sliced bread for my son and brother, they both enjoyed it. Definitely has enough sweetness to it, my son ate it without syrup.
Thank you for sharing your easy to bake recipe.
Made this for DH this morning, and he loved it. I made half a recipe and it worked fine. He didn’t need powdered sugar, he said it was perfect. I’m hoping I can microwave leftovers.
I used 3/4 a loaf of brioche bread (bought from Walmart) and used a cast iron pan to melt thr butter and brown sugar..after adding the bread cubes and milk mixture, I mixed it up so the caramel-type sauce didn’t lay on the bottom . (Cast iron tends to make things crispy when baking in it)
Baked it for 23 minutes and wham! It’s gorgeous ! Crispy with caramel sauce, its heavenly. Would go great with icecream too.
I make this croissant bread pudding EVERY Christmas morning. My daughter just asked me to replace that with this recipe! I said,’ you know I’ll make anything you want for Christmas mornings.’
This will be a staple recipe in my family. Not the healthiest to eat, but once in awhile won’t hurt;)
Thank you so much for sharing this family recipe of yours!!
PS-I love that it’s not an overnight dish too.
Will be making this for Easter. Can I ask what brand of French Bread do you use?
Hi Penny, I usually just pick up a loaf from my grocery store’s bakery department!
I strongly suggest getting a loaf of brioche bread for this recipe. Yes, French bread would work but brioche is buttery and sweet in its own right. I am sitting here eating this recipe and it’s Devine. It’s where you want to eat it and eat it but your tummy stops you, so you tell yourself ,’ yes! I can look forward to eating it tomorrow!’
Walmart is where I get my brioche bread, by the bakery department. Let us know how it turns out!
I meant miss Penny, not Miss Ashlyn. Lol
Can I use the Texas Toast bread they sell in store? The bread I normally use for french toast as it is thicker than regular bread.
I haven’t tried it with Texas toast before so I’m not sure how it would turn out. If you give it a try, please let us know!
Hi. The recipe calls for 1/2 a loaf of French bread. When I went to make this yesterday, the 1/2 a loaf did not fill my pan, so I added the entire loaf. I also noticed the recipe stated in step 1 to use a 13×9 inch baking pan, but then in step 2 it said 9×13 pan. I used my 13×9 pan and improvised with the measurements of each ingredient because I was not sure if it would be enough with the whole loaf. Luckily, it came out delicious.
13×9 and 9×13 is the same thing. Just turn it sideways 😉
Hi Kara! So did you double all the other ingredients since you used the whole loaf? I’m looking to make a batch that feeds 15 people, so I was thinking of doubling anyways. Do you think the whole loaf fed more than 8 ppl? Thank you!
Did you end up doubling everything?
9×13 and 13×9 are……..the same thing
Just wanted to leave a note for myself later. I made this with whole-wheat sourdough, which, unsurprisingly, didn’t produce exactly the right texture but was still decent. However, I used only half the amount of sugar/butter mixture and I would say the finished product was still a little too sweet for my taste. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I’d used the entire amount. Next time I’m going to try using even less. (I also cooked it longer, at a lower temperature, because I was trying to avoid crispy edges – but I doubt that would have changed the sweetness much)
I’ve made this before and it was such a hit! I since have developed an egg allergy and am wondering if this can be made using a flax meal egg substitute with the same success? Thank you in advance!
Hi Kaela, I’m sorry to say I have not tried this before with an egg replacement, so I can’t say how it would turn out. If you give it a try, please let us know how it goes!
Thank you so much for your reply! I went ahead and tried it with a flax meal and water substitute for the eggs and it still turned out just as amazing in my opinion! It’s been a hit for family everytime I’ve made it!
Do you have a suggestion of which dairy-free milk alternative would be best?? Thank you!
Hi Anna, any milk that your family likes best. I like oat milk, but I haven’t tried it in this casserole.
This recipe totally rocks! Just right sweetness, crunchy on top, creamy smooth in middle. I’ve tried with white bread, raisin bagels, n a combo of both.