If you love classic French toast as much as a sleep-in, this super easy overnight baked French toast with brioche is perfect for you. The best part is that you can prep this quick and easy brioche casserole the night before, making it a great recipe for an easy weekend brunch or a comforting winter or fall breakfast.
Why you’ll love this baked French toast with brioche:
Perfect for special occasions: This easy French toast casserole is a delicious and quick way to treat your loved ones on special holidays. It’s the perfect breakfast for Christmas morning, Valentine’s Day, Easter morning, or a busy morning on Mother’s Day.
Make-ahead recipe: With minimal prep the night before, you can enjoy this easy make-ahead breakfast without the morning rush the next day. It’s a great choice for busy mornings or lazy weekend mornings.
Versatile: This easy recipe uses basic ingredients and creates a perfect base for experimentation. You can easily customize it with your favorite toppings or add other fillings into the mix before baking.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Stale brioche bread: Leftover buttery brioche bread (or challah bread) works best. but you can also use stale, day-old bread incl. white wheat bread slices, baguette, croissants, or sourdough bread including sourdough brioche cut into 1-inch cubes.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar is sprinkled on top of the bread mixture before baking to create a sweet and crunchy topping. You can use granulated sugar as well.
- Heavy cream: Heavy cream makes a creamy egg mixture for this special breakfast recipe.
- Milk: Milk helps soak the stale brioche in this easy French toast bake. Use whole milk for a rich flavor or skim milk for a lighter dish.
- Vanilla: I use vanilla extract for this recipe but you can also use vanilla essence, fresh vanilla beans, or vanilla paste instead.
- Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon adds a rich and warm flavor to this decadent breakfast casserole. You can use 1 tsp of Christmas spice mix instead to add a festive flavor.
- Butter: You can use salted or unsalted melted butter. If using unsalted, simply add a pinch of salt to the egg custard mixture.
- Eggs: You’ll need 6 medium-sized eggs to make this recipe. Ideally farm-fresh eggs.
How to make baked French toast casserole – step by step:
- Add the eggs to a large bowl.
- Whisk the eggs.
- Add the cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup to the eggs.
- Add the milk and heavy cream to finish the egg custard.
- Add the brioche cubes to a buttered casserole dish.
- Pour the custard over the brioche bread.
- Sprinkle with brown sugar before baking.
Tips for making baked brioche:
- Stale bread: Using day-old or slightly stale bread ensures that it can absorb the custard mixture without becoming too mushy.
- Even soaking: Ensure all bread cubes are evenly coated with the rich cinnamon custard mixture by giving them a gentle toss or stir. This guarantees a uniform and delicious result.
Serve this overnight brioche french toast casserole with a dusting of powdered sugar or brown sugar whipped cream for some extra indulgence. Add a side of fresh berries such as blueberries or strawberries during summer and stewed apples and pears to create the perfect fall breakfast. Serve with extra maple syrup and crispy bacon for a hearty breakfast.
Chocolate: Sprinkle chocolate chips between the layers for an extra sweet flavor.
Fruit: Layer fresh fruit like sliced strawberries, blueberries, cherries, apples, or bananas between the bread cubes for a fruity French toast breakfast. You can also use raisins or dried cranberries to create a special holiday breakfast.
Go nuts: Top this easy breakfast casserole with a generous amount of chopped nuts or nutty streusel mixture before baking for added texture.
Individual portions: Use small ramekins instead of a large casserole dish to create single-serves of this sweet breakfast recipe. Depending on the size of the individual servings, reduce the baking time by about half and watch them closely while baking.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave.
No, fresh bread will get too soggy especially if you’re making this recipe the night before. Simply cut the brioche into cubes and toast them for 10 minutes at 350F (175F) for them to crisp up.
I suggest letting the flavors mingle and brioche to fully soak in the custard for at least 1 hour before baking the French toast casserole.
Overnight Baked French Toast With Brioche
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 loaf brioche cut in 1-inch cubes, about 4 cups
- 2 tbsp butter to grease the casserole dish
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs by hand with a fork or whisk or with an electric mixer until you have a smooth consistency.6 eggs
- Add the maple syrup, heavy cream, whole milk, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, melted butter, and eggs to create the custard mixture.1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup melted butter
- Cut the stale brioche loaf into 1-inch cubes.1 loaf brioche
- Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish and transfer the brioche bread cubes into it. Spread them evenly.2 tbsp butter
- Pour the custard mixture into the prepared baking dish over the top and cover the dish with plastic wrap or aluminium foil and refrigerate overnight. This allows the flavors to meld, and the bread to soak up the custard thoroughly.
- The next morning, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Sprinkle the brown sugar in top of the casserole and cover it with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes of baking. Then, uncover and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the custard is set.1/4 cup brown sugar