Welcome the weekend with a fluffy, crunchy, and caramel drizzled Easy Baked French Toast Casserole. This gooey, sweet casserole is an easy homemade recipe designed to feed a crowd and keep them happy.
Make-Ahead French Toast Casserole
Big weekend brunch plans or holiday get-togethers means feeding a hungry mob of family and friends. Make those parties easier by setting yourself up with a menu of 90% make-ahead recipes like this French Toast Casserole. Doing all the prep work – and dishes – ahead of time will make entertaining a breeze.
This is one of those recipes that I go to over and over again for church gatherings or busy weekends. The fact that I can make it ahead of time and just bake it in the microwave that morning is gold to me! No more pulling cinnamon buns from a can for special occasions. Now I can quickly and easily make a sweet breakfast treat from scratch, and still sleep in!
Tips for Making Breakfast Casseroles Ahead
- Chop all ingredients the night before unless they are some sort of fresh herb.
- Cook any meat for the casserole.
- If your casserole uses eggs, you can typically make the casserole right up until the step that requires baking.
- Being sure your casserole is in an oven-safe dish, complete all the steps except for baking. Cover it with tinfoil or plastic wrap and refrigerate until morning.
- Make any sauces, dips, or drizzles the night before and store in a mason jar with a lid or in a Ziploc bag with as much air squeezed out as possible.
- If you’re making a casserole that requires bread and your bread is not yet hard, just remove from the packaging, cut to size, and leave on a plate or cookie sheet on your counter for a few hours. Drying out the bread will ensure the casserole doesn’t become soggy as it sits in the refrigerator overnight.
Does this casserole have to be made ahead?
No. The beauty of this casserole is that it can be made the night before or the morning of. This baked french toast recipe doesn’t require any “setting” overnight. If using very dry bread and making right away, be sure to coat all the pieces of bread with the egg mixture and know you may have a few top pieces that are just a bit crispier as far as texture is concerned.
Leftover French Toast Casserole
If by some crazy miracle you happen to have any leftovers from this recipe, here are a few frequently asked questions and answers:
How to reheat leftover french toast casserole? From refrigerator: wrap in tinfoil and place in a 325 degree F oven for approximately 20 minutes until warmed through. Alternatively, you can place a serving on a plate and microwave for a minute with a small glass of water (about an inch) next to the plate. This will keep moisture in the air as it reheats which prevents the casserole from drying out.
Can french toast casserole be frozen after baking? Yes, once the casserole is completely cooled it can be wrapped snuggly in plastic wrap and then again in tinfoil. You could also use a vacuum sealer, just make sure you’re not squishing the bread during suction.
How do you reheat a frozen casserole? Remove the casserole from the packaging from the question above. Place your casserole on an over safe baking sheet or in a casserole dish covered in tinfoil. If frozen, reheat in a 350 degree F oven for approximately 1 hour. If thawed, reduce time to 20 minutes.
Keeping it Fresh and Sustainable with these Tips
As you know I’m all about keeping it fresh, healthy, local, and sustainable here on the blog. So this section is provided in every post to give you ideas on how to make this recipe better for you and your wallet.
Ingredients: Making your own bread is a fantastic way to keep this recipe farm to table. I know many are nervous when it comes to making bread, but don’t be! Making bread is fun and doesn’t have to look perfect to taste great. It didn’t come from a factory – which is the highlight of its appeal! Creating your own homemade caramel sauce is another great way to keep in fresh and know your ingredients. No preservatives and you can use multiple kinds of ingredients that suit your lifestyle. So if you’re refined sugar-free, you can make your own caramel sauce with that method.
Products: I’m a big fan of using products that are reusable and stand the test of time. A cast-iron casserole dish is likely to stand up for itself in a house like mine. The same goes for cloth napkins. Don’t get me wrong, we still use paper towels for big messes but cloth napkins are a great alternative for your wallet and the environment. And as you can tell from the photo above, I love to go to antique stores to find “new” utensils and the like. It gives our home a lived-in, eclectic feel while also keeping items out of landfills.
What are some ways you can think of to make this recipe in a more sustainable, fresh way? Have some favorite products or brands of ingredients? Tell me about them in the comments!
Other Make-Ahead Breakfast Casseroles we love
- Ham and Cheese English Muffin Casserole from Home Made Interest
- Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole from Simply Whisked
- Sausage and Vegetable Breakfast Casserole from Mom Foodie
Easy Baked French Toast Casserole
- 1 french bread loaf
- 12 eggs
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
To make the Casserole
- Pre-heat oven to 350 and grease a 9×13 pan with butter or non-stick spray.
- Cut stale french bread loaf into cubes.
- In a large bowl or mixer add a dozen eggs, melted butter, sugar, whipping cream, and spices. Whisk them until combined.
- Add the bread cubes to the egg mixture and toss thoroughly. If bread is very dry and hard, allow it to sit in the bowl and soak up the egg mixture for about 15 minutes.
- Empty the bowl into the greased pan.
- At this point you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or place in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Let rest for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm with caramel drizzle.
To make the Caramel Drizzle
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan on the stovestop over medium heat or in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.
- Whisk the melted butter into a bowl with 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of near room temperature heavy whipping cream to create a loose caramel sauce.
- Drizzle the caramel sauce over the casserole. Enjoy!