Overnight French Toast Bake

Overnight french toast bake 1_small

Everyone needs a good make-ahead breakfast in their arsenal over the holidays. This one is mine. (Actually, it started as The Pioneer Woman’s but I changed a few things to make it even better!)

Lots of baked French toast recipes claim you can make them ahead of time but they turn out too soggy, too dry, too eggy and/or too sweet. This one is certainly sweet, but not cloyingly so. We don’t hesitate to put a drizzle of syrup on it. And the consistency is perfect. I always bake it for about an hour so it’s more crunchy than gooey.

The secret ingredient in this one is the caramel extract. You won’t feel like this is a caramel French toast, but it adds such yummy depth of flavor when swimming along side the vanilla extract and cinnamon.

Fix this and forget it on Thanksgiving or Christmas (or whatever your family celebrates) morning!

p.s. You can find caramel extract right near the vanilla extract in most grocery stores. I got mine at Walmart!

Overnight French Toast Bake

Overnight French Toast Bake


1 loaf crusty French, brioche or sourdough bread (about 20 oz. or 10-12 cups of 2-inch cubes)

8 large eggs

2 cups whole or 2% Milk

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon caramel extract


1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

pinch nutmeg

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces


Grease a 9x13 baking pan* with butter. Cut bread into bite-sized chunks and place in pan. Whisk eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and caramel extracts. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until ready to bake. (Overnight is fine -- I've gone up to 24 hours.)

For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a separate bowl. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in the fridge until ready to bake.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the pan from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden on top.

Serve with butter, syrup and berries.

*Try to use a metal pan, not glass. If you use glass, you don't want to put it directly in the oven from the fridge. It could crack and that would be a disaster I don't want to be responsible for!


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