Overnight French toast bake made with gluten-free brioche bread and cinnamon sugar crumb topping. This easy French toast casserole recipe is perfect for holidays, weekend breakfast, or a special brunch with friends.
Our favorite breakfast recipe is great for every special occasion. I used to make it with Dutch French bread from a local bakery, prior to discovering my gluten allergy. I now make the same recipe with gluten-free brioche or French bread and it is delicious! My family can’t taste the difference and has loved this gluten-free version for years.
Easy French Toast Bake Recipe
Overnight French toast casserole is the ultimate breakfast for holiday celebrations like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Easter brunch. It’s a delicious spin on traditional French toast. The creamy soft center with crispy cinnamon sugar top sprinkled with powdered sugar is perfection.
French toast casserole is made with bread, eggs, milk, heavy cream, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla. A cinnamon-sugar crumble is layered on top before baking in a dish. Once baked, the french toast is cut into squares and served with fruit, powdered sugar, and syrup.
What type of bread is best for French toast?
- French bread
How to make French toast bake (VIDEO TUTORIAL)
- Cut the bread into cubes and toast in the oven for a few minutes.
- Pour the egg and milk mixture over the toasted breadcrumbs in an oven-safe baking dish. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Make the crumb topping and refrigerate in a plastic bag overnight.
- Sprinkle the crumb topping, then bake for 50-60 minutes.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting into squares.
- Serve warm with maple syrup, fresh berries, and confectioners’ sugar.
Note: if baked for 45 minutes the consistency will have a softer bread pudding texture. Baking the casserole for an hour will result in a firmer and crispier texture.
Can you freeze a French toast bake casserole?
Yes! Wrap and freeze baked French toast for up to 2 months. Be sure to use a freezer-safe dish that is tightly wrapped in plastic and foil. This will help prevent freezer burn. Reheat in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes or until the center is warm.
Unbaked French toast casserole can also be frozen for a later time.
Why does my French toast bake get soggy?
The key to making a great French toast casserole bake is to have the right amount of toasted bread and dairy. Too much milk and heavy cream can make the bread soggy. The bottom layer should have a softer, custard consistency and the surface should be dry with slightly crisp edges.
The type of bread is also important. Softer bread can break apart once the egg mixture is added, but you can help eliminate this issue by lightly toasting the bread cubes before mixing them together. French bread and sourdough are the safest choices that will hold their shape really well.
What kind of gluten-free bread can I use?
Gluten-free bread can be tricky to use in casseroles, so it’s important to follow the tips above. A good quality gluten-free French bread or brioche works great in this recipe. I’ve had good luck with Canyon Bakehouse, Schar, and gluten-free brioche from Trader Joes.
Tips and FAQ for making this recipe
- A smaller loaf of bread may result in a soggy consistency. Depending on the size of the bread, you may need up to a loaf and a half for this recipe.
- Day-old, slightly stale bread works best with this recipe. Cube the bread into 1-inch pieces and cover with a flour sack on the counter overnight. If your bread is fresh, then you will want to lightly toast the bread cubes in the oven prior to combining with the egg mixture. This will help the bread hold its shape in the egg mixture and give it a crispy texture on top.
- Once the French toast has baked, cool, then tightly wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Does it have to be refrigerated overnight? Short answer, no. You can bake this right away but the longer the bread absorbs the liquids the better the consistency will be in the end. If you’re short on time I’d recommend refrigerating for at least an hour prior to baking.
Baked French toast casserole toppings and add-ins
- Mixed berries, fresh or cooked down to a berry sauce
- Chopped apples or cinnamon apple topping
- Chopped nuts – almonds, pecans, walnuts
- Powdered sugar
- Lemon zest
More gluten-free recipes to try:
French Toast Bake (Gluten-Free)
- 1 loaf of bread
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup gluten-free flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup butter cold cut into chunks
- Cut the bread loaf into 1-inch cubes. Place on a large baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 350. Cool before transferring to a prepared baking dish.
- Combine the eggs, whole milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk until eggs are fully combined.
- Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Place toasted bread cubes in the baking dish and pour egg mixture evenly over the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350; bake for 45-60 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- Top with powdered sugar and syrup.