Overnight French Toast with Cinnamon Streusel

published Oct 1, 2022
christmas
Overnight French Toast Recipe

Prep the night before and once you wake up and bake, be rewarded by thickly sliced brioche bread soaked in luscious custard and topped with a crunchy, spice-kissed streusel topping.

Serves8 to 12

Prep20 minutes

Cook40 minutes to 50 minutes

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Overnight french toast in a white baking dish with a side of powdered sugar.
Credit: Kelli Foster

Mornings are tough, and there are dozens of reasons why standing at the stove to cook a warm breakfast simply isn’t feasible. But this make-ahead casserole is proof that French toast for breakfast is always doable (and can take way less effort than you might imagine). Just like classic brioche or challah French toast, this version is made with thick slices of tender bread soaked in a vanilla and maple-spiked custard. But instead of getting fried on the stovetop, it’s packed into a trusty 9×13-inch casserole dish, then baked until the bread is soft and puffed in the center, with crisp, golden-brown edges.

You’ll put in about 20 minutes of prep work the night before, then come morning all that’s left to do is slide the casserole into the oven (along with a tray of bacon, perhaps?) and brew some coffee. French toast has never been so easy! Serve it with a dusting of powdered sugar or drizzle of rich maple syrup, and get ready to swoon.

What’s in Overnight French Toast?

Overnight French toast consists of a layer of custard-soaked thick slices of bread, blanketed with streusel topping. Here’s what you’ll need to make it.

  • Unsliced loaf of brioche or challah bread
  • Eggs
  • Half-and-half
  • Maple syrup
  • Vanilla extract
  • Unsalted butter
  • Light or dark brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground or grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
Credit: Kelli Foster

How Long Does Overnight French Toast Last in the Fridge Before Baking?

Overnight French toast isn’t meant to be baked right away and keeps for quite a while in the fridge before baking. Plan to refrigerate overnight French toast for at least eight hours and up to 12 hours.

Overnight French Toast Recipe

Prep the night before and once you wake up and bake, be rewarded by thickly sliced brioche bread soaked in luscious custard and topped with a crunchy, spice-kissed streusel topping.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes to 50 minutes

Serves 8 to 12

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the French toast:

  • 1 (1-pound) unsliced loaf

    brioche or challah bread

  • Cooking spray or butter, for the baking dish

  • 8

    large eggs

  • 2 cups

    half-and-half

  • 1/3 cup

    maple syrup, plus more for serving

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Powdered sugar, for serving (optional)

For the streusel:

  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  • 2/3 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup

    packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly grated or ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F.

  2. Cut 1 loaf brioche or challah bread into 3/4-inch thick slices (about 12). Fit a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Place the bread in a single layer on the rack. Bake until dry to the touch on both sides, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, make the topping and custard.

Make the streusel:

  1. Place 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power in 10-second bursts, stirring between each, until melted, about 40 seconds total. (Alternatively, melt on the stove.)

  2. Add 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 packed cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Using your fingertips, mix the dry ingredients into the butter until the flour is completely moistened and small, pea-sized clusters form.

Make the French toast:

  1. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.

  2. Place 8 large eggs, 2 cups half-and-half, 1/3 cup maple syrup, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk until combined.

  3. Working with a couple bread slices at a time, soak, flipping once, until moistened but not falling apart, 1 to 2 minutes per batch.

  4. Arrange the slices in the baking dish in two rows, overlapping the slices slightly. Pour any remaining custard over the top. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the bread.

  5. Cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, preferably 8 to 12 hours.

  6. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Uncover and let the casserole sit at room temperature while the oven heats.

  7. Bake until the bread is puffed, golden brown, and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Check after 35 minutes: If the top is getting too dark, loosely tent with aluminum foil and continue baking.

  8. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar if desired and serve with more maple syrup.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The bread can be toasted up to 1 day in advance, cooled, and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Storage: The casserole is best when served immediately after baking. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.