When you start your day off with something sweet, like this breakfast bake, it's pretty much a guarantee that it's going to be a good one. This bake does the impossible: It improves on flaky, buttery croissants by soaking them in a rich, custardy liquid and baking them with a slew of juicy blackberries. The result is pure decadence for breakfast — something we all need every once in a while.
A Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole for Any Occasion
This is the kind of dish to keep in your repertoire for a number of different weekend morning scenarios. Whether you're throwing a bridal shower, a neighborhood brunch, or just gathering your family at the table after a busy week, this croissant bake is a celebration of the occasion.
Sprinkling the berries over the top of the bake, instead of tucking them inside, allows them to stay whole, remain extra juicy, and keep some of their natural tartness, which offsets the sweet flavor of the custard. Feel free to try swapping in other berries too. The whole thing can be assembled the night before, so all you need to do is toss it in the oven come morning.
Blackberry Croissant Breakfast Bake
Serves 8 to 10
croissants, cut or torn into 2-inch pieces
Butter or cooking spray
blackberries (about 3 cups)
(1 quart) whole milk
Powdered sugar or glaze, for serving (optional)
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Spread the croissant pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast until dry, hard, and very lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Coat a 3-quart or 9x13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Place the croissant pieces in the baking dish in an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with the blackberries.
Whisk the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Pour evenly over the croissants and berries. Press down on any large croissant pieces that aren't submerged in the liquid. Set the baking dish aside for 15 minutes so that the croissants absorb some of the liquid.
Bake uncovered until puffed, golden-brown, and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. If the top is getting dark before the inside is baked through, tent the dish loosely with aluminum foil.
Place the croissant bake on a wire cooling rack. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving warm. Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with glaze, if desired.
Make ahead: The croissant bake can also be prepared the night before. After pouring the milk mixture into the baking dish, cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The next morning, uncover the dish and bake.
Storage: Leftovers will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator. Serve cold, at room temperature, or warmed.