Gorgeous challah Baked French Toast is packed with fresh fruit, warm cinnamon, and vanilla for the perfect breakfast!
This make-ahead French Toast is amazing for any occasion and especially perfect for a crowd, or brunch because all of the work can be done ahead of time!
This sweet breakfast favorite will be the hit of your next gathering. It’s an easy, fun recipe with lots of room for variations.
Because this recipe is made ahead of time and bakes for an hour it gives you time to set your table, cook up some bacon or sausages, and enjoy a Mimosa or Spicy Homemade Bloody Mary with your guests! A win-win in our books!Jump to Recipe
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Ingredients needed for make-ahead French Toast
- Challah Bread – great bread is the key to this recipe so seek out the best challah (or brioche) bread you can find. You could also substitute any other thick-sliced bread
- Fresh Raspberries – strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries will work too. Or try a combo of all of these fruits!
- Eggs – you’ll need 8 whole eggs to create really lovely custardy goodness!
- Vanilla Extract – we love to make our own Vanilla ~ trust us, it’s easy
- Cinnamon – this is an essential part of any French Toast, and sometimes we add a little more!
- Sugar – this is, after all, a sweet breakfast treat
- Salt – salt helps to balance all the sweet flavors in this recipe
How to make Baked French Toast
A Step-by-Step Guide:
- Cut challah bread into 3/4-inch slices
- Arrange sliced bread in a 3-quart baking dish with overlapping layers (photo # 1)
- Place fruit evenly in between each layer (photo #2)
- Spread the remaining fruit over the top (photo #3)
- In a large mixing bowl combine 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoon cinnamon, and the salt and whisk to blend
- Add eggs, milk and vanilla extract and whisk again to combine completely
- Pour the mixture evenly over bread and fruit (photo #4)
- Press down on the bread and fruit to submerge it in the egg mixture (photo #5)
- Allow the french toast to rest, at room temperature, for 1 hour (photo #6)
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Mix 1/3 cup of the remaining sugar and 1 teaspoon of the remaining cinnamon
- Evenly sprinkle over the top of the french toast
- Bake for 1 hour. Casserole should be golden brown on the top
- Rest for 10 minutes prior to serving to allow the custard to settle
- Serve with warm maple syrup
Delicious variations for French Toast Casserole
One of the best things about this breakfast bake is all of the flavor variations you can try! Here are just three of our favorites:
- Use blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries for the fruit
- Instead of maple syrup drizzled on top try it with any fruit syrup or sift some powdered sugar on top
- Replaced the milk 1:1 with egg nog for a delicious holiday twist
Tips and frequently asked questions:
- What caused my French Toast to become soggy?
- Too much milk mixture will prevent the eggs from cooking properly
- If you don’t bake the casserole long enough it can cause the finished toast to be soggy. If it looks at all soupy keep it in the oven longer
- The ideal French toast will be soft on the bottom of the casserole and crisp golden brown on top
- Bread substitute – If you aren’t able to find challah bread we recommend brioche bread as a good substitute
- Warm your maple syrup on the stove or in the microwave before serving. Nothing better than warm syrup!
Fun drinks to serve with your brunch:
Looking for more breakfast & brunch ideas?
- Homemade Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes
- Crustless Mini Quiche Bites
- Belgian Waffles
- Lemon Blueberry Scones
Baked French Toast
- 9" x 12" Baking Dish
- 1 loaf Challah Bread or Brioche
- 18 ounces Fresh Raspberries, Blueberries or Strawberries
- 8 whole eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 3 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ⅓ cup sugar – set aside for topping
- 1 tsp cinnamon – set aside for topping
- Cut bread into 3/4 inch slices
- Arrange in a 3 quart baking dish with overlapping layers
- Place fruit evenly into each layer and spread remaining fruit over the top
- In a large mixing bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt
- Add eggs, milk and vanilla, and whisk thoroughly to combine
- Pour egg mixture evenly over bread and fruit. Press bread and fruit down to submerge in the liquid
- Allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Mix remaining 1/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together and evenly sprinkle over the top of casserole
- Bake for 1 hour until casserole is golden brown on top
- Rest for 10 minutes prior to serving. Serve with warm maple syrup