Recipe Spotlight

Christmas Morning Breakfast: French Toast Casserole

This holiday, give yourself the gift of make-ahead, hands-off French toast.

Published Dec. 23, 2022.

Christmas morning can be hectic in a house filled with family. And of course, the occasion calls for a special breakfast. You want everything to be just right. But that shouldn’t mean that you’re stuck in the kitchen for hours rather than cherishing moments and making memories with loved ones. 

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So just imagine the relief of waking up and gathering around the tree, knowing that the work is already done. Making our French Toast Casserole this year makes that a reality. With a handful of pantry staples and five easy steps, you’ll be set up for Christmas morning success.

Making French toast the traditional way is no sweat if it's just for a few people, but it can quickly turn laborious and time-consuming when you need to cook breakfast for a crowd. French toast casserole, a make-ahead one-dish breakfast for six to eight people, solves that problem. No more standing at the stove flipping slice after slice, dripping egg wash on the counter, and serving one person at a time. Here’s how.

Five Steps to Perfect French Toast Casserole

Gather your ingredients: 

  • 2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided, plus 4½ tablespoons melted
  • ¾ cup packed (5¼ ounces) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt 
  • 18 slices potato sandwich bread 
  • 2½ cups whole milk 
  • 6 large eggs 
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • Confectioners' sugar

Prepare the oven and pan: Adjust rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13 by 9-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon softened butter. Whisk brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in bowl.

Layer in the sugar mixture and bread slices: Sprinkle 3 tablespoons brown sugar mixture evenly over dish. Place 6 bread slices in bottom of dish. Brush with 1½ tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining 2 layers of bread slices, 2 brushes of butter, and only one sprinkling of 3 tablespoons sugar mixture. (Reserve final heaping 3 tablespoons of sugar mixture for top of casserole until just before baking.)

Prepare custard mixture and assemble: Whisk milk and eggs in second bowl. Pour mixture over bread and press lightly. Cover casserole and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. 

Bake and garnish: Sprinkle with almonds and remaining sugar mixture. Bake until slightly puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Melt remaining 1½ tablespoons butter. Brush butter over casserole and let cool for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve.

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