Mary’s French Toast Casserole is the answer to your Christmas morning dreams. This delicious layered french toast casserole is so good your kids will almost forget what day it is.
This French Toast Casserole is similar to a bread pudding, but it is loaded with that signature cinnamon sugar flavor of French toast. We have here thick slices of challah bread that are soaked in a creamy egg mixture, topped with a cinnamon sugar mixture and baked until bubbly. The bread becomes moist and custardy while the top forms an incredible crust. Incredible!
Why we love our Mary’s French Toast Casserole
This is great for Christmas breakfast or as the centerpiece of a special brunch. It’s very easy because once you assemble it you let it soak and don’t have to mess with it again. Can you assemble and bake right away? Yes! You don’t have to soak it overnight the idea is to prep the day before and have less to do on the day you serve. If you assemble it the day you want to bake it, be sure to let it soak at least 15 minutes before baking and push down on the bread before topping it with the sugar mixture.
This recipe is an ode to my mom’s friend, Mary. We grew up going to Christmas breakfast at Mary’s house. She would assemble multiple French toast casseroles and bake them as people arrived to her house. As this casserole bakes it puts me right back to those Christmas’ we would start at Mary’s surrounded by friends who are family.Ani
Mary’s French Toast CasseroleCourse: BrunchCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
1 loaf of challah or brioche sliced into thick slices about 1 ½ to 2 inches thick (You should have about 10-14 slices of bread)
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar, divided
1 cup of whole milk
1 cup of half and half
2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup of walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons of flour
Garnish: maple syrup, powdered sugar, berries, whipped cream
- In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, nutmeg and flour. Mix then add the nuts. Whisk together until completely combined. Mix in the melted butter. Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together the eggs, milk and half and half, vanilla, a pinch of salt. Whisk until totally combined. Set aside.
- Arrange the sliced bread in overlapping layers. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the bread evenly. Be sure it makes it into all the areas. You can pour a little then wait and pour a little more. Be sure it’s everywhere from the middle to the corners so the bread has a chance to soak it up.
Slightly push the bread down to soak up the custard.
- Top that layer with the brown sugar/ butter mixture all over the top.
- Cover with plastic and set in the fridge overnight. (You can assemble this and bake it the day you serve it. Just let the bread sit for at least 10 minutes to soak up as much liquid as possible).
- When you are ready to bake preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. The casserole will puff up and become golden brown and bubble around the edges. Serve warm