Have a hankering for fluffy, delicious French toast made easy? My sweet brioche French toast casserole with cinnamon crunch topping is golden and caramelized on the outside yet pillowy and creamy on the inside—it's everything we crave in traditional French toast, baked up in a sweet casserole!
Breakfast For Dinner with Brioche French Toast Casserole
It was a few weekends back when my intense craving for French toast struck...
I wanted French toast for dinner—something that the hubs and I sometimes like to enjoy when we're in the mood for comfort food that leans in the direction of sweet and “breakfasty”, and by that point, I'd been craving that golden, pillowy indulgence for days...
But here was the problem: I didn't want to go out, and, I was feeling a bit lazy.
The last thing I wanted to do was to stand at the stove dippin' and flippin' pieces of bread, frying them up in a pan one at a time.
That process was simply too involved for my liking on that particular late afternoon, so I had to come up with a more simplified alternative to get my French toast fix.
Enter this brioche French toast casserole where everything gets combined and spooned into a big baking dish, with no dippin' and flippin' required!
My Recipe for Brioche French Toast Casserole with Cinnamon Crunch Topping
It couldn't be easier to make a hot, fresh, delicious French toast casserole when you're hungry for this favorite breakfast staple, but aren't craving the somewhat involved process of preparing it.
Soft, rich, brioche bread is ideal for French toast casserole (or even the traditional preparation of French toast), and I love being able to simply cube up it up, whisk together the custard to create that creamy texture, and pour that over the brioche bread.
Before baking, I sprinkle on a sweet, cinnamon crumble topping to provide a bit of texture and aroma and really makes things extra indulgent.
This brioche French toast casserole is the perfect recipe when you're looking for a quick, throw-it-in-the-oven breakfast for the next morning, or would like to enjoy some breakfast for dinner like me!
Here's a sneak peek at my recipe for Brioche French Toast Casserole: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I prepare my casserole by cubing up some rich brioche bread into large chunks and placing them into large bowl. I whisk together my simple egg custard, and pour that custard mixture over the cubed bread, very lightly tossing to combine.
- I turn the mixture out into a prepared baking dish, cover with foil, and allow it to rest in the fridge for at least 3 hours so that the flavors marry and everything soaks in (or even overnight if I'm preparing this casserole for breakfast the next day.)
- Next, I prep my cinnamon crunch topping, and keep that separate (and cold) until I sprinkle it over the casserole just before baking.
- When ready to bake the brioche French toast casserole, I remove the foil, sprinkle on the topping, and bake for about 35-40 minutes until golden-brown.
- I serve while hot with syrup, or with our favorite warm blueberry compote.
Brioche French Toast Casserole
by Ingrid Beer
Soft and puffy, this brioche French toast casserole with cinnamon crunch topping is an easy way to serve up a favorite breakfast staple!
Yield: Serves 8
Nutrition Info: 360 calories per serving
Prep Time: 15 minutes (does not include resting time)
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Brioche French Toast Casserole Ingredients:
- 1 loaf brioche bread (16 – 17 ounce), cut into large cubes
- 6 eggs
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch salt (about a scant ¼ teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cinnamon Crunch Topping Ingredients:
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted, melted butter
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your French toast casserole ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Lightly mist a medium-size baking dish with cooking spray, and set aside.
- To prepare the casserole, add the cubed brioche into a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, sugar, vanilla, pinch of salt, and cinnamon, and pour this custard over the cubed brioche. Toss very gently and carefully as to not break up the cubes, just until combined, and turn out into your prepared baking dish.
- Cover the casserole with foil and place into the fridge to rest for about 3 hours, or overnight if making ahead for the next day's breakfast. (You can skip this “resting” step, but the casserole may not be quite as light and fluffy inside.)
- While your French toast casserole rests, gather and prep all of your cinnamon crunch topping ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To prepare the cinnamon crunch topping, combine the brown sugar, the cinnamon, the pinch of salt and the melted butter in a small dish, and mix with a fork. Add in the flour, and blend that in with the fork until crumbly. Set aside in the fridge until you're ready to bake the french toast casserole.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon crunch topping over top of the casserole and bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes turning half-way through the cook time for even baking. After 35 minutes, turn off the oven, and allow the casserole to stay inside for another 5-7 minutes.
- Then, remove from oven, dust with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve with warm syrup or blueberry compote.
Tips & Tidbits for my Brioche French Toast Casserole recipe:
- Brioche bread is best: A rich bread such as brioche is best for French toast, and is a dream for this casserole. It has extra body and flavor to it, and becomes nice and puffy, and creamy, when the custard is added and it's baked. (Challah bread is darn tasty, as well.)
- Give things a rest: In order to have the puffiest, most creamy-centered casserole, allow your assembled casserole to rest in the fridge for about 3 hours before baking it (you can even go longer to make it an overnight French toast casserole). Of course, you can bake it immediately, but allowing it rest and absorb the flavors and the custard helps create that perfect consistency.
- Optional add-ins: I love my French toast casserole nice and plain, because it best reminds me of traditional French toast, but feel free to add in raisins, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, or even pecans.
- Tasty toppings for brioche French toast casserole: We love traditional pancake syrup or maple syrup. And when we're craving a fruity slant, we enjoy spooning over my warm blueberry compote—so good!
- How to re-heat French toast casserole: Leftovers totally come back to life when reheated for about 5-10 minutes at around 325°-350° in a toaster oven—tastes just like it does when fresh!
Hungry for more sweet and cozy breakfast recipes? Check out this sweet Caramel Apple French Toast, these Orange Cinnamon Rolls, this Cinnamon Roll Casserole, these Maple Donuts, or these Pumpkin Pancakes!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2018, and has been updated with even more love!