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Blueberry Overnight French Toast Bake


Soft and custardy on the inside with a crunchy oat topping, this blueberry overnight french toast bake makes brunch for a crowd! Prep it the night before so that the bread absorbs all the flavors; the next morning, simply pop it into the oven and bake it up.

As a non-morning person, I’m all about the brunch recipes that can be (mostly) made the night before. While we love a savory overnight breakfast casserole, sometimes a sweet option is just what the doctor ordered!

Blueberry Overnight French Toast Bake in a casserole dish

Just like it’s name suggests, this overnight french toast bake can be assembled the night before. In fact- it’s better when done this way, because the bread has time to properly absorb the liquids, infusing with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla flavors throughout. This results in a more flavorful french toast casserole with that great custardy texture.

Reasons you’ll ♡ this overnight french toast bake

  • you do the bulk of the work the night before- in the morning, simply pop it into the oven!
  • the textures are so good- soft on the inside, but with a crunchy oat topping
  • you can customize it with different flavors

bread and blueberries in a baking dish for the Blueberry Overnight French Toast casserole

What is french toast casserole?

It is all the same flavors as traditional french toast, prepared slightly differently. We simply cut a loaf of bread into cubes and soak it with an egg/milk mixture overnight in a casserole dish. This recipe has bit of maple syrup to sweeten it slightly, some vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg to give it a kind flavor, and frozen blueberries scattered all over it.

After pouring the liquid mixture over it, we cover the overnight french toast with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. The bread infuses with the spices and absorbs the egg mixture, and is alert to bake up in the morning.

Turning french toast into a casserole makes this so much more hands off and means that no one has to stand over the stove flipping the toast. That way you can be free to visit with your guests, or obtain some other things done while the casserole bakes up.

Pick the right bread

Opt for a sturdy loaf of bread that is not too ‘squishy’. If the bread is too soft, the casserole could end up soggy; we want the bread to be able to absorb the eggs and milk to produce a custard-like texture.

Great choices conclude

  • sourdough *my personal favorite 
  • french bread
  • challah
  • brioche

pouring milk onto the overnight blueberry french toast

Prepping the casserole

Bread

Stale bread works great for this casserole as it really holds its shape while soaking in the custard; consider buying your bread a day or two early. Cut the loaf into 1 inch cubes; you can also tear into rough, craggy pieces using your hands. Leave the crust on the bread; this adds color and added texture to the casserole.

Custard

Beat together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup until completely combined. I’ve used 1% milk to keep this a small bit lighter, but for an even richer casserole, you could replace half the milk with half and half. If you are dairy-free, almond milk should work just fine.

Crunchy oat topping

To add crunchy texture to the top of the casserole, this oat topping does the trick. Stir together melted butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, rolled oats and a pinch of salt.

I do not recommend adding the oat topping the night before, as this will cause it to be soggy.

Assembly

Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with oil, then scatter half the bread cubes over. Scatter half of the blueberries, then repeat. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the casserole. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, top with the oat topping, then you’re alert to bake!

a scoop of the overnight french toast recipe on a plate with a fork

Flavor variations

  • add a bit of lemon zest to compliment the blueberries
  • add half a block of cream cheese cut into small cubes and scattered through the casserole
  • swap the blueberries for any berry: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, you name it, they’d all be great!
  • swap the blueberries for chopped apple: I recommend 2 peeled and chopped apples
  • add some pecans, almonds or walnuts
  • swap the vanilla extract for almond extract (you’ll want to reduce it by half as almond extract can have a very strong taste!)

Meal prep/storage

This recipe can be stored in the fridge for a few days, though it’s important to cognize that the crunchy oat streusel will lose it’s texture. Here’s how to store it:

  • fridge– portion out cooled casserole into meal prep containers, or cover the casserole dish well. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • reheat– heat in the microwave or (top) in a covered dish in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through
  • freezer– portion out into meal prep containers or wrap individual portions with plastic wrap and place in a larger container. Freeze for up to 1 month.
  • thaw– thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

pouring maple syrup onto the blueberry overnight french toast bake

More brunch recipes:

Blueberry Overnight French Toast Bake

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: American

Keyword: casserole, easter, holidays

Calories: 425kcal

Servings: 8

Soft and custardy on the inside with a crunchy oat topping, this blueberry overnight french toast bake makes brunch for a crowd! Prep it the night before so that the bread absorbs all the flavors; the next morning, simply pop it into the oven and bake it up.

Prep Time20 mins

Cook Time1 hr

Total Time1 hr 20 mins

Instructions

  • Grease a large baking dish (8 x 13 or equivalent) with butter or spray oil. Scatter half the bread cubes, then half the blueberries. Repeat with a second layer.

  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup and mix until combined. Pour evenly over the bread cubes.

  • Cover the casserole with plastic and store in the fridge overnight.

  • The next morning, stir together the crumble topping ingredients. Scatter evenly over the top of the casserole.

  • Heat the oven to 350°F. Bake the casserole (uncovered) for 45 minutes – 1 hour. Start checking at 45 minutes by inserting a knife in the middle of the casserole. If liquid oozes around the knife, keep baking.

  • Allow the casserole to cool for 10 minutes before serving with maple syrup and extra blueberries.

Notes

1- select a sturdy and crusty bread like sourdough, challah, french bread or brioche; you can cut the bread earlier in the day and let it dry out to develop absorption of the egg mixture.
2- for a richer casserole, replace half the milk with half and half
Storage
Cool completely, then store in an air tight container in the fridge. You could portion out in meal prep containers or abandon it in the casserole dish with a cover.
Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Reheat
Heat in the microwave or (top) in a covered dish in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through
Oat topping
Do not add the crunchy oat topping until just before placing the casserole into the oven; otherwise it will absorb the liquids and not be crunchy.
Variations:

  • add lemon zest 
  • add half a block of cream cheese cut into small cubes 
  • swap the blueberries for any berry: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries
  • swap the blueberries for chopped apple: I recommend 2 peeled and chopped apples
  • add pecans, almonds or walnuts
  • swap the vanilla extract for almond extract (you’ll want to reduce it by half as almond extract can have a very strong taste!)

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of batch | Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 218mg | Sodium: 389mg | Potassium: 347mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Vitamin C: 3.5mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 3.3mg

 

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