Baked French Toast is full of cinnamon sugar goodness and baked in an easy custard that leaves the sweet brioche bread soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. Breakfast heaven!
Baked French Toast
Baked French Toast is one of my favorite brunch items to make on the weekend for many reasons. First, it’s insanely easy to throw together. Second, it can be make ahead of time. And lastly, EVERYONE loves it.
Our version of baked French toast takes layers of rich brioche bread that’s saturated in a super simple cinnamon sugar custard. Right before baking the bread and custard get dusted with more cinnamon and sugar and baked until the inside is soft and rich, and the outside is irresistibly crispy and brown.
Most people serve their French toast with maple syrup AFTER they serve it up, but I like to pour the maple syrup all over the baked French toast immediately after it gets out of the oven so it soaks into the hot bread and custard before it hits anyone’s plate. It’s HEAVEN.
Ingredients in French Toast:
- Brioche bread. This is my favorite kind of bread to use for French Toast. It’s dense and made with eggs and butter so it’s rich, delicious, and perfect for French toast. Because it is sightly soft right out of the package, it’s really important for it to be a day-old and slightly stale so it doesn’t get soggy when the bread soaks.
- I like to leave the bread out on a sheet pan overnight, but if you don’t have time for that, you can also put the bread pieces on a sheet pan and bake at 275 degrees for 20-45 minutes until it resembles stale bread.
- Eggs. Eggs add richness to our Baked French Toast, and you’ll need about four large ones.
- Milk. You could use any kind of milk you want, from skim milk to heavy creamy, but the higher the fat content, the richer the baked French toast will be. I like to use a sort of middle-of-the-ground choice which is whole milk. It’s not as rich and fattening as heavy cream, but still results in a rich custard.
- Sugar. Sugar isn’t exactly traditional in classic French toast, but I like to add just a little bit to the custard to sweetened it up. We also sprinkle on a little extra sugar on top right before baking to help crisp up the top of the baked French toast as well.
- Cinnamon. For me, French toast isn’t complete without a little bit of ground cinnamon. In this recipe, we use it both in the custard and also sprinkle it on top just before baking along with the sugar.
- Vanilla. The last pertinent ingredient in French toast. Use 100% pure vanilla extract and no the imitation brand.
How to Make Baked French Toast:
- Dry out the bread. If you can remember, or have time, leave the bread out overnight on a sheet pan to dry out. If you forget, no big deal, just place the bread on a large sheet pan and place in a 250-degree oven for 25-35 minutes until the texture resembled stale bread.
- Make the custard. Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and pinch of salt together in a medium bowl.
- Layer the bread. Layer the bread in a 9×9 greased baking dish. They should overlap a little bit. Pour the custard on top. Lift up the pieces of bread to make sure each piece gets saturate in the custard. Sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar on top.
- Bake. Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 25-30 minutes until the baked French toast is puffed and brown. Immediately pour maple syrup on top. Cut into pieces and serve with extra maple syrup and softened, salted butter.
Can I make these in Advance?
Yes! We recommend making it three hours in advance anyways, but if you need to make it in advance even more than that, go ahead.
On the opposite end, do I have to make these in advance?
While it’s best to make Baked French Toast at least an hour in advance, a workaround would be to individually soak the stale pieces of bread in the custard for a few minutes until the bread is completely saturated, then layer it into the baking dish. Pour any extra custard on top and bake as instructed.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success:
- Be sure the bread is stale. If the bread is fresh, you risk the baked French toast becoming super soggy.
- If you can’t find brioche, you can also use challah, Italian bread, ciabatta, or French bread.
- For extra crunch, sprinkle the baked French toast with chopped walnuts or pecans.
- Make sure your bread slices are at least 1 1/2 inches thick.
- Add in one teaspoon of almond extract for a nice flavor in addition to the vanilla.
What to serve with Baked French Toast:
- For a complete brunch, serve with this Sausage and Egg Frittata.
- Baked French Toast would also be lovely with a side of this Yogurt Parfait
- Another great side would be these Baked Parmesan Hash browns, a little savory to go with your sweet!
Enjoy these French Toast Recipes Too!
- Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole
- Canadian Bacon and French Toast Kabobs
- Overnight Caramel Banana French Toast with Caramel Syrup
- Cinnamon French Toast Bake
- Overnight Blueberry French Toast Recipe
Baked French Toast
- 8 slices day old thick-sliced brioche bread (ciabatta, challah or italian bread will work as well) I use Trader Joe’s
- 1 tbsp butter, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon, plus more for dusting
- 2 tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
Make sure your bread is stale and at least one day old. If it’s not, let it sit in a 250 degree oven for about 30 minutes until it’s stale.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9×9 baking dish with the softened butter. Layer the bread in two rows. Each piece of bread should halfway cover the next.
Add eggs, milk, vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the bread slowly, lifting the layers of bread up so each pieces is coated in the custard. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
When you’re ready to bake, sprinkle with the remaining two teaspoons of sugar and dust with a little bit of cinnamon. Bake in the oven until puffed and the tops of the bread slices are crisp and brown. Pull out from the oven and drizzle with maple syrup. Cut into 4-6 pieces and serve with butter and more maple syrup if desired.