Enjoy a leisurely breakfast or brunch with this buttered maple French toast casserole. It’s make-ahead and will make someone happy. Very happy.
Our family loves French Toast. I love that you can put dry bread to good use. Waste not, want not, right? I particularly love the idea of a French Toast Casserole. However, many recipes I tried in the past left me with a very gooey, custardy concoction. Not my favorite. I like a bit of crunch.
A few years ago I happened upon the idea of buttering the bread that goes in the casserole. In this way, you get a nice, toasty, crunchy top. There’s still the custard layer on the bottom. It’s like the best of both worlds. And since the bread holds its shape so well, you can eat it out hand.
I created a delicious Buttered French Toast Casserole with Almonds and Ginger in Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook. It is amazingly good. If you’ve got the book and haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it. The candied ginger, dried fruit, and almonds give it a wonderful combination of textures. Yum-O!
I use Trader Joe’s Ciabatta for this recipe and whip it up lickety-split. I realized last time I made it that I now need to make two pans. My family loves this and gobbles it down in a heartbeat. (Make croutons with any leftover bread.)
One of the great things about it — besides the amazing flavor and texture and it’s quick prep time — is that you could make it ahead of time and stash it in the refrigerator or freezer. You’ll get variations in texture, but the flavors are still amazing.
This dish is great for lazy breakfasts and brunches. Bonus: It’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup, making it a real, whole foods, kinda meal.
Buttered Maple French Toast Casserole
- ¼ cup butter softened
- ⅔ loaf ciabatta bread sliced into 1 ½-inch slices
- 3 egg beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoon unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Butter the bread slices and place them in the dish, buttered side up. Cut pieces to fill the pan.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, flour, and vanilla extract. Pour this over the bread slices.
- Bake until crisp and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot with maple syrup.
- To make-ahead: Prepare the dish through step 3, cover, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to bake. If frozen, thaw completely before baking.
I’m so excited I saw this recipe. Looks like you solved the ‘soggy bread’ issue we have with this type of casserole. I have one in my fridge for dinner tonight that I just threw together before seeing this post. It is not too far off of this except for the genius butter trick. I may drizzle some on top or spray with coconut oil and see what happens. Lol. Next time I’ll try this, and I have the book, so I’ll try the one in there also. I always seem to have stale bread after spaghetti night, and haven’t found anything he totally approves of yet.
Hope it passed the test!
It did! I sprayed it with coconut oil just cuz it seemed easier, and it turned out delightful. Perfect crunch on the outside. I love being able to recycle leftovers into new dishes that everyone likes to eat. Thank you for all the great ideas!
Made this for my daughter & her family after baby #3. Did it as a freeze ahead meal. Realized later that I accidentally buttered both sides of the bread. Oops 🙂
Anyway, she said it was a huge hit with the family, so it’s a keeper recipe. Could see this do well for holiday meals as well.
This is the best recipe! It has become a fast favorite at our house. We use french bread from the deli at the grocery store. We often add a sprinkle of cinnamon to the top before baking. Yum! I have been reading your blog for years and so appreciated you!
Lynn from NC Outer Banks
Made this recipe this morning for my company and it was a hit. Very tasty! Made it exactly as written, using brioche bread. I liked that it could be made in the morning and didn’t have to be refrigerated overnight as I was short on time last evening. I liked the consistency as well. Thanks so much for sharing Jessica!
Yay! So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Lynn.
I am Going to try this with Trader Joe’s sliced French brioche it’s thick it should work and i am freezing for a week will let you know
This is good but if you use another kind of bread you should probably toast it first or it will be still tasty but mushy ?
Yes, regular sandwich bread will not work. It needs to be thickly sliced for sure.
I made these the other day, cut my bread an inch thick because an inch and a half seemed really thick. Used homemade gluten free bread and it worked out perfect! I have several of your other recipes printed out and waiting to be altered gluten free as well.
Good to know that you enjoyed it with gf bread. We really don’t like mushy french toast, so the thickness helps that. 😉
Since it’s just me that I would be making it for, has anyone baked it, then packaged it up individually and froze it? That would work for me.
I don’t think I have done that, but you could definitely try it. You could also scale the recipe to make a smaller batch.
So easy and absolutely delicious! I topped mine with some maple syrup, a dollop of crème fraiche, and some strawberries. Yummy!
How does this reheat? we won’t eat it all at once and i don’t want to waste it! thanks.
I actually prefer to eat the leftovers cold, but yes, you could reheat in the toaster oven.
This was just the Casserole dish I was looking for. IL have one question, if I make it on Saturday morning and don’t freeze it, will it be OK for Sunday morning? I wasn’t sure how long it could sit in the fridge before heating it.
I’ve done it overnight, but not longer than that. I think it should be fine, but I’m not 100% sure.
Just served this to a bunch of relatives visiting from overseas. Not only did they clean the pan down to the scrapings, but the house smelled delicious for hours! It was so easy to make too. I love easy wins! Thanks 🙂
Yay! I love easy wins, too.
I make a version of baked french toast too. I got my recipe while watching the TODAY show several years ago. I used store-bought sourdough the first time around. But since discovering Five Minute Bread I like to use that especially when there’s leftover bread to be used up.
I’ve tried the make ahead french toast recipe with ginger and almonds. It was delicious and enjoyed by the family (although I did leave a plain section for the picky one). I froze one and it didn’t last but one night in the freezer after we enjoyed the first pan. Definitely want to make 2 pans of this too. I also tried it with some frozen blueberries over the top which we liked a bit more than the dried fruit combination. Thanks for the recipe! We’ve enjoyed it.
I’ll have to try it with blueberries. Did you use the ginger still?
I did, because I liked the bite of the ginger. The kids weren’t loving ginger, so next round it will be on 1/2.
Is any maple syrup supposed to be mixed in with the eggs? Wondering if that step is missing.
Good catch! Yes, the 2 tablespoons of maple syrup are supposed to be mixed in to the egg mixture. We’ve updated the directions. Thanks!
You know, I’m so glad that I have you to do my recipe tweaking for me! I have always shied away from french toast casseroles for that exact reason – now this hasn’t made my life torture or anything LOL – but it is a convenient dish and this is a great solution – the ciabatta is also a sturdy bread so that’s another good idea! Love TJ’s ciabatta – just delicious and better than mine!
My pleasure. 🙂
This looks so delicious, Jessica. I will definitely be giving it a try. We love French toast and this looks like a wonderful variation from the regular egg soaked white bread that I usually use. Also, just thought I’d tell you that today, for the first time, I made your Italian sandwich rolls. It took me two tries. The first time, the dough just refused to rise, at all. My yeast was good and I followed the directions exactly. So figuring that it might be the flour, I ran out and bought a new bag. Although the one I had wasn’t old at all. Since I bake so often, flour never gets a chance to get old. Anyway, that dough starting rising immediately. I divided the dough into 16 pieces and molded them into thin, short rolls, as directed, but they baked up a little smaller than hot dog buns. I also put two slits in each roll with a razor and sprayed them three times with a water sprayer as I’ve always done when I make French Bread during the baking process. In any event, as small as they were, they were absolutely delicious and we ate them as dinner rolls with butter. I froze the rest and when they’re gone, I’ll be making more, maybe round next time. Unfortunately, they are entirely too small for sandwiches. I guess I rolled them a little too small. But thanks for posting this wonderful recipe and I look forward to making them for many years to come. 🙂 Practice makes perfect!
Thanks for the feedback, Stephanie!