Baked French Toast With Brown Sugar Streusel Topping

Baked French Toast

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Rest and Chill : 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
395 Calories
16g Fat
51g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 395
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 111mg 37%
Sodium 520mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 19%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 12g
Calcium 186mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This delicious baked French toast is the perfect breakfast or brunch dish because it's filling, easy to make, and can be prepared the night before—when it's time to eat you simply need to bake it in the oven for 35 minutes. Slices of crusty bread are soaked in a sweet mixture of eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon, which injects the perfect amount of sweetness and moisture into the bread. A buttery streusel adds crispiness on top and the optional pecans offer some crunch. The hands-on work you need to invest is just 15 minutes, then to the fridge and afterwards directly to the oven and your table. This dish is a wonderful take on the classic French toast that’s a satisfying and delightful dish that everyone will love. Serve with fresh fruit, whipped cream, and maple syrup for a sweet meal, or prepare sunny-side-up eggs and crispy bacon to offer a contrast of flavors and texture.

Although we suggest using crusty bread like a French baguette, pretty much any bread will do for this recipe. Day-old brioche or Italian bread or store-bought sliced white or whole wheat are all great—simply check that you have the right amount of it. If you need to use gluten-free bread for dietary reasons, the recipe works wonderfully as well and the overnight soaking actually helps with the texture of the dish as many gluten-free breads have a dense structure and benefit from the extra soaking time. As for the streusel, simply replace the flour with gluten-free rolled oats to make a succulent wheat-free streusel. If needed, replace the whole milk with the same amount of any plant-based beverage like oats or almonds to make a dairy-free version.

If you feel inspired by our recipe and want to experiment with other ingredients, this is a great base for a French toast bread pudding. Add raisins, craisins, chopped dates, or currants into the egg mixture and allow the dried fruit to soak overnight as well. Or add chocolate chips before topping with the streusel for a dessert-like dish. Serve with vanilla ice cream or sweetened mascarpone, or dust with powdered sugar for a quick and pretty finish. The cooked French toast keeps well for up to 2 days in the refrigerator and can be warmed up in the microwave before eating.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf French bread, about 1 pound
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups milk, whole
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • For the Streusel Topping:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Optional: 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Slice bread into 1-inch slices, about 18 to 20 slices.

  2. Arrange bread slices in the baking pan, arranging a second layer overlapping the first.

  3. Whisk together the eggs with milk, 1/4 cup brown sugar, vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Feel free to use a blender for the milk mixture.

  4. Pour the milk mixture over the bread, pressing the bread down lightly all over to be sure it will soak up the milk mixture. Cover the pan with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  5. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup brown sugar with the flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, pinch salt, and 4 tablespoons butter.

  6. If using, sprinkle the streusel over the soaked bread. Add pecans on top, if using. Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes, until nicely browned.

  7. Enjoy!