Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole.

There’s not one word more perfect than “unbelievable” to describe this overnight blueberry french toast casserole. Perfect make-ahead recipe for busy mornings!

Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole! This is the perfect crowd-pleasing make ahead recipe for busy mornings. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now THIS is french toast! Made with chunks of crusty bread, sweet blueberries, lots of brown sugar, a sweet egg-y custard, assembled in a baking pan, and topped with brown sugar cinnamon streusel.

There’s enough goodness to make your entire family happy. And then some.

Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole! This is the perfect crowd-pleasing make ahead recipe for busy mornings. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This casserole is the definition of comfort food. I made it for my friends Kristin and Chris who just welcomed baby girl Keira Elizabeth to the world. Guess I should’ve used strawberries, huh? Oh well. I prepped the french toast the night before and brought the dish to them the next morning after baking it for about 45 minutes. That’s the beauty of this breakfast… it’s designed to be made ahead of time.

It’s designed to MAKE LIFE EASIER!

I typically use challah bread when I make french toast– either in traditional form or as a casserole. You can use sourdough bread or french bread too. Homemade or store-bought, whichever is easiest. Even homemade honey-oat bread would be fantastic. No matter what type of bread you use– make sure it’s crusty. Day-old and a little stale. Bread that’s been sitting out a day or two (and therefore has lost some moisture) will absorb much more of the egg custard.

Speaking of the egg custard. What you’ll make is a thick mixture of eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon will go into the custard AND in the streusel on top. The cinnamon soaking into the bread is phenomenal!

For that creamy custard taste, I use 8 eggs total and a little over 2 cups of whole milk. Whole milk is key; I don’t suggest a lower fat milk. Even half-and-half would do. You want a luxurious, thick custard. As always, I use Eggland’s Best eggs here. Not only am I an official brand ambassador of this well respected company, I’m also a huge fan of the quality and taste of their eggs. Always have been!

Sally's Baking Addiction | Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole

You’ll cut the bread up into cubes, pour the custard overtop, and stick the whole pan in the refrigerator. During this time, the crusty bread soaks up the cinnamon spiced egg custard, imparting flavor and moisture into the dish as a whole. You can leave it in the refrigerator anywhere from overnight down to 3-4 hours. I find the longer the bread soaks, the tastier the casserole. So, put the refrigerator to work!

Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole! This is the perfect crowd-pleasing make ahead recipe for busy mornings. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

During the last few minutes of fridge-time, prepare a brown sugar streusel topping. This is like icing on the cake. The streusel topping is made from equal parts brown sugar and flour, a dose of cinnamon, and cold butter. Emphasis on the cold! The butter is cut into the other 3 ingredients using a pastry blender. Alternatively, you can use two forks or even your fingers.

Sprinkle it over the soaked bread and bake until golden brown. This is the kind of breakfast you make on the weekend not only to gobble up with friends and family, but to smell it as it bakes. I always thought baking banana bread was the best aroma from the oven but this… oh man. It’s even better.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole-- make ahead breakfast brunch recipe found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

There’s so much texture and flavor, but I think the best part of this overnight french toast is the juicy blueberries. They pop and burst, leaving sweet blueberry juice in between all the cracks and crevices of the casserole.

Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole! This is the perfect crowd-pleasing make ahead recipe for busy mornings. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Fill your plate and top it all with maple syrup, butter, fresh fruit, or a shower of confectioners’ sugar. There’s no wrong way to eat this unbelievable goodness! Just as long as you go back for seconds.

Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12-14 ounce) loaf french bread, sourdough bread, or challah1
  • 1 cup (180g) fresh or frozen blueberries2
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (540ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract

Streusel Topping

  • 1/3 cup (69g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (42g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons (86g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • Optional: extra blueberries, fresh fruit, maple syrup, and/or confectioners' sugar for topping

Directions:

  1. Grease a 9x13 inch pan with butter or spray with nonstick spray. Slice then cut the bread into cubes, about 1 inch in size. Spread cubes into the prepared baking pan and top evenly with blueberries. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Pour over the bread. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and stick in the refrigerator for 3 hours - overnight. Overnight is best.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Remove pan from the refrigerator.
  4. Prepare the topping: Whisk the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Cut in the cubed butter with a pastry blender or two forks. Sprinkle the topping over the soaked bread.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown on top. I usually bake it for 45 minutes because I like it softer. Serve immediately. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Make ahead tip: Prepare the topping in advance, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator. Sprinkle over the soaked bread before baking. For freezing, prepare the recipe through step 4 (without preheating the oven) and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bake as directed. Baked casserole can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up in a 350°F (177°C) for 35 minutes or until warm in the center.

Recipe Notes:

This recipe can easily be halved in an 8 or 9-inch baking pan. The bake time will be slightly less, around 30-35 minutes.

  1. Day-old, crusty bread is perfect for french toast casseroles. I typically use a loaf of challah bread that I slice and let sit out overnight. You'll wind up with about 12 cups of cubed bread. A little more or less is OK.
  2. Instead of blueberries, try strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries. In the fall, try cranberries or thinly sliced apples or pears. So many options!

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Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole! This is the perfect crowd-pleasing make ahead recipe for busy mornings. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

220 Comments

Comments

  1. Julie on November 20, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Amazing! This casserole was the hightlight of my buffet! Everybody loved it and I will be making it again! Great (small) leftovers this morning and good cold. Thank you!

  2. Kyla on November 26, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Can you freeze this for later?

    • Sally on November 27, 2017 at 6:36 am

      Sure can. See my make ahead tip.

  3. Chelsa on December 2, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    All I have is 2% milk. Do you think that’ll work?

  4. Denise on December 17, 2017 at 8:37 am

    I forgot to grease the baking dish!  If  I bake at the 45 min, should it be a problem serving?

  5. Christy Eldred on December 25, 2017 at 12:54 am

    Made this for our Christmas Eve brunch – everyone loved it! Said it was so good. Such a time saver too to make it the day before!

  6. Soundos Asali on December 28, 2017 at 3:35 am

    Can I use brioche bread ?

    • Sally on December 29, 2017 at 7:02 am

      Absolutely!

  7. Meghan on May 4, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Took one bite and said, “Oh my Word!” This dish is fantastic. Not something you’d have every day, but for a special breakfast treat, it’s awesome! Followed the recipe to a “T” using the French bread as mentioned. Thank you!

  8. Hannah Kelly on May 22, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Could this be done with out the streusel?? I’m looking for an easy make ahead french toast casserole that’s essentially just french toast..

    • Sally on May 23, 2018 at 11:46 am

      Hi Hannah! You can skip the crumb streusel.

  9. Amy on May 30, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Hello! This looks wonderful. The Elliott Homestead blog makes one like this, but she uses banana and blueberry in hers. However, this looks just as delicious! One question I have is do you recommend freezing before baking or freezing after baking? I just want to know your opinion on which option maintained the flavor and texture better. I am hoping also to split this mixture-one part that we eat right away and the other part we freeze. Thanks so much!

    • Sally on May 30, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      Either way works, Amy! See the make ahead tip at the end of the recipe for directions on both freezing methods 🙂

  10. Lee on June 1, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Can this be made with almond milk? Some of my friends are dairy free.

    • Sally on June 4, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Yes, same amount. Enjoy!

  11. Leslie on June 14, 2018 at 10:29 am

    This is so amazing. Every time I make it someone asks for the recipe. It’s good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, too. 😉

  12. Melissa Downie on June 22, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    This recipe is our new family favourite! I made it when we went camping in our trailer and it was so easy to bake in the morning! Best breakfast ever! Thank you! I just put my 9×9 pan in the fridge for overnight as there’s just 3 of us! Have a wonderful weekend! ♥️

  13. Kathleen on July 31, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Hi,
    Do I have to let the bread soak for 3 hrs to overnight if I plan to freeze? Also, should I add the streusel topping before I freeze? Thanks!

    • Sally on August 2, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      Hi Katleen, Yes, you want to prepare the recipe all the way through step 4 before freezing so that the bread has a chance to soak up the liquid before freezing!

  14. Nakita on August 17, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    I find I need more egg/custard mixture in order to cover the bread… I’ve done it with less, but it seems pretty crusty on top for those bread pieces that didn’t really get soaked. Thoughts?

  15. Dana Hernandez on August 18, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Does the bread have to be left out overnight or can I buy it the same day?

  16. Meghan on August 21, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Just wanna say I’ve made this before, several times now. It is just sooooo good, that streusel topping takes it to a whole other level (though it is good without too, which I’ve done!). I love that you can make it ahead, and it’s very easy to make too. Thanks for giving me a recipe for my collection!

    • Sally on August 22, 2018 at 1:28 pm

      I’m so happy you like this recipe so much, Meghan!

  17. Paloma on September 9, 2018 at 4:15 am

    Made this with blackberries. My kids lost their noodles. Its now on the weekly menu.

  18. Mike on September 9, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Try topping this with a whiskey banana sauce. Just use jelo cook n serve pudding cooked with your favorite whiskey or rum and pour over top… Oh man!

  19. Stacy on September 13, 2018 at 11:16 am

    How does this reheat? My son wants to take this on a camping trip. There is no way to bake at the camp out so he needs to bake it the day before, transport in a cooler overnight, and reheat on a grill the first morning. Do you think this re-heat well this way?

    • Sally on September 13, 2018 at 9:17 pm

      I’ve always loved it reheated and it should be just fine when reheated on the grill. Make sure it’s covered when reheating.

Reviews

  1. Meghan on May 4, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Took one bite and said, “Oh my Word!” This dish is fantastic. Not something you’d have every day, but for a special breakfast treat, it’s awesome! Followed the recipe to a “T” using the French bread as mentioned. Thank you!

  2. Leslie on June 14, 2018 at 10:29 am

    This is so amazing. Every time I make it someone asks for the recipe. It’s good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, too. 😉

  3. Melissa Downie on June 22, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    This recipe is our new family favourite! I made it when we went camping in our trailer and it was so easy to bake in the morning! Best breakfast ever! Thank you! I just put my 9×9 pan in the fridge for overnight as there’s just 3 of us! Have a wonderful weekend! ♥️

  4. Paloma on September 9, 2018 at 4:15 am

    Made this with blackberries. My kids lost their noodles. Its now on the weekly menu.

  5. Mike on September 9, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Try topping this with a whiskey banana sauce. Just use jelo cook n serve pudding cooked with your favorite whiskey or rum and pour over top… Oh man!

Questions

  1. Hannah Kelly on May 22, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Could this be done with out the streusel?? I’m looking for an easy make ahead french toast casserole that’s essentially just french toast..

    • Sally on May 23, 2018 at 11:46 am

      Hi Hannah! You can skip the crumb streusel.

  2. Amy on May 30, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Hello! This looks wonderful. The Elliott Homestead blog makes one like this, but she uses banana and blueberry in hers. However, this looks just as delicious! One question I have is do you recommend freezing before baking or freezing after baking? I just want to know your opinion on which option maintained the flavor and texture better. I am hoping also to split this mixture-one part that we eat right away and the other part we freeze. Thanks so much!

    • Sally on May 30, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      Either way works, Amy! See the make ahead tip at the end of the recipe for directions on both freezing methods 🙂

  3. Lee on June 1, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Can this be made with almond milk? Some of my friends are dairy free.

    • Sally on June 4, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Yes, same amount. Enjoy!

  4. Kathleen on July 31, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Hi,
    Do I have to let the bread soak for 3 hrs to overnight if I plan to freeze? Also, should I add the streusel topping before I freeze? Thanks!

    • Sally on August 2, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      Hi Katleen, Yes, you want to prepare the recipe all the way through step 4 before freezing so that the bread has a chance to soak up the liquid before freezing!

  5. Dana Hernandez on August 18, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Does the bread have to be left out overnight or can I buy it the same day?

  6. Stacy on September 13, 2018 at 11:16 am

    How does this reheat? My son wants to take this on a camping trip. There is no way to bake at the camp out so he needs to bake it the day before, transport in a cooler overnight, and reheat on a grill the first morning. Do you think this re-heat well this way?

    • Sally on September 13, 2018 at 9:17 pm

      I’ve always loved it reheated and it should be just fine when reheated on the grill. Make sure it’s covered when reheating.

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