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

 

189 comments

  1. Hi Sally! This looks amazing! Is there a max amount of time I can let this sit in the fridge? Was thinking of prepping before I head out to dinner tonight (around 4:30) and popping in the oven tomorrow AM. Would this be alright? Thanks!!

  2. I made this casserole for the Teachers at my son’s school today for Teacher Appreciation Breakfast… it was a huge hit and have been asked for the recipe. Thank you…

  3. For the streusel, did you melt the butter? I just made mine and after combining flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter it wasn’t much of a liquidy mixer to pour on the bread. It was thick so I used a brush to spread it over the bread. I did use dark brown sugar so I don’t know if maybe that was the difference or not.

    • It needs to be cold and cubed, then cut in.

    • Struesel isn’t meant to be liquidity in texture, it’s a crumble. Think of coffee cakes with the brown sugar topping. Dark or brown sugar should not have made much of a difference, I think you did the right thing if it didn’t turn out liquidity because you don’t pour the struesel on, you kind of “sprinkle” the crumbs.

  4. How long will the casserole stay after its already been baked? I was planning on making it two days in advance and bringing it on a trip with me. Do you recommend reheating?

    • Hi Cortney. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. You can also see my make ahead tip in the recipe.

  5. Hi Sally! I actually had leftover challah bread from the weekend that was a bit old and therefore didn’t go as well as it usually does….so  I made this casserole for breakfast today 🙂 YUM! Only problem is, my struessel topping seems to get messed up during cooking. It kindof melts together and turns really dark and hard looking instead of looking like crumbs (still TASTES great though). Any thoughts of what I could be doing wrong? 

    • Is your butter very cold and is the streusel broken up into small crumbs? It sounds like the streusel is melting too much, too quickly. Try frozen butter. That should help!

      • The streusel was broken into small crumbs, but I’m going to try freezing the butter next time (yes, there is going to be a next time 😉 ) Thanks!

  6. I’m making this for Father’s Day Sunday Brunch! One questions…when you cut the cold butter, is it supposed to be chunky or liquid? I feel like that is going to be the hardest part for me. 

  7. Hi..could this sit for 2 overnights? Plans have changed and  I already let it sit overnight..or should I just bake and reheat tomorrow?

  8. Can you freeze this casserole before it is baked?

  9. For this recipe, is whole milk required? Or, can I use almond milk or buttermilk?

    Thanks!
    Sarah

  10. Must this have the streusal topping?

     I’m afraid of it being too sweet.

  11. Hi, I want to try this for my sons birthday next week. 
    I’m just slightly confused about one aspect, can I bake it the night before? Or is it best baked in the morning? 
    I don’t think my little people will wait for it in the morning!! 

    Thanks

  12. Made this recipe today without the topping , it was very good a keeper 

  13. I have 12 egg yolks to use up can I use only 8 yolks or will it not work. 

  14. Sally, I am planning on making this tonight, do I need to thaw the frozen blueberries before?

    Thanks!

  15. Loved this recipe but was scrolling to the comments and could not see anything about reheating? How would you reheat this dish?

    • I do it in the microwave, actually– or you can reheat in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes or so depending how much is leftover.

  16. What can I say except…WOW.  Made this for Christmas brunch at a lake home for six people  Easy and delicious  I made a mistake and made this with skim mIlk (had half-and half but was so tired when I prepped this I forgot about it!).  Woke up at 2:00a.m.  Thought I had ruined it but knew it was too late. Turned out great anyway. Making it for New Year’s brunch (at the same lake place) and will use the 1/2 and 1/2.  Made a blueberry syrup which was the perfect complement. Definitely a keeper!

  17. Hi Sally, I have cubed (generous sized cubes) a lovely challah loaf; about 14oz. I have them in sort of 2 layers in a ~7×11 Pyrex dish drying out for the next few hours. Do you rec’d that I do a single layer to bake? Or can I leave it in this dish and will it bake up just fine in 2 layers? Thanks in advance!
    Btw, I made several of your cookies over Christmas – every single one was just delish, as always! Thank you for bringing your readers just the very best. 

    • Two layers is completely fine, Faye. I have no fear the about the french toast casserole; it will be wonderful. You might need to add a couple extra minutes to the bake time though!

  18. How many cups of cubed bread.  I bought a french loaf from the bakery, no idea how many ounces it is.  Cup amount would be very helpful!!!  Please !!!!

  19. I made this for Christmas morning, and it was wonderful!  I cubed the bread in the morning and let it sit out uncovered until I assembled the casserole in the afternoon on Christmas Eve. So it was in the refrigerator for about 18 hours before I baked it, and it worked perfectly. Highly recommend!

  20. I am just wondering if this HAS to sit for 8 hours. I have about 5 hours before I need to bake it. I doubt you will see this in time. Just thought I would try though.

  21. I’ve made this recipe several times, and everyone always loves it! My stepmother said “this might be the best thing I ever put in my mouth”! high praise, and it goes all to you!

    • Also wanted to mention that I made it in a 13×9, and it came out just as good as in the oven!

      • 13×9 crock pot that is……..

      • April can you tell me how long you baked  this in your crockpot ….I have a new new 13 x 9 crockpot  that I havent used and I would like to know how long it took and what did you do about it being Crispin brown on the top with your crockpot thanks Brenda 

  22. I made this last week for my family and they loved it. Instead of doing it over night, I made it in the morning and had it for supper. I also combined your two french toast recipes, so there was a cream cheese layer with blueberries. It was awesome…even the left overs tasted good! By the way, I am a distant relative in Michigan. Your grandma passed out your cook book at a family coffee. I enjoyed looking at it.

  23. Just made this last night and my lab loved it! They said I should make it again! 🙂
    I accidentally over-mixed the streusel but it worked out in the end since I put it in the fridge it overnight, so it came out in chunks. I may try a different milk next time, I don’t use whole milk often so I’m just curious.

  24. Hi Sally!

    I’ve made this casserole several times now and we always love it.  I would need to make it dairy free this time, do you think it would work as well with almond milk?

    Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Anne! It would, yes, but won’t be nearly as rich tasting.

    • Hi  Sally, I’ve made this recipe twice and my family loved except I put both blueberry’s and fresh strawberry s straight from the farmers  near my  town ,   Because the fruit is always sweeter and the strawberry so very red and sweet , I also use heavy cream or half & half and a little extra topping . So right this moment I’m about to make it again. For the morning . Thank you for such a delicious recipe    Annette Chavez

  25. Hey – just curious as to whether Eggland’s eggs are made by cage-free chickens? Just saw a show on the torture they put those little guys through. 
    I don’t know that I have seen organic – but do you know if they have an organic option as well? 
    Thanks! This dish is KILLER btw. I’m making it for the second time in 2 weeks!!!!

    • Glad you love it! Some of EB’s eggs are from cage-free chickens. It will say it on the package in large print. And yep, they have organic too! Again, it will say it on the package.

  26. Oh! And I think its funny ppl are going ‘lighter’ with the milk  – I used HEAVY CREAM!!!  It was divine.  🙂

  27. I was thinking of making this also with cream cheese in muffin tins instead of as a casserole for church.  Should I shorten the bake time or tweak anything else to make it this way?

    • The bake time will be much shorter, but I wouldn’t change anything else about the recipe.

      • They turned out great.  Used a scoop of the cream cheese, as prepared from the cream cheese french toast recipe, and a berry on top, more bread then spooned the egg over.  Let them soak overnight and baked this morning during the service–no leftovers to take home.  They took about 20 minutes in the oven, this made 12 cupcakes plus a small casserole on the side that I left at home for hubby and I to have.  Will definitely make this again though.

  28. We love this french toast casserole! I make a loaf of challah in the bread machine, cut it and leave it out overnight. The next day I prepare the casserole and let it sit overnight in the fridge and we eat it on the third day. It’s delicious and my whole family love it! Today I’m assembling one and putting it in the freezer as one of my “get ready for baby #4” meals. It’s sweet and flavorful enough on its own that it doesn’t need syrup! MY family request this often and we’ve even had it for dinner a few times! Thanks for an amazing recipe!

  29. I made this for Mother’s Day brunch, used a loaf of chocolate chip brioche, sprinkled with blueberries. So delicious, mom and family loved it. Thanks!

  30. I made this just as the recipe was written…….but I added about a tablespoon of grated lemon zest.  Everyone LOVED it!!

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