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.

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Unbelievable Blueberry French Toast Casserole

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 12
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


Ingredients

  • 1 (12-14 ounce) loaf french bread, sourdough bread, or challah*
  • 1 cup (180g) fresh or frozen blueberries*
  • 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) pure 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

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9×13 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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Half Batch: 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.
  3. Bread: 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.
  4. Fruit: Instead of blueberries, try strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries. In the fall, try cranberries or thinly sliced apples or pears. So many options!

Keywords: overnight french toast casserole, blueberry french toast casserole

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

284 Comments

  1. Can I bake it the day before and reheat in the morning?

    1. Absolutely! I usually reheat covered at 300F for 15 minutes.

  2. Ellen Burkhardt says:

    I made this for Sunday brunch today, it was absolutely delicious ! I used the Challah bread and it was phenomenal. One suggestion, add blueberries just before baking and I added chopped toasted pecans to the topping. SOOOO good !

    1. Ellen, I’m so glad you enjoyed this french toast casserole! Thank you!

  3. Hi Sally. Do you think Almond Milk could be used as a substitute for whole milk?

    1. You can use almondmilk instead, yes.

      1. Great! Thank you for your quick response. All of your recipes that l have made have proven to be delicious….I look forward to trying this one soon!

  4. Unbelievable is an understatement. I doubled the recipe for a family getaway for 20 people. Everyone was begging for the recipe even though I forgot the flour for the crumb topping. I ended up using half and half and a mixture of water on top of the dried out brioche. People who don’t enjoy breakfast or sweets fell in love. I’ve been baking off of your blog since 2012 and this is the first review I’ve posted and I’m so sorry for not saying anything sooner. This will be a family recipe from here on out and I will definitely start posting more reviews of your recipes because I’ve tried A LOT of them and they’re always a huge hit. Thank you sooooooo much for all of your incredible recipes!

    1. Hi Kelly! Thank you so much for saying hi 🙂 Thrilled that your family enjoyed this recipe! Thank you for your loyal readership over all of these years! xo

  5. Hi! A friend made this a few days ago, and I just had to have more! I’ve been baking it for over an hour, and the custard hasn’t set…It’s still very wet, but the top is done. I put foil over it and have the heat cranked up to 375. I originally baked it on the middle rack, but I’ve since moved it down to the bottom rack. Where should I have placed this casserole in the first place?

    1. So glad you enjoy this French toast casserole! I recommend baking closer to the top heat element, so the center rack would be best. The casserole will bake more evenly this way.

  6. Rita Botelho says:

    Hi can I prepare this and leave overnight for 2 nights? Or is that too long?
    Thank you.
    Rita

    1. Hi Rita! For best taste and texture, I recommend only about 1 night.

  7. Has anyone ever added a banana(s)? I’m afraid it will mess it up but my family said they think it will work.

    1. I think the addition of bananas would be delicious!

  8. Hi Sally! I just wanted to thank you for always providing so many extra details with your recipes! I am always wondering about freezing something and baking it at a later time and your instructions are so descriptive! I am going to make this tonight and freeze it to bring to the cabin with family next weekend and I know everyone will love it!

  9. I have made this once before and everyone at work loved it. I will making again for tomorrow but this time instead of milk I have Kerry gold Irish Irish cream and I need to use up.

  10. Hi Sally! This was so incredibly delicious! Thank you!

    I want to try using apples this time instead of blueberries. You say to use thinly sliced apples, but I was wondering if using chopped apples instead. I’m thinking of keeping the size similar to the blueberries. Do you think that would work? Or would the apples get mushy? I am making it for my mother in law who is visiting and don’t want to ruin a good thing, but since it is fall…

    1. I think apple chunks would work also! Please let me know if you try it – apple would be so perfect for the fall!

  11. Dear Sally,
    I’ve been a silent fan of your page for a long time but while I’m waiting for this to finish bake I thought I would use this time to say thank you for all the wonderful recipes. I’ve always been able to rely on your well thought through recipes – they always turn out great and I get tons of compliments!
    (Oh thanks for adding the extra infos on the ingredient lists for non-US followers )

    1. Hi Jill, Thank you for taking the time to leave such a kind comment! I hope you love the French toast casserole!

  12. Can I make this with gluten free bread?

  13. I made this recently when we visited some friends who live in the ‘blueberry capital’. I assembled it in her kitchen, left it overnight and baked it in the morning. Everyone loved it. I had bought some delicious blueberry syrup to serve with it. We made some eggs and bacon to complete our breakfast, and our friends are still talking about It! I am making it again tonight. I especially love the addition of the streusal topping. Thanks for a fantastic recipe!

  14. I made this today for my kids they loved it will be making it again

    1. I’m thrilled it was a hit!

  15. Discovered this recipe about 3 years ago While frantically searching for an overnight blueberry breakfast casserole for Christmas morning. It was a hit and now I make it whenever I have left over bread and blueberries. Thank you for this great easy recipe.

  16. Hi Sally, I want to use a challah bread that is 20 oz. Should I add another 50% to existing recipe amounts? So 12 eggs etc? Made this for Easter and it was amazing so back on the menu for Christmas brunch. Thank you!

    1. Hi Rachel! 1.5x the other ingredients may be a little too much with the 20 oz loaf, but the recipe will still turn out just fine– it may need a bit longer in the oven to set up.

  17. What about adding mascarpone or cream cheese on top before baking?

    1. Hi Paula, I love layering cream cheese in! I explain how I do it (it’s best to mix it with some vanilla and confectioners sugar) in my recipe for Strawberry French Toast Casserole.

  18. Love this recipe, I have made it many times now. I use broche bread and leave it overnight. I like mine more done, I usually cook it for closer to 1.5 hours at 350 to get it done in a 9×13 dish. It is good with or without the blueberries.

  19. Used brioche bread and it was delicious. Can you freeze leftovers ?

    1. Yes, you can! Just wrap it tightly and you can freeze it up to 3 months.

  20. Lauren Margolin says:

    Hi, I’d like to make this for a very belated Chanukah party. I’ve never made an overnight french toast for fear it would be soggy. I’ve read tons of your reviews and although almost all of them were incredible, some had issues with that very problem of wet/soggy. Any tips to be certain I have the right ratio of bread to mixture? I’d like to use challah. Thanks a ton!

    1. Hi Lauren, If you follow the recipe as written it is the right ratio of bread to mixture! If the top is getting too brown before the center/bottom fully bakes you can cover the top with aluminum foil and bake a bit longer. Enjoy!

  21. Oh my word…I had to come back and comment on this fabulous breakfast treat. I made this for Christmas morning and it is so yummy! Cut the recipe in half, baked in an 8×8 pan and it was superb. Sally, you never let me down!

  22. grandkids requested it again for supper when we babysit while mom & dad do church youth group Sunday nights. Made a double batch, one for them & one for us! – only substitute was Stevia brown sugar for me(diabetic).

  23. Sharon Grisnich says:

    Hi Sally, I won’t have time to dry the bread out before assembling this recipe. Is there a way to fast track the bread-drying process, like toasting the cubes in the oven?

    1. Absolutely! Feel free to toast the cubes/pieces in a 300F or 350F oven for about 10 minutes.

  24. Christine Bending says:

    This has become a family favorite since I first made it for a baby shower!!! I just recently doubled the recipe and used 3 8×8 pans to cook it. Perfect, once again!
    One question: Could you provide a nutritional chart?

  25. Not often I make something everyone raves about but I hit it out of the park with this!!! I’ve made this now 5 times and each time it’s a huge hit. The only changes I make are I use half and half instead of milk and I double the blueberries. I also use challah bread thanks for the great recipe!!!

  26. I LOVE THIS RECIPE SO MUCH! Due to the quarantine and only wanting to make limited runs to the grocery store, I only have a bag of frozen mixed fruit at home. Would frozen fruit work instead of fresh blueberries, or would it make it too liquidy? Thank you ahead of time!

    1. Hi Andrea! So glad you enjoy this french toast casserole. You can use frozen mixed fruit. Do not thaw them. The bake time will be a little longer.

  27. Could you use Brioche bread for this recipe?

  28. So yummy! Made this and froze to take to the beach. Great make-ahead recipe that everyone loved. It didn’t thaw all the way before I baked it, so it did take closer to 2 hours to bake, but soooo worth the wait!

  29. We picked fresh blueberries last weekend and made the Blueberry French Toast Casserole for my grandkids. I had to add extra blueberries. Very good recipe. I loved the streusel on the top.

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