This famous Pioneer Woman French toast casserole recipe is such a delight to the taste buds. The thick French bread turns out crisp yet soft and it has a caramelly sweet flavor that's to die for. The best part about this crowd-pleasing baked French toast though is that it only takes 5 minutes to prepare and it'll make enough to feed the whole family.
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The Best French Toast Casserole
This French toast casserole recipe is inspired by the iconic Ree Drummond - aka The Pioneer Woman - and her take on this classic breakfast dish. I came across her recipe a while back and have been hooked on it ever since.
Honestly, it's even become a staple in our family to serve on Christmas morning for breakfast. My family just loves it, and I've got a feeling yours will too!
I mean, how could you not? This baked French toast casserole has all of the nostalgic flavors of traditional French Toast, but it's just so much better. The French bread just cooks to perfection in the oven, and then when you add the pecan streusel topping on top of it, forget about it. You're on a different level of tasty tastiness.
Plus, it only takes about 5-10 minutes of prep time, then the oven does all of the heavy lifting. Honestly, even if you've never made baked French toast before, this recipe will turn out perfect.
By the way, if you're looking for something else to serve for breakfast - to balance out the sweetness of this recipe - this Christmas breakfast casserole is the perfect pair for it.
Ingredients You'll Need
Here's what you'll need to make cinnamon baked french toast casserole:
- Bread- I used French bread that was about 14 inches long.
- Eggs- six large ones.
- Heavy cream- for that custard-like texture.
- Milk- I used whole milk, but any will work.
- Brown sugar and granulated sugar- for more depth of sweetness.
- Cinnamon- for the classic French toast spice.
- Vanilla extract- for more flavor.
And for the pecan streusel topping:
- Pecans- chopped into different-sized pieces.
- Butter- I used unsalted butter.
- Maple syrup- I like to use pure maple syrup.
By the way, you can use a lot of these same ingredients to make this brioche French toast casserole and coffee cake. So if you're looking for another sweet breakfast option, I definitely suggest making those!
How To Make French Toast Casserole
Step 1: Make the French Toast Batter
First, you're going to start by preheating your oven to 350°F (180°C) and greasing a 9x13 inch baking dish - or a similar size - with butter.
Then, you can cut the bread into 1-inch thick slices and set it aside. You can use crusty sourdough or French bread for this recipe - either works great to make this baked French toast.
Next, to make the batter, you'll want to whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
Step 2: Soak the Bread
Now that the French toast batter and bread are both good to go, it's time for the classic French toast step of soaking the bread. So, to do that, you'll want to add all of the bread slices to the milk mixture and let them soak for 1 minute before transferring them to a baking dish.
Then, after you transfer each slice of bread to the casserole dish, you can pour any of the remaining egg mixture on top of 'em.
Step 3: Make the Topping
Now, before you get this baked French toast in the oven, you're going to make the delicious pecan topping for it.
To start, melt the butter with the maple syrup in a saucepot set over medium heat. Then, once your butter melts, you can add the pecans to the pot and give them a stir to coat them in the butter and syrup mixture.
Once the pecans are well coated in the sauce, you can pour/spread them evenly on top of the bread. Then, when that's looking good, you can cover your French toast casserole with tin foil and bake it for around 20 minutes. After that, remove the foil and bake it uncovered for another 20 minutes.
Finally, you'll want to let your baked French toast cool in the casserole dish - for around 10 minutes - before serving and slicing. Speaking of serving it, you can serve as is, or add some butter, fresh fruit, and syrup to the top of it and enjoy it like that.
How To Store French Toast Casserole
This recipe for French toast casserole makes 8 servings, so it's the perfect thing to serve for a big breakfast - or brunch - if you're hosting or if you need something to bring over to a friend or family's house.
Honestly, it's so good that I highly doubt you'll have any leftovers. But if you do happen to save some, you can store the French toast casserole either in the baking dish you made it in with a cover or in an airtight container. Stored either of these ways, it'll last in the fridge for about 4-5 days. Alternatively, if you want to keep it for even longer, you can freeze it in an airtight container for about 2 months.
How to Reheat French Toast Casserole
Once you're ready to enjoy this French toast casserole again, you'll definitely want to reheat it. To do that, the best way is to put the French toast back in a casserole dish and warm it up in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes - or until it reaches your desired temperature.
However, if you only have a few pieces left, the microwave is the most convenient way to reheat them. Just heat the slices in 30-second increments until heated through.
My Final Thoughts
There's really nothing better than this Pioneer Woman French toast casserole. It's so sweet and so warm and just so, so addictively delicious.
Honestly, with a baked French toast casserole this good, you don't even need a special occasion to make it. It's the perfect treat to make your family any day of the week, though it's especially great on lazy weekend mornings. Anyway, I hope your family likes this easy French toast casserole recipe as much as mine does!
Of course, if you make it, let me know how it goes in the comments below. Oh, and if you want to try another of our adaptations of a Ree Drummond recipe, you have to try this Pioneer Woman stuffing.
More Casserole Recipes
If you like how convenient casseroles are, we have a ton of easy casserole recipes on the blog that you can try next!
Here are some of our favorites:
- Cinnamon roll casserole
- Crescent roll breakfast casserole
- Breakfast casserole with bacon
- Sausage breakfast casserole
- Cheesy ham and potato casserole
- Chicken tater tot casserole
- Ruth Chris sweet potato casserole
- Jimmy Dean breakfast casserole
- 1 loaf of French bread, about 14-inches long
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Cut the bread into 1-inch-thick slices and set aside.
- Whisk eggs, heavy cream, milk, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
- Add bread slices into the milk mixture and let them soak for 1 minute before transferring them to a baking dish.
- Pour over any remaining egg mixture on the bread.
- Make the topping: in a saucepot, melt butter with maple syrup. Stir in pecans and pour the mixture over the bread slices.
- Bake the french toast, covered for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Let the french toast rest for 10 minutes before serving and slicing. Serve the french toast with some more syrup on top.
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 502Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 12g