Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting Julia’s varsity basketball team for brunch following their practice. I gave the menu some serious thought because these girls are ravenous following two hours of sprints, drills and scrimmages.
Loading up on bagels and muffins was the easy and filling choice, but I also wanted to make something homemade. This French Toast Casserole recipe, originally found on Allrecipes.com, was the perfect dish. It is easy to make, hearty and unbelievably delicious.
When several of Julia’s teammates reported that it was the best thing they’d ever eaten, I took that as the highest compliment. When the double batch that I prepared for them was devoured, I knew I had a winning recipe worth sharing.
If you like French Toast, give this recipe a try. And when you take your first bite, be sure to dig deep. The best part is the brown sugar butter at the bottom!
French Toast Casserole Recipe
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- a pinch of salt (this is my addition just to help balance all of the yummy sweetness)
- 1 loaf crusty bread (I used Italian, original recipe calls for French), cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups milk (I use fat-free which is what I have in the fridge, but I imagine whole milk would take this recipe over the top)
- 6 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 additional tablespoon brown sugar
- Grease a 9×12-inch baking dish.
- Stir 1 cup brown sugar, butter and salt together in a saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves into butter, 2 to 4 minutes. Pour into prepared baking dish and spread a 1 1/2- to 2-inch layer of bread pieces over the top.
- Beat milk, eggs and vanilla extract together in a bowl; pour milk mixture over bread into the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and compress bread to ensure liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top. Secure plastic wrap and refrigerate, 8 hours to overnight. (I have neglected to take this step and the end result has been just as good.)
When ready to bake:
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Uncover baking dish and sprinkle remaining brown sugar over the top.
- Bake about 30-40 minutes until you see a rise in the bread mixture ensuring the eggs are cooked through. Top should be brown and bubbly.
If you’ve got a lot of mouths to feed for breakfast or brunch, give this French Toast Casserole recipe a try. Your guests will love it.