This easy, dreamy creme brûlée french toast bake, thanks to its overnight prep, is so simple and so delicious. It’s bound to be a new breakfast favorite!
Every year around Christmas time, I usually share a new holiday breakfast recipe perfect for a special breakfast. Emphasis on special. It’s very important that we all understand and know: ain’t nobody eating creme brûlée French toast on a Tuesday morning in my house.
We stick with our usual breakfast suspects during the week and save the special stuff…for special days.
I jumped the gun a bit and shared this baked Chocolate German Pancake a few weeks ago – it would be fabulous for Christmas morning, too.
But the real breakfast winner this holiday season is this overnight baked creme brûlée French toast.
Holy moly. It’s amazing.
And this is coming from someone who isn’t the biggest French toast fan on the planet. It ranks kind of low on my list of breakfast loves, but apparently, if you make it taste like creme brûlée, I’m going to be fighting young children for the leftovers.
Instead of doing full slices of bread, I opted to cut the bread into cubes and make more of a “bake” out of it instead of using full slices of bread. My main motive? Reduce the soggy factor.
I’m vehemently against soggy bread of all sorts (I’m so very sorry bread pudding – you’ll probably never have a place on my blog), but I love caramelized, golden pieces of bread lightly soaked in a sweet milk mixture.
Yes, that I like.
Keeping the crusts on the bread and cutting it into cubes helps this French toast bake reach absolute perfection.
As it bakes, the simple brown sugar syrup sitting under the bread cooks and bubbles and creates an absolutely magical creme brûlée crust for the tender French toast.
No extra syrup necessary, we serve this deliciousness with sweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries and strawberries. The combo is spectacular.
The super simple overnight prep makes this holiday (or maybe lazy Saturday?) breakfast option a dream, especially since you take it out of the refrigerator and pop it in the oven as it preheats.
I will warn you, a 9X13-pan of this succulent French toast was pushing the limits on serving sizes for our family. Granted, I have five hungry boys (and two hungry girls!) to feed, but I’ve started doubling this for our family.
There are some leftovers doing it this way, but those easily get gobbled up later (ahem: lunch).
Creme brûlée is hands down one of my favorite desserts of all time, and this French toast version just makes me (and my whole family) so happy. This upcoming Christmas morning, I’m planning on serving it with these tasty Christmas Baked Eggs.
If you are looking for a special, fun breakfast for any of the upcoming holidays, let this be the one! You won’t be disappointed.
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I like my French toast on the firmer (read: less soggy) end of things (although it's still plenty soft and delicious as written). However, if you like a softer/milkier/soggier French toast OR your bread is thicker than 1-inch slices, increase the half-and-half to 1 1/2 cups and use 5 eggs instead of 4.
Also, if you are using an artisan-style bread with heavy, thick crusts, consider cutting the crusts off the bread (no need to do that if the French bread you use is soft with a thinner crust).
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup (5.5 ounces) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (can sub corn syrup or pancake syrup)
- 6 (1-inch thick) slices French bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (see picture below the recipe)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Sweetened whipped cream + fresh strawberries/raspberries, for serving
- Add butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup to a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 1-2 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Stir to combine. (This step can be done in a pan on the stove.)
- Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan with cooking spray.
- Spread the brown sugar mixture in the bottom of the pan and arrange the bread cubes in a single layer over the top.
- In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, and salt.
- Pour the mixture evenly over the bread.
- Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight (8-10 hours).
- Remove the pan from the refrigerator, uncover, and place in the cold oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once the oven reaches temperature, bake for 30-35 minutes, until the bread is golden and the caramelly syrup is bubbling (alternately, if you want the golden syrupy goodness on top, the french toast can be baked for 20 minutes, then using a large, flat spatula, flip the bread pieces and bake for another 10-15 minutes).
- Serve immediately with sweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries or strawberries.
Recipe Source: adapted from this recipe at Allrecipes