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!

Creme Brûlée French Toast

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.

Creme Brûlée French Toast

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 French Toast

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.

One Year Ago: Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Two Years Ago: Video Tip: How to Dip Stuff in Chocolate Like a Pro
Three Years Ago: 21 of the Best Holiday Food Gifts

Overnight Creme Brûlée French Toast Bake

Yield: Serves 6-8

Overnight Creme Brûlée French Toast Bake

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).

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. 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.)
  2. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  3. Spread the brown sugar mixture in the bottom of the pan and arrange the bread cubes in a single layer over the top.
  4. In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, and salt.
  5. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread.
  6. Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight (8-10 hours).
  7. 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).
  8. Serve immediately with sweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries or strawberries.
https://www.melskitchencafe.com/overnight-creme-brulee-french-toast-bake/

Recipe Source: adapted from this recipe at Allrecipes

71 Responses to Overnight Creme Brûlée French Toast Bake

  1. Dre says:

    I’ve been experimenting with sourdough starters and whole wheat dough, which means every now and then I end up with bricks. This recipe was the save for one of those bricks! My family loved the treat of this dessert breakfast and I loved not wasting ingredients and effort! Thanks Mel!

  2. Jen says:

    This was a hit at our house on Christmas morning – definitely a decadent treat for special occasions!

  3. Rachel says:

    Have you ever done the caramelized topping on top as well as on bottom and let it sit overnight. Just curious if it would be good or not…

  4. Annie says:

    We had this for Christmas breakfast and it was delicious and easy…double win! This is definitely going to be our new Christmas tradition (we had done cinnamon rolls in the past but it always led to way more work than I wanted to do on Christmas Eve). Thank you!

  5. Natalie says:

    I made this for Christmas brunch along with your Christmas eggs, and got so many compliments! Thank you for making me look good, and everything taste amazing!

  6. Carrie says:

    Like so many others, I also chose to make this for my family Christmas morning. I knew it would be tough to enjoy unwrapping gifts, get kids ready for Christmas church services, and crank out a nice warm Christmas-worthy breakfast. This did the trick. I prepped the ingredients Christmas Eve (it was a cinch), and when the kids woke up, I popped it in the oven. Once gifts were opened, I pulled it out, rinsed some berries and topped it with whipped topping (yes, our store was sold out of whipping cream). So easy! I will say that I fretted about the BREAD to use only because I wasn’t able to do my usual pre-Christmas shop-a-thon to get all the best ingredients for my meal plan before everything was picked over. I didn’t want to risk using the bakery “french bread” loaf, but I’m curious if others tried that route. To my surprise, I found a nice Sara Lee Artesano commercial bread that worked out lovely. Since it was already sliced, all I had to do was cube a few stacks of slices. Easy! I did feel like it might be missing some cinnamon. I think I’ll sprinkle the top with cinnamon the next time I make this because I will be making this again. Thanks, Mel. Happy New Year!

  7. Lorene Shaw says:

    I made this Christmas morning using a baguette and it’s now my new holiday breakfast treat. I was reluctant to replace my usual overnight Egg Nog French Toast recipe, but I was strong 😉 and changed it up anyway—and I am so happy that I did. I actually prefer my baked french toast a little more moist, so next time, I’ll increase the liquid part by half.

    Sidenote: I purchased the very last baguette in my grocery store and was so happy to find it that I didn’t read the label. Turns out it was sourdough. I was disappointed when I realized that, but I made the dish anyway, counting on the high sugar content to mask the sourness of the bread. And it did. And even if it hadn’t, I’m pretty sure the dish would have been just as much of a hit.

    Your recipes rock, Miss Mel. I’m making banana bread this morning and wanted to try a new recipe. And then I remembered that you’re my favorite recipe source and found one here. From now on and forever, I’m checking your website FIRST for a specific recipe.

  8. Jeffrey says:

    Great recipe. Made it for Christmas morning with a little changed. We had leftover Kings Hawaiian dinner rolls from our Christmas Eve party and instead of milk and vanilla used Eggnog.

    Looking forward to making this again next weekend.

  9. Becky Clark says:

    We had this yesterday morning and it was absolutely delicious! Easy to prepare the night before too. I did flip it half way through baking and loved how the caramel sauce surrounded the bread pieces. I’m not a soggy bread fan either, so I did 1 1/2 times recipe for a large 10×15 inch Pyrex dish. Between this and the Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake of yours that we made for our Christmas Eve family gathering, you have given us some tasty new Christmas traditions. Thank you, Mel! Blessings to you and yours for the New Year!

  10. Gen says:

    This was so good. I will make this over and over again! I flipped my pieces over after 20 mins and it was great. There are chewy caramel parts, crispy parts and creamy parts. It is the best breakfast bake ever. And Mel’s right, one pan Really isn’t enough! I’m a conservative eater, and I couldn’t stop eating it! Thank you!!!

  11. Fiona Chain says:

    Holy cow, Mel, this is an amazing recipe, everyone just loved it! Definitely a new favourite special breakfast here. Thank you.

  12. Cheryl says:

    A winner for our Christmas breakfast this morning. Forgot to uncover it, forgot the raspberries, forgot the whipped cream (hectic Christmas morning). It was still delicious!

  13. Jocelyn says:

    This made for a delicious Christmas Eve breakfast. Since I used oven toasted French bread (to mimic staleness), the top was crispy, which my husband loved. Thanks so much.

  14. Karen says:

    The three most fabulous things about this dish: it is prepped the night before, it is simple to make and it is delicious!! We just had it for breakfast.
    Using slightly stale French bread resulted in crispy edges of bread with gooey caramel.
    Flipping the pieces just before serving put the caramel on the top without me having to turn the entire thing during cooking because I’m lazy about things like that.

    Thanks for another winner Melanie. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  15. Carolee says:

    Hi Mel! I’m so excited to make this for Christmas morning! I’m just wondering- how far ahead do you buy the bread? I don’t want to go to the store on Christmas Eve- does it need to be fresh bread? Thank you for your wonderful recipes- they are always a hit at our house (daily!). Merry Christmas to you and your cute family!!

  16. Bruce says:

    Hi Mel.
    Thanks for all of your fabulous, yummy recipes. What type of 6X9 pan did you use? Would it be OK to use a Pyrex dish?

  17. Diana says:

    This looks lovely! Thank you! I’m going to make this for our Christmas breakfast. Quick question. If I’m doubling the recipe and baking 2 pans of it at the same time, do I increase the baking time?

  18. Jane says:

    So, one of the benefits of nursing a newborn baby is that I need so.many.calories!
    That is why I had this on a Friday morning. Not the whole pan, obv…
    It was really tasty and surprisingly really tastes like a creme brulee!
    Thank you for a great recipe!

  19. Tammy says:

    Could you use texas toast?

  20. heather says:

    Ok Mel … the question I have wondered for years following your blog… How the heck do you stay so slim?!?! Creme brule for breakfast?!?! This may be our Christmas breakfast too. Sounds wonderful.

    • Mel says:

      Haha, well, I’m certainly not eating this for breakfast every morning. 🙂 AND, I’m probably not quite as slim as you think. I always tell people I exercise to support my eating habit! 🙂

  21. Jana says:

    Yum! I made this to surprise that sweet boy who married me (many moons ago) for a “just because” breakfast. 🙂 It was a hit! Thank you for all you do. I love your recipes. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  22. Heidi says:

    Annnnnd now I know for sure what we’re having Christmas morning!

  23. Sherry E says:

    Did you use your homemade French bread for this?

  24. Angela says:

    Hello,
    Firstly I have to say I love your posts and am so very thankful for your recipes.
    I live in Australia and need a little help with the bread used in the recipe. When you say French bread, do you mean Brioche? Or are you referring to a particular loaf that is sold in the US? Can you recommend what bread to use and how much is actually needed? I work in grams but if you can tell me how many ounces of cubed bread you use that would be ever so helpful ( I can easily convert it to grams).
    I am wanting to do a trial before making on Christmas morning.
    Thank you,
    Warm regards from Australia,
    Angela

    • Mel says:

      Hi Angela – brioche would work just fine. Honestly, any kind of sturdy bread that can be cubed without disintegrating or falling apart would work. You just need enough cubes to cover the bottom of a 9X13-inch pan in a single layer. I’m sorry I don’t have the weight in ounces…

  25. Jesse says:

    This is very similar to my fave french toast bake. yum!

    Do you think it could be cooked in the slow cooker on christmas morning, perhaps on high for a couple of hours?

  26. Heather says:

    Would it affect taste/texture if this was refrigerated for closer to 24hours??

  27. Jenny S. says:

    I am excited to try this! I recently made your cinnamon roll recipe under “The Best” section and it overflowed my mixer. Have you ever made it by half-ing the ingredients?

  28. Teresa R. says:

    Thank you! This is going to be my Christmas morning so much easier.

  29. Paige says:

    Overnight French toasts are one of my favorite breakfasts! This one looks amazing!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  30. TerriSue says:

    Oh Mel thank you! This is going to be the first year in sooo long that we won’t be spending Christmas morning with our grandchildren. Their dad works at a church and when the subject of just having a church service or having the whole kit and caboodle regular Sunday came up, people went up in arms saying they had to have it ALL. That meant daddy would be gone for most of the morning and into the afternoon on Christmas. Our church is electing to throw open the doors and pack us all in for one glorious service, but I digress. My daughter also teaches Sunday school so she will be busy getting an almost 10 year old, a 5 year old and a 7 month old out of the house not having been able to open presents. When we were talking about when to celebrate we decided on Christmas eve as she will only have to work after late afternoon. I told her I would supply the food because she wanted to do it at her house so the kidlets could go on to bed, and we could relax together which is a rarity. With the ease of this recipe I can make up a double recipe last thing before heading over, leaving one at my house. When she gets up with the baby Christmas morning she can pop it into that cold oven and they will all feel like they are still having Christmas breakfast with Grandmama and Grandpa. We will have the other one at our house feeling the love of our dear ones. I don’t even need to try this recipe out before hand either. I have yet to have a problem with any of your recipes sweet Mel. To make it that much better… one of the 10 yr old, 5 yr old, and my daughters favorite desserts is Creme Brulee!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, TerriSue! You are such a sweet mom/grandma. I’m sure your daughter will appreciate that – sounds like they have a hectic Christmas weekend. I’m sure your efforts to help will go very far!

  31. Helen says:

    Thank you, thank you for posting this!! I have been hoping you would ever since you did your instagram story about it … with your cute kiddos. I often make french toast for Christmas morning because my children really like it… although I, like you, don’t LOVE it as my favorite thing. Last year we had the Christmas Eggs and they were a hit. So I can’t wait to add this to my Christmas morning.. Over Night Creme brûlée French toast for the Christmas morning win!! Merry Christmas Mel and gang!!

  32. Michelle says:

    You just saved my Christmas morning! I typically make the more traditional French toast bake with the cream cheese pieces throughout which my husband and I love but a couple of my pickier kids have been (not to subtly) hinting that they would really prefer something without cream cheese and I’ve been searching high and low for something that would still fit the bill of put it together the night before and just bake in the morning that everyone would enjoy…. They are going to LOVE this!! Thank you thank you!!!

  33. moderndaygf says:

    This looks delicious and I def shared it on my socials! Thanks for the recipe!!!

  34. OMG, This is a perfect combination, you nailed it.

  35. Becky says:

    I make something similar to this and it’s a genius move to cube the bread! Can’t wait to try it this way!

  36. Teresa says:

    Please tell me that I don’t have to flip it over to have it be delicious (?)

  37. Cathy says:

    Hi Mel! You mentioned that you now double the recipe for your family, do you use two separate pans to maintain the single layer or do you double in one pan? This sounds wonderful….very similar to one I make (I add sliced Granny Smith apples before adding bread). Merry Christmas and thank you for feeding the blog world well!!

  38. Debbie Goedtel says:

    I am wondering if challah would work for this recipe? This looks amazing!!

  39. Alison says:

    We love crime brûlée French Toast but have always made it with whole slices of Texas toast on a jelly roll pan. I’m excited to try this version.

    Just want to be sure, we should pour the brown sugar mixture on the bottom of the pan before laying on the bread. The directions didn’t include that step.

  40. Beth says:

    Hi Mel,
    It might just be me, but I think your recipe is missing a step. What do you do with the sugars you dissolved? Do you mix it into the egss/cream mixture? or do you add it to the bread separately? I love your recipes and really appreciate your willingness to share them! Merry Christmas!

  41. Chelsea says:

    Maybe you forgot the step where you tell us what to do with the carmel-y stuff?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *