When you’re on a tight schedule for breakfast, this overnight French toast recipe saves the morning meal time crunch! Perfect for quick back to school breakfasts or a leisurely weekend brunch, this delicious French toast is super easy. Everything is prepared and placed in the fridge overnight, then baked when you need it for a fast and tasty dish.
Overnight French Toast Recipe
This super-easy overnight French toast recipe has been a family favorite for many years. It was a recipe I discovered from former coworkers and quickly became a breakfast and brunch treat. My friend Brenda prepares it for her annual New Year morning brunch. We recently enjoyed it at my family Back to School Breakfast Party. It’s also one of the best “breakfast for dinner” meals, when prepared with hearty side dishes.
However you enjoy it, this overnight French toast recipe couldn’t be easier. A few basic ingredients and it’s a yummy and simple meal! Overnight French toast is definitely one of our favorite breakfast ideas for kids, especially when it comes to streamlining the school morning routine. Keep reading for my tips on add-ins to the dish and sides to prepare for a well-rounded breakfast.
How to Make Overnight French Toast
Most of the ingredients used for this dish you’ll likely already have in the fridge and pantry. In addition, you’ll need a loaf of French bread. I purchase the loaf and then use it for this dish a day later. Day old bread tends to slice better than fresh-out-of-the-oven loaves.
To slice the bread, use a good serrated cutting knife and avoid smashing the loaf. I turned the bread on the side and first cut in half. From there, you’ll want to cut until you have about 15-20 total even slices. The number of slices will depend upon the length of the bread loaf you have. Just be sure that slices are evenly sized in width.
Caramel on the Bottom
The original recipe created a caramel on the bottom. But I had to take it a step further – I add nuts at the request of my family and LOVE the result! This overnight French toast recipe features a nutty caramel on the bottom of the pan. The sweet caramel eliminates the need for syrup at all!
To create the caramel, you’ll dissolve corn syrup, butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan. Sprinkle with nuts if desired. I used walnuts but this recipe would work equally well with pecans or chopped almonds. This caramel sauce goes into the bottom of the glass baking dish, then egg soaked bread is lined on top.
Just like with usual French toast preparation, you’ll be making an egg coating for dipping bread slices. Combine eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon, then dip bread until well coated. Use a large Pyrex measuring bowl which makes combining ingredients, dipping bread and pouring liquid easy.
Work from end to end of the sliced bread, setting the soaked bread slices into the baking pan in order. Start with the end and move towards the other end of the loaf. If there’s any egg mixture left, pour this over the bread in the baking pan. Cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight to allow bread to soak up all the egg.
Baking and Serving the Overnight French Toast Recipe
In the morning, bake this dish at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Carefully remove slices onto plate, scooping up the caramel sauce to spoon over the top. You’ll notice that my toasts are crispy on top. This is a family preference.
If you prefer softer bread, soak the pieces longer in the egg mixture. Also, cover the pan with aluminum foil in the last 15 minutes of cooking to eliminate some of the browning.
You could eat the French toast just like this. The combination of soaked egg mixture and sweet caramel sauce eliminates the need for any maple syrup. But I’m not going to lie – this overnight French toast recipe is amazing for dessert. Go over the top and serve with whipped cream!
Side Dishes to Eat with French Toast
Round out this breakfast, brunch or “breakfast for dinner” meal with hearty and delicious side dishes. Here are a few items to add to your overnight French toast meal:
- Breakfast sausage patties or links
- Berry medley, including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and boysenberries
- Eggs, including scrambled, egg bites or quiche
- Smoothies with protein powder
- Yogurt parfaits, with layers of sliced berries and granola
- Fruit salad including melon like cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon
Looking for More Breakfast Ideas?
Try some of these tested and delicious recipes, many of which can be made ahead for busy mornings.
- Fluffy Pancakes with 9 ideas for toppings and mix-ins can be pre-made and reheated.
- If you prefer to sip your breakfast, try one of these high protein and low carb smoothies.
- Indulge in the perfect spring brunch with these awesome ideas.
- Want tons of ideas all in one place? Try some of these 40 quick and healthy breakfast ideas for kids.
- This Fruit-Filled Cream Cheese Coffeecake is a sweet and delicious breakfast offering.
- 2 Tbsp corn syrup
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 loaf French bread
- 8 eggs
- 1.5 cups milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or almonds)
- In a small saucepan over low heat, combine corn syrup, butter and brown sugar. Stir until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
- Pour mixture into the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan.
- Sprinkle chopped nuts over the top of the caramel mixture in the pan.
- In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Slice bread into 15-20 even slices. Dip into egg mixture until coated and line up pieces into the prepared pan. Slices should stand up, nestled into the caramel.
- Pour remaining egg mixture over the bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Bake uncovered for 350 degrees for 45 minutes. If you prefer your French toast less crispy, cover with aluminum foil for last 15 minutes to prevent excess browning.