Breakfast & Brunch

Overnight French Toast Bake

This overnight French toast bake recipe is perfect for lazy brunches or busy weekends. Topped with fresh berries, it’s sweet, delicious, and filling.

By Yankee Magazine

May 16 2022


Overnight French Toast Bake

Photo Credit : Amy Traverso

There are so many things to love about this recipe. It’s delicious, it can feed a crowd, it’s easy, and it’s flavored with a blend of nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla, and, if you like, bourbon. It’s warm and cozy but more aromatic than most. But wait, you may say, baked French toast with no cinnamon? That’s in the bread.

It’s worth noting here that while this recipe asks you to slice your bread into 1-inch slabs, most of the cinnamon bread you’ll find in the supermarket comes presliced. No worries. Just grab two slices of bread and treat them as a single, thicker slice. You need only butter one side of the stack.

Really, the only challenge to this recipe is remembering to assemble the dish before going to bed. But the prep time is fast enough that it won’t keep you up late. And in the morning, you have a crowd-pleasing hot breakfast in just under an hour.


8 to 10 servings


1 loaf cinnamon bread or cinnamon-raisin bread (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), preferably unsliced
4 tablespoons softened butter, softened
12 large eggs
3 cups whole or 2 percent milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Maple syrup


Butter bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cut loaf into 1-inch slices. Butter one side of each slice, cut slices once on the diagonal, and arrange slices buttered side up, with pieces slightly overlapping (see photo).

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, bourbon (if using), salt, nutmeg, and cardamom. Pour custard over bread, making sure to saturate every slice. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature while you preheat the oven to 350°. Bake, uncovered, until the custard sets and puffs up and the toast is lightly browned, 50 to 60 minutes. If the toast is getting too dark, cover the pan loosely with foil. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.  Serve warm with maple syrup.