Take the stress out of breakfast with a family favorite recipe for Overnight French Toast Bake made with coconut milk, fresh citrus and warming spices.
There’s nothing like a make-ahead breakfast to guarantee you’ll stress less in those a.m. hours. Whether you’re flying out the door for work or school drop-off, or you’re hosting a brunch for 2 or 12, Overnight French Toast Bake is here to help you hit a flavor and texture home run.
How to Dry Out Bread for French Toast
Dry (read: stale!) bread is really the best option for making incredible French toast because it soaks up more of the eggy custard. If you don’t have a stale loaf on hand, cube up your fresh loaf and spread it onto a baking sheet. Bake it at 250°F just until the bread begins to toast, 7 to 10 minutes.
The result will be slightly soft crouton-like cubes that will be the ultimate star of your Overnight French Toast Bake.
What’s the Best Bread for French Toast?
While there isn’t technically a single right answer to this question, there definitely are certain types of bread that hold up better for French toast, where it’s served in sliced or baked form.
Opt for a sturdy bread with a decent crust when going the French toast casserole route. I like the flavor and texture of a hearty sourdough loaf, which makes for easy cubing and is also great at soaking up all the delicious citrusy coconut custard.
The Best French Toast Toppings
When it comes to topping French toast, I’m a big believer in more is more. I love the addition of fresh fruit (raspberries and fresh citrus is an especially amazing combo), but chopped nuts, confectioners’ sugar and of course, warm maple syrup are always great additions.
Looking to go the extra mile? Check out my recipe for French Toast with Caramelized Bananas for a next-level brunch!Craving more? Subscribe to Just a Taste to get new recipes, meal plans and a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 loaf sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 12 cups)
- 1 (13.5-oz.) can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 6 large eggs
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Confectioners’ sugar, for topping
- 2 medium oranges, for topping
- Maple syrup, for topping
- Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan with butter.
- Add the cubed bread to the greased baking pan, spreading it into an even layer.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, orange juice, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt. Pour the mixture over the bread.
- Cover the pan securely with greased foil then refrigerate it overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Remove the French toast from the fridge and bake it, covered with the foil, for 35 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue baking for about 20 minutes or until golden brown, puffed and cooked through. FRENCH TOAST WILL DEFLATE.
- Peel and segment the oranges.
- Dust the French toast with the confectioners’ sugar then top it with the orange segments and maple syrup then serve.
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