This rich and decadent Crème Brûlée French Toast Casserole is an easy make-ahead breakfast or brunch entrée everyone will love!
It’s made in just a few minutes with staple ingredients and your favorite bread.
Crème Brûlée French Toast is a fun twist on classic French Toast that captures everything you love about Crème Brûlée. This time, though, it’s in a simple make-ahead format that makes it perfect for Easter or Mother’s Day Brunch!
Rather than spending time flipping individual slices on the stove top like you do with traditional French toast and Apple Fritter French Toast, you can bake it in a casserole dish, saving time and effort!
A rich, creamy custard soaks into thick slices of bread overnight absorbing all of the delicious flavor. It’s toasted to perfection in the oven with a crunch brûlée layer that eliminates the need for butter and syrup!
I love breakfast and brunch recipes that can be prepared in advance so that when I’m anticipating guests in the morning, my kitchen is sparkling clean without any effort!
Crème Brûlée French Toast Casserole
You can make it ahead and bake it in the morning and wow friends and family with an indulgent, bistro worth breakfast! And for more of my favorite Easy Breakfast Ideas, head over to this incredible roundup!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Butter – Salted or unsalted, your preference.
- Brown Sugar – Light or dark, your preference.
- Corn Syrup
- Bread – Challah, French or Brioche, stale bread is actually preferred for this recipe because it holds up better to baking.
- Eggs – To make creamy custard.
- Heavy Cream – Half and Half or the heaviest milk you have on hand can also be used. Heavy cream provides the richest flavor with most luxurious texture.
- Vanilla – Vanilla extract adds a hint of flavor. You can use almond extract, orange extract, bourbon, brandy, rum or additional Grand Marnier if you prefer.
- Grand Marnier – Orange flavored liqueur. Eliminate or use orange juice in lieu.
How to Make
- Make Topping – In a small saucepan combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup until smooth. Pour mixture into greased casserole dish.
- Fill – Place bread slices tightly in casserole dish to fill.
- Make Custard – Next, beat eggs, cream, vanilla and Grand Marnier until well combined. Pour evenly over bread.
- Marinate – Refrigerate as directed. Don’t skip this step. You want the custard to be absorbed all the way through.
- Bake – Preheat oven and bake as directed.
- Broil – This step is completely optional, but if you want a true crème brûlée topping, flip slices over and broil. Broil until golden brown and bubbling.
- Note: if you are not using a broil safe dish for this casserole, it’s best to transfer the French toast to a baking sheet for broiling.
- While the addition of Grand Marnier makes this dish feel extra special, it’s easy to skip if you’d like! Simply use orange juice orange juice instead.
- Don’t have stale bread? Simply leave it out with the wrapper open the day you plan to make this recipe. Or, you can dry the bread slices out a little – bake them on a cookie sheet in a 300°F oven for 5-7 minutes before you soak in the custard.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s actually best for this recipe if your bread is a little stale. While it’s not imperative for the results of this recipe, you’ll be happier with the finish if you use slightly stale bread!
A strong, heavier bread is important for an overnight French toast casserole like this one. That’s the other reason we like to use a slightly stale bread – it holds up better to the custard as it soaks overnight.
How to Store
- At Room Temperature – This casserole can sit out at room temperature for up to two hours while serving.
- Refrigerate – Refrigerate this Crème Brûlée French toast casserole for up to three days. Store in an airtight container.
- Freeze – You can freeze this casserole for up to three months. Wrap tightly to prevent freezer burn and reheat as directed below.
- Leftover Crème Brûlée French toast casserole reheats quite well. You can reheat in the microwave (use 30 second increments so you don’t overheat).
- Or, for better results, reheat in the oven. Bake through until warm at 350° F, covered, so the edges don’t get too brown. Start with 10-15 minutes for warming through!
- Gluten Free – Use gluten free bread.
- Dairy Free – Use a dairy substitute like almond milk.
- Nut Free – Naturally nut free.
Crème Brûlée French Toast
- In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and corn syrup whisking until smooth. Pour mixture into a greased 9×13″ pan.
- Place bread slices tightly in baking dish.
- In a medium mixing bowl or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine eggs, half and half, vanilla and Grand Marnier. Pour evenly over bread.
- Cover and refrigerate 6+ hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Bring baking dish to room temperature to avoid cracking.
- Bake uncovered 35 minutes. Flip to serve or broil.
- Broil 1 – 1½ minutes until slightly bubbly and golden brown. If your baking dish is not rated for broiling, transfer to a cookie sheet.
- Marinate at least 6 hours to soak up all the custard.
- Use a broil safe dish.
How to StoreStore in an airtight container or covered casserole dish up to 2 days. Warm to serve.
Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.