This decadent French toast casserole combines buttery, flaky croissants with a lightly-spiced custard, and sweet, juicy berries. Croissant Baked French Toast is an easy and festive addition to holiday breakfast and brunch menus.
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I’m constantly adding berries to my breakfast recipes, from pancakes and waffles, to French toast, yogurt parfaits, and porridge. In this Croissant French Toast bake, I utilize fresh berries twice, layering them between the custard-soaked croissants and scattering them on top of the casserole.
This casserole can be fully assembled the night before serving and baked in the morning. It’s perfect for an effortless Christmas morning breakfast. Just pop it in the oven while you and your family are opening presents, and breakfast is served.
But, wait, there’s more! For an adults-only add on, I like to serve this Croissant French Toast Bake with a drizzle of rum-spiked maple syrup. It’s the perfect finishing touch for a breakfast that has “holiday” written all over it!
Ingredients You’ll Need for this French Toast Casserole
- Large Croissants: It’s best to use day-old croissants for this recipe. They’ll soak up the custard better and yield a better textured, puffed French toast that isn’t too soggy.
- Half and Half or Whole Milk. Either will make a luscious custard, but half and half will be a bit richer for a holiday indulgence.
- Pure Vanilla Extract. For that warm vanilla flavor classic to French toast.
- Large Eggs. To create the custard base with the milk or half and half.
- Light Brown Sugar. Sweetens the custard and adds subtle toffee notes.
- Ground Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Classic French toast spices that pair beautifully with the berries.
- Kosher salt. Just a touch to balance the sweet flavors.
- Fresh berries: I use strawberries (cut into ¾- to 1-inch pieces) and blueberries.
- For serving: powdered sugar, whipped cream (optional), maple syrup, and dark rum (optional).
Making an Overnight Croissant French Toast Bake
This recipe couldn’t be easier to make, and you can prep it ahead. Start by buttering a 4- to 5- quart rectangular or oval baking dish.
Shopping for a new baking dish? A few of my favorites are the Staub Ceramics Rectangular Baking Dish, the Le Creuset Stoneware Rectangular Dish, and the Emile Henry Modern Classics Large Rectangular Baker.
Slice the croissants in half lengthwise, as if you were making a sandwich (such as my Turkey and Brie Croissant Panini; a post-holiday staple in my house!). Use a sharp serrated knife to make easy work of slicing the flaky croissants. My favorite is the Mercer Culinary Millennia 10-inch Bread Knife.
Making the Custard and Assembling the Casserole
To make the custard, simply whisk together the half and half or whole milk, vanilla, eggs, sugar, spices, and salt in a large bowl. Dip each halved croissant into the custard, until fully coated.
Arrange the croissants in the buttered baking dish, staggering and overlapping the halves to fit. Pour the remaining custard over the croissants, and gently press them to help absorb the liquid.
Toss together the strawberries and blueberries, and tuck about ¾ cup of them into the casserole, between the croissant halves. Scatter the remaining berries over the top.
As the French toast bakes, the berries will plump and intensify their flavor. If you have especially juicy berries, a few will burst, creating a sweet, jammy consistency around the edges of the casserole. So good.
Baking the Casserole
Tightly cover the baking dish and refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake and serve.
Bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 15-20 minutes until the French toast casserole is puffy and golden.
Serving Your Croissant French Toast Bake
After removing it from the oven, let the casserole stand for about 10 minutes to set before cutting into wedges and serving. I like to dust the top with powdered sugar and give my guests the choice of whipped cream or warm maple syrup.
To make spiked syrup, simply heat a cup of pure maple syrup in a small pot. Remove from heat, stir in a tablespoon of dark rum, and you’re ready to serve.
I also like to offer a bowl of fresh assorted berries alongside this casserole. The garnish makes for a picture-perfect presentation, especially over a dollop of whipped cream.
More Recipes Using Berries:
Croissant French Toast Bake with Berries
- 8 large croissants , cut in half lengthwise
- 2 cups half and half or whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs
- ½ cup light brown sugar , lightly packed
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup strawberries , cut into ¾- to 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup blueberries
- powdered sugar , for dusting baked casserole
- lightly-sweetened whipped cream , for serving (optional)
Rum Maple Syrup
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
Make the French Toast
- Butter a 4- to 5-quart rectangular or oval baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together half and half (or milk), vanilla, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Dip croissant halves into mixture until fully coated.
- Arrange croissants into prepared casserole, overlapping. Pour the remaining milk and egg mixture over the casserole, gently pressing to absorb.
- Tuck about ¾ cup (total) of strawberries and blueberries between the croissant layers. Sprinkle the remaining berries over the top of the casserole. Cover the dish with plastic wrap (or the lid, if using a lidded baker), and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove casserole from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking and let stand at room temperature. If you used plastic wrap, uncover, and discard wrap.
- Bake 30 minutes, covered with foil or the baking pan lid. Remove cover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until puffed and golden. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar, cut into wedges, and serve with whipped cream and/or maple syrup.
Make the Rum Maple Syrup
- Warm maple syrup. Stir in rum and drizzle over baked french toast wedges.