Challah French toast casserole is a decadent recipe that's perfect for a weekend brunch. You prep this baked challah French toast the night before. So in the morning, brunch will be ready easily.
Challah French toast casserole is a decadent option for your next weekend brunch
Forget about going out for brunch. This baked challah French toast is a restaurant-worthy indulgence that you are going to absolutely love.
Plus, as this recipe is for an overnight Challah French toast, relax in the morning. There's no need to even change out of pjs.
I’m sharing my tips and tricks below for making this challah bread French toast casserole. It's really simple, and oh so delicious.
Keep this recipe as your go-to French toast casserole
I believe everyone needs at least one or two really good French toast casserole recipes up their sleeves as they’re:
- Perfect for brunch parties
- Always a hit at holiday breakfasts
- Easy to whip up for overnight guests
- Great for meal prep to reheat all week long
- Consistently delicious
Challah bread French toast casserole is packed with flavor and warming spices
While I make this recipe all year long, I especially love this baked challah bread French toast in the colder months as it’s filled with warming spices: cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla.
Freshly ground cardamom is worth the effort
If you’re short on time, you can use store bought ground cardamom. However, I personally prefer using whole cardamom pods and grinding them myself with mortar and pestle.
Cardamom just smells so nice when it’s being freshly ground. Plus, whole cardamom lasts twice as long, and I find that the flavor of fresh cardamom is much stronger.
To grind, start by breaking apart 5 pods and taking out the black seeds. Next, place the seeds in a mortar and pestle and grind until you have a fine powder.
I use this beautiful iconic mortar & pestle. It took me years before I finally splurged and bought myself one. But now that I have it, it's become one of my favorite kitchen pieces.
If you love cardamom or grind extra, try this honey granola recipe.
I always use Ceylon Cinnamon
Love cinnamon? Me too. This recipe was developed using Ceylon cinnamon, which is milder and sweeter in flavor. It's the kind I use most in my recipes.
You can use any type of cinnamon, but give Ceylon cinnamon a try if you haven't before. I think you'll really like it.
Challah bread provides the perfect texture for French toast casserole
It doesn’t get better than overnight French toast casserole with challah bread.
If you aren’t familiar with this type of bread, challah is a rich, thick, braided bread. And, as you can see in the picture below, it’s perfect for French toast as the thick slices are great at soaking up the rich, eggy custard without getting soggy and falling apart.
I also like how the crust makes beautiful patterns on top of the casserole.
And unlike bread with thick crusts like sourdough or French bread, challah makes an excellent overnight French toast casserole thanks to its thinner crust.
If you like challah french toast but don't have time to soak, make this easy Challah French Toast instead.
How to make Challah bread French toast casserole
With just a few tips and tricks, this baked challah French toast casserole is easy to make and comes out delicious every time.
Ingredients for overnight French toast casserole with challah bread
You only need a few ingredients to make this decadent breakfast recipe:
- Challah bread
- Whole milk
- Light brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Granulated sugar
- Cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and sea salt
This recipe is easy to assemble the night before
There are just three easy steps: placing challah bread cubes in the bottom of a baking pan, whisking the egg custard mix, and then pouring it over the challah bread. Simple.
There are a lot of eggs in this challah French toast casserole, and my arm was a little sore from beating all of them together.
Tip: I've found that using a big whisk can make the mixing go faster. This is a trusty 11-inch whisk that can handle mixing together 8 large eggs and 3 cups of milk quickly and easily.
Drizzle and bake in the morning
One of my favorite parts of this French toast casserole is that you drizzle butter and cinnamon sugar on top before baking. It gives it a nice crust, as well as a rich buttery taste.
While the beauty of an overnight casserole is being able to wake up, put it in the oven, and walk away, I like to check on it about half way through to make sure it isn’t browning too quickly. If it is, simply cover the top with foil or move it to a lower rack.
Tip: Make sure to let this challah French toast casserole rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This gives the bread more time to absorb all the liquid so that you’ll end up with slices that hold together when cut.
How to top your baked challah French toast
Don’t forget to add a finishing touch!
I drizzle the entire casserole with maple syrup when it comes out of the oven. This gives it a nice shiny sheen when you serve it on the brunch table.
You can also add a pop of color by serving challah bread French toast casserole with a variety of fresh berries.
Looking for more french toast recipes?
There are so many ways to make French toast, depending on the flavors and textures that you’re in the mood for.
For example, this Baked Stuffed French Toast is filled with tangy cream cheese and raspberry jam for a truly indulgent breakfast. You can even use challah in place of the brioche.
Here are some other French toast recipes to try:
- Brioche French Toast
- Super Crispy French Toast
- Raisin Bread French Toast
- Baked Apple French Toast Casserole
- Traditional Challah French Toast
Overnight Challah French toast casserole is a restaurant-worthy dish to feed a crowd
Whether you make this baked challah French toast at your next brunch party or for yourself to enjoy all week long, I really hope this breakfast recipe makes it on your table soon. It’s definitely become one of my go-to recipes for feeding a crowd.
Any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below. Happy breakfast eating!
Challah French Toast CasserolePrint Recipe Save RecipeSaved!
- 1 pound challah bread - cubed into 1-inch pieces
- 8 large eggs
- 3 cups whole milk
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar - lightly packed
- 2 teaspoons quality vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the topping (add before baking)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Lightly oil a 9x13 baking pan.
- Arrange the challah bread pieces evenly across the baking pan. I like to arrange it so you can see a mixture of the glossy tops of the challah bread and the cut sides of the bread.
- In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and salt.
- Gently pour the egg mixture over the challah bread pieces, covering all the pieces. The tops of some of the bread cubes might not be fully covered in the egg mixture immediately. But those bread cubes should be soaked through after you let the casserole sit for a bit.
- Cover and refrigerate. Allow the French toast casserole to sit for at least 2 hours, but it can soak overnight.
- When you are ready to bake it, preheat the oven to 350°F / 176°C. Make sure all the challah bread cubes have been soaked with the egg mixture. If any of the bread cubes are still not soaked, gently push them down a bit into the casserole.
- In a small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Pour the melted butter evenly across the surface of the French toast casserole. Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture across the top.
- Bake in the oven for about 50-60 minutes. To check if the French toast casserole is done, you can insert a knife in the middle and see if the casserole is set. If the casserole is browning too quickly, place it in a lower rack in the oven, or cover it with aluminum foil.
- Allow the casserole to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- To serve, I like to drizzle maple syrup across the entire casserole. Alternatively, you could also sprinkle powdered sugar across the top.
Can I use heavy cream rather than milk? Same amount?
Thanks! Making it for Easter morning :)
Tina Jui says
Hello! It should generally work, but I haven't specifically tested it with all heavy cream before. I would maybe mix in a bit of water so it's not too thick?
Have you been successful at freezing the unbaked casserole to serve later?
Tina Jui says
Hello - I haven't tried freezing this casserole before. But if you wanted to try, I would suggest baking it first then freezing.
What is the best way to re-heat servings
Tina Jui says
Hello! Sometimes I use the microwave for convenience, best I like it best reheated on the convection/bake setting of my toaster oven. Enjoy the recipe!