This easy french toast casserole is perfect for a weekend morning or holiday brunch. It can be baked immediately or mixed and assembled the night before and baked the next morning.
There’s nothing better than a delicious casserole – just mixing ingredients together and popping it into the oven. No more standing over the stove frying individual pieces of french toast.
Yet this casserole is even better with it’s crusty, toasted exterior and custardy, cinnamon and vanilla infused interior. This casserole is definitely the best parts of french toast.
I love using brioche in this dish. If you’re not familiar with brioche, it’s a French bread that is enriched with lots of fat from butter and egg yolks. The fat produces a soft, rich and tender loaf that makes the most luxurious French toast.
Since we’re going for rich, let’s make it even richer by using heavy cream and large eggs in the custard. The bit of buttermilk, while optional, adds a nice, subtle tanginess that balances out the sweetness yet maintains all that glorious rich mouthfeel.
Then just to kick it up even more, toss in four ounces of cream cheese that have been cut into small cubes. Imagine the sweet, hot custard with little pockets of tangy, slightly salty, melted cream cheese just waiting to surprise your tastebuds with another texture and taste sensation.
The final luxurious touch is a drizzle of buttery, sugary, and cinnamon coating that gets a little caramelized and crunchy on the top. My mouth is watering just writing that last sentence and thinking about it.
This luxurious brioche French toast casserole can be customized in so many delicious ways:
- Add in one cup of fresh or frozen blueberries or strawberries
- Dried fruit such as raisins, currants, or chopped apricots
- Swapping in milk, or even nut milk, for the heavy cream and low-fat buttermilk lowers the calorie count
- Eliminate the cinnamon in the custard, then increase the vanilla to 1 tablespoon and add 1 cup of chocolate chunks
- 1 cup of toasted pecans or walnuts adds a different texture
This easy recipe can be made the night before and baked in the morning. Crunchy, creamy, sweet, and satisfying, this luxurious brioche French toast is sure to be a family favorite.
For the casserole:
- 1 large loaf brioche bread, torn into chunks (enough to yield 10 cups of bread chunks)
- 5 large eggs
- 1 heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole buttermilk
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup spiced rum (like Captain Morgan), optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into small cubes
For the topping:
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place an oven rack in the center position.
- Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish. Set aside.
- Tear the bread roughly into 1-inch chunks and place in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, buttermilk, spiced rum, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt until the eggs are completely incorporated into the other liquids.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the bread chunks. Using a large spoon, lightly toss the bread to fully coat the bread with the custard. Set aside.
- In another small bowl, mix the melted butter with the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Using a spoon, drizzle the mixture evenly over all the bread chunks.
- Bake the casserole for 35 to 45 minutes until the center is set and the outer edges are golden brown and crusty.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
- Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar, if desired and serve with maple syrup.
- Serving Size: Serves 6 - 8
I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe. If you make it, let me know what you think!