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Overnight Strawberry French Toast Casserole

Overnight strawberry toast casserole is custardy and sweet and can be made with your favorite fruit. You can prep the French toast overnight and bake it up in the morning. The whole house will smell amazing!

brioche French toast in a casserole dish with some scooped onto a serving spoon

What is Overnight French Toast?

Overnight French toast is French toast that is prepped in a casserole dish the night before it is baked – allowing time for the liquid to absorb into the bread. 

Instead of frying it in a skillet, you bake it the morning you plan to serve it.

It taste very similar to bread pudding. 

While overnight French toast can be made with challah, baguettes, and croissants before, I’ve found that brioche bread makes the very best French toast. It is buttery and decadent and oh so good!

Piece of strawberry brioche French toast on a plate

What is Brioche?

Piece of brioche being ripped over a casserole dish

Brioche is a bread made from an enriched dough. This means instead of just having flour, water, yeast, and salt, brioche has the good stuff – butter, eggs, and sugar!

It’s a light, pillowy bread that is perfect for absorbing liquid that is added to French toast.

One Brioche Hamburger Bun on a grey background

Brioche is also a wonderful choice for hamburger buns and simply slathering jam onto.

What’s the Difference Between Brioche and Challah?

Loaf of Pretzel Challah on a cooling rack

Both challah and brioche are enriched breads that work well for French toast. However, challah and brioche are not the same.

  • Visually, challah is typically braided in loaf or like my round challah for Rosh Hashana shown above. Brioche is not typically braided.
  • Because challah is originates from Jewish homes that keep kosher, it can’t have butter in the recipe and still be served with a main meat course (milk and meat must be kept separate in Kosher homes). Instead of using butter, challah is made with oil.

It’s the butter that makes brioche better for French toast than challah.

The buttery flavor makes the French toast taste incredible!

Does the Brioche Need to be Stale?

Brioche being ripped into a casserole dish

Many people say that stale bread is the best for French toast. I disagree!

Fresh brioche makes for a really moist French toast.

Tip: If you prefer drier French toast, try using a stale French baguette instead of Brioche. This recipe is designed to be incredibly moist.

How Can You Flavor French Toast Casseroles?

Strawberry brioche French toast in a casserole dish

Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits to add to French toast casseroles. But, there are so many other options:

  • apples (Chop them roughly and add them in place of the strawberries.)
  • raspberries (like in my overnight stuffed raspberry French toast.)
  • caramelized bananas (like in my Bananas Foster french toast.)
  • granola (In the image below, I used apples and topped the French toast with granola.)
  • Nutella (It’s really sweet, but sometimes you want that.)
  • pumpkin spice (Replace half of the eggs with pumpkin puree and add pumpkin pie spice.)

Apple Brioche French Toast

What are the Ingredients in Overnight French Toast?

Brioche

Loaf of brioche bread

Obviously, brioche French toast requires brioche bread. I found this loaf at Whole Foods. You can make your homemade brioche bread, but keep in mind that making brioche from scratch is time-consuming.

Tip: It doesn’t matter at all if you use a loaf or brioche buns for this French toast recipe.

Eggs

Whisking eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer

French toast uses a lot of eggs! Be sure to whisk the eggs really well so that there are no noticeable eggy bits in the French toast.

Milk

Adding milk to liquid in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk in it

Whole milk works best as it is has the richest flavor. However, you can make this recipe with any kind of milk that you have around the house.

Heavy Whipping Cream

Pouring heavy whipping cream into bowl of custard liquid and whisking

Heavy whipping cream makes the French toast rich and creamy.

Tip: If you don’t have any heavy whipping cream on hand, you can substitute 6 tablespoons of whole milk and 3 tablespoons of melted butter for the heavy whipping cream.

Sugar

Adding sugar to brioche French toast batter

This recipe calls for white, granulated sugar. I use a half cup of sugar which yields a French toast sweet enough that it doesn’t require any syrup while not being cloyingly sweet.

Vanilla Extract

vanilla extract in a small glass bowl being poured into the bowl of a stand mixer

Vanilla flavors the creamy portion of the French toast.

Tip: You could also try using a touch of almond extract if you like that flavor.

Strawberries

Strawberry Brioche French Toast just after cream is added

As mentioned above, you can use any fruit or other flavorings in your brioche French toast. Mine uses a pound and a half (24 ounces) of fresh macerated strawberries.

What Does it Mean to Macerate Strawberries?

Macerating strawberries is a method of bringing out the natural juices in the berries and making them sweeter and glossy. While fresh strawberries work in this recipe without macerating them first, doing so makes them extra special.

How to Macerate Strawberries

Strawberries in a bowl with sugar

Toss strawberries in a bowl with a little bit of sugar. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

a bowl of glossy macerated strawberries

When you get take the strawberries out of the fridge, you’ll see that they are glossy and that they are sitting in some liquid.

When you add the strawberries to the recipe, add the strawberry juices as well.

Can You Use Frozen Strawberries for This Recipe?

Yes, you can use frozen strawberries.

First, defrost the strawberries by leaving them in the refrigerator for at least four hours.

You’ll see that the defrosted strawberries have much more liquid than fresh strawberries. The photo below shows frozen strawberries that have been defrosted. They are already shiny and have lots of liquid. With frozen strawberries, you can skip the maceration step. Once thawed, remove the berries from the liquid and whisk the sugar into the remaining juice.

defrosted frozen strawberries in a glass bowl with lots of strawberry juice

How to Make Brioche French Toast

Start by ripping brioche apart into a 3 quart casserole dish. The whole point is to break the bread up so it isn’t one big piece. The size of the pieces you end up with doesn’t really matter.

Tip: A 9″ x 13″ casserole dish is a perfect choice for this recipe. Although it’s a different shape from the DoveWare oval casserole dish that I used, it will also hold 3 quarts.

Brioche ripped into pieces in an oval casserole dish

Top with macerated strawberries. Be sure to include all of the strawberry juice as well.

Strawberry brioche French toast uncooked with strawberries on top

Pour a mixture of the eggs, milk, heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla over the top.

Then, cover the dish and refrigerate overnight so it’s ready to bake and serve in the morning.

Liquid being poured over brioche french toast

Bake until there is no liquid remaining. If you see any liquid pooling at the top of the dish, it’s not done yet.

Tip: Food cooked in more shallow bakeware cooks more quickly. Since bakeware varies by brands, always keep an eye on your French toast as it nears completion to make sure it doesn’t get too dried out.

Brioche French toast in casserole dish with a scoop taken out

Serving Instructions

slice of brioche French toast with strawberry jam on it

French toast casserole is sweet enough that it doesn’t need any topping, but if you want it to be extra decadent, some topping suggestions are:

  • jam
  • berry syrup
  • whipped cream
  • caramel sauce

Tip: Ideally, serve brioche French toast hot out of the oven. Like a souffle, you’ll find that the French toast will look prettiest right out of the oven and will deflate some as it cools. If you need to reheat it, microwave individual pieces for about one minute or heat the whole casserole dish covered in the oven at 250 F for 30 minutes.

This French toast lasts about one week in the refrigerator or several months in the freezer if removed from the casserole dish and sealed in an airtight container.

Best Tips for Making Overnight French Toast Casserole

  • Use fresh brioche for soft and custardy French toast.
  • Whisk all of the wet ingredients really well so there are no separate cooked egg bits in the French toast.
  • Don’t be afraid to add spices or other fruits, nuts, or chocolate to make the recipe your own.
  • Food cooked in more shallow bakeware cooks more quickly. Since bakeware varies by brands, always keep an eye on your French toast as it nears completion to make sure it doesn’t get too dried out.
  • Serve straight from the oven if possible. Like a souffle, you’ll find that the French toast will look prettiest right out of the oven and will deflate some as it cools.

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Brioche French toast in casserole dish with a scoop taken out
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5 from 2 votes

Overnight Strawberry French Toast Casserole

Overnight strawberry French toast casserole is so easy to make. It's custardy and sweet with a wonderful strawberry flavor. 
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword brioche french toast, french toast
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Wait time 8 hours
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 343kcal

Ingredients

Macerated Strawberry Ingredients

  • 24 ounces fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Brioche French Toast Ingredients

  • 1 pound brioche ripped into chunks
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

Macerated Strawberry Instructions

  • Wash, dry, and cut tops off of the strawberries.
  • Place strawberries in a small bowl and toss with sugar.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. After the hour, the strawberries should look glossy and will have released some juice. 

Brioche French Toast Instructions

  • Grease a 3 quart casserole dish, such as a 9"×13" casserole dish.
  • Evenly distribute the brioche in the dish and top with the macerated strawberries, including their juices.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour evenly over bread and strawberries. 
  •  Cover the casserole dish and refrigerate overnight.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Bake for 90 minutes or until no liquid remains.

Notes

  • Use fresh brioche for soft and custardy French toast.
  • If you are using frozen strawberries, thaw them on the counter, remove the berries, and whisk the sugar into the remaining juice.
  • Whisk all of the wet ingredients really well so there are no separate cooked egg bits in the French toast.
  • Don't be afraid to add spices or other fruits, nuts, or chocolate to make the recipe your own.
  • Food cooked in more shallow bakeware cooks more quickly. Since bakeware varies by brands, always keep an eye on your French toast as it nears completion to make sure it doesn't get too dried out. 
  • Serve straight from the oven if possible. Like a souffle, you'll find that the French toast will look prettiest right out of the oven and will deflate some as it cools. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Overnight Strawberry French Toast Casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 343 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 222mg74%
Sodium 248mg10%
Potassium 200mg6%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 745IU15%
Vitamin C 33.3mg40%
Calcium 104mg10%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!
Fresh strawberries for breakfast? Make this Brioche French Toast! It\'s custardy and sweet, moist and has a buttery flavor. Make ahead the night before and bake in the morning, your whole house will smell amazing!
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