This Overnight Cinnamon Pecan French Toast Casserole is a cinch to whip up and insanely delicious – you’ll want to make it for every holiday and special occasion!
Here’s Why This Recipe Works
The perfect holiday breakfast: This french toast casserole is the perfect solution for holidays because you can make it the night before. Because who wants to get up early to make breakfast on Christmas? No one. So the night before Christmas (or the night before any morning you want to have the most scrumptious breakfast of your life – aka: every single day) you do the 15-min prep and leave it in the fridge overnight. The next morning just pop it in the oven for 40-ish minutes and you have yourself the perfect crowd-pleasing breakfast.
Makes your mornings so easy: Because you put it together the night before, and just cook it the morning of, this takes all the extra pressure off having to get up early to prepare a big meal. Now YOU can relax and enjoy the morning too.
Great for guests: Because your guests can just walk down the steps and have breakfast waiting for them, they’ll think you’re the best host ever. Which, I guess may or may not work in your favor, depending on how often you want to have houseguests…
Simple ingredients: Milk, sugar, cinnamon, pecans, some thick-sliced white bread — that’s about the basis for this overnight cinnamon pecan french toast casserole. It really couldn’t get any easier, either ingredients-wise, or prepping, or baking, or serving!
- Texas Toast-Style White Bread — Thick bread is a MUST. If you can’t find Texas-style toast then buy a whole loaf of bread and cut it thick yourself (challah works well). You need the thick bread to sop up all that delicious egg and spices.
- Milk — I used fat free half and half because it’s a bit thicker but you can use whatever (non-skim) milk you have.
- Eggs — Eggs help bind all the bread together in this French toast casserole.
- Vanilla Extract — I use pure vanilla extract when I can. You can use imitation if that’s what you have. But I always think pure tastes so good.
- Sugar and Ground Cinnamon — A perfect combo of flavor, necessary on this overnight dish.
- Brown Sugar — Switch to brown sugar for the topping to get that nice crunch and caramelization.
- Flour — All purpose flour is fine here.
- Ground Cinnamon — More cinnamon? Don’t mind if I do!
- Salt — A pinch of salt helps all the flavors come together.
- Butter — Butter helps the topping melt and taste so rich and creamy. Plus it melts down into the bread, making it taste even richer.
- Pecans — You can’t make overnight cinnamon pecan French toast casserole without the pecans! But if you don’t like them or are allergic, you can substitute for another nut (walnuts or pistachios, perhaps), or skip them.
Here’s How You Make It
You’ll be so glad you took the time the night before to make this overnight casserole. It’s so easy!
- First, cut the bread into 1 inch cubes and then add them to a greased, 9×13 inch casserole dish, spreading out evenly.
- Next, make the topping but combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and whisking it well to distribute the ingredients. Once that step is done, then cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the dry ingredients. Mash the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry cutter, then stir in the chopped pecans. Cover the topping and put it in the fridge.
- Now make the mixture to pour over the bread. Take out a medium-size bowl and in it whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon. Pour this over the bread in the casserole dish. Cover and chill overnight.
- Now for the best part: In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then, uncover the toppings and the casserole dish. Sprinkle the topping over the soaked bread mixture right in the casserole dish and put it in the oven to bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and the bread is baked through.
- Finally, drizzle with syrup or sprinkle with powdered sugar (or any other toppings of your choice) and serve warm.
Expert Tips & Tricks
- Overnight French toast reheats well — that is, if you have any left. Simply cover tightly and store in the fridge, then reheat one serving at a time in the microwave.
- This casserole will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Don’t freeze this breakfast dish, it will thaw very soggily (is that a word?) and mushy. Just make a fresh one the night before rather than trying to make it that far in advance.
Despite your best efforts, your French toast is soggy. Been there. The culprit is probably one of these three things:
1. You used thin bread. Although it’s tempting to just use whatever sandwich bread you have, it just won’t work. You need a thick bread like a Texas toast or Challah sliced thick to soak up all that moisture and to cook up correctly.
2. You allowed the bread to soak in the bowl instead of dipping it and putting it in the casserole dish. This will cause the bread to become oversaturated, and to not be able to cook all the way through, thus the sog.
3. You didn’t soak the bread long enough. Alternatively, if you didn’t let the bread soak in the egg mixture overnight, it won’t have time to properly absorb the egg mixture, leaving it to sit on top of the bread, thus not cooking and getting soggy.
Texas toast is simply a thicker slice of bread from regular sandwich bread. The thickness can be as wide as one inch. Texas toast will toast (or cook up in the oven) crispier on the outside and soft on the inside, which makes it perfect for this overnight cinnamon pecan French toast casserole.
More Brunch Recipes
- Best Easy French Toast
- Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole
- Pumpkin Waffles
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing
- Homemade Sausage Breakfast Casserole
Did you make this recipe? FANTASTIC. Please rate the recipe below and be sure to tag me on social when you share a photo on social – I love seeing what you’re up to in the kitchen!
Overnight Cinnamon Pecan French Toast Casserole
- 10 slices texas toast-style white bread
- 2 cups milk - (I used fat free half and half)
- 6 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup flour
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter - chilled
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Cut bread into 1 inch cubes and place in a greased 9×13 inch casserole dish.
- Prepare the topping by combining brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and whisking to distribute ingredients well. Cut butter into small cubes and add to dry ingredients. Mash in with a fork or pastry cutter. Stir in chopped pecans. Cover and place in fridge.
- In a medium bowl whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon. Pour over bread in the casserole dish. Cover and chill overnight.
- Next morning preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover topping bowl and casserole dish. Sprinkle topping over the soaked bread mixture. Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes until golden and bread is baked through.
- Drizzle with syrup or sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.