The ideal main course for breakfast or brunch is made with lightly sweet brioche bread. This french toast casserole can be assembled the night before or the morning you plan to serve it.
Many times a breakfast casserole is great because it can be assembled the night before and popped in the oven the next morning.
But, what if you’re busy the night before? If you’re serving brunch to a number of people the chances are pretty good that the evening before you’re busy doing something.
This brioche french toast casserole is just as good if you assemble it in the morning before it’s baked. Give it just a little time for the bread to soak up the egg mixture, but about 45 minutes should be plenty.
Why use brioche bread?
We love it for this casserole, and you will too. It has a slightly sweet flavor which means you can cut down on the sugar added and still have a wonderful baked breakfast.
The texture is also perfect. For our traditional sourdough french toast we like the firmer quality that the day-old (or more) sourdough bread has. But, for this casserole the brioche has body, but is still soft enough to absorb the eggs and milk, making it a great choice.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Brioche Bread is the ideal choice, but if you have a loaf of Italian or other French bread feel free to use that.
- Blueberries (fresh or frozen) are always a favorite, but you could use diced apples, peaches or even pears.
- Eggs – large is standard.
- Cream and milk – we’ve used a combination of half-and-half and whole milk, but you could use all of either. For a richer dish use heavy cream instead of the half-and-half and for a lighter one use all whole milk.
- Vanilla – pure vanilla extract.
- Butter – Salted or unsalted will work fine.
- Brown sugar – We typically keep light brown, but if you have dark brown sugar use that.
- Powdered sugar – It’s just a pretty finish, like on Hot Fudge Pudding Cake and Charleston Pecan Chewies.
How to make it
Just a few simple steps and your people will be raving!
- Cut the brioche into cubes (about 1.5 inch squares) and place half of them in a greased 13×9 inch baking dish.
- Top with half the blueberries.
- Repeat using the other half of bread and ending with the other half of the blueberries.
- In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon until well blended.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread and berries.
- Cover and refrigerate from 45 minutes to 12 hours.
- Melt butter and stir in brown sugar with a fork.
- Uncover casserole and sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Allow it to sit 8-10 minutes before serving.
A fun addition to your brunch casserole
Y’all know that we love our pecans around here. In fact, we love them so much we have an entire category of pecan recipes.
So… we’re always looking for an excuse to add some to any recipe and this is the perfect opportunity. After the first half of blueberries are sprinkled on just add about ¾ cup of chopped pecans.
How to serve and what to serve with
Traditionally, french toast is served with syrup and it’s ideal with this casserole too. You can use your favorite maple or cane syrup or even a homemade one like Blackberry Syrup.
If you’re looking for something bite-sized for breakfast, these Hummingbird Muffins are a perfect breakfast or brunch option.
We do too and cook with them often. These recipes are winners as well!
- Blueberry Orange Nut Bread
- Blueberry Crumb Cake with Cream Cheese
- Blueberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Brioche French Toast Casserole
- Cut bread into approximately 1½ inch cubes and place half in greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Top with half blueberries and then layer remaining bread following by remaining blueberries.
- In a medium bowl whisk eggs, half and half, milk vanilla and cinnamon until well blended.
- Pour egg mixture over bread and blueberries and allow to sit in refrigerator, covered for 45 minutes to 12 hours.
- In a small bowl combine melted butter and brown sugar.
- Remove casserole from fridge and sprinkle sugar/butter mixture over the top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until casserole is golden brown on top.
- Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
- Allow to sit 8-10 minutes before serving.
- Other fruit or berries may be substituted for blueberries.
- Italian or another type french bread may be used.
- For dairy you can substitute heavy cream for the half-and-half or use all whole milk or all half-and-half.
- Light or dark brown sugar may be used.
- If you prefer larger servings plan on it serving 6 people.