Berry French toast casserole is a picture perfect Easter breakfast

Prepared the night before, this breakfast casserole is a simple family favorite — especially on Easter morning

By Bibi Hutchings


Published April 6, 2023 3:01PM (EDT)

Berry French toast casserole (Courtesy of Bibi Hutchings)
Berry French toast casserole (Courtesy of Bibi Hutchings)

In "Bibi's Gulf Coast Kitchen," columnist Bibi Hutchings takes you on a culinary journey across the coastal south. Come for the great food writing, stay for the delicious recipes.

Sometimes, a recipe comes along that solves a lot of problems: This is one of those for me. It is super easy and people go nuts for it. It's also really pretty and it travels well.

It's foolproof — the kids like it and the adults are impressed by it. And you can turn the leftovers into an incredible dessert: perhaps one of the best bread puddings you've ever tasted.

Whether you make outstanding French toast with the greatest of ease or — like me — have rarely made a slice that wasn't soggy, burnt or somehow both, this French toast casserole is something you will want to try. Not only is it far less time consuming to make than French toast, but it is absolutely divine.

Whip up some bourbon (or rum or whiskey) sauce to slather over it for later and you have yourself quite the delicious dessert. I have to hand it to my sister, Amy, who came up with that a few years ago . . . it is nothing short of genius.

Breakfast casseroles were a game changer for helping to make holiday mornings run more smoothly. As one of Santa's helpers, working alongside my sister and brother-in-law until the wee hours of the morning, we were always sleep deprived and dragging by the time the girls got us up at daybreak on Christmas Day. It didn't take us long to figure out a breakfast casserole was the way to go. We made hash brown casseroles, grits casseroles, biscuit bottomed casseroles . . . you name it, we made it. 

My Christmas work earned me a spot on the Easter Bunny Help Squad, back alongside my sister and brother-in-law, on the night before Easter. It was probably around year four that this French toast casserole became a lasting part of our Easter mornings. 

Want more great food writing and recipes? Subscribe to Salon Food's newsletter, The Bite.

This casserole isn't too sweet and it keeps you satiated and energized for your Easter egg hunt, church service or whatever your day brings. To put it simply, having breakfast made the night before is a godsend; it also means that you get to relax and enjoy your coffee with everyone else. There's no better way to spend your holiday than out of the kitchen.

You can use any berries you like in this, but we choose blueberries most of the time. They plump up beautifully as they bake and provide a piquant contrast to the rich cinnamon flavor. French bread is called for as it holds up nicely in this overnight custard bath, but you can use any dried out, stale bread you like.

Also, be sure to remember that this should rest in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, if not overnight. This also makes it especially convenient in the morning. Just pull it out and throw it in the oven. As easy as pie

This casserole turns out perfectly every time — never dry and never runny. I know you, your family and friends will love this as much as we do!

Berry French Toast Casserole
08 servings
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes


1 loaf of French bread (I use baguette)

1 small container of blueberries

8 large eggs

2 1/4 cups milk (or plant-based milk of your choosing)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

1 1/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar, divided

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup all-purpose flour or alternative flour of choice

2 to 4 tablespoons butter



  1. Butter a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

  2. Cut French bread into small pieces and put into dish.

  3. Dot throughout with blueberries.

  4. Whisk together eggs, milk, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, 3/4 cup of the sugar of your choosing and vanilla until all of the sugar has been incorporated.

  5. Pour egg mixture over the bread and berries.

  6. Cover with wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least several hours.

  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  8. Remove casserole from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. 

  9. While oven is heating and casserole is out of the refrigerator, make topping: Combine flour with remaining sugar and cinnamon.

  10. Using your fingers, a fork or a pastry cutter, mix butter into dry ingredients until it you've achieved a crumb-like texture. You may need more or less butter. 

  11. Sprinkle topping over casserole evenly and bake for 50-55 minutes.

  12. Cut into squares or wedges and serve. 

Cook's Notes

-If you choose to make bread pudding from the leftovers, which I cannot recommend enough, simply add one of the following sauces to a warmed square of French Toast Casserole:

Bourbon Caramel Sauce:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 stick of butter

Bourbon and heavy cream, to taste

Dissolve sugar in butter over low heat. Add bourbon and cream, cooking just until warmed.


Bourbon or Whiskey Sauce:

1 stick of butter

1 cup of sugar

1 egg, beaten

1-2 oz Bourbon or whiskey

Mix together butter, sugar and egg and place over low-medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add bourbon or whiskey and remove once warmed.


Brandy Sauce:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 egg, beaten

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup brandy

Mix all but the brandy together over low-medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add brandy and remove from heat once fully warmed. 

By Bibi Hutchings

Bibi Hutchings, a lifelong Southerner, lives along a quiet coastal Alabama bay with her cat, Zulu, and husband, Tom. She writes about the magical way food evokes memories, instantly bringing you back to the people, places and experiences of your life. Her stories take you all around the South and are accompanied with tried-and-true recipes that are destined to become a part of your memory-making as you share them with your friends and family.         

MORE FROM Bibi Hutchings

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Breakfast Brunch Casserole Easter Food Holiday Home Cooking Recipe