I’m always on the lookout for new brunch or breakfast recipes! First off, because I love breakfast food–all the time, anytime. Second, because twice a month I’m a part of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and among other fun things we take turns bringing in delicious breakfast food for each other. If you have young children you know that there is an unbridled joy in sitting down to a meal with other adults, warm food you didn’t prepare, and a hot cup of coffee that no small person will distract you from drinking. It’s heaven, you guys. So when it is my turn to bring in a brunch item I have my classics (aka baked oatmeal), but sometimes I like to mix things up and bring in a french toast bake like this Overnight Strawberry Lemon French Toast Casserole.
This easy french toast casserole is divine! I love how simple it is to put together and how how impressive it looks and tastes! Some french bread, fruit, milk and egg mixture are all you need to whip this up!
A few tips as you make this…
- For best results use real french bread, but any fluffy bread will work. You can definitely use another type of bread, but french bread is truly perfection in this recipe.
- Frozen strawberries will work, but make sure they are fully thawed and drained of juice.
- For best results use a fresh lemon for the zest and juice.
Speaking of zest, as I was zesting the lemon (my zester is on the bottom of my cheese grater) I applied too much pressure and I broke our trusty grater! Oops! For something that we just grabbed at Target or Walmart back in the early days of our marriage it has held up well. RIP grater/zester. But now we (it was totally Nate’s idea) are upgrading to this fancy Rotary Cheese Grater. We tend to buy block cheese and grate it ourselves to save money so I’m sure we will use it a lot. I’ll report back on how we like it. But now we also need a new zester! Any suggestions?
Sorry for that aside on zesters/graters. Let’s get back to the Strawberry Lemon French Toast Casserole…
Overnight Strawberry Lemon French Toast Casserole
- 1 loaf french bread
- 3 cups sliced strawberries.
- 6 eggs
- 2½ cups milk
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- zest of one lemon (about a teaspoon)
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- Slightly grease 9x13 baking dish.
- Cut or pull apart half of the loaf of french bread into small cubes. Place half of the french bread pieces in baking dish.
- Top with half of the sliced strawberries. Layer the rest of the french bread in the pan and top with remaining strawberries.
- In separate bowl whisk eggs, milk, syrup, vanilla, zest and lemon juice.
- Pour over french bread and berries, making sure all of the pan is well coated in the mixture.
- Refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours.
- When ready for baking preheat oven to 350. Bake for 20 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered until golden brown.
Doing an overnight french toast casserole is great because you can prep the dish the night before, let it soak, and then pop it in the oven the next morning. The ease of this dish makes it a foolproof choice for Easter brunch or any get together. If you’re hosting you don’t have to worry about dirtying dishes the morning of the gathering and if you are bringing it with you to a gathering it is so much simpler to just bake it off before heading out the door.
We also enjoyed this for a breakfast-for-dinner evening and it was a hit! We did a small bit of eggs and ground turkey sausage with it and the meal was a complete success. My (almost) one year old consumed it with a special intensity he saves only for the best! I’ve never seen a kid so completely devoted to food. He’s the perfect food-blogger baby.
What is your favorite brunch recipe? Are you a breakfast for dinner fan?
P.S. In case you are thinking: “But Kate, French Toast Casserole??!! Hello! Carb-city! Do you remember you have gestational diabetes?” You are sweet, yeah I do remember. All the time. I had half a piece of this casserole, then took a walk. The rest has been mostly consumed by the baby boy and toddler girl. 23 weeks to go! #butwhoiscounting
To make this recipe you may need…
OXO Cut and Serve Turner – I accidentally brought one of these home from MOPS last time and I loved it so much I was tempted to keep it! (I didn’t though.) The perfect size for dishing up any baked good.