This Baked Lemon French Toast is so much easier than flipping French toast on the stove! It’s perfect for holiday gatherings, brunch potlucks, and special occasions! Top with fresh berries and whipped cream or yogurt for a special morning treat.
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Make-ahead breakfast recipes are possibly my favorite type of recipe. Who’s with me?
Because (a) although I’m a morning person, that doesn’t mean I want to spend an hour making breakfast, and (b) breakfast is the best meal of the day, so why not make it good?
I have a few variations of baked French toast (not French toast casseroles — although I have those too), like this Light Overnight Caramel French Toast and this Overnight Baked Pumpkin French Toast, and it’s for good reason.
They are just so easy!
I’m going to be honest here, I think I like an overnight baked French toast even more than a French toast casserole.
I just feel like the edges get crispier and it doesn’t just look like a big pile of slop on your guests’ plates. Though I’ve never been known to turn down French toast in any form — I’m not crazy! 😉
I had to make a lemon version of this baked French toast because I know how much we all love lemon here. I feel like it goes perfectly with some fresh fruit and whipped cream or yogurt, which makes it a lighter version than most French toast breakfast casseroles.
Friends, this might be my new favorite breakfast, or at least my favorite French toast yet! The lemon is just so light and refreshing, and with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh berries (or berry sauce), it is just SO good. I can’t even handle it.
I love lemon as much in the summer as I do in the winter. If you do too, then you’ll love my Lemon Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake recipe, these Baked Lemon Blueberry Donuts, and this Cream Cheese-Filled Blueberry Lemon Bread.
This easy recipe uses fresh but simple ingredients you may already have in your pantry!
- Bread: French bread is generally my bread of choice, but you can use any bread so long as it will hold its shape well.
- Eggs: to make the mixture that the bread will soak in. In some countries, French toast is even called “eggy bread”!
- Milk: I use low-fat milk, but any kind will work just fine, even non-dairy options.
- Sugar: white granulated sugar will work well for this dish, you can use brown sugar or maple syrup if you prefer but the amounts may vary.
- Lemon: use a fresh lemon for the lemon juice and fresh lemon zest for the best flavor.
How to Make Baked Lemon French Toast
This dleicious breakfast is quick and easy to make. Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.
- Prepare the bread: Slice the French bread nice and thick and lay on a baking sheet or in a baking dish.
- Make egg mixture: In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
- Coat bread: Pour the mixture evenly over the bread slices in the pan. Flip the bread slices so that both sides are covered in egg mixture.
- Refrigerate and bake: Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours. Bake until edges are light golden brown.
Baked Lemon French Toast FAQs
If your lemon french toast is soggy, it could be for a few reasons. Make sure the type of bread is thick and sturdy enough. A crusty bread like a French loaf stands up better in the egg batter than a softer sandwich bread.
If you have thinner slices of bread, you may be able to use more slices or use less egg mixture.
Believe it or not, stale bread is actually best for French toast because it’s already a little drier, so will soak up the egg mixture better before baking. If I don’t have stale bread already, I will generally toast the slices briefly to dry them out before adding to my pan.
Once the french toast is baked, it’s best served fresh. If you have any leftovers, they will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the toaster, air fryer, or oven for a crisp exterior, but you can microwave if preferred.
You can freeze leftover French toast for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing individual slices on a parchment-lined sheet pan, then moving them to a freezer bag. To reheat, thaw or reheat from frozen in the microwave or toaster.
Tips and Notes
- Bread. Use bread that will hold its shape, as it will be soaked in a liquid mixture which will break it down. Thick sliced bread, crusty bread, and challah bread are good options.
- No Burning Trick. Don’t be afraid to squish the bread to fit into the pan. If there’s a lot of extra room the egg mixture can begin to burn on the pan after the 25-minute mark. Using parchment paper can also help with this.
- Dish Type. Because of the long baking time, I recommend using a glass 9×13″ pan, a light colored baking sheet or ceramic casserole dish. A dark pan will cause the French toast to brown too quickly.
- Large Batch. You can easily double up the recipe and squish more slices onto a rimmed baking sheet like the one I used here to feed a crowd.
Baked Lemon French Toast Variations
- Mix up the fruit. Swapping out the lemon for orange or top this French toast with raspberry or cranberry sauce.
- Lemons: Try this recipe with limes, oranges, or grapefruit if you prefer!
- Dairy-Free: Make this french toast dairy-free (lactose-free). Use non-dairy milk like coconut milk or almond milk instead of cow’s milk.
Make this easy french toast recipe for a lazy weekend brunch. Serve it with other delicious breakfast recipes like my Easy Yogurt Parfaits, these delicious Baked Apples, and, of course, a generous serving of my crispy Air Fryer Bacon.
More French Toast Recipes You’ll Love
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Baked Overnight Lemon French Toast
- 8 slices French bread about 1″ thick
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup milk any kind will do
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- zest and juice from 2 lemons
- Lightly grease a 9×13″ pan or small-rimmed sheet pan, you can also use parchment paper if desired. Place bread slices in a single layer in the greased baking dish. You can squish them a little if need be — ideally you don’t want too much extra space around them to prevent the egg mixture from burning.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread slices in the pan. Flip the bread slices so that both sides are covered in egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
- Remove plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and centers are set. Serve with whipped cream and fresh berries if desired.
- Fridge: Refrigerate leftover French toast for up to 4 days. I recommend reheating in the toaster, air fryer, or oven for a crisp exterior, but you can microwave if preferred.
- Freezer: You can freeze leftover French toast for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing individual slices on a parchment-lined sheet pan, then moving them to a freezer bag. To reheat, thaw or reheat from frozen in the microwave or toaster.
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