Overnight french toast baked with sticky caramel sauce that you don’t have to feel guilty about! The perfect overnight breakfast for any holiday.
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It’s our first really cold day here (we’re even expecting snow tonight!) and part of me is ready to sit around the fireplace with a mug of Crockpot Hot Chocolate and the other part of me is longing for a little more fall.
This Overnight Caramel French Toast? It’s going to be doing a lot of consoling this winter.
There are so many good things going on in this overnight French toast, it’s really hard to focus on any point that makes it particularly awesome. There’s just too much to love about it!
- You can make it ahead — in fact, you need to make it ahead so that the bread can soak up all of that custardy goodness. Which means in the morning you just have to pop it in the oven and there’s literally nothing else to be done.
- It’s light — I’m not going to tell you this Caramel French Toast is healthy. But it’s also not as unhealthy as you might expect. For one good thick slice, it’s around 265 calories, complete with crisp caramelized sugar crust and gooey caramel. If that’s not a holiday miracle, I don’t know what is! (For reference, I first snagged this recipe from Cooking Light but have adapted it since then. So if Cooking Light calls this “light” French toast, we go with it).
- That crispy caramelized sugar top and gooey bottom are just an epic combination — especially because they sandwich perfectly cooked French Toast.
- It’s baked! Which means, no flipping, no wondering if it’s baked. It cooks perfectly in the oven with no extra work on your part.
- You can make an extra large batch and bake it on a sheet pan if you’re serving a crowd.
We are totally nuts about breakfast here, but we rarely eat a hot breakfast like pancakes or french toast unless we’re eating brunch. Or brinner.
Because who has time for that? When I can finally drag myself out of bed in the morning, it’s for a serious mug of coffee and something to eat, like, now.
I am not about to spend an hour or more slaving over the stove to make a hot breakfast, no matter how badly I want it.
Just waiting 5 minutes for the coffee to brew is hard enough.
So when I stumble upon a solid, make ahead breakfast that everyone loves? It’s a keeper!
There are a few answers to this question, but what it comes down to is a couple of factors:
- You want it extra thick sliced — I prefer to buy a loaf of unsliced French bread so I can cut my own. If you use slices that are too thin, they will soak up too much of the liquid and be soggy.
- You don’t want it too fresh — stale bread that’s been sitting on the counter for a couple of days is best because it’s drier and can soak up more eggy deliciousness. This is a great recipe for using up that leftover bread! (Don’t have stale bread but need some French toast? Pop your slices in the toaster or in the oven on low to dry them out a bit before making your French toast.
- Think ahead: french toast is best with stale bread, and a long rest in the fridge to ensure the bread has soaked up all the egg mixture.
- Use a large enough pan: try not tot squish your bread pieces together or they may not bake evenly
- Easy removal: the caramel on the bottom can get sticky as it cools. Your best bet for getting nice clean pieces from the pan is to grease your pan and not to wait too long before serving. Also be sure to bake your French toast in the middle of the oven — the heat comes from the bottom element in most cases and if you bake it close to the bottom, your caramel may burn.
*This recipe and post were updated from the original from December 2014.
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- 10 slices French bread
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tbsp light or heavy cream
- 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Spray a 13×9" baking dish or large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray.
- In a small pot, combine brown sugar, corn syrup and butter. Cook over medium heat until mixture is bubbly, 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in cream and pour into prepared baking dish.
- Arrange bread slices on top of caramel in dish.
- In a bowl, combine milk, flour, vanilla, salt and eggs with a whisk. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over bread. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden. Let stand a few minutes before serving.
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