Lightened Up French Toast Casserole

January 25, 2023

When it comes to decadent and delightful breakfasts, there is nothing better than french toast. This soft, sweet, and sugary breakfast treat is adored by all- after all, who can’t get enough of toasty bread, sweet sugar, and a downpour of maple syrup?! My Lightened Up French Toast Casserole is exactly as it sounds – a lightened-up, dairy-free version of the French toast recipe that you know and love, but made in the form of a casserole for a version that’s a breeze to serve!

A platter of the lightened up French toast casserole, sitting on a countertop, alongside a plate, knife, and a bowl of berries

As a busy mom with a love for all things breakfast, I am always on the lookout for delicious and easy recipes that I can whip up on a busy morning. From my Mini Nutella Croissants, to my Easy Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches, I love breakfast recipes that are not only delicious, but come together in just a few short minutes. But when it comes to breakfast recipes, nothing can be better than decadent, delicious French toast.

However, French toast recipes are known to be a bit of a labor of love. And on busy mornings, I just don’t have time to spend hours whipping up French toast on the stove! Which is why this Lightened Up French Toast Casserole is truly the answer to all of my prayers. Not only is it a much easier way to make a large batch of French toast in a short period of time, but this recipe can also be whipped up ahead of time and baked in the mornings!

When I know I want to make this casserole ahead of time, I’ll simply prep it the night before, keep it in the fridge, and then pop it into the oven first thing in the morning. While it does take 45-50 minutes to bake, I’ll put it in first thing when I wake up, get my kiddos ready for the day, and by the time I’m finished, so is this casserole. It’s so easy!

What You Need to Make This Simple & Easy Prep-Ahead Breakfast

  • Challah or Brioche Loaf: Challah is my favorite bread to use in this recipe, because it’s light, sweet, and fluffy. If you can’t find challah, or don’t want to use it, brioche also works well in this recipe!
  • Eggs: You will need 6 real eggs to make this recipe come to life. Unfortunately it doesn’t work the same with egg substitutes, so to my vegan friends: I’m sorry!
All of the ingredients needed to make this French toast casserole, laid out on a countertop
  • Non-Dairy Milk: Since this recipe is dairy-free, it requires dairy-free milk. Any non-dairy milk works well in this recipe, but I particularly love oat milk because it’s nice and creamy!
  • Coconut Sugar: Because this is a “lightened-up” French toast casserole, we’ll be using coconut sugar instead of refined sugar. Why? Coconut sugar isn’t refined and adds a more natural sweetness.
  • Vanille Extract: A touch of vanilla extract adds the perfect flavor to this French toast casserole!
  • Cinnamon & Nutmeg: Cinnamon and nutmeg add the perfect balance of spices to this French toast recipe!
  • Molasses: Molasses helps this French toast, toast up nicely, and get its nice, rich, golden brown color!
A plate of the lightened up French toast casserole, with syrup being actively poured on top of it

How to Make This Fluffy French Toast Casserole Recipe

Making this casserole involves a few easy steps that are simple and easy! To get started, start by cutting your challah or brioche loaf into 2 inch squares.

Next, grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter or oil and place the cubes inside of it, ensuring that they are evenly spaced. Set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together your eggs, milk, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and molasses, stirring until there are no clumps. Once done, pour the mixture into the baking dish, being sure to cover all of the cubes of bread.

Use a spoon or your hands to gently press the bread down into the dish, to ensure that all of the liquid has absorbed into the bread cubes. If you are preparing this dish ahead of time, cover your baking dish with foil and refrigerate until you are ready to bake it.

When you’re ready to bake your casserole, simply preheat your oven to 350 F. Next, pour your cinnamon and sugar into a small bowl and whisk together until evenly combined.

Remove the foil from the baking dish and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the bread cubes. Finally, bake your casserole for 45-50 minutes. Once done, serve and enjoy! Garnish with fresh berries and maple syrup on top, if desired.

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! And, since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations so that I can repost them! xx

** Photography by Tanya Pilgrim
A platter of the lightened up French toast casserole, sitting on a countertop, alongside a plate, knife, and a bowl of berries
Dairy Free/Nut Free

Lightened Up French Toast Casserole

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Nicole Modic
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
SERVES 6 Servings
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When it comes to decadent and delightful breakfasts, there is nothing better than french toast. This soft, sweet, and sugary breakfast treat is adored by all- after all, who can't get enough of toasty bread, sweet sugar, and a downpour of maple syrup?! My Lightened Up French Toast Casserole is exactly as it sounds – a lightened-up, dairy-free version of the French toast recipe that you know and love, but made in the form of a casserole for a version that's a breeze to serve!

Ingredients

For the French Toast:

  • 12 Ounce Loaf Challah or Brioche Bread
  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Non-Dairy Milk
  • 3/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses

For the Topping:

  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Instructions

  • Start by cutting your challah or brioche loaf into 2 inch squares.
  • Next, grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter or oil and place the cubes inside of it, ensuring that they are evenly spaced. Set aside.
  • Next, in a large bowl, whisk together your eggs, milk, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and molasses, stirring until there are no clumps. Once done, pour the mixture into the baking dish, being sure to cover all of the cubes of bread.
  • Use a spoon or your hands to gently press the bread down into the dish, to ensure that all of the liquid has absorbed into the bread cubes.
  • If you are preparing this dish ahead of time, cover your baking dish with foil and refrigerate until you are ready to bake it.
  • When you're ready to bake your casserole, simply preheat your oven to 350 F.
  • Next, pour your cinnamon and sugar into a small bowl and whisk together until evenly combined.
  • Remove the foil from the baking dish and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the bread cubes.
  • Finally, bake your casserole for 45-50 minutes.
  • Once done, serve and enjoy! Garnish with fresh berries and maple syrup on top, if desired.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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