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Christmas Morning Creme Brûlée French Toast

December 15, 2020

overnight french toast, casserole, breakfast, christmas day

Do you need an easy, no hassle but special Overnight French Toast recipe for Christmas morning, Easter, Mother’s Day or another special occasion?

There was a time when I was getting up at the crack of dawn to fix monkey bread and other holiday goodness on Christmas morning – and this was after I had been up late doing stockings! No thank you. Running myself ragged is NOT my idea of a meaningful Christmas Day!

Enter…. make ahead breakfast dishes!

I decided to make breakfast ahead of time, and it has been a game changer. I am no longer a crazy person trying to get it all done. I don’t want to be resentful on Christmas. I want the meal to bless my family and do it in such a way that it is a blessing to me too!

Now I make our Amish Cinnamon Rolls, which are arguably the best there is, and also make this overnight French Toast.

A note about freezing this dish

I sometimes make this a month ahead and freeze it. I thaw it out the day before I’m going to cook it. If you make it this way, just drizzle the extra caramel over the top before freezing so you don’t have the hassle of trying to figure out how to save it!

Creme Brulee Overnight French Toast

As soon as I see the words, Creme Brulee, I’m in! Who doesn’t love that? I found an old recipe of my mom’s and adapted it to make this special dish.

Gather the ingredients

Sometimes I use regular French bread, other times I use the Trader Joe’s Brioche bread (which is what I used when I took these pictures). If you are trying to decide between the two, the Brioche makes a more flan-like consistency, and large French bread loaves taste more like bread pudding.

french toast

Mix the caramel mixture on the stove and cut the bread into cubes

french toast

Whisk the eggs, milk, half and half, vanilla, salt, sugar, and (optional) liqueur.

You now have three things going- the caramel “creme brulee” mixture, the wet mixture, and the bread cubes. Once the caramel has come to a soft boil (do NOT hard boil), pour half of the caramel mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish.

Layer the bread cubes on top. You can make two stacks.

Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes and saturate.

french toast

Set aside the rest of the caramel mixture in a canning jar or another glass container until right before baking.

Cover and refrigerate overnight

Pull the french toast out of the refrigerator in the morning. Pour the ROOM TEMPERATURE caramel mixture over the top evenly (or save a little bit for drizzling). Place foil over the casserole dish and bake covered for 40-45 min. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes, but watch carefully for burning on the edges (I set my timer for 5 minutes at a time to check it).

french toast casserole

Serve with fresh maple syrup or with some reserved caramel mixture. ENJOY!

 
Print

Christmas Morning Creme Brûlée French Toast

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 loaf french bread, sliced 1-inch thick with each piece sliced in half diagonally
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier (optional)
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Lightly butter a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside. Melt the butter and brown sugar with the corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir until smooth and bubbly. Pour the mixture into a prepared dish. Arrange the bread slices on top in two overlapping rows. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half -n- half, milk, vanilla, sugar, salt and liqueur until well combined; pour evenly over the bread. Cover with foil and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake until set in the center, about 45 minutes. Uncover the dish and bake an additional 15 minutes until golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with sauce from the dish.

Notes

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  1. J Carter says:

    Hi. This looks perfect. I like that you mentioned you can freeze it and thaw it out before baking. Please elaborate on the process of freezing and thawing out (how long do you let it sit in the fridge after it was frozen? Do you pull it out of the freezer before going to bed- stick it in the fridge and then bake the next morning?) I’ll be so busy on Christmas eve that I won’t want to do anything. Thanks!

    • kristagilly says:

      Thanks for your question – I get it out the day before to thaw on the counter about an hour, then I throw it in the refrigerator. However, I have also gone from freezer to oven, and this works also, you just have to adjust the cooking time and make sure to not go too high on the heat. I start at a low temp to defrost, then move to a cooking temp. Does that help?

  2. Katie says:

    I know this is an older recipe, but you may want to change the second ingredient to read “brown sugar” instead of “butter.” That got me very confused! 🙂 My family inhaled it the morning and raved about how good it was. Thank you!

  3. Bee-Ja Thompson says:

    The directions differed from one to the other. In the write up at first,
    it says to pour the caramel mixture over the top of everything. later, in the recipe, it says to put the caramel mixture in the pan first. Which is the correct order?

    • Krista says:

      Hi Bee-Ja – you pour the caramel mixture on the bottom and the egg mixture on top. Does that make sense? I hope so! Let me know how you like the dish!

  4. […] bread heavy and I don’t like that at all unless it is our once a year Christmas morning creme brûlée french toast recipe.  All that bread is way too heavy for my  liking.  You’ll find this one to be […]

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