Not a morning person? I got you covered with this overnight Strawberry Banana French Toast Bake. Prepare it the night before then pop it into the oven the next morning. Voila – breakfast or brunch without the effort.
Last month fellow bloggers and I got together for a business retreat. Pretty much it was like a conference where we presented to each other on topics that help improve our business except on a much, much smaller scale. Not only did we learn a lot more in this type of setting, we were able to bond as friends off of the computer. To get the most out of the retreat, we rented a beach house for a few days, which meant we were responsible for cooking our own meals. Breakfast is always the hardest to prepare because I’m not a morning person and judging by what time everyone else got up, almost everyone else wasn’t either. I made my own omelet the first morning, which was a little rough considering I was only half awake. The second morning one blogger was smart enough to prepare an overnight French toast bake the night before so all she had to do was pop it into the oven. All I had to do was cut and eat.
Inspired by her recipe, I wanted to make my own French toast bake. I haven’t had anyone spend the night at my apartment ever since I moved back to Pittsburgh because now everyone lives within driving distance, but I can think of several occasions where this recipe may come in handy, such as Christmas morning when we’re busy exchanging presents or I’m being invited to brunch. However, December is a long ways off, no plans for brunch soon, and I wanted to eat French toast bake NOW (plus I was in the mood for the crunchy cinnamon sugar bits on top). To make breakfast somewhat healthier (and I’m using that term very loosely), I added fresh fruit to make this overnight Strawberry Banana French Toast Bake. I couldn’t decide which fruit I wanted to use, so I added both.
I used a loaf of French bread from the grocery store’s bakery, which is sturdier than regular white sandwich bread. This is very important as you’ll be soaking the bread cubes overnight. The amount of bread cubes needed varies on the size of your pan. My casserole dish fits 6 cups while an 8×8 pan only fits 4 cups. To measure this, I added the bread cubes as I cut them to the pan until full then dumped them into my mixing bowl.
Even though I used fresh strawberries and bananas in this recipe, you can use almost any fruit you’d like, including blueberries and raspberries. If you use frozen fruit, make sure it’s completely thawed with excess liquid drained before using.
- 4-6 cups 1-inch French bread cubes*
- 2 cups fresh sliced strawberries
- 2 large bananas, sliced
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup maple syrup plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 4 pieces
The night before serving:
- Lightly spray a small casserole dish or 8x8 pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together the bread cubes, strawberries, and banana. Transfer to the casserole dish.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Evenly pour over the bread cubes. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to sit overnight.
- For the topping: In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to sit overnight.
The morning of serving:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Uncover the bread cubes and evenly sprinkle butter mixture on top. Bake uncovered 60 minutes. Serve with maple syrup.
*Amount of bread cubes will depend on the size of your pan. To measure this, I added the bread cubes as I cut them to the pan until full then dumped them into my mixing bowl.
Source: Adapted from 365 Days Of Baking
More French Toast Recipes
Apple Butter French Toast Roll Ups
French Toast Sticks