Baked French Toast

I tried to add this around Father’s Day, but Liam decided to crash my computer right before I pressed “post.”  Twice.  So I gave up that day, and then things got busy, and here we are.

For Father’s Day this year, Josh requested an egg-tastic menu of poached eggs over herbed toasts with grilled asparagus and hollandaise, baked french toast, and fruit salad.  In order to make sure we’d have a ride to the hospital should our arteries immediately clog, we invited our friends Dan and Susan and their 3 girls to celebrate with us, so I also made blueberry pancakes for the kiddos.  As you can imagine, I was very busy that morning.

With so many different dishes to make, I really lucked out that baked french toast was among the requested dishes, because not only is it the tastiest sweet brunch dish I’ve ever had, it is also one of the easiest to make.  I’m sure it comes from a cookbook or website somewhere, but I got it from a friend when I was in grad school, and I have no idea where she got it.  She has since moved to Washington state and dropped off the face of the planet, so I will likely never be able to attribute it properly, but I will absolutely continue to enjoy it and give the recipe to as many people as I can, because it is just that good.

Baked French Toast

  • 1 lb French bread or challah, cut diagonally in 1 in slices
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (or more.  I like more)
  • 3/4 cups butter (or 1 cup)
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar (or 1 3/4 cups)
  • 3 tbsp light corn syrup (or 4 tbsp)

This recipe has 2 steps, one the night before you plan to serve it, and one the morning of.

  1. The night before: Butter a 9×13 baking dish. Arrange the bread in the bottom (I like to layer each slice like dominoes, with the prettiest crust side up.  This results in a custardy bottom layer with a crunchy caramel-y top layer).  Beat together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Pour mixture over bread, cover pan, and refrigerate overnight (or at least 6 hours).
  2. The morning of: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large sauce pan, combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup.  Heat until bubbling and all of the sugar has melted.  Pour over the bread and bake for 40 minutes uncovered. (I included the original amounts for the caramel sauce, but after lots of experimenting, I have found that the perfect amount of caramel sauce is actually just slightly more (1/3 more to be exact), so I included those measurements too).
  3. Tip: There is a strong possibility of this dish bubbling over, so I like to put sheets of foil or a baking sheet under the dish, just in case.

This dish is so rich and delicious, we only make it when we’re having company.  Otherwise, we might actually eat the whole thing, and then we really would need a ride to the hospital.  It might still be worth it, though.

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