Overnight Eggnog French Toast Casserole

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This breakfast casserole brings all the flavor of the festive beverage into a sweet one-dish breakfast.

Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
9 hrs 20 mins
Servings:
8

Holiday hostesses know that a make-ahead breakfast casserole can save Christmas morning. You have presents to wrap, cards to sign, and family to see. There's no reason to spend extra time in the kitchen on such a happy, but busy morning.

This Eggnog French Toast Casserole brings all the flavor of the festive beverage into a sweet one-dish breakfast. Our recipe lets you tackle half the work the day before, so you can slow down and enjoy the day with your nearest and dearest.

When you wake up in the morning, simply pop the premade casserole into the oven, and whip together the decadent maple syrup-bourbon sauce to accompany the dish. Sprinkle a light dusting of powdered sugar over the sweetened layers of challah, and you're ready to serve.

For an easy side, use your trusty sheet pan to cook a plate full of crispy bacon. This year, your family might just think that the Christmas brunch spread is better than any gift under the tree.

Overnight Eggnog-French Toast Casserole
Caitlin Bensel

Ingredients for Overnight Eggnog-French Toast Casserole

Aside from basics like eggs, milk, and bread there are few key ingredients that make this special French toast as delicious as it is.

french toast casserole ingredients
Emily Laurae

Challah Bread
Challah is a traditional Jewish braided bread made with eggs. It's a thick and sturdy toast, perfect for French toast, with a rich taste from the eggs used in the dough.

For the ambitious, you can learn to make it yourself with our Challah Bread recipe. If you don't want to make Challah and can't find it at the store, brioche, which is also made with eggs, makes a good substitute. Avoid using pre-sliced white bread as it's too thin for this recipe.

Refrigerated Eggnog
This ingredient is what gives this French toast its holiday flavor. Not all store-bought Eggnogs are created equal: Some are sweeter than others; some are packed with more spice, so pick one that fits your tastes. Our editors prefer Louisiana's Southern Comfort Eggnog.

Turbinado Sugar
This sugar comes from the first pressing of sugar cane and retains more of its natural molasses. Turbinado is coarser, darker, and has more flavor than granulated or brown sugar. Its texture and taste make it a perfect finishing sugar on pie crusts or this French toast, as it lends crunch and beautiful caramelization to the baked goods.

How to Make Overnight Eggnog-French Toast Casserole

Most of the work for this breakfast casserole is done the night before.

Step 1. Assemble the casserole

Grease a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray, and add the bread slices, slightly overlapping. Whisk together eggs, eggnog, milk, both sugars, salt, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, 1 teaspoon of the nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a bowl. Pour this custard mixture over the bread to fully coat. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or up to overnight.

Eggnog French Toast Casserole
Emily Laurae

Step 2. Bake

Uncover the casserole. Stir together turbinado sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each nutmeg and cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the casserole. Bake in a 350℉ oven until golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes.

french toast casserole with topping
Emily Laurae

Step 3. Make the syrup

Meanwhile, cook maple syrup, bourbon, and remaining vanilla in a small saucepan over low, stirring often, until warmed through.

making bourbon maple sauce
Emily Laurae

Dust casserole with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup-bourbon sauce.

Overnight Eggnog French Toast Casserole
Emily Laurae

Frequently Asked Questions

Get the perfect casserole by knowing about some of the common issues first:

How do you keep Overnight Eggnog-French Toast Casserole from getting soggy?

Cutting the bread too thin means that overnight it might get soggy or disintegrate, so make sure to slice the Challah in ½-inch slices. Toasted or stale bread will also absorb the custard without getting soggy.

Can bread be too stale for French toast casserole?

French toast is a great way to use up stale bread, since it gets soaked with a flavorful custard that will restore its moisture. Even rock-hard bread can be revived, especially as this casserole sits overnight.

Of course, you shouldn't use old bread if there are any visible signs of spoilage like mold. If all you have is fresh bread, it will work too, but you can also lightly toast fresh bread in the oven before using to dry it out a little.

How long can you leave Overnight Eggnog-French Toast in the fridge?

We don't suggest leaving the unbaked casserole in the fridge for any more than overnight, as the custard contains raw eggs. After baking you can store the casserole in the refrigerator for up to three days, covered with plastic wrap. Reheat it in the oven until warm in the center, or microwave individual servings.

What goes well with this casserole?

This French toast is the perfect addition to a Christmas breakfast or brunch spread. It goes great with sides of eggs, bacon, and sausage. It would be delicious served with a fresh fruit salad, yogurt and granola, or breakfast potatoes.

Overnight Eggnog French Toast Casserole

Community Tips for Success

One Southern Living Member suggested a great replacement for bourbon, if you too don't have it on hand:

"I did not have bourbon, so I substituted Bacardi Rum instead. It was moist and delicious and tasted like a cross between a flan and bread pudding. The best!"

Editorial contributions by: Alana Al-Hatlani.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray

  • 1 (16- to 18-oz.) challah bread loaf, cut into 1/2-in.-thick slices

  • 8 large eggs

  • 2 1/2 cups refrigerated eggnog

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg, divided

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

  • 3/4 cups pure maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz.) bourbon

  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions

  1. Coat a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray; place bread slices, slightly overlapping, in prepared baking dish. Whisk together eggs, eggnog, milk, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, 1 teaspoon of the nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a bowl. Pour mixture over bread to fully coat. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or up to overnight.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover bread mixture. Stir together turbinado sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each nutmeg and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over bread mixture. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, cook maple syrup, bourbon, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in a small saucepan over low, stirring often, until warmed through, about 2 minutes.

  4. Dust casserole with powdered sugar; serve with maple syrup-bourbon sauce.

Updated by
Alana Al-Hatlani
Alana Al-Hatlani
Alana Al-Hatlani is an Assistant Food Editor at Southern Living where she works with the Deputy Editor to plan and write monthly print food features and stories. Before joining Southern Living, she worked as a baker in restaurants and bakeries. From cakes to cookies and everything in between, she spent 4 years covered in flour dreaming up desserts. In addition to baking, Alana has written about food for various outlets like Bon Appetit, Eater Seattle, Saveur, and Fodor's Travel.Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Alana graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a degree in journalism and a minor in food studies. She then went on to graduate from the Seattle Culinary Academy with a diploma in pastry arts. She now lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her partner and pup. When not writing, she is probably baking and vice versa.
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