Blueberry French Toast Casserole Is Perfect For A Holiday...Or Any Day!

french toast casserole in a pan with blueberries

Growing up, my mother assembled a breakfast casserole on Christmas Eve so that the next day, all she had to do was stick the baking dish in the oven, and our frenzied gift-wrapped strewn morning was filled with a warm, freshly baked breakfast that required zero attention from her. While the holidays are a great time to use time-saving strategies in the kitchen, preparing a meal the day before is a gift to your future self year-round. Overnight oats or cinnamon rolls might be the first thought that comes to mind when you think of a make-ahead recipe, but sometimes you don’t want cold oats or have time to let dough rise.

French toast casserole solves both problems since it comes together quickly and bakes into a warm carb-rich meal that is easily customizable. This recipe takes classic French toast ingredients like milk, sugar, and eggs and injects them with a heap of blueberries for a custardy, not-too-sweet breakfast (or brunch or dessert) that bakes while you relax. The key to loading the French toast with blueberry flavor starts with a blueberry-maple sauce that does double duty by being layered into the casserole during assembly and served on the side for spooning over each wedge.

Ready to try your hand at it? Keep reading on down below for all of my top tips.

Yields: 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 12 hours


  • 1

    (1 lb.) loaf unsliced challah, cut into 1" cubes (about 10 c.)

  • 1/2 c.

    pure maple syrup, preferably robust

  • 3

    (4" x 1") strips navel orange zest

  • 2 tbsp.

    fresh navel orange juice

  • 1 lb.

    fresh blueberries (about 3 c.), divided

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tbsp.

    unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for dish

  • 6

    large eggs

  • 2 c.

    whole milk

  • 1 c.

    heavy cream

  • 1 tsp.

    pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp.

    grated fresh nutmeg

  • 1/4 c.

    plus 1 Tbsp. turbinado sugar, divided

  • Whipped cream or Greek yogurt, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. On a large baking sheet, spread bread in an even layer and bake, stirring halfway through, until lightly toasted but not browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool on sheet.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring syrup, orange zest and juice, 2 cups blueberries, and a pinch of salt to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries have softened, released their juices, and only about half are still intact, about 10 minutes.

  3. Transfer 1/2 cup blueberry sauce to a small bowl and stir in remaining 1 cup blueberries. Transfer remaining sauce to an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

  4. Butter bottom and sides of a 13" x 9" baking pan. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat eggs until well combined. Add milk, cream, vanilla, nutmeg, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth. Add bread, tossing, until well soaked, about 5 minutes. There will still be some custard in the bowl.

  5. Spread about two-thirds of soaked bread in prepared pan. Spoon blueberry mixture over. Top with remaining bread, gently pressing down so top is an even height. Scatter butter pieces over, cover, and refrigerate 10 to 12 hours.

  6. Let casserole and reserved blueberry syrup sit at room temperature while oven preheats; preheat to 350°. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon sugar over casserole.

  7. Bake casserole until puffed and the edges are crisp, about 45 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.

  8. Cut into large squares. Serve with blueberry sauce alongside. Dollop with whipped cream.

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