Drizzled with maple syrup, this gluten free French toast casserole is a delicious duo of cinnamon and bread… what could be better?! And it’s made ahead of time so there’s no morning prep!
While something this impressive would typically be reserved for holidays or to serve to a crowd, there’s no need to wait till then to make it! These big, thick pieces are the perfect way to please hungry tummies, whether it's a table full or just a small gathering. And because the recipe can be made ahead of time, there’s literally nothing to do but grab the syrup!
And this recipe exactly what a French toast casserole should be – not mushy or overly wet. Not dry. But just perfectly balanced with a beautiful golden brown top and a smell that will tempt everyone’s tastebuds! If you’re a fan of cinnamon and bread, you will LOVE this easy, make ahead breakfast.
What bread is best in this French toast casserole?
I use my French bread loaves in this recipe (which is a great, anytime bread, by the way) and cut the loaves into 1 inch chunks. Then let it sit out for a day to dry out. Don't want to wait a day for it to dry out? See my tip below with a quicker method!
I highly recommend using either a French bread or another bread you can slice thick. Regular storebought, sandwich bread works ok, but a thicker, white bread is best.
Can I cut the recipe in half?
Sure! So to cut it down to make 6 servings, simply cut the ingredients down by half. Use an 8 inch casserole dish, but everything else is the same for refrigeration time and baking time.
Can it be baked immediately or does it have to refrigerate?
While you can bake it immediately, I wouldn’t recommend it - let it refrigerate to absorb the liquid for 4 hours at the very minimum. Otherwise, it’s more like toasted cinnamon bread since it doesn’t have time to absorb all the delicious egg-cinnamon mixture.
How many cups of bread is 14 ounces?
If you’re making my French bread recipe, each loaf comes out to between 12.5 and 13.9 ounces in weight. So you’ll need about 1 ¼ loaves for 14 ounces. Weighing the bread will give you the most accurate measure but 14 ounces equals 7-8 cups of cubed bread.
What’s the best way to store this casserole?
If you have some left over (yay, right?!) The best way to store it is to cover it with foil or a casserole lid and refrigerate. To warm it up, just microwave slices of it for 30 seconds to a minute.
Tips for making the best gluten free French Toast Casserole
Besides the bread, the short ingredients list is just 7 items – milk, eggs, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract. If you don’t need dairy free, then use dairy milk, no other recipe changes needed.
Prepping the bread
The bread just needs to be dry. So if you make the French bread and slices up the loaves into 1 inch chunks and let them sit out for a day, you’ll have perfect bread. BUT, if you don’t want to wait that extra day of ‘drying time’, then here’s a pro tip:
Make the French bread recipe, then once the loaves are cool, chunk 14 ounces of it into 1 inch cubes and lay them out on a dry baking sheet. Heat the oven to 300 F and bake for 15 minutes to dry them out. Then they are ready to use!
Submerging all the bread
After pouring the egg-milk mixture over the bread, use the back of a spatula and pat down the bread chunks to make sure each one has been coated with the egg-milk mixture. They may not stay submerged, but that’s ok, as long as they get coated.
Once the casserole is prepped and ready, simply cover it with a lid or foil and refrigerate for 6-8 hours to give the bread time to absorb the liquid.
Ready to enjoy all the decadence that’s about to unfold? Just remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes to get the chill off.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes.
Enjoy yummy pieces of this gluten free French toast casserole served alongside maple syrup and fruit!
Easy Gluten Free French Toast Casserole
- 14 ounces French bread about 1 ¼ loaves of Gluten Free French Bread
- 2 cups almond milk
- 6 eggs
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Cut French bread into 1 inch cubes.
- Spread the bread out on a baking sheet and dry out in a 300 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, butter a 9x13 baking dish with butter.
- Place cubed bread in prepared casserole dish.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, eggs, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract.
- Pour custard over bread, lightly tapping bread down to be fully coated in custard.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 - 8 hours.
- Remove the dish from the refrigerator and let it sit for 10 minutes to warm slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and cover with foil. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 15 minutes.
- Serve warm with maple syrup.
- Use a French bread that can be sliced thick - other thin sliced sandwich bread works too, but French bread is best.
- Make sure to 'dry out' the bread. (Day old bread)
- The refrigeration time is necessary for the bread to absorb the egg-milk mixture.
- Bake covered for 40 minutes, then remove the cover and bake an additional 5 minutes.
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