This delicious baked blueberry french toast casserole is the perfect weekend or holiday breakfast. Make it the same day, or make it ahead the night before for an easy breakfast in the morning that makes a tasty and sweet bubbling blueberry breakfast. The whole family will come running, just drizzle with maple syrup at the table and dig in!
Chewy bread is layered with a delicious creamy homemade custard, then mixed with blueberries and topped with a tasty cinnamon streusel topping for a delicious french toast for the family to share.
I made this baked blueberry french toast casserole a few weekends ago for my family with some leftover bread I had leftover from the week and some blueberries that were probably on their last few days. It was thumbs up all around our table, so I knew I had to share it with you too!
Love gooey blueberries for breakfast? You will love my Blueberry (Muffin) Bread recipe too! It’s a delicious quick bread that tastes just like a blueberry muffin, but you can slice as little (or as much!) as you want. Or try my Sweet Glazed Blueberry Biscuits. Fluffy, bursting with blueberries and topped with a sweet vanilla glaze, yum!
Ingredients For Baked Blueberry French Toast
For the French Toast You’ll Need
- Chewy bread – Like sourdough, french or even brioche works well. Older bread works even better for this recipe. If I know I’m planning to make french toast casserole, I’ll often check for day old bread in the bakery. The bread should fill the bottom of your pan easily.
- Eggs- Like most french toast, this recipe uses a lot of eggs to make a rich and creamy custard.
- Milk – I prefer 2% milk, but you can use what you have. Almond milk or coconut milk could also be substituted.
- Salt– Just a little brings out the flavor in the dish
- Blueberries– Fresh or frozen can be used. See my tips below for more information if using frozen blueberries.
For the Streusel Topping You’ll Need
- Brown Sugar– White sugar or other sugar alternatives can be substituted in this dish, but the brown sugar gives this french toast casserole a lot of good flavor. If you are using a sugar alternative, make sure to research if it can be substituted cup for cup. Some sugar alternatives actually taste sweeter than sugar and may cause the dish to be too sweet.
- Rolled Oats – Oats give your streusel a chewiness
- Cinnamon– Don’t skip on the cinnamon, as it gives a lot of flavor to your final dish.
- Salt – Only a pinch is needed.
- Softened butter – See the notes further down of how to soften butter quickly
How To Make Baked Blueberry French Toast Casserole
- Make The Custard– You’ll start by whisking the eggs together which form the base of the custard. Then whisk in milk, vanilla and a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors in the dish.
- Layer The Bread, Blueberries, And Custard– Slice the bread into thick pieces and layer in the bottom of the oiled casserole dish. Layer the blueberries in between so the blueberries mix well in the dish. Then pour the custard on top and let sit for at least 30 minutes. It can also sit overnight in the refrigerator.
- Make The Streusel Topping– Cut softened butter into a mixture of oats, flour, brown sugar, and salt. You’ll use either a fork or a pastry cutter to push the butter through the prongs until it starts to feel sandy like the beach! This topping should be stored separately in the fridge if you are letting the casserole sit overnight, or the topping will become too soggy.
- Top The French Toast With Streusel And Bake– Top the french toast casserole with the streusel topping, then bake until everything is bubbling and delicious.
Can I Use Frozen Blueberries In This French Toast Casserole?
Yes you can use frozen blueberries with a modification. When using frozen blueberries the casserole will also become more purple througout the eni
If using frozen blueberries, don’t allow them to defrost in the fridge overnight or they can break down too much and become mushy. Add frozen blueberries to the casserole right before baking. Fresh blueberries do not have the same issue
What Kind Of Bread Should Be Used For French Toast Casserole?
When making a french toast casserole or any type of french toast, you want pick a bread that has a good chewiness to it. Some great examples are:
If you try another kind of bread, let us know down in the comments!
Stale or older bread tends to work the best for any type of french toast as it then soaks up the custard well. You can make the bread chewiness by toasting the bread pieces lightly before adding them to the casserole.
Toasting the bread is optional, but if your bread is super soft, it can cause the casserole to be a bit soggier. Use these tips to toast the bread in the oven all at once before assembling the casserole.
Can I Substitute The Milk In This Recipe?
The purpose of the milk in french toast is to give the french toast a rich and creamy flavor. The higher fat content on your milk, the creamier the casserole will be.
If you’re looking for a non-dairy option, I recommend using coconut milk if possible as it will result in the creamiest french toast. Other milk alternatives like almond milk, oat milk or cashew milk can also be substituted.
Other French Toast Casserole Variations
- Nuts– Adding pecans or walnuts at the end to this dish is a delicious addition.
- Fruit– Strawberries, blackberries or raspberries could be swapped, or make a mix of a few different berries. Thin sliced apple could also be delicious in place of blueberries.
- Cream Cheese– You can add pieces of cream cheese to the casserole dish before adding the crumb topping to give this dish more creaminess. Just make sure to spread these pieces evenly or someone may get left without a bite. I’ve done this with only half of the casserole sometimes as my husband likes it but my kid doesn’t like the cream cheese as much in this dish.
Can You Make This French Toast Casserole Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can totally prepare this french toast casserole the night before. I suggest if you are making this dish ahead that you store the streusel toppings in a separate bowl and sprinkle on the casserole right before baking.
In the morning pull the casserole dish out of the fridge. Then break up the streusel topping a bit with a spoon and sprinkle on top of the casserole and bake. The butter will have solidified some, but that is ok just break it up a little before you sprinkle on top.
If you add the streusel topping to the casserole and leave it in the fridge all night on top of the casserole, the oats will absorb too much moisture. This can cause the topping to change its texture, and the topping won’t be as chewy.
Once I even had the topping get kind of soggy putting it on top the night before. Since then I always just sprinkle the topping right before baking and it is delicious.
Why Did My French Toast Casserole Turn Out Soggy? Help!
- Too Little Bread– If you don’t use enough bread, it may not soak up all of the custard which can cause sogginess. If you have a little less bread than the recipe calls for is to soak the bread in the custard in a separate bowl. Then transfer the soaked bread to the casserole dish, leaving behind any excess custard that may have caused sogginess.
- Wrong Kind Of Bread- Super soft bread, like white sandwich bread, may not absorb enough of the custard and can become soggy. See my list further up the page for the type of bread suggestions.
- Not Soaking The Bread Long Enough– If you don’t allow the bread time to soak up the custard, the casserole can become soggy. Soak the bread in the custard for at least 30 minutes.
- Placing the Crumble On Too Early– If you put the crumble on top of the casserole and allow the entire dish to soak overnight, the crumble can become soggy. Sprinkle the crumble on top of the casserole right before baking.
- Defrosting Blueberries Before Baking- If you are using frozen blueberries, add them to the casserole frozen then bake immediately. Allowing the blueberries time to defrost can cause them to break down too much, which can make the dish soggy. Fresh blueberries do not have this same challenge.
What Side Dishes Go With French Toast?
French toast casserole is a meal of itself, but a few sides can round out any meal. I usually pick a breakfast protein or more fresh fruit. Since the blueberries are baked into this sweet dish, picking an additional fresh fruit on the side won’t be too much.
- Bacon – (pork or turkey)
- Breakfast Sausage – (chicken, turkey or pork links or patties)
- Eggs – Sometimes we make a plain scramble and sometimes we add wilted spinach or bell pepper. These Sausage Egg Muffins are also a delicious side for this recipe.
- Fresh Fruit– Bananas, more berries, apples, oranges, melon
I usually skip types of breakfast potatoes when serving this dish, unless I’m feeding a lot of people brunch. This French toast casserole is filling on it’s own, so for just a few people adding potatoes too on the side can be too much.
Other Recipes You Will Love
- Fluffy Almond Milk Pancakes
- Bursting Blueberry Galettes (Mini Pies!)
- Pancake Mix Muffins– Quick, easy and you can make three flavors of muffins in one pan. (including blueberry!)
Baked Blueberry French Toast Casserole
- 9" x 11" Baking Dish
- Spray oil
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Medium sized mixing bowl
For the casserole
- 1 loaf chewy bread – like sourdough or french- this can be day old should be about a pound/16 ounces.
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups blueberries
For the streusel topping
- 3 tablespoons softened butter
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the butter for the streusel topping into small pieces and leave it on the counter to soften. Spray a 9x 11 casserole dish with a spray oil.
- In a medium-sized bowl add cracked eggs and mix with a whisk until well mixed. Add milk, vanilla and a pinch of salt then wisk with the eggs until combined.
- Slice the bread into 1-inch cubes, you should have about 8-10 cups of bread when you are done slicing.
- Add ½ of the bread to the bottom of the casserole dish. Add ½ of the blueberries spread out over the bread. Add the rest of the bread on top of the blueberries. Pour the custard over top of the bread evenly across the dish, pressing down on any pieces of bread that stick up above the custard and are dry. Add the rest of the blueberries to the top of the dish. Let the casserole sit at least 30 minutes, but can be stored in the fridge overnight and baked the next day.
- In a medium-sized bowl add softened butter, flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt. With a fork or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients by pushing the butter through the prongs of the fork over and over. Keep mixing until the mixture goes from dry and powdery looking to a mixture that looks like wet sand.
- If making this french toast casserole the night before, store the casserole and the strussel topping both in the fridge in seperate containers until the morning. If baking right away, skip to the next step
- Sprinkle the strussel mixture over the french toast. (If the strussel was in the fridge, you may need to break it up with a spoon before sprinkling.) Bake for 23-25 minutes until gooey but no longer raw. You should see the mixture bubbling. Serve with a generous drizzle of maple syrup and enjoy!
- Make the streusel topping the night before but store is separate from the casserole. Sprinkle the streusel topping on top of the casserole right before you bake it. Sprinkling the topping the night before can cause the oats in the topping to become soggy You lose that delicious chewiness to the oats because they will absorb moisture from the casserole overnight.
- Fresh blueberries are preferred, but you can use frozen. Frozen berries do tend to color the entire dish more and may have more moisture than frozen berries. You may need to cook the dish a little longer. I recommend adding frozen blueberries just to the top of the pan right before cooking and not layering them if you are leaving this casserole in the fridge overnight.