French Toast Casserole With Orange & Blueberries

 

This delicious overnight French Toast Casserole is bursting with flavors and takes French toast to the next level.  Brioche bread is soaked in creamy custard and incorporated with lemon and orange zest and fresh blueberries.  Top with a cinnamon sugar strudel and bake to perfection.  The ultimate holiday breakfast or brunch dish.

Overnight French Toast Casserole

Take advantage of the HOT sale on blueberries at Safeway – just $2.88 for 18 oz big packs with a digital coupon!

For years, I’ve made this French Toast Casserole for special holidays and weekend brunch occasions with my family and girlfriends.  It’s decadent and delicious and would be a perfect Easter brunch or Mother’s Day dish.  It’s incredibly easy to make – even the kids can pull it off because it uses simple ingredients like bread, milk, and eggs.

I have traditionally made this baked French Toast with cut-up cream cheese mixed throughout the casserole and no fruit.  This year I decided to lighten it up a bit and use fresh blueberries and the zest of a lemon and orange for extra flavor.

Oh my goodness – this was the highlight of our quarantine lunches so far!  The kids gobbled it up and asked for seconds.

You can totally make this ahead of time so that you are not slaving in the kitchen on Easter morning.  Instead, enjoy the kiddos and their egg hunt or watch Easter service online while breakfast is baking in the oven.

The night before, simply slice the bread, zest the lemon and orange, and add the blueberries and custard.  Let it soak overnight, covered in the refrigerator.

The next morning, preheat the oven, make the strudel topping and bake the casserole.  I like to let the baking dish come to room temperature before baking just in case.

Baked_Blueberry_French_toast_Casserole

If you are watching your sugar intake, you can totally make this without the strudel topping.  It is delicious on its own because the blueberries, orange and lemon zest give it a delicious flavor.  The strudel topping is truly over the top.

Perfect Bread for French Toast Casserole

  • Brioche – St. Pierre, Nature’s Own and Sara Lee make a brioche bread as does the Safeway bakery
  • Cinnamon Raisin Bread
  • Wheat bread or white bread
  • French bread loaf
  • Sourdough bread
  • King’s Hawaiian Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of brioche bread
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk (I used almond, any milk is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • zest of one lemon
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 pint of blueberries

Cinnamon Strudel Topping

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cold, cut into cubes

orange_blueberry_Baked_French_Toast_Casserole

How to Make French Toast Casserole

Grease a 9×13 pyrex pan with butter

Cut the brioche bread into cubes and spread into the greased baking pan.

Pour the blueberries and the lemon and orange zest over the bread.  Reserve some of the zest for garnish after the casserole is baked.

In a medium bowl mix together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Pour evenly over the bread pieces.

Let the bread soak up all the custard.  If making overnight, cover the casserole with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Tip: I like to set a small dish inside the pyrex baking dish on top of the plastic covering to push the bread down into the custard mixture to fully soak the top bread pieces.

If you are making this the same day, preheat the oven to 350, allow the bread mixture to soak up all the liquid for about 20 minutes while you make the topping.

For the topping combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Add the cold cubed butter and cut into the butter with a fork or pastry cutter until it’s incorporated into the flour mixture and is crumbled.

Pour the strudel topping evenly over the casserole and bake for 50 minutes until the top is golden brown and the custard has set.

Garnish with reserved orange zest.  Cut into 2 x 2 pieces and serve with warm maple syrup.

overnight_baked_French_Toast_Casserole

Pair with these delicious make-ahead options for a memorable Mother’s Day celebration:

Spinach Feta Breakfast Egg Casserole

Parmesan Hash Brown Cups

Sausage & Egg Breakfast Casserole

Honey Mustard Ham

 

 

 

Baked_Blueberry_French_toast_Casserole

Baked Blueberry Orange French Toast Casserole

This delicious overnight French Toast Casserole is bursting with flavors and takes French toast to the next level.  Brioche bread is soaked in creamy custard and incorporated with lemon and orange zest and fresh blueberries.  Top with a cinnamon sugar strudel and bake to perfection.  The ultimate holiday breakfast or brunch dish.
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Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Blueberry French Toast, French Toast Casserole, Make ahead French Toast Casserole, Overnight French Toast Casserole
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Calories:
Author: Eva Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of brioche bread cut into 1/2 cubes
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk I used almond, any milk is fine
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • zest of one lemon
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 pint of blueberries

Cinnamon Strudel Topping

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter 1 stick, cold, cut into cubes

Instructions

  • Grease a 9x13 pyrex pan with butter
  • Cut the brioche bread into cubes and spread into the greased baking pan.
  • Pour the blueberries and the lemon and orange zest over the bread.  Reserve some of the zest for garnish after the casserole is baked.
  • In a medium bowl mix together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Pour evenly over the bread pieces.
  • Let the bread soak up all the custard.  If making overnight, cover the casserole with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Tip: I like to set a small dish inside the pyrex baking dish on top of the plastic covering to push the bread down into the custard mixture to fully soak the top bread pieces.
  • If you are making this the same day, preheat the oven to 350, allow the bread mixture to soak up all the liquid for about 20 minutes while you make the topping.
  • For the topping combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Add the cold cubed butter and cut into the butter with a fork or pastry cutter until it's incorporated into the flour mixture and is crumbled.
  • Pour the strudel topping evenly over the casserole and bake for 50 minutes until the top is golden brown and the custard has set.
  • Garnish with reserved orange zest.  Cut into 2 x 2 pieces and serve with warm maple syrup.

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