Your future self (and all of your future brunch guests) just wrote to thank you for this Overnight French Toast!

A pan of healthy overnight French toast casserole.

Pillowy soft slices of bread soaked in a cinnamon-, maple-, and vanilla-spiked egg mixture, showered in cinnamon-sugar fairy dust, then baked until it’s lightly golden on top and custardy underneath, this large-scale version of classic French toast is ideal for a crowd.

Though, if you want to make overnight French toast for two instead, I promise you and whoever is lucky enough to share it with you won’t mind the additional servings in the least!

If you love classic French toast but loathe standing at the stove flipping individual slices (especially if a crowd of hungry houseguests is lurking nearby watching your every move), overnight French toast is for you.

Overnight French toast is very similar in flavor to a classic stovetop French toast, but instead of individually soaking the bread slices in the egg/milk mixture, then frying them on the stove, you layer the bread into a casserole dish, pour the egg/milk mixture over the top and refrigerate it overnight.

As the casserole rests, the bread absorbs the custard. The next morning, all you have to do is pop the French toast into the oven, sit back, and wait as your kitchen fills with the tantalizing scents of fresh bread and warm cinnamon.

Overnight French Toast is every bit as heavenly as it sounds, especially once you top it with a drizzle of maple syrup!

(Or my preferred combo of maple syrup, banana slices, and peanut butter. Try this at some point, please).

Serving from a pan of easy overnight French toast casserole

Overnight French Toast—A Make-Ahead Breakfast for a Hassle-Free Morning

A passionate believer in make-ahead breakfast recipes, especially when I am entertaining, overnight French toast casseroles like this one are not new to me. In the past, I’ve tempted you with versions like Blueberry French Toast Casserole and Peach French Toast. I’ve also enjoyed a nice make-ahead egg casserole like this Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole.

Until today, however, I had not yet shared an ever-reliable, always-satisfying recipe for a simple, classic Overnight French Toast.

This overnight French Toast tastes like the classic French toast I remember my dad making for my sisters and me when we were little girls. It’s simple and comforting, and I’ll never grow weary of starting my morning with a big ol’ slice.

A plated slice of healthy overnight French toast casserole

A Healthy Take on Overnight French Toast

As with all of my breakfast recipes, I used a few tricks to make this a healthy Overnight French Toast:

  • Whole Grains. One of the easiest (and best!) ways to make any recipe better for you is to swap white grains for a whole-grain counterpart, just like these French Toast Sticks do. Whole grains add extra nutrients, protein, and fiber, without adding a second to your prep time.

While you can make Overnight French Toast with challah, brioche, or a baguette, growing up, my dad always used regular sandwich bread, which is what I selected for this.

Whole wheat sandwich bread is soft, fluffy, and mild in flavor, and it defies the negative stereotypes often associated with whole-grain bread. It’s also much easier to find 100% whole wheat options for sandwich breads (versus more artisan-style loaves) at a regular grocery store.

In addition to whole grains, I also used two more tricks to keep this French toast on the lighter side:

  • Evaporated Milk. Milk that has had some of the liquid cooked away, evaporated milk is thicker and creamier. It makes the custard taste rich without the need for heavy cream.
  • Pure Maple Syrup. I sweetened the custard with maple syrup instead of extra sugar. I love the extra richness it adds.
Slices of whole wheat bread fanned in a casserole dish

Tips for the Best Overnight French Toast

A few simple steps will ensure your Overnight French Toast comes out perfectly crisp on top and tender inside every time.

  • Start with dry bread. Dry bread is primed for soaking up that creamy custard. You can either leave it out overnight or do what I do and toast it in the oven.
  • Lightly press the bread into the custard to make sure it absorbs evenly. Don’t stress if the bread is a bit drier on the top. The golden crust is a part of the experience.
  • Make it (look) fancy. To make the Overnight French Toast look fancy, I sliced the bread diagonally, then fanned it in the pan. There’s no right or wrong way to do this (follow your heart), and this recipe is so easy, even the littlest bakers can help you cook it.
  • Let the pan come to room temperature prior to baking. I like to pull it out of the refrigerator when I first wake up. This makes the casserole bake more evenly, and your pan won’t crack due to a sudden change in temperature.
A pan of French toast casserole sprinkled with powdered sugar

Overnight French Toast Flavor Twists

Use this simple Overnight French Toast as your starting point, then feel free to mix it up!

  • Berry Overnight French Toast. Scatter fresh blueberries, sliced strawberries, or raspberries (or all three!) over the top either just before or immediately after baking.
  • Citrusy French Toast. Up the amount of lemon or orange zest.
  • Pecan Overnight French Toast. Prior to baking, scatter chopped raw pecans over the top of the French toast.
  • Overnight French Toast with Cream Cheese. Prior to pouring the custard over the top of the arranged bread slices, dot the bread with 6 ounces of cubed reduced-fat cream cheese. Pour the custard mixture over the top, then refrigerate and bake as directed.

Freezer and Make-Ahead Tips

  • Freeze cooked French Toast Casserole for up to three months. Remove it from the freezer the day before you want to serve it and let thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Cover the pan with foil, then reheat at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
A casserole dish of healthy overnight French toast

Need French Toast Fast?

While I prefer to make this Overnight French Toast a night in advance and spend my pre-breakfast hours sipping coffee (or an Apple Cider Champagne Cocktail) and prepping a pan of Baked Bacon to serve alongside it, you can skip the overnight soak if needed.

  • Follow the recipe as directed. Allow the bread to rest in the custard for at least 15 minutes.
  • Press the bread slices lightly into the custard a few times while it rests, then bake as directed.
Overnight french toast bake in a baking dish with fresh berries

Overnight French Toast

4.66 from 23 votes
Fluffy Overnight French Toast casserole that’s assembled the night before, then baked in the morning. Packed with cinnamon, ultra delicious, and so easy!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 8 hrs 20 mins

Servings: 6 servings


For the Overnight French Toast:

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon divided
  • 16 slices 100% whole wheat bread 1 (16-ounce) loaf
  • 1 (12-ounce) can fat-free evaporated milk for a dairy-free option, swap light coconut milk
  • 1 cup 2% milk or whole milk for a dairy-free option, swap full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 small lemon or 1/2 orange
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For Serving:

  • Pure maple syrup
  • Butter
  • Fresh berries
  • Greek yogurt
  • Powdered sugar
  • Peanut butter
  • Whatever you like!


  • The night before: Place the racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on two large baking sheets. Toast the bread in the oven until it is very lightly toasted and feels dry to the touch on top but is not yet turning brown, about 8 to 10 minutes, switching the pans’ positions on the upper and lower racks halfway through. Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half diagonally (this is easiest while the slices are still warm). Let cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, butter a 9×13-inch casserole dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. In a large bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, milk, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon or orange zest, salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
  • Fan the bread slices into the pan, arranging them however you like. Check out the photos above for inspiration, or make the arrangement your own.
  • Pour the custard mixture evenly over the top of the bread. Lightly press down the slices, sprinkle on the cinnamon-sugar mixture, and cover the pan with foil. Let sit for 15 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
  • When ready to bake: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. (If you’ve been refrigerating the French toast, remove it from the refrigerator now and let it come to room temperature.) Bake covered for 20 minutes, then uncover and continue baking until the bread is puffed and golden and no liquid seeps out of the toasts when lightly pressed, about 10 additional minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest a few minutes. Slice into squares and serve hot, with any and all of your favorite toppings.


Serving: 1of 6Calories: 380kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 18gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 189mgFiber: 4gSugar: 26g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. If we end up having overnight guests over Easter weekend, this will for sure be on the menu for breakfast. It’s clearly a make-ahead dish that’s just beautiful! Thanks…

  2. I feel like I can almost smell this breakfast through the screen! What an awesome idea for a breakfast recipe!

    1. Marci, if you can dry the bread out and toast it (I’m not sure how soggy it will be if it’s been frozen), I think that would be fine! I hope you love it :)

  3. Hello Erin,
    Saw your post for french casserole yesterday, it looked so amazing that I couldn’t wait. . And made it this morning. 
    It came out really really good. I used agave nectar instead of maple syrup. 5 stars

  4. I made this for Easter brunch and everyone enjoyed it so much! I was hoping there would be some leftover but we only had a small rectangle left– everyone kept going back for seconds. I like that this recipe uses just standard whole wheat sandwich bread that you can find anywhere. Easy and tasty, the best kind of recipe.5 stars

  5. We had this for our big family Easter brunch, and it was a hit among kids and grown ups alike!!5 stars

  6. I made this for Mother’s Day brunch, and it was an absolute hit! I ended up leaving my bread out for the day (about 8hrs) and prepped it the night before – the bread soaked up all the liquid beautifully. I used both 100% whole wheat bread and cinnamon swirl since it was a special occasion :) – situating them every-other in my bake pan. I went with orange zest because I love that flavor with cinnamon – it really lifted the other flavors and made it that much more delicious. I topped with fresh berries and powdered sugar, as shown. I ended up cooking it for about 10 extra minutes (my oven tends to be variable). The end result had a delicious crisp top and perfectly done, moist interior. I will be making this again for sure! 5 stars

  7. Made it for breakfast! It was delicious! So much healthier than many other overnight French toast recipes! Thank you!! 5 stars

  8. I’m so glad I stumbled across this- A French Toast bake recipe without a WHOLE CUP OF SUGAR added!!!   Thank you :)

  9. This was exactly what I was looking for!  Kids wanted something special for Saturday breakfast.  I had a bunch of sandwich bread ends and broken pieces in the freezer, so I thawed/toasted them, prepared the custard (omitted zest, added nutmeg for an egg nog flavor).  Delicious, I’ll definitely be making this again.  I love a fancy breakfast that doesn’t require much of me in the mornings!5 stars

  10. Delicious! I topped the toast with sliced bananas and chopped pecans. I brought this to an office brunch and it was received with very positive reviews!5 stars

    1. Hi Estelle! I have not tried a gluten free bread in this recipe, so I’m afraid I don’t have any specific suggestions. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  11. For anyone wondering how the dairy free version comes out- I just made this with coconut milk and it was delicious! I just did 2 cans of full fat coconut milk in place of the evaporated milk & whole milk combined. I served the French toast with coconut milk yogurt.5 stars

  12. Sorry but I just had this, this morning. Tasted like badly made cinnamon toast. Not at all impressed. Threw most of it away. Very disappointing.

    1. Hi, I’m so sorry to hear that this wasn’t a hit for you. I (and other readers) have loved this recipe, so I truly wish you would’ve enjoyed it too!

  13. I made this last night and everyone loved it; thank you for the recipe!

    I saw a comment asking about using gluten-free bread above, so I thought I’d share my experience. I made a full batch using regular bread for part of the family & another half batch with our gluten-free bread. I did everything exactly the same, and the gf batch was delicious & moist! No one even asked for syrup for either batch. We will definitely be making this again!5 stars

  14. This recipe is perfect!
    I made it for Mothers Day brunch and could not be more pleased.
    Not soggy or too hard, it was just right and i will make it again.
    Even enjoyed it the next day/ morning warmed up on a skillet with light covering of foil.
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!! A real hit with us.5 stars

    1. Hi Robyn! I’ve never tried letting it sit for that long, and I worry that the bread might start to break down. You could definitely experiment with it though. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  15. Hi, love Overnight French Toast!!! I make it with Blueberry pie filling on the bottom and it is ALWAYS a hit…and gone. Anyway, I was wondering if I can mix it on a Wednesday morning and not bake it until Friday morning? Getting together with some girls I went to school with and it is an overnight thing so I am bringing this for Breakfast on Friday but leaving my home on Wednesday late morning. Please let me know.

    1. Hi Brenda! I’ve never tried letting it sit for that long, and I worry that the bread would break down. You may want to fully bake the casserole ahead of time and freeze it instead, then you can thaw it the night before and reheat just before serving. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  16. Hi
    I will make it on Friday but I couldn’t find maple syrup. Can I substitu it for honey? If so,in the same amount? Thank you

    1. Making this tonight to bake tomorrow morning. How would the baking time change if I baked two 9 x 13 pans tomorrow?

      1. Hi Rebecca! The bake time for each 9X13 is the same as what is listed in step 5. You are just making two batches of the french toast, right?

  17. This recipe looks delicious and I am anxious to try it. I saw one of the reviews mentioned using coconut milk, would almond milk work as well do you think?

    1. Hi Dede! For a dairy-free option, I recommend using full-fat coconut milk. If you decide to experiment with almond milk (I have not tried this myself), I’d love to hear how it goes!

  18. I’ve made your Overnight Peach French toast (I used thawed out frozen peaches) and this overnight french toast (with dots of cream cheese and no lemon) for our Church Men’s Breakfasts. I like to serve them with Vanilla Bean Ice cream on top, it turns it into a scrumptious morning dessert. We all love them. These overnight creations make our morning cooking times go faster and smoother. Thank you Erin!!5 stars

  19. I made this for Christmas morning. I did 1/2 full fat milk & 1/2 coconut cream. I sprinkled it with some chopped pecans, walnuts & almonds.
    Since I had used a baguette I feel soaking it 24 hrs was a good idea! It retained its shape & was crusty.

  20. Threw this together on Christmas Eve, and popped it in the oven while everyone was opening presents in Christmas. It was a HUGE hit and so easy! Also it’s a perfect recipe to delegate if you have older kids, or oversee if you have littler ones.5 stars

    1. Yes, I’d suggest letting them thaw fully, then patting them dry. I hope you enjoy the recipe, Maggie!

  21. The overnight French Toast was amazing. I made it with brioche bread. I served it with blueberries and raspberries. Everyone loved it!5 stars

  22. WOW…this recipe was just delicious!! This was the first time I’d ever made an overnight French toast casserole. My two additions were 2-3 TBS melted butter, cooled and added to the liquid mixture. I know Erin was aiming for a healthier recipe, but I wanted that taste that we all love when we do skillet french toast and put a pat of butter on top. I also sprinkled a handful of chopped pecans over the top right before baking. Also, the orange zest is a fabulous idea in this recipe! I found that baking this in a convection oven really takes a while to get up to temperature in a regular oven, but the convection helps speed the process, and then in the last 10 minutes with the foil removed, the convection yields a nice crunch to the crusts of the bread. I will definitely be making this again!! Thank you for such a delicious recipe.5 stars

  23. What would you think about using Dave’s Killer 21 Grain Bread for this recipe and egg whites? (I usually make French toast with Dave’s and egg whites.) Would I need to increase the number of egg whites? Can’t wait to try this!!

    1. Kathryn, the bread will be just fine! As far as egg whites, I am hesitant to recommend that because egg whites don’t have the same rich flavor and texture as whole eggs. I’d suggest starting with replacing 1/3 of the total number of eggs with whites (you’ll want to use 2 whites for each whole egg). If you decide to experiment, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  24. I make my french toast with Dave’s Killer 21 Grain Bread and egg whites. What would you think about me using those ingredients here? Would I need to increase the number of egg whites? Thank you! I can’t wait to try it! All of your recipes are amazing!5 stars

    1. Kathryn, that bread would work great here! You can experiment with more egg whites, but the French toast will not taste as custardy and rich. I’d suggest using a blend of whites and whole eggs to start, then you can adjust from there.

  25. Hello! The taste was great! But when i did mine they turned out soggy :( not sure what i did wrong. Should I cook it for an hour instead? Help :)5 stars

    1. Hi! So sorry to hear that! Without being there with you, it would be very hard for me know why that was. Since each oven is different, the timing can certainly vary a little. I glad you still enjoyed it!

  26. I can’t wait to try this recipe! If the dish stays in the refrigerator 8-9 hours, I know you said to let it sit out and get to room temperature. Can you tell me an approximate minutes you find that it takes for it to get to room temperature? Thanks so much!!

    1. Hi ChristyGB, it would be really hard to know how long it would take to come to room temperature because it will depend on how warm your kitchen is. I would plan for at least 20-30 minutes. Hope this helps.

  27. I burnt one side of the bread by toasting it as you said in the oven, do I had to slice off a burnt side of each slice. I would either toast the bread in the toaster or have it be dry and stale. Due to reduced bread,, casserole came out a little more eggy than I would prefer.. Other than that, recipe came in handy making breakfast in advance and using up challah I had in the fridge. I did add some blueberries in cooking.4 stars

    1. Hi Adrienne! I’m sorry to hear that it burnt. Step 1 stated: Toast the bread in the oven until it is very lightly toasted and feels dry to the touch on top but is not yet turning brown. So you definitely have to watch it. Glad you were still able to enjoy it!

  28. I wanted to love this, it smelled amazing…I did everything to the letter and it was unfortunately an epic fail. It was so mushy! We even took it out and tried to finish it on the stove but it was just too soggy. I’ll stick to the stovetop version of making French toast.1 star

    1. Hi! I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with this recipe. This definitely wasn’t made to be cooked on the stovetop so I see how that didn’t work. In Step 5 when I said ” then uncover and continue baking until the bread is puffed and golden and no liquid seeps out of the toasts when lightly pressed” how did that work out for you? At that point if it was still seeping out I would recommend to continue to get to this point. This ensures nothing is soggy. All ovens cook differently so it sounds like yours just needed more time to cook.

  29. 16 slices of bread would not fit in my 9×13 pan. I used regular ‘ol sandwich bread. I would suggest 10 – 12 slices of bread or 2 pans.2 stars

    1. Hi Jen! I’m sorry you weren’t able to fit all the bread into the dish. Did you slice the bread and layer it in the dish? I haven’t heard of anyone having this issue before, so I’m not sure what might’ve gone wrong. I hope you still enjoyed it!

  30. Amazing! Made it overnight for Father’s Day! Huge hit in our home. Not too sweet and so we could add all of the delicious toppings! Thanks for the great recipe!5 stars