Baked Brown Sugar French Toast is a delicious, rich and decadent breakfast casserole that’s perfect for any occasion! Slices of challah are dipped in a cinnamon custard, layered over a mixture of brown sugar and brown butter and baked until golden. No need for syrup as the sugar mixture is the topping! Serves 6.
You guys, you guys, you guys! Christmas is only days away and I cannot wait. I’m basically like an excited 6 year old when it comes to Christmas. This year on Christmas Eve morning I plan to make French toast for breakfast.
This French toast to be exact.
It’s super simple to prepare and there’s no need for butter or syrup as the brown butter sugar bottom is spooned over top.
Serve with bacon or sausage for the perfect sweet and savory combination!
To Make This Baked Brown Sugar French Toast You Will Need:
- unsalted butter – Melted in a skillet until the milk solids are toasty and browned.
- brown sugar – When baked it will be the “syrup” for the French toast.
- challah – A Jewish braided bread made with eggs. This bread is typically eaten and enjoyed on Shabbat and other Jewish holidays and ceremonial occasions. May also substitute with brioche.
- eggs – Adds richness and flavor to the custard.
- pure vanilla extract – Adds distinct flavor and enhances the other flavors in the dish.
- cinnamon (ground) – Lends a distinct warm and woodsy flavor.
- nutmeg (ground) – Warm, aromatic with subtle hints of clove.
- half & half – Or substitute with half milk and half heavy cream.
Move an oven rack to the lower third of your oven and then preheat to 375°
Add 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter to a small sauce pan. Heat over medium to medium-low. Stir and gradually melt until the milk solids are toasty and browned. Click here to see more details on how to brown butter.
Lightly spray a 2-quart oval baking dish (roughly 10in. x 13in. x 2in.) with ghee or coconut non-stick spray. Add in 1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar. This seems like a lot because it is a lot but it’s also the “syrup” for this French toast casserole.
I got my casserole dish from Target (Hearth and Hand) but I’ve also linked to one on Amazon in the recipe printable.
Pour all of the browned butter over top of the sugar.
Mix until the brown sugar has absorbed all the glorious brown butter and spread evenly.
In a shallow bowl add 3 large eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
Whisk well to combine. I mix these together first to help break up the dried spices, I feel they mix into the custard better this way.
Next, pour in 2 cups of half & half.
What Is Half & Half?
Half & half is commonly found in the dairy section of most American grocery stores. It is equal parts whole milk and heavy cream.
Whisk once more until thoroughly combined.
Challah! This egg-y loaf of bread tastes like a doughnut and is perfect for French toast. It’s pretty dense so it soaks up the liquids nicely! Slice 1 loaf into roughly 3/4-inch slices.
Dip both sides of each slice in the egg mixture.
And then arrange them on top of the sugar mixture overlapping a bit.
Pour the extra egg mixture over each slice.
The spices at the bottom will add a brown swirl of sorts – which, in my opinion, is pretty.
Bake in the lower third of your preheated oven for 22 to 25 minutes OR until the edges are golden and the brown sugar mixture is bubbling around the edges.
Your home should be smelling incredible too!
Let the brown sugar French toast sit for 10 to 15 minutes before lightly dusting with powdered sugar and serving.
Cut and serve!
Who needs maple syrup? Not these! Simply spoon the brown butter sugar over top. To.die.for!
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Baked Brown Sugar French Toast
- 1½ cups dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ cups half & half, see notes
- 1 tablespoons real vanilla extract
- 1 loaves challah, (or use brioche) sliced into 3/4 to 1-inch slices
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat your oven to 375° degrees.
- In a small skillet melt butter over medium to medium-low heat. Stir, slowly cooking the butter until the milk solids are toasty and golden brown. About 8 to 10 minutes.
- Lightly spray a 2-quart oval baking dish (roughly 10in. x 13in. x 2in.) with ghee or coconut nonstick spray. Add the brown sugar into a baking dish and pour in the browned butter. Stir until combined and then spread out evenly.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour in the half & half and whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Dip both sides of the sliced challah into the custard and arrange, overlapping the slices on top of the brown sugar mixture.
- Bake uncovered in the lower third of your oven for 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through to ensure even baking and browning.
- Once baked, remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before dusting with a little powdered sugar.
- Serve onto plates and drizzle a little of the brown sugar butter mixture (from the bottom of the baking dish) over top.
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