Hosting guests for the weekend? Treat them like royalty with this Overnight French Toast Casserole with Irish Cream Sauce and a crunchy pecan streusel.
Nothing says you went the extra mile for your house guests like making breakfast from scratch. But who wants to be tied to the kitchen all morning? Enter this easy Overnight French Toast Casserole recipe.
Some might say the best part of this recipe is the make-ahead preparation, which is fantastic if you’re hosting a houseful of family and friends.
Or some people may adore the sweet and crunchy pecan streusel topping. (Fair call, friends, fair call.)
But for me, nothing beats the decadent Irish Cream Sauce that fills every nook and cranny of this overnight french toast bake.
Prepared to be wowed.
I’m not going to lie; I’m picky about my french toast.
The first tip I have for making a killer french toast bake is an ideal ratio of egg to milk. Too many eggs and you have a baked egg casserole, not baked french toast. Too much milk and you end up with soggy (and kinda tasteless) bread.
I landed on what I think is the optimal ratio of eggs to milk: 5 eggs for 1 ¾ cup milk mixture.
I use a combination of whole milk and half and half in my overnight french toast casserole, but that’s because I love the full flavor these ingredients give the dish (and we always have half and half on hand because my husband uses it in his coffee every morning). Feel free to use just whole milk if you prefer.
The second tip for perfecting your make ahead french toast bake is all about technique.
I’ve never had a lot of luck with just pouring the liquid mixture over the bread slices. Some pieces end up completely soaked while others don’t get enough liquid and bake up hard as a rock. After much experimentation, I’ve found that dipping the bread pieces individually before adding to the casserole dish makes a huge difference in the final product.
That’s right, dip them just like you would regular french toast that you make on the stove top. In fact, let them hang out for 30-60 seconds in the egg mixture to ensure they are sufficiently soaked before adding them to the pan. Then pour any remaining liquid over the top of the casserole after all the bread has been dipped.
This little bit of extra effort results in an evenly baked casserole with no soggy or dry spots.
Best Bread to use
This Cinnamon Swirl Bread comes from the bakery at my local grocery store. It’s one of our favorites, but feel free to swap in any other cinnamon swirl bread that you have handy.
My only suggestion is to make sure that it’s a firmer bread so it can stand up to the overnight soak in the liquids.
Unless you’re allergic to nuts, I can’t imagine why you wouldn't! I love how the crunchy, sweet pecan mixture gives a nice contrast to the softer bite of the french toast.
You can even save yourself an extra 5 minutes in the morning by making the streusel the night before and adding it to the casserole right before baking
Make ahead sauce
The Irish Cream Sauce is nothing more than a bit of heavy cream, Irish Cream Liqueur, sugar and vanilla cooked over the stove. I love how quickly this sauce comes together with just a handful of quality ingredients.
And yes, you can absolutely make it in advance. Simply store the sauce in the fridge until the morning of your brunch and then gently rewarm before serving.
More Brunch Recipes
- Bacon, Tomato and Cheese Strata - Garnish with Lemon®
- Cream Cheese Coffee Cake - Shugary Sweets
- Easy Caramel Rolls with Apples - Garnish with Lemon®
- Homemade Blueberry Lemon Danish - Inside BruCrew Life
- Fireman's Overnight Breakfast Casserole - Garnish with Lemon®
Overnight French Toast Casserole with Irish Cream Sauce
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup half and half
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 18 pieces cinnamon swirl bread
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons Kerrygold® Unsalted Butter cold and diced
- ¾ cup pecans chopped
Irish Cream Sauce:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ⅓ cup Kerrygold® Irish Cream Liqueur
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons water
To prepare the french toast:
- Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13” casserole dish.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and then whisk in half and half, milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.
- Submerge each piece of bread in the egg mixture and allow to soak for about 30 seconds/slice. Arrange slices in casserole dish. Pour remaining egg mixture evenly over top of bread. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
To bake the french toast:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Cut in butter pieces until the mixture resembles small crumbs. Sprinkle mixture evenly over French toast.
- Bake for 30 minutes covered and another 20-25 minutes uncovered. Cut into pieces and serve with warm Irish Cream Sauce.
To make the Irish Cream sauce:
- Combine cream, liqueur, sugar and vanilla in a small pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Stir together cornstarch and water and add to cream mixture. Stir and continue to cook until slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes. If not using immediately, allow to cool, cover and refrigerate. Warm before serving.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.
Impress your house guests this holiday season with this easy recipe for Overnight French Toast Casserole with a decadent Irish Cream Sauce!