Looking for an easy breakfast recipe that will wow your guests? This croissant French toast bake is sure to please! It's an easy recipe that's super simple to make (and ahead of time!) so you'll have plenty of time to enjoy your morning cup of coffee. Plus, it's perfect for a brunch gathering or special occasion. So what are you waiting for? Let's jump in.
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💭 Why you'll love this recipe
- Simple, easy to make, and can be prepared ahead of time: This croissant French toast bake is a great overnight breakfast dish that you can get ready while you're having your morning coffee! If you'd prefer to make something quicker, check out my brioche French toast or the air fryer French toast instead!
- Great for a casual brunch or any special occasion: I love making this dish for Easter as well as Christmas morning! The flaky croissants create an awesome texture within this family favorite dish.
- Just needs 10 simple ingredients (most of which you probably have at home!) This is a great way to reuse day-old croissants or stale croissants!
📋 Ingredients and notes
To make this dish, you'll need butter, croissants, eggs, heavy cream, milk, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and kosher salt.
Notes and Variations
- Make it vegan: To make this vegan, you'll want to replace the butter with plant butter, and pick up vegan croissants. You can replace the eggs and heavy cream with an egg replacer (my favorite is Just Egg) as well as any type of plant-based milk (almond milk works great!)
- Type of milk and cream: I tend to use whole milk and heavy cream here for a more decadent breakfast, but I will sometimes mix it up with almond milk or skim milk to make it delicious but not as indulgent.
- Additional mix-ins: I keep the custard quite simple in this recipe, but you can totally take it up a notch, for instance, by adding more warm spices like cloves or more citrusy components like orange zest. To take it up a notch, you can use a chocolate croissant or a maple pecan croissant, instead of the traditional, buttery croissants!
- Mix up your toppings: I've used some simple toppings - mainly fresh berries (or berry compote!) and some maple syrup. You can also add sliced nuts, powdered sugar, whipped cream and many other toppings to your liking. Honestly, this dish is like an incredible crossover between French toast and bread pudding, so the topping options are limitless!
📖 Make croissant French toast bake!
Grease a 9x13 casserole or baking dish with 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter. Using a sharp serrated knife (I absolutely love this one and use it all the time), cut the leftover croissants into half lengthwise (like you'd do for a sandwich).
Place them in a single layer until you cover the base of the baking dish. Set aside the remaining croissant halves while making the custard.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs along with brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and kosher salt until they are well combined.
Then, whisk in heavy cream and milk until it's a smooth custardy mixture.
Pour half this egg mixture evenly over the croissant pieces in the prepared baking dish. Use a flat spatula to push the croissant into the custard so it soaks it up. Then, place the remaining croissant halves on another even layer on top. Pour the remaining custard on top.
Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and let it rest in the fridge, for at least 30 minutes but ideally overnight.
Then, next morning, set the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for about 45 - 50 minutes. If it starts to brown too quickly, you can make a loose tent with aluminum foil.
Cool for a few minutes minutes and top with maple syrup, powdered sugar, berries (or this delicious berry compote), fresh fruit, nuts or toppings of choice before serving.
My favorite? Add a nice scoop (or two!) of vanilla ice cream, some pure maple syrup and some fresh berries. Noms.
Crumble topping (optional)
Sometimes, when I want to take this up a notch, I'll just mix some cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkle that cinnamon sugar on the croissants before I bake them.
If you want an even nicer crumble: in a medium bowl, combine all purpose flour, brown sugar, and unsalted butter along with cinnamon and kosher salt. Use a fork to mash up the butter so it's all evenly mixed. You can also use a hand mixer if you're feeling adventurous! Sprinkle crumb mixture this on the croissants right before you bake. Delicious!
👩🏽🍳Top tips and FAQs
This usually depends on how much dairy you use (i.e., if there's too much milk in the egg custard). Make sure that you tent the aluminum foil if it starts to brown too early as well (if it's fried at too high a heat, the outside will sear but the center will be underdone)
Yes, absolutely! I used some croissants I bought at the local grocery store in this recipe. But of course, if you made some lovely croissants yourself, you're also welcome to use those!
As a rule of thumb, using slightly old bread helps it absorb the custard better. If you bought some fresh croissants just for this recipe, that's fine too! Leave them out at room temperature to dry out a bit or toast them in the oven for a few minutes!
🍴 Serving and storage suggestions
Once it's cooled sufficiently, you can transfer the leftovers to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
I don't recommend freezing this dish (plus, it's super simple to just soak the croissants in custard overnight and bake this in a jiffy anyway!)
A few other French toast recipes you'll love:
- Brioche French Toast
- Air Fryer French Toast
- Savory French Toast (Bombay Toast)
- Air Fryer Frozen French Toast Sticks
If you're looking for other great brunch recipes, check out:
📢 Did you make this recipe?!
Please leave a comment and a star rating and let me know how it went! We love hearing from you!!
Croissant French Toast Bake
French Toast Casserole
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for greasing baking dish
- 12 croissants, medium sized, ideally 1-day old
- 8 eggs, large
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk, whole preferred but 2% works
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Grease a 9x13 casserole or baking dish with 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
- Cut croissants into half lengthwise (like you'd do for a sandwich). Place croissant halves in a single layer, evenly spaced until you cover the base of the baking dish. Set aside the remaining croissant halves while making the custard.
- In a medium-sized bowl: whisk 8 large eggs along with 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, 0.5 teaspoons of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt until they are well combined. Then, whisk in 1 cup each of heavy cream and milk until it's a smooth custardy mixture.
- Pour half this custard mixture evenly over the croissant halves in the baking dish. Use a flat spatula to push the croissant into the custard so it soaks it up. Then, place the remaining croissant halves on another even layer on top. Pour the remaining custard on top. Cover with aluminum foil. Ideally, you want the croissant to soak up the custard for at least 30 minutes in the fridge, but I often make this the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight. If you leave it overnight, take it out 30 minutes before you'll bake it.
- Set the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes. If it starts to brown too quickly, you can make a loose tent with aluminum foil.
- Cool for a few minutes minutes and top with maple syrup, powdered sugar, berries, nuts or toppings of choice before serving.
- This is great when made ahead of time and chilling it overnight really elevates the dish to a whole new level! Once cooked though, it can be reheated in an oven, air fryer or microwave oven, but I don't recommend freezing it.
- If you want a nice crumble topping: in a small bowl, combine ½ cup of all purpose flour, ½ cup of brown sugar, and ½ cup of unsalted butter along with ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Use a fork to mash up the butter so it's all evenly mixed. You can also use a hand mixer if you're feeling adventurous! Sprinkle this on the croissants right before you bake. Delicious!