This easy, Overnight Banana Bread French Toast Casserole is the perfect combination of breakfast favorites. This recipe uses the traditional, decadent ingredients found in French Toast, and combines them with the best banana bread ever. I guarantee you'll end up with your new favorite brunch dish.
Overnight Banana Bread French Toast Casserole
To make this casserole, you're going to need a loaf of banana bread. First, determine how much of the loaf you need based on the size of your baking pan (use 9x9 or 9x13). I used half of the loaf and a 9x9 pan (pan linked here for reference . If you use a 9x13, you'll use more like ⅔ to ¾ of the loaf.
For a great banana bread recipe (my favorite chocolate chunk banana bread), click here! Tip: I eliminated the chocolate chips when I made this recipe for this casserole.
If you're baking a fresh loaf, give it a few minutes longer in the oven than you usually do. This gives the top of the bread more crunch, and balances out the texture in the French toast casserole perfectly. Usually, French toast casseroles are made with bread with a harder crust (like French bread, challah, ciabatta), so they don't get soggy. The extra time in the oven (or even leaving it out, uncovered for a day), will prevent that issue.
Alternatively, if you happen to have a loaf of uneaten banana bread that you can use ( I never do), you can toast it in the oven for a few minutes to harden it up. Don't go crazy, I'm talking 3-5 minutes at about 350-375.
Next, you should know that this recipe was basically created out of my laziness, and leaves a lot of room for versatility. I was hosting a family brunch, and my nephew requested French toast a few days before, but with banana bread. Since I didn't want to be stationed at the stove and cooking individual slices of bread, I decided an oven-baked, casserole-style recipe was the way to go.
Because I didn't have a set list of ingredients I wanted to use, I went with ingredients I normally like with French toast. For example, if you want the extra crunch like I did, add chopped pecans or walnuts. Add freshly sliced banana at the end, or you can add other fresh fruit. Now, as I'm typing this, I wish I had experimented with drizzling Nutella over it when it came out of the oven. I served mine with a dusting of powdered sugar and syrup, but whipped cream would also make a lovely topping at the end.
A few tips for making this:
- First, make sure you give yourself enough time to let the bread absorb the filling that you're going to pour over it. The easiest way to do this is preparing it the night before, but if you are in a pinch, give it at least a few hours of time in the fridge before baking.
- Second, use a cooking spray or a lot of butter to grease your baking pan/dish. If you don't, the sauce and filling will stick to the sides and you will have a really hard time serving it.
- Third, the recommended baking time on this is between 30 and 40 minutes. I have made this recipe in some ovens and it was ready after 38 minutes. I made this recipe in my crazy oven and I was approaching well-done at 30 minutes. In both cases the casseroles baked on convection at 375 degrees). The moral of the story here, is start checking at 30 minutes. As long as it doesn't look like it's getting too dark, let it stay in at least 35 minutes.
- Fourth, if you don't have French Vanilla coffee creamer, you can substitute with more whole milk or heavy whipping cream. The creamer just adds a little sweetness and richness to the overall flavor.
- Last, feel free to add a little extra of the sauce you pour on it immediately before baking. I planned to serve mine with powdered sugar and syrup so I did not go heavy on the sauce, but it's got a delicious, caramel (ish) taste so I doubt that anyone would complain about having extra.
Here's what you're going to need....
- Whole Milk
- French Vanilla Coffee Creamer (optional)
- Ground Cinnamon
- Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
- Unsalted Butter
- Granulated sugar
- Dark Brown Sugar
- Fresh Banana (1 or 2)
- Chopped Pecans (or walnuts)
- Banana Bread (pre-baked)
- Cooking Spray
- Powdered Sugar (optional-for serving)
- Maple Syrup (optional-for serving)
More Delicious Breakfast and Brunch Recipes
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Overnight Banana Bread French Toast Casserole
- Spray your baking dish with baking spray (cooking spray with flour) or butter it very well.
- Break your banana bread into bite size (but not too small) pieces and place in the dish
- In a separate bowl or large measuring cup with a spout, whisk eggs and ground cinnamon to combine. After the cinnamon and eggs are well combined, add in the milk, coffee creamer, and sugar. Stir until well blended.
- Pour egg mixture evenly over the banana bread pieces. Pat down the pieces that are on the top so they absorb some of the egg mixture.
- Now, cover securely and refrigerate overnight or for at least several hours.
- Remove casserole dish from refrigerator and uncover.
- In a separate bowl or measuring cup with a spout, melt butter, and stir in brown sugar and vanilla bean paste.
- Pour butter mixture evenly over banana bread.
- Chop pecans and sprinkle over banana bread.
- Bake at 375°, on convection, for 30 minutes. Check at 30 minutes and as long as it doesn't look like it has gotten too dark, let it cook another 5-8 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and slice fresh banana over casserole, tucking bananas throughout. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm. Optional toppings: pancake syrup or whipped cream, Nutella, or chocolate syrup