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Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole

Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole – This easy overnight French toast casserole takes all the hassle out of French toast! Try our classic recipe or one of the tasty variations below for a fun treat! (Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free)

Pouring syrup on Front view of overnight gluten-free french toast casserole topped with berries, almonds, and powdered sugar

At the end of the MOST UNUSUAL year most of us have lived through, I hope you are settling in for a good break soon! Many of us are doing things differently than we’ve ever done them, and that might mean celebrating the holidays with just your household instead of your extended family and friends, forgoing the usual traditions, or navigating new circumstances.

One thing we could all use this holiday season is a REALLY good breakfast. Like, special occasion, makes-you-feel-good-from-your-head-to-your-toes kind of breakfast. And one great option is this Gluten-Free Overnight French Toast Casserole.

I know the word “casserole” doesn’t really inspire thoughts of fanciness, but hear me out! This cozy gluten-free French toast bake takes all the fuss out of French toast (no battering individual slices of bread + cooking + flipping + cooking + repeat) and turns it into a delicious, easy, lovely breakfast or brunch that’s perfect for a lazy weekend, holiday morning, birthday, or celebration. You can even. make it the night before to make things quick and easy the next morning!

Here’s what you need to make this truly spectacular special occasion breakfast…

Overhead view of overnight gluten-free french toast casserole topped in a white baking dish

Here’s What Goes Into My Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole Recipe:

  • GLUTEN-FREE BREAD. The bread is the base of this gluten-free French toast casserole, and the better your bread, the better your casserole! I like Canyon Bakehouse, Trader Joe’s, or Three Bakers bread for my gluten-free French toast casserole. You also want it to be dry or a little stale, so this is a great way to use a less-than-perfect loaf! (See the FAQ for a tip for drying out your bread!)
  • EGGS. Traditional for French toast, eggs provide binding power, a little “puff” to the bake, and help create the signature French toast custard that makes this so amazing.
  • MILK (I USE ALMOND). You can use whatever milk your family typically drinks or uses for this recipe. We’re mostly dairy-free, so we most often use unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk, but basically any milk will work.
  • BUTTER OR VEGAN BUTTER. A tiny little bit of butter or vegan butter adds a LOT to the texture of this recipe, though it’s technically optional. I love that it makes the dish feel a bit more rich and hearty. Feel free to skip it if you prefer!
  • SYRUP OR SUGAR. To sweeten things up and help the French toast casserole brown a bit, we’ll add some pure maple syrup (or a little sugar or brown sugar) to the mixture.
  • CINNAMON + VANILLA + SALT. Plenty of seasoning makes a big difference! I like to go big on the vanilla, with plenty of cinnamon and a teeny bit of salt to balance things out.
  • A YUMMY LITTLE TOPPING. Then, if you want, you can top it with extra goodies when it comes out of the oven or add some tasty mix-ins along the way. (See the FAQ + MIX IT UP sections below for lots of ideas!)
Close up overhead view of overnight gluten-free french toast casserole topped with powdered sugar

How To Make Overnight Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole The Night Before:

  1. Grease a 9×13″ (3-quart) baking dish.
  2. Start with dry gluten-free bread (see the FAQ below for a tip!). Dice the bread into cubes.
  3. Place bread cubes in a greased 9×13″ (3-quart) baking dish. 
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, syrup/sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. (The cinnamon may look a little clumpy. Don’t worry!)
  5. Pour the egg/milk mixture over the bread in the baking dish, doing your best to evenly coat the bread.
  6. Use a spatula to *gently* pat down the bread so it’s all coated in the egg mixture.
  7. Cover the baking dish with foil.
  8. Refrigerate 8-12 hours overnight in the refrigerator.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  10. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake 30 minutes covered.
  11. Remove the foil and bake the French toast casserole an additional 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden.
  12. Cool 5 minutes or so, then cut into slices + top with powdered sugar or your favorite garnishes.
Overhead view of a slice of gluten-free french toast casserole on a white plate topped with berries and almonds

How To Make French Toast Casserole The Same Morning:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F + grease a 9×13″ (3-quart) baking dish.
  2. Start with dry gluten-free bread (see the FAQ below for a tip!). Dice the bread into cubes and add to the prepared baking dish. 
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, syrup/sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. (The cinnamon may look a little clumpy. Don’t worry!)
  4. Pour the egg/milk mixture over the bread in the baking dish, doing your best to evenly coat the bread.
  5. Use a spatula to *gently* pat down the bread so it’s all coated in the egg mixture.
  6. Cover the baking dish with foil.
  7. Let the casserole sit at least 15-20 minutes to allow it some time to absorb the custard. (1-2 hours in the refrigerator is better, if you have the time!)
  8. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake 30 minutes covered.
  9. Remove the foil and bake the French toast casserole an additional 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden.
  10. Cool 5 minutes or so, then cut into slices + top with powdered sugar or your favorite garnishes.
Front view of overnight gluten-free french toast casserole topped with berries, almonds, and powdered sugar

Mix It Up With One Of These Yummy Variations On Our Gluten-Free French Toast Bake:

It’s tough to beat classic cinnamon overnight french toast casserole, but I love to try! If you’re feeling like a change of pace, try one of these yummy mix-ins:

  1. FRESH BERRIES OR MIXED BERRY. My favorite easy variation on gluten-free French toast casserole is adding 1-1 1/2 cups fresh berries. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries all work! Add one variety or mix a few together for a colorful, sweet twist. (Note: you *can* use frozen berries. They just tend to bleed their color a bit and have a softer texture. If those 2 things don’t bother you, go right ahead!)
  2. SLICED PEACH. In the summer, try adding a sliced peach (or two) to the recipe! The sweet, happy brightness is lovely with the cinnamon. (Plus, is there ANYTHING better than a fresh peach?)
  3. BROWNED BUTTER. In our pre-dairy-free days, I LOVED using browned butter in French toast! It adds a gorgeous caramel-y flavor and depth that’s lovely with berries and nuts. To make this variation, simply brown your butter before using it in this recipe, using 3 Tbsp. of butter instead of 2 Tbsp.
  4. PECAN. Pecans are one of my favorite additions! The nutty crunch is so satisfying next to the cinnamon and the custardy sweetness of the French toast bake. It *almost* feels like eating a sticky bun. Almost.
  5. EGGNOG. Turn this into Gluten-Free Egg Nog French Toast Casserole by swapping out the milk for eggnog or dairy-free eggnog. (Note: you likely want to omit the syrup + seasonings if you go this route!)
  6. CHOCOLATE CHIPS. Feeling like the fun mom/dad/human? Add some chocolate chips!
  7. CINNAMON ROLL. If you really want to make this special, add 3-4 Tbsp. of brown sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp. cinnamon on the top of the French toast bake before popping it into the oven. Then, drizzle over a little glaze made out of 1/4 cup powdered sugar + 1-3 tsp. milk.
Overhead view of overnight gluten-free french toast casserole topped with powdered sugar

FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Gluten-Free Baked French Toast Casserole:

USE DRY OR STALE BREAD. You really want to use dry or stale bread for gluten-free french toast casserole since it keeps the bread from getting too soggy. You can leave your bread out overnight or throughout the day before adding it to this recipe, or you can dry it in a 200 degree F oven for 10 minutes or so. (The bread should dry out but shouldn’t color or get toasted.) Let it cool completely before adding to the recipe.

HOW LONG IN ADVANCE CAN I MAKE GLUTEN-FREE FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE? I say overnight, but I really mean 8-12 hours, tops. The longer you leave the bread to soak, the softer it gets. Once you past that 12-hour mark, it tends to go from “soaked in goodness” to “soggy + falling apart.” No bueno. So, try to stick to an 8-12 hour window for best results.

DO I HAVE TO MAKE THIS FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE OVERNIGHT? Nope! If you prefer to make it fresh, or forgot to make it the night before, NO WORRIES. Just mix it up as directed. Let it soak at least 15-20 minutes if you have the time, then pop it in the oven to cook. It won’t be quite as custardy, but it’ll still taste great!

YUMMY TOPPINGS FOR FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE. Once it comes out of the oven, your French toast casserole is a perfect blank slate for extra toppings and garnishes. Feel free to garnish it with:

  • Whipped Cream or Whipped Coconut Cream
  • Fresh Berries
  • Powdered Sugar (just 1 Tablespoon can coat the whole casserole!)
  • Maple Syrup
  • Sliced Peaches
  • Toasted Pecans
  • Sliced Almonds (love to toast them first!)
Overhead view of a slice of gluten-free french toast casserole on a white plate topped with berries and almonds
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Pouring syrup on Front view of overnight gluten-free french toast casserole topped with berries, almonds, and powdered sugar

Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 1 hour hands-on
  • Yield: 8 Generous servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole – This easy overnight French toast casserole takes all the hassle out of French toast! Try our classic recipe or one of the tasty variations below for a fun treat! (Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free)

**It’s really important that you use dry or slightly stale bread for this recipe so it doesn’t go soggy. See the notes section below for tips on speeding things along if your bread isn’t dry/stale. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (15 oz) loaf dry or slightly stale gluten-free bread* (I like Canyon Bakehouse for this!), cut into 1-inch cubes (you’ll have about 910 cups cubed bread)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (regular or dairy-free milk: I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, white sugar, or brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or vegan butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: pure maple syrup, powdered sugar, fresh berries, sliced peaches, toasted pecans, sliced almonds, etc.


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. if you’re making this right away. (Don’t preheat if you’re making it the night before)
  2. Grease a 9×13″ (3-quart) baking dish and add the diced bread cubes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, syrup/sugar, butter/vegan butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. (The cinnamon may look a little clumpy. Don’t worry!)
  4. Pour the egg/milk mixture over the bread in the baking dish, doing your best to evenly coat the bread.
  5. Use a spatula to *gently* pat down the bread so it’s all coated in the egg mixture.
  6. Cover the baking dish with foil.

IF YOU’RE MAKING IT THE SAME MORNING:

  1. Let the casserole sit at least 15-20 minutes if you can to allow it some time to absorb the custard. (1-2 hours in the refrigerator is better, if you have the time!)
  2. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake 30 minutes covered.
  3. Remove the foil and bake the French toast casserole an additional 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden.
  4. Cool 5 minutes or so, then cut into slices + top with powdered sugar or your favorite garnishes.

IF YOU’RE MAKING IT THE NIGHT BEFORE:

  1. Refrigerate 8-12 hours overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake 30 minutes covered.
  4. Remove the foil and bake the French toast casserole an additional 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden.
  5. Cool 5 minutes or so, then cut into slices + top with powdered sugar or your favorite garnishes.

Notes

*HOW TO DRY BREAD FOR FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE: If your bread isn’t dry, you can leave it out overnight or all day to dry, or pop it in a 200 degree oven on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes to speed things along. Let the bread cool completely before proceeding with the recipe.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes + 8 hours to soak
  • Cook Time: 45-50 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: gluten free french toast casserole, gluten-free French toast casserole, gluten-free French toast bake, gluten-free baked French toast

8 Comments

  1. I make this for dinner at least once a month. When partial loves and ends are getting stale I put them in the freezer. Once I have enough, we make this using up any frozen fruit bits too. I serve it with bacon or sausage and the we reheat leftovers for breakfasts. No one complains on French toast night!

  2. Hi Emily, can you reheat this (I’m using non-gf bread) without it getting soggy? This sounds good for Christmas (anytime actually!!).

    Thanks!

  3. We love this overnight French toast casserole! I’ve even fed it to people who don’t normally eat gluten free and they enjoyed it as well. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I’ve never frozen it before, but it would probably work? Otherwise, it easily mixes up the night before to bake in the morning!

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