Cinnamon Toast Crunch French Toast Casserole
I feel like I missed out on years and years of eating french toast. My mom always loved it, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why someone would ever order french toast over a pancake. But as I got older and wiser, I started to understand why. The reason is – it’s good. And really just another vehicle for maple syrup. After I decided I liked it, then I had a whole new problem. Instead of struggling to understand why someone would order french toast, I struggled to decide whether I should order french toast or a pancake at brunch. Actually, that’s why we had twins. There’s no deciding anymore; we can order the french toast AND the pancakes. The grilled cheese AND the chicken fingers. The hot dog AND the hamburger. God must have known about this lifelong struggle of mine and decided enough was enough – we’re blessing her with two eaters.
So onto this casserole. I really don’t like making brunch at home. It’s messy, usually requires lots of different ingredients and pans, and it makes the house smell like bacon until the end of time. But this french toast casserole – is different. It’s easy, quick, requires one dish, can (should) be prepared the night before, smells AMAZING when baking, and is so worth eating you won’t even think about the cream and butter in there.
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 large loaf Challah bread (about 1 lb)
- 7 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups half & half
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 2 cups Cinnamon Toast Crunch or similar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
In a large bowl, whisk together the beaten eggs, half & half, milk, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla. Set aside. Slice a large loaf of challah bread into 2-inch cubes. Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter, and pour into a 9×13 inch dish to coat. Place the cubed bread into the dish, then pour the cream mixture all over the bread, making sure to soak every little square inch. Cover and refrigerate overnight (you can do just a few hours if that’s all the time you have, but overnight is best). The topping will be prepared the next day.
When ready to bake, remove from fridge. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly crush the 2 cups Cinnamon toast crunch. Mix with the stick of melted butter and 2 tablespoons sugar. Pour the cinnamon toast crunch mixture over the casserole, making sure the melted butter gets in every nook and cranny. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Serve with maple syrup (although you really don’t need it).