Add an extra layer of decadence to breakfast with this sweet and simple croissant French toast bake! Ready in less than an hour, it’s full of flaky croissant pieces, rich custard, and sweet vanilla. Top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, freshly whipped cream, and berries for a truly show-stopping dish!
Looking for a way to use up leftover or stale croissants? Look no further! This recipe for baked croissant French toast is two of my favorite things combined into one! The flaky, French pastries get new life from a rich custard in a hands-off breakfast casserole that is ready in no time! As a bonus – it can be prepped the night before to be made the next day!
Ingredients for Baked French Toast Casserole
- Day old croissants (you can make your own, or buy them at a grocery store)
- Whole Milk
- Heavy Cream
- Vanilla Extract
This is one of those breakfast recipes that seems fancy, but is really easy, effortless, and endlessly forgiving! It is quite decadent and definitely a great option for a holiday brunch, but is easy enough that if the craving strikes, it could be made on a weekday thanks to an overnight soaking option!
How to make a Croissant French Toast Bake
- Make the custard. Simply whisk all the ingredients for the custard in a large measuring cup and set aside.
- Prepare the pan. Brush it generously with melted butter. Amen.
- Add the croissants. In an even layer in the pan. Having all the layers of torn croissant pieces means there will be so many places for the custard base to hang out.
- Pour the custard over the croissants. Yep. That’s it.
- Press down gently. To ensure the custard is soaking into all of the croissants. Give it a toss to coat if you're feeling like it.
- Bake the casserole. Either right away or let it hang out in the fridge overnight and then bake. Yep! It’s that versatile and delicious either way!
- Serve! With whipped cream, powdered sugar, and fresh berries. To die for!
How to store leftover croissants
I used to make dozens and dozens of croissants every weekend when I was a baker at this little café in Greenville, SC. Ever since, I’ve been obsessed with making them! While they’re time intensive, they don’t require much skill or effort. Just patience! I actually find the process of making croissants very pleasing and soothing. In fact, I produced an entire step-by-step in how to make them in the latest issue of Half & Half (have you subscribed yet?).
The only downside is that while croissants are a gift from the gods when they’re fresh, they don’t keep very long. So, what to do with the leftovers? How can you store croissants to enjoy them for another day?
While it’s certainly possible to reheat a day-old croissant and enjoy it, the quality quickly deteriorates after a day. The best way to save croissants for a later date is to place in a freezer-safe ziptop bag, squeeze out all the air, and freeze! When ready to make the French toast bake, remove the croissants from the freezer a day in advance to thaw in the refrigerator.
And then enjoy this croissant French toast bake whenever the craving strikes!
Croissant French Toast Bake
- 9x13 baking pan
- Silicone Pastry Brush
- Large Measuring Cup
- 2 pounds croissants day old and torn into large pieces
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 8 TBSP unsalted butter melted and divided
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, 6 TBSP of the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and cinnamon until smooth. Set aside.
- Using a pastry brush, spread the remaining 2 TBSP of the melted butter over the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking pan. Spread the croissant pieces into a single layer in the pan.
- Evenly pour the custard over the croissant pieces. Press down slightly with hands to ensure the custard is being soaked into all the bread pieces. Toss gently, if desired.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35 – 45 minutes, or until edges are deeply golden brown and center is set.
- Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving with freshly whipped cream, powdered sugar, and fresh berries.
- Make ahead instructions: Prepare the casserole as directed above through adding the custard to the croissant pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove from the fridge and remove plastic while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the casserole in preheated oven for 35 – 45 minutes, or until edges are deeply golden brown and center is set.