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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 breakfast recipe!
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.
- 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. And lightly toss to coat, if desired.
- 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 an issue of Half & Half Magazine.
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 (about 12 - 18 croissants, depending on the size)
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 tablespoon 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 tablespoon of the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and cinnamon until smooth. Set aside.
- Using a pastry brush, spread the remaining 2 tablespoon of the melted butter over the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking pan. Add the torn croissant pieces.
- 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, taking care not to tear up the croissant pieces too much
- Bake in preheated oven for 45 - 60 minutes, or until edges are deeply golden brown and center is set. A shorter bake time will produce a croissant bake that's more gooey in the center.
- Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving with freshly whipped cream, powdered sugar, and fresh berries.
To Prepare the Casserole the Night Before
- 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 45 - 60 minutes, or until edges are deeply golden brown and center is set.
Wow 👏 this sounds delicious i am going to make this this weekend
Oh I sure hope you enjoy it! It's delicious!
Beautifully written post Amanda! Your blog looks so clean and nice as well:) have a great day!
Thank you Bernadine! I appreciate it!
Of course 🙂
Beverly Bennifield says
Can you add sausage and bacon
I'm sure you could - though I've never made it that way! Make sure they are fully cooked, drained, cooled, and diced into bite-sized pieces before adding! Thanks, Beverly 🙂
Does day old mean that I just leave the croissants out of the package overnight ?
Amanda Gajdosik says
Hi Amee, day-old simply means a day after the croissants are made. Croissants have such a high fat content that they really only taste their freshest the day they are made and they start to go stale after less than 24 hours (very similar to doughnuts!). You can leave them out of the package to speed up the process, but it isn't totally necessary.
About how many large croissants (Costco) is 2 pounds?
Amanda Gajdosik says
I'm not sure actually. I've never been to Costco or had their croissants, unfortunately. That's why I have the measurement in weight, as it's more universal. I would suggest checking the package to see what the weight is (even a quick google search) and also consider picking up a kitchen scale. 🙂 They're so handy for so many things and are very affordable!
New years brunch was cancelled due to Covid so we had an entire package of Costco croissants hanging around.
The recipe was easy and delicious but our croissants weighed 1.75 lbs and we ended up with an extra 8x8 pans worth of croissant pieces so weight isn’t a helpful measurement here. I would’ve saved the last few whole if I had known.
Amanda Gajdosik says
I (and many friends and family) have always had great success with using the weighted measurement of croissants. I'm going to remake this recipe ASAP and report back. Initially, my only thought is that your croissants weren't mixed enough or pressed down in the pan enough. But again, I'm going to remake and see what my results are!
Amanda Gajdosik says
Hi again Sarah,
I've just finished my retest of the recipe and 2 pounds of leftover croissants fit perfectly in my 9x13 pan. I even weighed them out using my kitchen scale to be certain. I want to be sure you pressed down on the croissant pieces after pouring the custard over the top? That's really a key part of making sure everything fits snuggly into the pan and bakes beautifully! In making the recipe this time I also filmed it so I can edit a video and upload it to provide even clearer instructions to my readers.
I hope this helped 🙂
I bought 12 large croissants from Costco that weighed 1 lb 12 oz and it too many for my 9x13 pan (which I measured). I would have had to really mash them down and compress them together, but I figured if I did that it wouldn't allow the custard to soak in.
Amanda Gajdosik says
Actually, that amount of croissants and that size pan *does* work. I just made this dish twice in two weeks and each time I used two pounds of croissants (weighed to make sure) and while they are kind of piled into the pan to begin with, sort of like a mountain of croissants, pouring the custard over the top and gently pressing down does indeed work and does allow them to fit in the 9x13 pan. And the custard soaks in beautifully!
If you watch the video I uploaded for the recipe I am making this recipe exactly as stated in the card - 2 pounds of croissants in a 9x13 pan.
If your adjustments worked for you I’m glad, but I promise I’ve tested this recipe so many times and the measurements are accurate 🙂