Prep this blueberry streusel french toast casserole the night before for an easy, next-day breakfast or brunch dish!
Now, this is comfort food at it’s finest A big old casserole of custardy overnight blueberry streusel french toast with the most amazing, crunchy, brown sugar and cinnamon streusel baked right in! The best part is that you can put it together it the night before, stick it in the fridge, and in the morning just pop it in the oven for breakfast.
What could be better than just being able to wait for your breakfast to get done..no standing at the stove flipping endless slices for your crowd and not being able to just enjoy.
*This recipe can also be assembled and baked the same day.
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MAKING STREUSEL TOPPING
Streusel is that heavenly, insanely delicious, crumbly topping made from flour, butter and sugar. It’s used to top cakes, pastry, muffins, pies and sometimes used as a layer in the middle of cakes. There are lots of variations, like using brown sugar or adding in spices such as cinnamon, cardamom or allspice.
There are only a two simple steps to creating a tasty streusel topping. 1. In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients, except the butter. 2. Use a pastry blender or fork to cut the cold cubed butter into the streusel mix. This process creates a crumbly mixture, known as streusel, instead of one mass of dough.
*Pro Tips – for the best overnight french toast
Oven French Toast is an incredible time-saver when making breakfast for a crowd. Our Oven Strawberry French Toast and Blackberry Cream French Toast are two of our most popular breakfast recipes because they can be made ahead! Assemble everything the night before, then just pop the casserole in the oven. Imagine being free to just sit down, relax and enjoy your morning coffee until breakfast is done.
- too much dairy or not enough mixing results in a thin custard mixture which can easily make your bread soggy. Measure your ingredients carefully and vigorously whisk the eggs into the cream and milk until completely combined.
- use the right bread. Standard sliced loaf bread is not sturdy enough to absorb the custard and retain a nice texture. An Italian or French loaf are great for baked french toast, as well as Brioche or Challah.
- day old bread is best for making french toast. Bread with too much moisture will not absorb the custard mix as readily as day old or dried bread. (see instructions below for drying bread)
- say “yes” to fresh blueberries! Drain any juice before adding the blueberries to the bread. Thawed frozen blueberries are okay to use as long as the blueberries are well-drained, otherwise, say “hello” to purple french toast!
- soak the bread for at least 15 – 20 minutes before baking. The entire slice should be coated and soaked in the custard. You might need to press down on the bread to help the custard absorb.
- adjust the sugar to your tastes – use less sugar if you are going to serve the french toast with syrup or dusted with powdered sugar.
- buy extra blueberries to use later for garnish and for a luxurious touch, warm your syrup before serving.
*Pro Tips – how to make fresh bread into “day old”
The best day old bread for french toast is the kind that has sat in the package on your counter for a few days. Didn’t plan ahead? Well, here’s what to do to get your bread into “day old” shape. Just follow the steps below to get your bread ready in a jiffy.
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Cut the bread loaf into slices as called for in the recipe.
- Place the slices in a single layer on sheet pan large enough to fit all the bread slices with no overlap.
- Bake on the middle rack of oven for 15 minutes until the bread is dry and toasted, but not crumbling when you touch it.
- Use the dried-out bread in your recipe.
TOOLS TO MAKE BLUEBERRY STREUSEL FRENCH TOAST
- Ceramic Baking Pan – this is similar to the ruffled edge baker I used.
- Large Measuring Cup – makes it easy to measure large amount of liquid.
- Whisk with Bowl Scraper – easily get every last bit out of the bowl!
Blueberry Streusel French Toast
For the French Toast
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9 x 13 or similar size baking dish.
- Cut bread into 1-1/2 inch cubes. Add to baking dish. Tuck blueberries and cream cheese cubes around the bread cubes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla until frothy. Pour over bread cubes to soak. Press down on bread with the back of a spoon to help absorb egg mixture. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow egg to absorb.
- In a small bowl, using pastry blender or fork, combine flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and lemon until resembles large crumbs. Sprinkle streusel mixture evenly over the bread cubes, covering the entire top.
- Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 30 minutes until bread is puffed and streusel is golden.
- Let the pan sit for a few minutes before serving with additional berries and warm maple syrup.
- Follow instructions for making french toast and streusel. Cover and refrigerate separately until ready to bake.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Remove prepped french toast and streusel from refrigerator and allow to sit on counter for 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle streusel mixture over french toast right before baking. Bake according to instructions.
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