Baked french toast casserole with blueberries and lemon curd taste like heaven on a plate, and you can it eat for breakfast! Sweet and tart blueberries swirled with zesty lemon curd baked into french toast soaked bread and topped with crunchy crumble topping. It’s an easy, no fuss breakfast that will wow your family.
“Oh wow…” first words out of everyone’s mouth after trying this blueberry and lemon version of the classic recipe.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of this make-ahead breakfast delight, I am begging you to give it a try.
Similar to my fan favorite Raspberry Cheesecake French Toast Bake, but even easier!
You'll drool for this easy hot breakfast:
- Soft, sweet, cinnamon bites of bread
- Burst of warm juicy blueberries
- Tangy and tart lemon curd
- Crisp, dessert-like crumble topping
You can prep it the night before, make it in advance and reheat, or serve it straight out of the oven for breakfast, brunch, or even dessert!
INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTIONS
Bread: This is one of those “use what you got!” recipes that we all love. Its very customizable to what ingredients you have on hand.
For the bread, my favorite style to use is challah. Its buttery and light like brioche but just a touch more durable so it won’t fall apart once it gets wet.
Other options for bread are sourdough, french bread, brioche, or any white bread - leftover hamburger and hot dog buns are fair game!
Fruit: Fresh or frozen blueberries work great for french toast casserole and the lemon curd can be homemade or storebought. You can also change up what you’re using completely. Substitute any sort of preserve (raspberry, strawberry, etc.) for the lemon curd and any fresh or frozen fruit for the blueberries. Just keep the measurements the same and you’re good to go!
I have a dairy-free lemon curd recipe that’s easily made with vegan or cow’s milk butter.
Classic French Toast Ingredients: you’ll need the classic french toast ingredients - eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract, along with milk, heavy cream, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
If you needed a dairy free french toast bake recipe, try substituting the whole milk with almond or oat milk and the heavy cream with coconut milk (or another very rich dairy-free milk).
Crumble Topping: I’m pleading with you - don’t skip the crumble topping! It's like leaving the house without shoes on. You can do it but you’ll feel incomplete and a little naked.
All you need are equal parts sugar, butter, and flour.
HOW TO MAKE ANY STYLE FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
This recipe is just such a knockout because not only is it 1. easy to make, 2. so so so delicious, and 3. you can make it ahead of time if you want!
You can use this recipe and customize it any way your heart desires! Substitute any sort of fruit or skip it entirely and use warming spices like apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice, or chai spices. Leave out the lemon zest if you decide to skip the fruit.
If choosing to make a classic french toast casserole, transfer the soaked bread pieces to the greased baking dish before the instructions call for the fruit.
Serve the final dish as is, top it with fresh blueberries, maple syrup, or a dollop of whipped cream.
FAQS & TIPS
This happens when the bread to egg and milk ratio is off and there is too much of the wet ingredients. This recipe will come out perfectly balanced if you’re using a full-size challah loaf as written in the ingredient list.
If substituting another bread, you can avoid a soggy casserole by adding the wet ingredients a little at a time until the bread pieces are well soaked and coated but not completely falling apart or ‘swimming’.
Challah is my favorite bread to use for this style recipe. Sturdy but still airy. The best three breads for baked french toast are challah, french bread, or brioche.
Absolutely! You can make this recipe all the way through and then reheat it the day of OR follow all the instructions through transferring it to the baking dish then cover it and bake it the next day.
If baking this recipe in advance and need to reheat the whole baking dish I would highly recommend cooking it on the shorter side - about 40 minutes - and reheating at 350 for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Reheating a single serving slice in the microwave works perfectly fine and what we do most often. If you want that fresh out of the oven texture, try adding a little maple syrup drizzle before reheating or covering the piece with a damp paper towel before microwaving.
My favorite way to make the crumble topping is using the food processor. Its so easy and quick. You can also use a pastry cutter or even your fingers. The key is to make sure the butter is nice and cold.
If you decide to skip the crumble topping, cover the baking dish with foil for about 25 minutes then remove it and finish baking.
The crumble topping will 'protect' the bread from overcooking, but without it the top may brown a little faster.
I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as ours did! We will be making it for our family vacation next week. Be sure to let me know how you served yours!
If you loved this recipe, please consider leaving a star rating below in the recipe card and sharing on social media. Thank you for your support!!
Blueberry Lemon Baked French Toast Casserole
- 9x13 baking dish
- large mixing bowl
- 1 loaf challah, sourdough, or brioche (see notes)
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- ½ cup lemon curd
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray or grease with butter. Cut the challah bread into bite-sized pieces using a bread knife or by hand tearing.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the 6 eggs, 2 cups whole milk, ½ cup heavy cream, ¼ cup brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and lemon zest.
- Add the pieces of bread to the french toast batter mixture in the large bowl and gently toss until all the pieces of bread are coated. Mix in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- Dot the top of the french toast casserole with spoonfuls of lemon curd. Run a spoon, spatula, or knife through to swirl it in.
- Prepare the crumble topping. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and butter together. Alternatively, you can use a pastry cutter or your fingers to break the butter into pea size pieces and mix with the flour and sugar. Sprinkle over the top of the prepared casserole. Optional: top with more blueberries.
- Bake at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes. The center will be just a touch jiggly and the edges should be golden brown. Serve warm.
- The bread. Challah loaf yields the best results for me, every time. It's the perfect amount of bread and the right softness - it's tender but doesn't fall apart. If using brioche you may need two loaves depending on the size. Sourdough or french bread is a great option, especially if you want to prep everything the night before and bake in the morning.
- Skipping the crumble topping: cover the baking dish with foil for about 25 minutes then remove it and finish baking. The crumble topping will 'protect' the bread from overcooking, but without it the top may brown a little faster.
- Reheating: To bake in advance and reheat the whole baking dish I would highly recommend cooking it on the shorter side - about 40 minutes - and reheating at 350 for about 10 to 15 minutes. If reheating a single serving slice in the microwave works perfectly fine (and what we do most often.) For that fresh out of the oven texture, try adding a little maple syrup drizzle before reheating or covering the piece with a damp paper towel before microwaving.