I got this recipe from Betty Crocker's "Most Requested Recipes" cookbook. It was a hit with the family so this will become a tradition for those days when we want something ready to go in the morning. A dish I can just pop in the oven, bake & serve.
The berry sauce recipe came from Betty Crocker too, but from one of their recipe magazines. (I cut it out & have no idea what the magazine's title was!) The sauce is completely optional. I love it, but my family prefers powdered sugar or syrup.
This is easy & delicious. In fact, my teenage girls did the "night before" prep and my hubby made the fruit sauce the next day. Enjoy!
Overnight French Toast Bake with Berry Sauce
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Start to Finish: 4 hours 50 minutes minimum
French Toast Bake:
12 cups cubed (1 inch) soft French bread (about 13 ozs) - I used a french loaf from my grocery store - do not use the ends of the loaf
3 cups half-and-half (you could use plain milk, but it's soggier after you bake it & not as rich)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (I double this because we love cinnamon!)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup orange juice
1 12oz bag frozen unsweetened mixed berries
3 cups fresh strawberries, cut into quarters (or just use your favorite berry like raspberry, blackberry, etc)
- Spray bottom & sides of 13x9" (3 quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Place bread cubes in baking dish.
- In large bowl, beat eggs, half-and-half, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, salt & vanilla with wire whisk until smooth. Pour mixture over bread cubes. Press cubes lightly into egg mixture & turn over any pieces that are still dry on one side. You want each bread cube to be coated with the egg mixture.
- Cover tightly; refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 24 hours. I like to do this before I go to bed & bake it first thing in the morning.
- Preheat oven to 400*F.
- Uncover dish; bake 25-35 minutes or until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.
- While French Toast Bake is baking: In 2-quart saucepan, stir together 1 cup sugar and cornstarch. Stir in orange juice until smooth. Stir in mixed berries.
- Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Cook about 6 minutes, stirring constantly, until topping is slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
- Just before serving, stir strawberries (or your favorite berry) into topping. Serve warm over French Toast Bake.
Because I'm allergic to strawberries, we used raspberries in our berry sauce - YUM!!
This berry sauce is so good over cake!! Pound cake, angel food cake & chocolate cake are our favorites. It freezes well too. I pour it into a ziplock bag after it has cooled & seal it tightly. It stays good in your freezer up to 3 months.
The French Toast Bake is delicious with syrup and powdered sugar, but if you have a good powered sugar glaze recipe that is amazing too! We like this as a side for eggs too.