Strawberry and Cream Overnight French Toast is an easy breakfast to prep the night before and enjoy the next morning, warm from the oven! The base of this simple French toast recipe is made with rich and buttery brioche bread. The finishing touch of freshly made vanilla bean whipped cream really transforms this french toast bake from ordinary into extraordinary!
Strawberry season is one of my favorites! I always remember my Dad bringing home fresh crates of strawberries on his way home from work when I was a kid. I could just sit there and eat bowls and bowls of them on hot summer afternoons. Whenever I see strawberries start to pop up in seasonal menus, I know we are headed for summer.
This strawberry and cream overnight French toast is a great recipe to whip up for a Father’s Day Brunch or any summertime brunch, really. My favorite brunch recipes are ones that you can make the night before and just pop in the oven to finish off. Less time cooking and more time for mimosas (or more time for Sparkling Strawberry Champagne Sangria, to pair with your French toast casserole!) is my weekend morning motto.
Can you keep French Toast overnight?
The short answer – yes! Overnight French toast actually tastes better the next day because the sweet, vanilla and honey custard has more time to soak into the bread, creating a luscious and fully saturated French toast bake. After prepping your easy Strawberry and Cream Overnight French Toast, cover with aluminum foil, and place in the fridge. The next morning, remove from the fridge 30 minutes prior to baking and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the casserole dish and bake the overnight French toast for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown.
For a quick and easy version (or if you just don’t have the time to soak the French toast overnight), once you prepare the French toast, cover, and allow it to soak for at least 30 minutes. The brioche bread will not be as fully saturated as the overnight French toast, but it will definitely still be delicious.
The Best Bread for French Toast
I really find the best type of bread for overnight French Toast casserole to be brioche bread. This is the traditional bread used in most french toast recipes because it has an ultra buttery and somewhat sweet flavor, which goes so perfectly with our homemade vanilla custard. But you can use Challah or French bread baguette, too!
A Little Bread Technique
The best overnight French toast is made with dried bread. Yes, it must be dried! This little trick means the strawberry and cream overnight French toast will not be soggy! You can wait for your bread to become stale, but this could take a couple days, and because I am impatient and I am only willing to wait one night to reach French toast heaven, I like to cube up the bread and dry it out in a 350 oven for 8-10 minutes. It gets the job done a lot faster!
Strawberry and Cream is the Best Flavor Combo!
I don’t know what it is about strawberries and fresh whipped cream, but it is such a classic flavor combination that really hits the spot. And it is the perfect time of year to use up all those super sweet strawberries from the Farmer’s Market. We are taking it a step further by making this Strawberry and Cream Overnight French Toast with the added bonus of strawberry jam! I feel like it really amps up the strawberry flavor. If you don’t have strawberry jam, any of your favorite berry jam will do. As far as the cream goes, vanilla beans are the special touch. They are a bit on the pricey side, but since you are making this for Father’s Day brunch, I say that’s a special occasion!
How to Scrape the Seeds from a Vanilla Bean
If you have never worked with a vanilla bean before, they’re pretty simple. Vanilla beans are kind of like a pod where all the tiny little seeds are on the inside. Simply place it flat on your cutting board and slice the entire bean in half lengthwise with a paring knife. Using the back of your knife, scrape the seeds out and add it to the mixer when you make the whipped cream. Those little flecks of vanilla seeds are beautiful and delicious! BONUS: Save the vanilla pod and place it in a bowl of sugar. After a day or two, the vanilla flavor will infuse the sugar. Now you have vanilla scented sugar!
A perfect Father’s Day brunch, or any warm weather brunch gathering, I know this will be a hit! Pour yourself a mimosa and enjoy all your hard work! Happy Father’s Day!
Strawberry and Cream Overnight French Toast is an easy breakfast to prep the night before and enjoy the next morning, warm from the oven!
Strawberry French Toast:
3 cups Strawberries, quartered (and divided)
Zest of 1 Lemon
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup Jam (strawberry preferred)
1 loaf Brioche, Challah, or French bread, cut into cubes
6 large Eggs
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Honey
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Vanilla Bean Whip Cream:
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean, sliced down the center and seeds scraped
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Maple Syrup + Powdered Sugar, for serving
Strawberry French Toast:
In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of strawberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, and jam, set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place bread cubes onto a large baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until toasty and lightly golden.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, heavy cream, vanilla extract, honey, and salt.
Place the bread cubes into a large casserole dish and pour egg mixture evenly over the top. Dollop bread-egg mixture evenly with strawberry jam mixture. Cover overnight French Toast and refrigerate overnight. (Or, if you are short on time, a minimum of 30 minutes).
Preheat oven to 350 F. Remove casserole dish from refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Uncover and bake overnight French Toast for 35-45 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Serve with vanilla bean whip cream, maple syrup, and powdered sugar.
Vanilla Bean Whip Cream:
Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3-4 minutes.
Keywords: Strawberry and Cream Overnight French Toast, Strawberry and Cream French Toast Casserole, Overnight French Toast, Overnight French Toast Casserole, Strawberry French Toast Bake