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Croissant French Toast Bake

This easy Croissant French Toast Bake made with buttery, flaky croissants soaked in a creamy vanilla custard is perfect for a weekend, holiday or special occasion breakfast or brunch…and you can even make it ahead!

If you’ve got some leftover croissants that are a starting to lose their freshness, don’t let them go to waste. They’re perfect for making this croissant French toast casserole!

In fact, when it comes to making French toast, using day-old or slightly stale bread is actually a good thing (although you don’t have to). It will absorb the custard easier and will also help ensure the bread doesn’t get too soggy.

My love for French toast came from my mom. Growing up, she made it for breakfast on so many mornings before school (the smell of it cooking always takes me back to those days!).

French toast isn’t hard to make. But if you’re making more than just a few pieces, it can be a little tedious standing at the stove soaking and frying the bread in batches (plus, you then have to keep the cooked pieces warm while you finish the rest).

Enter the brilliance of French toast casserole, which makes it all so much easier! Just cube the bread, put it in a baking dish, mix your custard, pour it over the bread, let it soak for a bit, then bake and serve.

And using croissants makes it a little more fancy, special and extra delicious!

The tops of the croissants get beautifully golden brown and crisp, while the inside of the casserole stays slightly moist, creamy and fluffy.

I especially love this recipe because the French toast isn’t very sweet on its own, so when you add your favorite toppings, such as butter and warm maple syrup (my favorite!) or a sprinkle of powdered sugar, it’s absolute perfection!

all of the ingredients needed to make croissant French toast bake: croissants, eggs, heavy cream, milk, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and cooking spray

Ingredients You Need:

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card below.

  • Cooking spray
  • Croissants (preferably day-old or slightly stale)
  • Eggs
  • Whole milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Light brown sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Desired toppings (such as butter and maple syrup or powdered sugar)

Note: The above video is just a brief overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and detailed instructions.

Recipe Tips & Tidbits:

  • If all you’ve got are some fresh croissants and you’re in a hurry to make this casserole, you can definitely use them with excellent results (I have and, honestly, there wasn’t a major difference!).
    • If you want, you can “stale” the croissants by cutting them in half and either leaving them out overnight, putting them in a low oven (250°F) for 20 to 30 minutes, or very lightly toasting them.
  • Get real-deal bakery croissants for this recipe; don’t use crescent rolls (they’re not the same).
  • To test for doneness, insert a knife into the center of the casserole. If it comes out clean, you’re good to go. If it comes out with liquid egg mixture on it, it needs more time.
  • The casserole will be puffy when it comes out of the oven, but it will deflate a bit as it cools.
  • Feeding a crowd? Double the recipe and use a 9x13x2-inch baking dish (you may need to increase the baking time).

Substitutions:

  • Instead of croissants, you can use cubed bread such as brioche, challah or French bread. Just be sure to use a sturdier bread; bread that is flimsy will likely fall apart and turn to mush.
  • Use 1½ cups of half-and-half in place of the milk and cream.
  • I enjoy the extra richness of the heavy cream, but you can use all whole milk (1½ cups) instead of a combination of milk and cream.
  • During the holidays, try using eggnog in place of the milk and cream!
  • White sugar can be used instead of brown.

Variations:

  • You can add some cinnamon and/or nutmeg to the custard if you’d like.
  • Try adding some fresh fruit in with the croissants, such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or chopped strawberries.
  • Add dried fruits such as raisins or cranberries.
  • Or how about adding some nuts, such as almonds or pecans?
overhead view of a baking dish of croissant French toast bake with a white kitchen towel and a spatula on the side

Make-Ahead, Storing Leftovers and Freezing:

  • Make-Ahead: Yes!
    • The night before, assemble the casserole as per the recipe then cover and put in the refrigerator overnight.
    • In the morning, take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature to take the chill off for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven, then bake (since it’s cold, you may need to increase the baking time).
      • If the top of the French toast is getting too dark but the custard still needs time to set, tent with foil for the remainder of the baking time.
  • Storing Leftovers:
    • Once cooled, cover any leftovers or put them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days (or freeze for longer storage).
    • To reheat, place the desired number of pieces in a baking dish, cover with foil (this will keep it from drying out), and bake in a 325°F oven until heated through. Or you can reheat it in the microwave.
  • Freezing:
    • Once baked and cooled, put the slices in an airtight freezer-safe container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 to 3 months. I like to wrap each individual piece in plastic wrap first for extra protection (and so I can pull out only as many pieces as I need).
    • When ready to enjoy, thaw first (in the refrigerator), remove the plastic wrap and reheat in the oven or microwave.
two pieces of croissant French toast bake on a white plate with a fork with a pitcher of maple syrup, a plate of butter, and the baking dish in the background

This recipe yields either 4 very generous pieces or 6 smaller pieces. I most often go with the 6 smaller pieces and serve it alongside bacon or sausage and maybe some fresh fruit.

I hope you try this Croissant French Toast Bake recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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More Breakfast and Brunch Recipes You Might Like…

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

two pieces of croissant French toast bake on a white plate with a fork and topped with butter and maple syrup

Croissant French Toast Bake

This easy Croissant French Toast Bake made with buttery, flaky croissants soaked in a creamy vanilla custard is perfect for a weekend, holiday or special occasion breakfast or brunch…and you can even make it ahead!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Soak Time and Resting Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
Estimated Calories: 494

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 6 cups large croissant pieces, about 2-inch pieces, preferably day old or slightly stale
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon salt
  • desired toppings, such as butter and warm maple syrup or powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Spray an 8x8x2-inch baking dish with cooking spray (bottom and sides).
  • Place the croissant pieces in the baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, light brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until well combined.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the croissant pieces in the baking dish.
  • Let sit for 30 minutes to allow the croissants to soak up the egg mixture, occasionally gently pressing the croissant pieces down into the egg mixture with the back of a spoon so that there are no dry pieces.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the eggs are set and the top is golden brown and crisp.
    To test for doneness: Insert a knife into the middle of the casserole. If it comes out clean without any liquid egg mixture on it, it's done. If there is liquid egg mixture on it, it needs more time; continue baking.
  • Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then slice and serve with your desired toppings.
    The casserole will be puffy when it comes out of the oven but will start to deflate as it cools; this is normal.

Notes

  • If all you’ve got are fresh croissants and you’re in a hurry to make this casserole, you can definitely use them with excellent results (I have and, honestly, there wasn’t a major difference!).
  • Once cooled, cover any leftovers or put them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • To make ahead: The night before, assemble the casserole as per the recipe then cover and put in the refrigerator overnight.
    • In the morning, take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature to take the chill off for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven, then bake.
    • Since it’s cold, you may need to increase the baking time. If the top is getting too dark but the custard still needs time to set, tent with foil for the remainder of the baking time.
  • Estimated calories shown do not include any toppings, such as butter, maple syrup or powdered sugar.
  • If divided into 6 smaller servings, the estimated calories per serving would be 330.
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