Flavored with cinnamon and interlaced with crunchy pecans, this delicious French toast casserole makes a great breakfast or dessert! Bake it straightaway, or prep the ingredients the night before, and then bake it in the oven when you wake up! Add a sprinkle of shredded coconut and a drizzle of honey for the perfect breakfast! Gluten-free and dairy-free too, but no one would care!
For the Casserole Filling:
- 10 cups chunks of gluten-free bread
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 5 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Topping:
- 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut, for sprinkling (optional)
- 2 tablespoons honey, for drizzling (optional)
- Preheat: Preheat oven to 350F (180C) and place oven rack in the middle third position.
- Grease: Grease an 11″x 8″ baking dish with coconut oil.
- Layer: Cover the bottom of the dish with half of the bread cubes and then sprinkle half of the chopped pecans over the bread. Repeat with the rest of the bread and pecans.
- Prepare Custard Mixture: In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, almond milk, light brown sugar, and ground cinnamon together to make the custard mixture. Pour mixture evenly over the bread chunks. (At this point, you can either bake the casserole immediately or refrigerate it overnight).
- Drizzle Topping Over: If baking immediately, mix the melted coconut oil with the brown sugar and cinnamon together until you get a smooth mixture. Mix well and drizzle evenly over the bread chunks.
- Bake: Bake the casserole for 35 to 45 minutes until the bread chunks are crunchy and golden brown on top.
- Cool: Let the casserole cool approximately 10 minutes before slicing.
- Garnish: Sprinkle the casserole with unsweetened shredded coconut and drizzle with honey before serving.
Bread Chunks: I made a loaf of my soft and fluffy gluten-free bread (and cut it into chunks) for making this casserole, but you can also use store-bought gluten-free bread if you prefer. Alternatively, if you are not gluten-free, go ahead and use your favorite bread.
Pecans: I used pecans for a more festive holiday feel, but you can also use any other type of nuts of your choice.
Eggs: Since this is literally a French toast casserole and eggs are fundamental to the recipe, I wouldn’t recommend replacing them with egg-replacements or leaving them out.
Almond Milk: I used my 5-minute homemade almond milk for this recipe, but you can also use other non-dairy milks such as cashew milk, soy milk, or rice milk if you prefer. Alternatively, if you are not lactose-intolerant, feel free to use normal dairy milk.
Sugar: I used light brown sugar for the casserole filling and dark brown sugar for the topping, but feel free to use whichever granulated sugar you prefer). If you are diabetic or insulin-resistant, I highly recommend that you use Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener (a 1:1 sugar substitute with zero glycemic index).
Cinnamon: I used ground cinnamon for flavor, but if you’re not a fan of cinnamon, go ahead and leave it out.
Coconut Oil: I prefer using refined coconut oil because of it neutral taste (as opposed to extra virgin coconut oil that has a more pronounced coconut flavor and smell). Of course, if you are not lactose intolerant, feel free to use butter or ghee in equal quantities instead.
Storing: To store, let the casserole cool down completely before covering with plastic wrap and storing it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven at 350F (180C) for 10 minutes to warm up before serving.
Freezing: Transfer the cooled casserole to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Before eating, let casserole thaw completely overnight, and then reheat in the oven at 350F (180C) for at least 10 minutes before serving to warm it up and crisp up the top.
Adapted from: Simply Recipes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: French toast casserole