Treat Yourself to Overnight Raspberry & Chocolate French Toast Casserole for Breakfast

You need to treat yourself this weekend. Because let’s face it, you’ve had a long week.

Vertical head-on shot of a white plate of French toast casserole with a fork and drizzled with maple syrup, with a small, square, white dish of fresh berries and more of the casserole in a matal baking pan in soft focus in the background, on a dark brown wood surface, printed with red and white text.

It’s been busy at work, with deadlines creeping up and tons of emails to respond to.

Perhaps the kids have been driving you up the wall every day, and you are ready to lock yourself in the bathroom just to get some peace.

Maybe school has been particularly stressful over last few days, and you are dreading the fact that you have so much reading to do.

Overhead shot of a metal baking pan filled with a just-baked French toast casserole arranged at an angle, on a dark brown wood surface with a black plastic spatula for serving, a white cloth, and scattered chocolate chips.

Regardless of what is making you a little bonkers this week, it’s high time that you made something just for yourself – something like this decadent, indulgent, delicious breakfast casserole.

Oblique overhead vertical shot of a metal baking pan of homemade French toast casserole, with a portion being held up to the camera on a black plastic spatula, on a dark brown wood surface with a small, square, ceramic dish of fresh raspberries in the background.

The combination of chocolate and raspberry is one that I will never get sick of. In fact, one of my favorite chocolate bars in the whole world has freeze-dried raspberries mixed into it.

Rich chocolate with tart, tangy berries is a flavor sensation that my taste buds will always love. I find myself including this pairing in a variety of recipes, and this is one my most successful achievements in that area.

Overhead vertical shot of two white plates and a metal baking pan of French toast casserole, with a small square dish of fresh raspberries, forks, a plastic serving spatula, a glass bottle of maple syrup, and scattered chocolate chips, on a dark brown wood surface.

Making an overnight French toast casserole is an easy way to treat yourself on a Saturday or Sunday morning. The recipe itself is very simple to pull together, and all you have to do in the morning is top the casserole and bake it.

One of my favorite things to do is to get up, throw the casserole in the oven with its gorgeous crumble topping, and go back to bed for an hour. Even if I’m not going back to sleep, I can take that time to snuggle under the covers, cuddled up with my husband and our dogs.

It forces me to take a break, and gives me a way to spend time with my family before the day actually gets started.

A hand at the left of the frame pours maple syrup from a glass bottle onto a portion of French toast casserole on a plate below, with a fork to the right, and a small dish of fresh raspberries, another plate, a metal baking pan filled with the rest of the casserole, a white cloth, and scattered chocolate chips surrounding the plated portion on a dark brown wood surface.

It’s funny how our weekends can fill up so quickly with social engagements, chores, errands, and other obligations. There seems to be a never-ending list of to-do’s beyond our workday responsibilities that creep in and swallow up our free time.

I make sure to take that extra time to chill and recharge when I can, and relaxing for a few extra minutes in bed before enjoying a plateful of overnight French toast is one of the best ways to do it.

The chocolate and fresh raspberries come together with the bread pudding-like texture of the French toast bites in the most unique and tasty way. The crumble on top brings added buttery sweetness and a bit of texture, and honestly, I will never eat another French toast casserole without it again.

A forkful of French toast casserole is on the edge of a white plate in the foreground, with the remainder of the portion in a pool of maple syrup behind it, on a dark brown wood surface, with scattered chocolate chips, a small, square, white ceramic dish of fresh raspberries, and the corner of a metal baking pan.

Treat yourself by making this special breakfast at the end of a busy week, or bring it out for the family to share. It’s a fantastic recipe to surprise your boo with on Valentine’s Day, it will make a beautiful centerpiece for your next brunch get-together, and the leftovers are just as tasty the next day.

Sharing is not necessary, though. Just so you know…

Print
Horizontal image of a portion of homemade French toast casserole on a white plate with a fork, in a pool of maple syrup, on a dark brown wood surface with two white square dishes in the background, one of which is filled with fresh raspberries, and scattered chocolate chips strewn across the tabletop.

Overnight Raspberry and Chocolate French Toast Casserole


  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 9 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 casserole 1x

Description

Breakfast is a wonderful time to treat yourself, and there’s no better way to do it than with our Overnight Raspberry and Chocolate French Toast Casserole.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Casserole:

  • Cooking oil spray
  • 1 loaf French bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 16 oz or 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces (1/2 cup)
  • 2/3 cup fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking oil spray. Add the bread to the pan in an even layer. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  2. Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Pour evenly over the bread. Press the bread down into the pan, making sure it soaks up all the liquid so there are no dry spots on top. Cover with plastic wrap.  
  3. Stir together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add butter pieces to the dry ingredients and cut it in with two knives or a pastry blender, until all pieces are pea-sized or smaller. Cover with plastic wrap. Place baking pan and bowl in the refrigerator overnight.  
  4. The next morning, preheat oven to 350˚F.
  5. Sprinkle raspberries on casserole, and sprinkle crumble topping evenly on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes until top is golden brown and mixture is set.
  6. Serve with butter and raspberry or maple syrup.

  • Category: Casserole
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Breakfast

Keywords: breakfast casserole, French toast, French toast casserole, chocolate, raspberry

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients

Using a serrated bread knife or your hands, slice or ear up the loaf of French bread into 1-inch pieces. For something a little different, you could also make this recipe with challah, brioche, or your favorite breakfast loaf. Set aside.

Vertical oblique overhead shot of a stainless steel bowl of bread cubes, a plastic measuring pitcher of milk, and glass bowls of cracked eggs, sugar, chocolate chips, cream, and vanilla extract, on a striped beige and brown wood surface with a robin's egg blue background.

Cut a stick of unsalted butter up into 1-inch pieces. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Closely cropped overhead horizontal shot of one small square and three small round glass bowls of cinnamon and salt, brown sugar, flour, and cubed butter, on a wood surface.

Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.

Step 2 – Fill Pan

Prepare a 9-by-13-inch baking pan metal, glass, or ceramic baking pan by coating it with a thin layer of cooking oil spray. Spread the bread pieces in the pan, and top with the chocolate chips.

Overhead shot of bread cubes topped with chocolate chips in a rectangular metal baking pan, on a wood surface.

I prefer the combination of dark chocolate and fresh raspberries for this recipe, but you can use whatever type of chocolate you wish – bittersweet, milk, white, take your pick!

Chocolate bars or chunks will also work, just be sure to chop to roughly the size of chips for even distribution throughout the casserole.

Step 3 – Make Custard Base

Add the eggs, cream, milk, vanilla extract, and sugar to a medium bowl.

Overhead horizontal shot of a small stainless steel mixing bowl filled with a mixture of cream and vanilla extract, with a wire whisk, on a striped brown and beige wood surface.

Whisk together until combined. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread.

Closely cropped horizontal image of a stainless steel mixing bowl of beaten eggs and milk, with a wire whisk stuck into the bowl, on a wood surface.

Make sure you press the bread down into the pan so that it soaks up the liquid. You don’t want any dry spots on top.

Closely cropped overhead horizontal shot of a metal baking pan of bread cubes soaking in an egg mixture and sprinkled with chocolate chips, on a wood surface.

Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Step 4 – Make Topping

Overhead shot of a stainless steel mixing bowl with ring handle, with flour, packed brown sugar, and cinnamon at the bottom, on a wood surface.

Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt to a separate medium mixing bowl.

Overhead horizontal shot of a stainless steel mixing bowl of a cinnamon, sugar, and flour mixture topped with pieces of chilled butter about to be combined to make a crumble topping for a sweet casserole, on a wood surface.

Stir to combine.

A brown sugar and butter streusel mixture with round clumps and light brown powdery bits is at the bottom of a stainless steel mixing bowl, on a wood surface.

Cut in the butter pieces using two knives or a pastry blender, until they’re the size of peas or smaller. Cover with plastic wrap.

Step 5 – Refrigerate

Transfer the baking pan and bowl to the refrigerator. Refrigerate overnight.

Step 6 – Bake

When you’re ready to bake the next morning, preheat your oven to 350˚F.

Overhead horizontal shot of a rectangular metal baking pan of cubes of bread and chocolate chips, on a wood surface.

Remove the plastic wrap, and distribute the raspberries evenly over the top of the casserole.

Overhead shot of a metal baking pan of bread cubes soaked in egg, chocolate chips, and fresh raspberries, on a striped wood surface.

Sprinkle the crumble on top in an even layer, and place the baking dish in the oven. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Overhead horizontal shot of a French toast casserole in a metal baking pan that is ready to go into the oven, topped with fresh raspberries and a brown sugar crumble mixture, on a wood surface.

Note that the shorter recommended cooking time will yield a more bread pudding-like texture. The top will be golden brown and the mixture should be set when it is done.

Horizontal image of a raspberry and chocolate French toast casserole with brown sugar crumble topping in a metal baking pan arranged at an oblique angle, with a small, white, square ceramic dish of fresh berries just visible at the bottom right, on a dark brown wood surface.

Serve with butter and maple syrup, or your choice of flavored fruit syrup. For a different take on this dish, change things up with your favorite type of seasonal berries.

Simple Serving Suggestions

Many French toast casseroles are served with a dusting of powdered sugar, but I prefer to skip this option because you have that gorgeous crumble on top. There’s no need to hide the beauty of the crumble, raspberries, and chocolate chips.

Butter and maple syrup are my go-to’s, and the maple flavor is just the icing on the cake, in my humble opinion. It really highlights the bright, rich, and slightly bitter notes of raspberry and dark chocolate with a touch of earthy natural sweetness.

Horizontal image of a portion of homemade French toast casserole on a white plate with a fork, in a pool of maple syrup, on a dark brown wood surface with two white square dishes in the background, one of which is filled with fresh raspberries, and scattered chocolate chips strewn across the tabletop.

Are you looking for new ways to treat yourself to a quality breakfast? Here are some more recipes that you’re sure to enjoy:

When will you serve this dish? Tell us in the comments below, and come back to rate the recipe once you try it.

Photos by Megan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on February 23, 2011. Last updated: February 14, 2019 at 11:07 am. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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