3 months ago

Baked Lemon Raspberry French Toast

This wonderful
French toast casserole from Twin Cities food blogger
greens & chocolate is a delicious alternative to
cinnamon-infused French toast, with fresh lemon flavor that’s perfect for a
springtime brunch. The best part? You can make it ahead of time and just pop it
into the oven in the morning!

Ahhh brunch. Just seeing the word brings images of
bottomless cups of coffee, cinnamon rolls, quiches and perhaps a mimosa or two
to my mind. There’s no better way, in my opinion, to start a weekend day than
with these things.  

While I definitely appreciate the fun and convenience of
going out for brunch, sometimes I really don’t want to get out of my PJs and
leave the house on Sunday morning. Plus, brunch is usually about the same time
as my son’s first nap, which is really inconvenient! But really, it’s the whole
getting out of my pajamas thing that is the biggest barrier to me going out for
brunch.  

So instead, I like to cook something special for my husband
and I for weekend brunch. What better way to make up for our boring weekday
breakfasts than with a fun brunch?  

I love French toast casseroles for so many reasons. One,
because it’s almost like eating dessert for breakfast. French toast casseroles
are super similar to one of my favorite desserts, bread pudding, just with less
sugar, but we can make up for that with powdered sugar and maple syrup,
right?  

I also love them because they can be made the night
before, leaving minimal prep the morning of. This one is no different. All you
need to do once you get out of bed is let it sit out for about 30 minutes, then
pop it in the oven for 45 minutes, and you are the queen (or king!) of brunch. No
getting dressed necessary.  

This Lemon Raspberry French Toast Casserole is THE perfect
springtime brunch dish – especially for Easter! The bright flavors of the lemon
and raspberries are a fun change from the typical cinnamon notes in French
toast. I topped ours with powdered sugar but I think it would also be great
with a light drizzle of maple syrup.  

image

Baked Lemon Raspberry French Toast

8 servings
Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus overnight refrigeration time

Ingredients

  • 1 pound loaf French bread, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
  • 3½ cups milk
  • 6 eggs
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract (optional but delicious)
  • Zest from 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Directions

  1. Grease 9×13” baking dish with cooking
    spray. 
  2. Place half of the cubed bread in the bottom
    of the baking dish, top with half of the raspberries, then repeat with
    remaining bread and raspberries. 
  3. In a bowl, whisk together milk, eggs,
    maple syrup, extracts, zest and lemon juice.
  4. Pour mixture over bread and
    raspberries.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and
    refrigerate overnight.
  6. On the morning of, remove from
    refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes.
  7. Heat oven to 350 F.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until lightly
    golden and cooked through. Cover with foil for the last 10-15 minutes to prevent the top from burning. 
  9. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with maple
    syrup. Enjoy!