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.
Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus overnight refrigeration time
1 pound loaf French bread, cut into cubes
2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
3½ cups milk
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
- Grease 9×13” baking dish with cooking spray.
- 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.
- In a bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, maple syrup, extracts, zest and lemon juice.
- Pour mixture over bread and raspberries.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- On the morning of, remove from refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- 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.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup. Enjoy!