This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. As always, all opinions and recipe are my own.
Chocolate Raspberry Overnight French Toast Casserole is the ULTIMATE make-ahead brunch recipe! You toss the ingredients together the night before and bake the morning of for a special treat. This easy French Toast casserole recipe is easy to put together and bursting with raspberry and chocolate flavors. Makes 12 servings.
Mother’s Day is THIS weekend! 🎉
Which means I hope that you moms are treated to a lovely day and potentially breakfast in bed or the meal of your dreams. (Shout out to the co-parents, dads, kids and other family members who are making this happen!)
Part of the fun of celebrating a parent is taking the time to make something that shows them you care. While we all want it to turn out beautifully, sometimes, it doesn’t, and that’s OK because the effort is what counts.
I’m here to say that this Chocolate Raspberry Overnight French Toast Casserole is something the WHOLE family can contribute to… and since it’s made the night before, day-of preparations are a breeze!
Why I love this recipe:
My friends at Sprouts challenged me to develop a make-ahead brunch recipe for Mother’s Day.
I decided upon a make-ahead French Toast Casserole recipe with chocolate and raspberries because, well, I love that flavor combination.
Also, we all love Yogurt French Toast in this house, which was my first recipe ever shared on TSP.
To set this already decadent make-ahead French toast recipe over the top, I added a homemade Lemon Whipped Cream. The zesty brightness of lemon is perfection with the chocolate and raspberry.
Basically, this is the Mother’s Day brunch dish of my dreams, and I hope it’s yours, too.
Other special occasion breakfast recipes that are perfect for sharing: Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake | Gluten Free Broccoli Quiche Lorraine Bites | Strawberry Cinnamon Breakfast Buns | Lemon Blueberry Bread | Coffee Cake Muffins
Need some inspiration? Head on over to my Breakfast and Brunch recipe index for more recipe ideas!
What you need to make this recipe:
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In addition to these tools, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this make ahead French toast. Be sure to scroll all the way down to the recipe card to get the exact measurements!
- Ciabatta bread—or another crusty loaf of bread that’s ideally a few days old. This way, it’ll soak up the flavors and hold its shape without disintegrating.
- Raspberries—use the freshest ones you can find!
- Cream cheese—I suggest using a full-fat cream cheese. Make sure it’s been sitting on the counter for a bit so that it’s softened.
- Maple syrup—for a little sweetness!
- Eggs—these give our French toast structure (and flavor, too!). There is no replacement for them.
- Milk—you can use whatever type of milk you’ve got on hand. Whole, 2%, 1% or skim are all excellent. I’d venture to say that non-dairy milk is fine to use here, too!
- Pure vanilla extract—because it adds beautiful flavor and aroma!
- Kosher salt—I like to use a fine grain kosher salt. You could also use a fine grain sea salt, too.
- Bittersweet chocolate—grab a bar of your favorite brand (I purchased 64% cacao) and chop it up so that the pieces of chocolate go everywhere. You can replace this with a different type of chocolate if you’d rather.
- Heavy whipping cream—also known as double cream, this is going to form the base for our homemade whipped cream. There is no substitute.
- Powdered sugar—to add a little sweetness to the whipped cream. Also known as confectioners sugar, there is no substitute.
- Lemons—you want ’em fresh because we need to use the zest of two in the whipped cream.
A sprinkle of powdered sugar and a sprig of mint will make this breakfast casserole pop on the plate!
Make sure to add that whipped cream, extra chocolate and raspberries, too.
How to make Overnight French Toast Casserole with Raspberries and Chocolate
Please note that you need to assemble this recipe the night before.
Prep everything. If you haven’t already, slice the bread into cubes.
Add the bread to your nonstick baking dish. Sprinkle on the raspberries, too.
Mix the wet ingredients. Combine the softened cream cheese and maple syrup in a bowl. Use a hand mixer to blend them together until smooth.
Finish the custard. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla extract to the cream cheese mixture. Add the pinch of salt. Use the hand mixer to combine the ingredients.
Pour the custard onto the bread. Top with chocolate shavings, and toss gently.
Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Make the Lemon Whipped Cream
This can be made the night before, after you put together your breakfast casserole, or the morning of. Just be sure to toss a bowl into the freezer for 20-30 minutes so it’s extra cold.
Measure the heavy cream in the chilled glass bowl.
Gently whip the cream until it begins to thicken with a stand or a hand mixer.
Measure in the powdered sugar and the lemon zest. Continue whipping at a higher speed as the mixture begins to thicken.
Once it has reached your desired consistency, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until time to serve.
Bake and Serve
Remove the casserole from the refrigerator, and let sit 15-30 minutes at room temperature before baking.
Preheat the oven, too.
Transfer the casserole dish to the preheated oven, and bake for 45-50 minutes. You want the top of the casserole is golden brown and for there to be no visible liquid.
Once fully baked, remove from the oven.
Let cool for 10-15 minutes.
Slice and serve with dollops of Lemon Whipped Cream, extra chocolate and raspberries.
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
This French toast casserole is an exceptional recipe to serve for a crowd because it’s pretty hands-off once you’ve made it… and you can make the entire recipe the night before and bake it the morning of your gathering.
Whether you’re hosting an at-home brunch or family for a Mother’s Day breakfast situation, you can definitely entertain with this recipe.
Here are some tips to make it easier on yourself:
- Make it ahead of time. The entire recipe can be made the night before, including the whipped cream! Cover the casserole and the whipped cream with plastic wrap, and keep cool in the fridge. In the morning, pop the casserole in the preheated oven and bake.
- Make is a spread. Set out the toppings (whipped cream, berries, lemon zest, powdered sugar, chocolate shavings, mint sprigs, etc.) in bowls, and let guests garnish theirs as they see fit.
- Serve it with a mimosa bar… you know, if your crowd is into that. Get sparkling apple juice for the kids so they can have their own non-alcoholic sparkling drinks. (And be sure to set the adult bubbly out of reach for them!)
How to make this recipe with kids:
Another thing I love about this recipe—other than the outrageous, decadent taste that strikes a balance without being too over-the-top—is that your kids can help make this in the kitchen.
Depending on their age, your kids can help with a majority of the tasks on this recipe!
Here are some tasks they can complete with your supervision in the kitchen. (Please note that each child is different and that their level of helpfulness might be dependent upon their age, personality and other factors.)
- Have them tear the bread instead of cutting it with a serrated knife, anyone can do that. (Just make sure it’s in bite-sized pieces when all is said and done.)
- Older kids can use the hand mixer to mix up the wet ingredients, as well as make the whipped cream.
- Younger kids can help arrange the bread in the baking dish, add raspberries and pour the wet ingredients onto the bread mixture. They can also sprinkle (and taste test) the chocolate.
In other words: Get your kids—no matter their ages!—to help make this for Mom because that makes it even more special.
Frequently Asked Questions
Was your bread fresh? If so, that’s probably the culprit. Stale bread holds its shape better.
You can pair so many things with this Overnight French Toast Casserole recipe, but I really like to serve it with a Prosecco Mimosa.
Any type of stale bread is the best bread for French toast. I personally like a crusty bread, like ciabatta or French bread.
If you’re not a fan of syrup, consider adding some whipped cream, extra berries and chocolate shavings to this already decadent breakfast casserole.
How to make the best Overnight French Toast Casserole
- Depending on your taste in chocolate, you can add dark, semisweet or even milk chocolate to this recipe. Go with what your tastebuds are into!
- Purchase your bread in advance so it has time to become stale. This is important because if the bread is fresh, it will turn to mush. Slice the bread the first day so it’s not impossible and let it sit on the counter uncovered for 2-3 days.
- Need a bread shortcut? If you don’t purchase the bread in advance, slice it, then toast it until crispy, like a crouton. This should make it to where the texture is similar to the stale pieces if you let it sit.
- How to store: This casserole will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days after baking if you don’t eat the whole thing. Cover with plastic wrap, and reheat in the microwave until warmed through. Don’t forget your garnishes!
What to pair with this breakfast recipe:
- Drink Pairing Ideas: As a mom and as someone who adores brunch, I’m partial to champagne drinks. I recommend pairing the following with this: Framboise Champagne Cocktail, Strawberry Champagne, Princess Violette Cocktail and Raspberry Mango Spring Sangria.
- Sage Browned Butter Homemade Home Fries
- Simple Fruit Salad
Y’all ready for this recipe? Scroll on down to check it out and make it for Mom this weekend!
Chocolate Raspberry Overnight French Toast Casserole is the ULTIMATE make-ahead brunch recipe! You toss the ingredients together the night before and bake the morning of for a special breakfast treat. This French Toast casserole recipe is easy to put together and bursting with strawberry and chocolate flavors.
Overnight French Toast Casserole
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread (or another crusty loaf), 2-3 days old, cut into 1 ½” cubes
- 1 ½ cups raspberries
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup maple syrup OR 2 tablespoons for a less sweet rendition
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups milk (skim OK)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch Kosher Salt
- 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (64% cacao)
Lemon Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 lemons, zested
- Pinch Kosher Salt
Make the Overnight French Toast Casserole (The Night Before)
- If you haven't already, slice the ciabatta bread into 1.5” cubes, then place in a 9"x13" nonstick baking dish.
- Measure out the raspberries, and mix them with the cubed bread in the baking dish.
- In a glass bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and maple syrup. Using a hand mixer, blend the two together until smooth and incorporated.
- Break the eggs into the cream cheese-maple syrup mixture, and pour in the milk and vanilla extract. Add the pinch of salt. Use the hand mixer to gently stir the ingredients together until combined.
- Lastly, add the chopped chocolate, and stir gently until combined.
- Pour the custard mixture over the bread and raspberry mixture.
- Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Make the Lemon Whipped Cream
- In a chilled glass bowl, measure out the heavy whipping cream.
- Using a stand or hand mixer, gently whip the cream until it begins to thicken.
- Measure in the powdered sugar and the lemon zest, then continue whipping at a higher speed as the mixture begins to thicken.
- Once the whipped cream has reached the desired consistency, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until time to serve.
Bake and Serve the Overnight French Toast Casserole
- Remove the French Toast Casserole from the refrigerator. Remove the plastic wrap, and let sit 15-30 minutes at room temperature before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Transfer the French Toast Casserole to the preheated oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top of the casserole is golden brown and there is no visible liquid.
- Remove from the oven when fully baked, and let sit for 10-15 minutes to cool before slicing and serving.
- Serve with dollops of Lemon Whipped Cream, and enjoy!
Depending on your taste in chocolate, you can add dark, semisweet or even milk chocolate to this recipe. Go with what your tastebuds are into!
Purchase your bread well in advance so it has time to become stale. This is important because if the bread is fresh, it will turn to mush. Slice the bread the first day so it’s not impossible and let it sit on the counter uncovered for 2-3 days.
Need a bread shortcut? If you don’t purchase the bread in advance, slice it, then toast it until crispy, like a crouton. This should make it to where the texture is similar to the stale pieces if you let it sit.
How to store: This casserole will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days after baking if you don't eat the whole thing. Cover with plastic wrap, and reheat in the microwave until warmed through. Don't forget your garnishes!
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 335Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 300mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 13gProtein: 11g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.