This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. As always, all opinions and recipe are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support The Speckled Palate!
Chocolate Raspberry Overnight French Toast Casserole is the ULTIMATE make-ahead brunch recipe! Chop or tear days-old bread before tossing with fresh raspberries and soaking in a decadent custard overnight. Bake the morning-of for a special breakfast treat. Topped with a sweet-tart Lemon Whipped Cream, Chocolate Raspberry Overnight French Toast Casserole is an over-the-top morning meal! Perfect for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and more.
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Mother’s Day is THIS weekend!
Unfortunately for me, I won’t be with my family until that afternoon because I’m traveling to a food blogging conference later this week.
BUT I hope that you moms who are with your families are treated to a lovely day and potentially breakfast in bed or the meal of your dreams. (Shout out to the dads and kids and other family members who are making this happen!)
Part of the fun of celebrating a parent or a loved one 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 (hello, failed Mother’s Day key lime pie of years past) 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!
My friends at Sprouts challenged me to develop a make-ahead brunch recipe for Mother’s Day this year. Obviously, Chocolate Raspberry Overnight French Toast Casserole is what I came up with.
Here’s how the flavor combo came into being: I added chocolate and raspberry because I love them together oh-so-much.
French Toast because I adore carbs (especially since I’m pregnant!) and because the first recipe ever shared on this here food blog was a French Toast recipe.
And then I made a Lemon Whipped Cream to put on top of it all because 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.
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.
My 3-year-old, who loves to do anything and everything involved with cooking, was totally into this recipe because there were several steps she could help with. While I don’t trust her to man the hand mixer alone quite yet, she helped me hold onto it to mix the custard base, as well as the whipped cream. She also helped arrange the bread pieces in the baking dish, added the raspberries and poured the custard on top.
I adore seeing her light up in the kitchen, and I hope that her little sister feels the same way about food and cooking and making things for the people we love.
In other words: Get your kids—no matter their ages!—to help make this for Mom because that makes it even more special.
Tips for Making the BEST Chocolate Raspberry Overnight French Toast Casserole
- Purchase your bread well in advance so it has time to become stale. This is important for French Toast, as if it doesn’t, the bread will turn to mush in the casserole. Cut the bread the first day so it’s not impossible and let it sit on the counter uncovered for 2-3 days. (So many lessons learned here, y’all.)
- If you don’t purchase the bread in advance, cut it, then toast it in the oven until crispy, like a crouton. This should make it to where the texture is similar to the stale pieces if you let it sit.
- Don’t skimp on the calories here, y’all. Get real maple syrup. Spring for the actual heavy whipping cream (and none of that fat free stuff.) Add in the chocolate that your palate (or better yet–Mom’s palate) would adore.
- Make Ahead Tips: The entire recipe can be made in advance, including the whipped cream! We made ours the night before and covered everything with plastic wrap. The morning of, simply pop the casserole in the preheated oven and bake it until cooked through. Then serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream, and you’re golden!
- Cooking with Kids Tips: Depending on their age, your kids can help with a majority of the tasks on this recipe! If you want them to 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. My 3-year-old helped arrange the bread in the baking dish, added the raspberries and then poured the wet ingredients onto the bread mixture.
- Garnish Ideas: A sprinkle of powdered sugar and a sprig of mint will make this Overnight French Toast Casserole pop on the plate!
- 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, Easter Strawberry Champagne, Princess Violette Cocktail and Raspberry Mango Spring Sangria!
Chocolate Raspberry Overnight French Toast Casserole Essentials
Recipes to pair with Chocolate Raspberry Overnight French Toast Casserole
- Framboise Champagne Cocktail
- Sage Browned Butter Homemade Home Fries
- Thanksgiving Brunch Salad (yeah, I know the name implies it’s JUST for Thanksgiving, but it would work well on Mother’s Day, too.)
- Princess Violette Cocktail
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! Chop or tear days-old bread before tossing with fresh raspberries and soaking in a decadent custard overnight. Bake the morning-of for a special breakfast treat. Topped with a sweet-tart Lemon Whipped Cream, Chocolate Raspberry Overnight French Toast Casserole is an over-the-top morning meal! Perfect for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter and more.
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!
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 504 Total Fat: 27g Saturated Fat: 15g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 195mg Sodium: 468mg Carbohydrates: 51g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 15g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 16g