This make-ahead brioche French toast recipe offers big rewards while letting you sleep in late.

LC Brioche French Toast Brilliance Note

Perhaps the only thing better than waking up to brioche French toast for breakfast? Waking up to brioche French toast that doesn’t require any stand-at-the-stove effort on your part. That’s where this recipe comes in handy. It’s the French toast you already know and go weak in the knees over but it’s assembled in a baking dish the night before and stashed in the fridge. The only thing left for you to do in the morning is slide it in the oven and have an unrushed cup of coffee. Well, that and accept accolades.

Deep-Dish Brioche French Toast

Brioche French Toast

5 / 8 votes
The last thing you need to worry about on a weekend morning is breakfast. With this deep-dish brioche French toast, you assemble it today, let it sit in the fridge overnight, and tomorrow slide it in the oven. By the time the gang wakes up, breakfast will be on the table.
David Leite
Servings8 servings
Calories1022 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time5 hours 25 minutes


  • Slow cooker (if following the slow cooker method)


  • Butter, for greasing pan
  • One (24-ounce) brioche loaf (or challah bread), cut into 1-inch (25 mm) cubes
  • One (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut into 18 cubes
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter

To serve

  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Pure maple syrup, warmed


  • To make the Brioche French Toast in your slow cooker, see the Slow Cooker Variation below.
    To make the Brioche French Toast in your oven, generously butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place half the bread in a single layer, filling in all the gaps. Evenly scatter the cream cheese cubes, nuts, and raisins on top. Cover completely with the remaining bread.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Evenly pour the egg mixture over the bread. Gently press down on the bread with your palms to encourage the top layer to absorb the liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  • Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Remove the dish of brioche French toast from the refrigerator and let sit 20 minutes at room temperature. Remove the plastic wrap and replace it with aluminum foil. Bake the French toast for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the bread is nicely toasted and there’s no liquid puddling on the bottom.
  • Transfer the dish to a wire rack and drizzle the melted butter on top. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to release the French toast. Let sit for 5 minutes before you cut it into squares, arrange on individual plates, and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Serve along with the warmed maple syrup. (If you have leftovers—which is sorta doubtful—cover the dish with foil and refrigerate. When ready to serve, reheat it in a moderate oven until warmed through.)


Slow Cooker Variation

This already easy make-ahead recipe just got even easier. Assemble all the ingredients in the insert portion of your slow cooker, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Place the insert back on the slow cooker base and cook on low for 3 1/2 hours.


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 1022 kcalCarbohydrates: 88 gProtein: 29 gFat: 63 gSaturated Fat: 31 gMonounsaturated Fat: 9 gTrans Fat: 0.3 gCholesterol: 504 mgSodium: 831 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 24 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2013 David Leite. Photo © 2013 David Leite. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Okay, why mess with perfection? I knew this recipe worked great in my oven, but there are so many occasions when I’m asked to bring this to a breakfast or brunch at a place where I don’t have access to an oven, and I know it will not be served as soon as I arrive.

This dish is so good warm that I would hate to serve it cold (yes, it still gets eaten cold, but it’s so much better warm). Or there are times, like on Christmas morning, where I get so caught up in the festivities that everyone suddenly says they’re hungry, and I haven’t even turned on my oven yet.

So I decided to try the slow cooker variation of this recipe. I assembled all the ingredients in the stoneware part of my 7-quart slow cooker and put it in the refrigerator.

The next morning I put the stoneware back in the base and turned the slow cooker on low. After 3 hours and 20 minutes, the French toast was perfect, just like the oven version. My family also agreed that it tasted just as good.

This brioche French toast recipe has become my go-to dish for every sort of brunch imaginable: baby shower, parents in town, company over, holiday…the list is endless.

The entire dish is prepped and refrigerated the night before, which is a huge plus. All you have to do the morning of your event is pop it in the oven and drizzle the dish with a little butter.

While convenience is good, taste is the most important factor, of course, and this French toast really delivers. It’s tender, buttery, and studded with nuts and raisins.

I often use only half as much cream cheese as the recipe calls for since it already seems like enough of a good thing. This recipe is a hit every time I make it!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Oh my YUM! This recipe knocked it out of the park. I chose the slow cook version which broke up the time spent in the kitchen, which made things easier for this busy mama 🙂 Something to note is that the cream cheese did not melt into the dish, which I believe is what is meant to happen as the photo reflects that too. Some people might not mind biting into a chunk of cream cheese, but I prefer to sort of squish mine in. Because of my attempt to mix the cream cheese throughout, the finished product very much resembled bread pudding-which we love in this house, so, win-win! The taste sweet and comforting (if comforting is a taste lol). I especially enjoyed the variety of soft bread with chunks of nuts. The recipe easily feed my family of two adults and three young children with plenty of leftovers.

    1. Thanks, April! We’re delighted that you enjoyed it so much and so appreciate you taking the time to let us know.

  2. I am so excited to try this recipe. I will be making it in the slow cooker for a work brunch since I wont have access to an oven. My question is that if I make it in the slow cooker will it be soggy? Do I still need to transfer it out of the cooker or can it be served straight from it?

    1. Hi Stephanie, one of our testers said the slow cooker version was just as exceptional as the regular version, just easier. And sure, you could certainly serve it right out of the pot.

  3. 5 stars
    First let me say that this is FABULOUS! And so much easier than making even the simplest of French Toasts! I put this together the day before and it was pretty easy. I followed the recipe but used 2 extra eggs and slightly more of everything else. I guess because the pan I finally decided on was larger than stated in the directions, I thought I might need more filling. It’s an old probably aluminum, but very sturdy pan that my mom always made a big cake in, or chicken and chourico, she used it for everything!

    My pan’s inside measurement is 11×17 and 2 loaves of Brioche bread fit PERFECTLY (with the exception of the 4 ends, so 2 ends from each loaf of bread were not used, but I already have plans for them!)

    My daughter marveled at how perfectly the bread fit in! That’s why you must see the picture.

    It was not easy to find Brioche bread. There aren’t any good bakeries in my town, none in fact, and I had to go to 3 grocery stores until I finally found some, just made in the store, Roche Brothers Grocery store, at $5.99 a loaf.

    I wonder about adding any blueberries or strawberries to the filling, but it was delicious as is. It comes out Beautiful and because we had so much food and other dishes to try, we cut it in triangle servings, but some of us went back for seconds.

    At the end of the day, we had plenty left over because we only had 7 adults and 3 children. My daughter packed up take-home boxes for everyone! The next day, my sister called me and said she had eaten her leftovers, and it was SO GOOD! “You have to give me the recipe, for that AND The Chocolate Chip Cookies,” she begged.
    “Just go to Leite’s Culinaria,” I said, you’ll find everything I made there, chocolate cake too!

    I can see myself having a Summer Brunch in the backyard and serving this. It goes very well with a Mimosa or two! Thanks for posting another delicious, and simple recipe! Anyone can make this.

    Pan filled with 12 pieces of brioche French toast, maple syrup, tea pot

    1. You are so very welcome, Lorna! Love everything that you shared, thank you so much for taking the time to let us and other readers know! We’re so looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next…