Gluten-Free Eggnog French Toast Casserole – This eggnog baked french toast is a delightful make-ahead holiday breakfast. We love the warm spices & how easy it is to make!
As a kid, Christmas breakfast was one of my favorite meals of the day. It was so fun to eat something special after opening presents and celebrating together. And, since I was little, I didn’t really think about exactly *how* that fun, celebratory breakfast just appeared.
Well, now that *I’m* the mom, I appreciate a LOT more just how much time it takes to put together a delicious holiday breakfast, especially when I want to be part of the action.
That’s why I switched to a largely make-ahead holiday breakfast a few years ago. Now, I can prep or mix things up the night before, so I just need to pop them in the oven or add some finishing touches Christmas morning. Our exact menu always changes a bit, but I love that I can still put something special together.
This Gluten-Free Eggnog French Toast Casserole is one of those perfect holiday breakfasts. It’s loaded with cozy flavor, it’s easy, and can be made in advance, which frees up more time to spend with the people I love than in the kitchen on a holiday or lazy weekend.
I love, too, that it’s SUPER easy to make. Here’s all you need to get started…
Eggnog Baked French Toast, At A Glance:
- Ingredients For Gluten-Free Eggnog French Toast Casserole
- How To Make Eggnog French Toast Casserole, Step By Step
- Yummy Toppings To Try On Your Eggnog Baked French Toast
- Side Dishes To Serve With This Gluten-Free Eggnog French Toast Bake
- FAQ + Tips For The Best Gluten=Free Eggnog French Toast Casserole
- Our Favorite Tools & Ingredients For This Yummy Breakfast
- RECIPE: Gluten-Free Eggnog French Toast Casserole
Here’s What You Need To Make Gluten-Free Eggnog French Toast Casserole:
- Gluten-Free Bread. Use your favorite here! We used Canyon Bakehouse for the photos and video, but we’ve tried several brands with great results.
- Your Favorite Eggnog (Regular or Dairy-Free!). I recommend store-bought eggnog for eggnog baked French toast since you’ll get more consistent results with thickness and sweetness.
- Eggs. To keep your gluten-free eggnog French toast casserole from tasting “eggy,” we’re using *just* enough eggs to bind everything together and help it puff, without overpowering the flavor.
- Vanilla. I like lots of vanilla extract in French toast casserole. It plays up the sweetness of the eggnog and tastes lovely.
- Nutmeg. We’re echoing the flavors in the eggnog, so we add more nutmeg to the eggnog custard. I love how it comes through!
- Cinnamon. Then, for some depth, I like a little cinnamon. So good!
- Salt. Essential, in my opinion, for balancing the flavors. Don’t skip it!
- Our Pecan Streusel (If You Want). If you’d want to really go for it (and hey, it’s Christmas! It’s TIME to go for it!), try adding our pecan streusel topping. It tastes incredible, bakes up to a gorgeous golden brown, and adds a subtle crunch to every bite. Highly recommend.
Slightly stale or dry bread works GREAT for Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole and can actually help with texture. Set your bread out up to a full day in advance to dry out a bit, or you can dry it out in the oven. Place diced bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes at 200 degrees F., then let it cool completely before using.
How To Make Gluten-Free Eggnog French Toast Casserole, Step By Step:
- Prep & Preheat! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or butter a 9×13″ (3 quart) baking dish
- Dice Your Bread. If you haven’t already, dice the bread into 1″ cubes. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- Mix Up Your Custard. In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg nog, eggs, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk the egg mixture until well combined and no big pieces of egg remain. (You can also use an immersion blender to get the mixture totally smooth, if you prefer.)
- Coat The Bread. Pour the eggnog custard mixture over the bread cubes in the baking dish, trying your best to coat everything evenly. Gently pat down the mixture to coat any bread cubes that were missed.
- Make Your Streusel Topping. If making the streusel topping, prepare that now. In a small mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, pecans, flour, melted butter, and cinnamon. Mix with a fork until clusters form and no dry spots remain.
- Sprinkle The Streusel. Use your fingers to break the mixture up a bit and sprinkle over the French toast casserole. (The streusel will be fairly wet, but just be patient and do your best to distribute it evenly.)
- Time To Bake! Bake the eggnog French toast casserole at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until it’s puffed and golden brown. (Or pop it in the fridge overnight to bake in the morning!)
- Dust, Drizzle & Dive In! Cut into squares and serve with your favorite toppings, like a dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of maple syrup, a dollop of whipped cream, or some fresh fruit!
To Mix Up French Toast Casserole The Night Before:
- Mix everything up and assemble (including adding the streusel topping). Cover the baking dish with foil and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, place the casserole dish in a COLD oven, and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, as directed. Putting the dish in the cold oven (instead of a preheated oven) will allow the pan to warm up as the oven warms up, which will help avoid temperature shocks and possible warping or breaking of your baking dish. (This is less of a concern with ceramic and metal pans, but is especially important for glass!)
Yummy Toppings To Try With Gluten-Free Eggnog French Toast Casserole:
Thanks to the gorgeous brown sugar/pecan topping, you really don’t need much to make this eggnog french toast casserole taste & feel special, but here are a few of our favorites just the same…
- Powdered Sugar. 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar sifted over the top right before serving looks so beautiful and impressive. It’s amazing just how far that 1 Tbsp. can go!
- Pure Maple Syrup. A French toast classic! I usually have a small pitcher
- Whipped Cream or Whipped Coconut Cream. Go big with a dollop of whipped cream or whipped coconut cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon on each square!
- Fresh Berries. This is one of my favorite toppings for baked French toast! I love how bright and light the berries feel next to the coziness of the French toast.
- Sliced Bananas. A few slices of banana are so great here! Bananas and spices are best friends.
- Toasted Pecans or Almonds. Add some satisfying crunch with more pecans or some almonds!
Make It A Meal! What To Serve With Eggnog Baked French Toast:
- Crispy Bacon or Sausage. A little something savory on the side is so nice! Try some baked bacon (our favorite!) or serve with some sausage on the side.
- Potato & Egg Breakfast Bake. Another make-ahead breakfast option! You can bake this right alongside the eggnog French toast casserole!
- Creamy Scrambled Eggs. Keep things easy with some perfect scrambled eggs (or add hard-boiled, poached, or fried eggs!).
- Winter Fruit Salad. This winter fruit salad is lovely for a brunch or special occasion. The bright citrus dressing ties everything together!
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Eggnog French Toast Casserole:
Can I Make This Eggnog French Toast Casserole Dairy Free? You bet! We usually do! Use your favorite dairy-free eggnog. We taste-tested all the brands we could find, and our two favorite dairy-free eggnog brands are Almond Breeze almond milk eggnog and SoDelicious coconut milk eggnog. They have the best flavor and are creamy without coating your mouth the way some others do. Then, either omit the pecan topping or use dairy-free butter instead!
How To Make French Toast Casserole That Isn’t Eggy. I *really* don’t like when French toast tastes eggy. Here, we’re solving that problem by using a lower ratio of eggs to milk than some other recipes. The eggnog adds warm spices and sweetness, while the vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon add such gorgeous flavor the eggs don’t come through at all for me!
Make-Ahead Tips. Gluten-free eggnog French toast casserole is a fantastic make-ahead option for holidays and weekends. If you want to make this for the next morning, just mix it up as directed (including the streusel) and cover the dish with foil. Refrigerate it overnight, then remove the foil and put it in a COLD oven in the morning to avoid temperature shocking your pan. Turn the oven on and bake as it preheats. You’ll still only need 35-40 minutes of bake time!
Can I Skip The Pecans? You bet! If you have a nut allergy or don’t like them, feel free to leave them out. You can also toast them in a pan and serve them on the side if you have some in your group who do like them and some who don’t!
What Kind Of Gluten-Free Bread Works Best For French Toast Casserole? We most often use Canyon Bakehouse bread (Mountain White is our go-to), but we’ve also made this with Schar bread, Trader Joe’s gluten-free bread, and Three Bakers gluten-free bread. Use your fave!
Our Favorite Tools & Ingredients For This Recipe:
- A Pretty White Casserole Dish – This white ceramic 9×13″ baking dish gets used for All The Things around here! It’s gorgeous, functional, and washes up like a dream.
- Inexpensive Sharp Knife – We use these small knives for all kinds of jobs around the kitchen. I love that they’re inexpensive enough to have a few!
- Immersion Blender – Not 100% essential, but does make blending jobs like this a breeze!