When it comes to entertaining one of the first things I learned is have your cooking done before your guests arrive. There is nothing worse than slaving away in the kitchen while your guests hang out & and have fun. Why have a party if you can’t have fun??
That’s why I love a brunch casserole. It’s something that can be made the night before & popped into the oven first thing in the morning to be ready when you need it to be. No attention necessary from you!
So let’s get to this Cinnamon French Toast Casserole. To me it tastes like a cinnamon roll, breach pudding, flan & french toast ALL combined into one. Since I love all those things I find it absolutely indulgent. It’s a bit healthier for you since it’s gluten & dairy free!
For the French Toast:
Coconut Oil, for greasing the pan
1 loaf gluten-free Hawaiian bread (or sour dough or french bread)
8 whole eggs
2 cups almond or oat milk
1/2 cup almond or oat whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
For the Topping:
1/2 cup Cup 4 Cup Flour (or other GF flour you like)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
a tinge of nutmeg
1/2 cup cold coconut oil broken into small chunks
Real Maple Syrup
- To make the French Toast, grease the pan. If you are cooking it right away, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. I should mention, I think it’s better if you let the bread soak overnight.
- Cut or tear the bread into small cubes & pop into a medium casserole dish. I used a 2.5 quart one. You could use a 9 x 9 or 8 x 8 one.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, coconut sugar & vanilla. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread. At this point you can pop it in the fridge covered overnight.
- You can also make the topping ahead of time. Mix the flour, coconut sugar, salt & nutmeg in a bowl. With a pastry cutter or your hands mix it together with the coconut oil. You should end up with a sandy, pebbly mixture. Store in the fridge in a plastic bag.
- In the morning preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge & sprinkle the topping evenly on top.
- Once the oven is preheated, cook the casserole for 45 minutes to an hour. I like it cooked longer because the top is crispy & the bottom is still soft like bread pudding.
- Scoop out individual portions & enjoy with real maple syrup & berries.