Cinnamon Blueberry Overnight French Toast

Cinnamon Blueberry Overnight French Toast

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What’s more important – scrumptious food or time with loved ones? I think we can all agree that it’s the latter. But what if you can have your cake - or, in this case, french toast - and eat it, too?

Whenever I’m hosting a brunch-time gathering or a big holiday is upon us, I turn to overnight breakfast dishes – those for which all the preparation happens the night before. And then the next morning, all I have to do is pop it in the oven.

Recipes like this cinnamon blueberry overnight french toast allow me that quality time I might miss out on otherwise – and – bonus! – it’s a people-pleaser, too.

Cinnamon Blueberry Overnight French Toast

This recipe packs a double-bonus of quality time. Because I’m not rushing around in the morning, my always-underfoot toddler isn’t in the way – instead, she pulls up a chair and helps (okay, “helps”) me prep it the day before.

Cinnamon Blueberry Overnight French Toast

We wash and pick over blueberries. I measure; she pours. She whisks; I stand by with a kitchen towel to catch errant spills. We both transfer cubes of bread to the casserole dish and pat them down. We high five, and then we smile. This is what life is all about.

Cinnamon Blueberry Overnight French Toast

Cinnamon Blueberry Overnight French Toast

But I’d be remiss if I didn’t confess to another quality-time-themed angle when it comes to this recipe: it allows me a little quiet time to myself, too.

Cinnamon Blueberry Overnight French Toast

First thing in the morning, before the family wakes up, I can creep downstairs and, instead of chopping and prepping, I can sit down with a cup of coffee – and actually drink the whole thing while it’s still warm! I can thumb through my favorite gardening book. I can daydream a little.

I can admire the little details around me, the things that get lost in the everyday rush-rush of life.

Cinnamon Blueberry Overnight French Toast

And life is beautiful.

But, bonus! So is this french toast!

Cinnamon Blueberry Overnight French Toast

After about an hour in the oven, this french toast bake comes out smelling like sweet cinnamon. Cut individual squares, scatter with more blueberries and drizzle with maple syrup, then sink a fork in. The golden-brown crunch of the top gives way to a soft, vanilla-scented, custard-y center punctuated with bursts of tart berries.

It makes quality time a lot sweeter – in every way.

Sponsored by McCormick Spices

This post was sponsored by McCormick, who asked bloggers like me to share stories about recipes that are an important part of our family lives. Do you have a favorite family recipe? Share your own American Homemade story in the comments below. And if you’re looking for new recipes to incorporate into your life, be sure to check out McCormick’s new FlavorPrint tool. Select your preferred flavors, and McCormick will match you up with a set of recipes to your specific liking. Pretty spiffy!

Print Recipe

Cinnamon Blueberry Overnight French Toast

Cinnamon, vanilla, and blueberries mingle together in this scrumptious overnight french toast bake. Make-ahead recipes like this have been my salvation for many a holiday - and we especially love this one. Prep time includes the 1 hour for the bread cubes to sit out to harden.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups challah bread cubes, cut into 1-inch squares (cinnamon swirl or other sweet eggy breads like brioche are also great)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, plus a few additional for topping
  • Pure maple syrup for topping, if desired

Topping

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Spread the bread cubes on a large baking sheet or cutting board and let sit at room temperature to crisp up a bit, at least 1 hour but up to 8.
  2. Butter a 9-inch x 12-inch baking dish and add half of the bread cubes (4 cups). Scatter blueberries on top, then add remaining bread.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Pour over the bread cubes and blueberries. Pat gently to help submerge the bread. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
  4. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, mix together the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Remove casserole from refrigerator and uncover. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture over the top.
  5. Bake for 60 – 70 minutes, until golden brown and no longer jiggly. If it begins to brown too much toward the end of baking, cover with a piece of foil.
  6. Cut into squares and serve with additional blueberries and maple syrup. 

 

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13 Responses to “Cinnamon Blueberry Overnight French Toast”

  1. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious posted on May 20, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I just want to DIVE IN HEAD FIRST to your final photo. Stunningly beautiful! 

  2. Julia posted on May 20, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Your post just made me feel so relaxed! Sometimes I just need to stop and smell the artichoke. ;)  I can just feel warm breeze and picture myself sitting outside in the garden, taking bites of overnight french toast.  Life is beautiful indeed, my dear!

  3. Kenton @ Lemon & Olives posted on May 20, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Wow, this looks delicious! Gorgeous  shots by the way. Being able to make recipes with family and friends is for sure a plus in the kitchen :P

  4. Ami@naivecookcooks posted on May 20, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    I need to try making these overnight French toasts! Looks so so good!

  5. Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen posted on May 20, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    My daughter loves to help me in the kitchen too. She just turned 5, and it’s amazing how her skills have grown since she started cooking and baking with me. She’s actually a real help now! This is such a sweet post, and I totally want to make that french toast, too!

  6. Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life posted on May 20, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Such beautiful photos and sentiments too. I haven’t had French toast in a long time, and I love the fact that I can prepare this the night before and have more time to linger with my family over a pot of tea. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Suzanne posted on May 21, 2014 at 7:11 am

    You had me at overnight!

  8. Rachel @ Bakerita posted on May 21, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    This looks like the best comfort breakfast ever! So perfect to spoil company too :D pinned!

  9. Pingback: Bites from other Blogs - The Recipe Daily

  10. Mary (Queen of Needles) posted on May 24, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Yum!  Perfect for a lazy weekend morning, as well as a fun brunch!  I can pop this in the oven and have some extra knitting time to boot!  Actually, this would be great for dinner on pajama day, too! You have another ‘keeper’ here….

  11. Dusty posted on May 28, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    I have this soaking in my fridge as I type! I can’t wait to eat it in the morning! It looks so yummy, I just can’t wait. I made my own banana bread in my beautiful new bread machine, yep, just can’t wait! 

    p.s. I am LOVING your photography. Confession, that’s what drew me into this wonderful recipe! It’s just such a great post all around.

  12. Nicky posted on June 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    What a lovely post and a delicious looking recipe. I can’t wait to make this for a lovely weekend breakfast. I might just follow your lead and sneak downstairs for that quiet cup of coffee too!

    • Karen Raye replied on June 24th, 2014 on 8:37 am

      Thank you, Nicky! Those sneaky early morning hours are heaven, I assure you. :D

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