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Sometimes French Toast makes me nervous.  Especially overnight french toast. I always get paranoid I don’t have the right bread and that everything is going to turn into a soggy mess and not cook right the next morning.

But french toast is always good. I don’t know why I worry so much about these things. Plus, Joy the Baker would never do me wrong.

And she didn’t. Because this Baked Coffee Cake French Toast was a hit. And sooo easy!

Warning: you are not going to get uniform pieces of French Toast out of this. Mine almost turned into a delicious bread pudding in the oven. Once it comes out, you’re gonna be scooping out gooey pieces, trying to get a perfect slice isn’t gonna happen. And you know what? It’s better that way. Trust me.

Next time I will probably try it with Challah bread, and fan out the layers so each piece of bread gets a good portion of coffee-cake topping. I highly recommend serving the french toast with fresh berries and whipped cream.

Baked Coffee Cake French Toast
From the Joy the Baker Cookbook
Serves 6

For the French Toast:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 10 slices stale white or whole wheat sandwich bread
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 (1/2 stick) butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • powdered sugar for garnish


To make the French toast: Melt butter in an 8-inch cast-iron (or any oven-friendly) skillet. Coat the entire pan, including the sides of the skillet with melted butter. Remove from heat.

Slice the bread diagonally. Fan and stack the bread atop the melted butter, cut side down, point side up.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs, whole milk, buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla. Once well incorporated, pour the custard over the bread slices into the skillet. Gently press the bread slices into the custard to coat; bread slices will not be completely submerged in the egg mixture.

Cover the Skillet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight.

Just before you are ready to bake, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

To make the topping: whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is in pea-sized lumps. Remove the soaked bread from the refrigerator and sprinkle with crumb topping.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the custard has set and the bread tops are toasted. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Sift powdered sugar over the top of the toast and scoop into bowls to serve. This dish is excellent with fresh berries (marinated in a little triple sec and powdered sugar) and whipped cream.