Best Easy Make Ahead Baked French Toast For Holiday Brunches And Five More Special French Toast Recipes For Grandchildren Visits

Short Order DadOne of the most requested breakfasts from our grandchildren is for this Grandma to make french toast, especially on a school day, where Grandma has the time and inclination to make a “fancy” breakfast while parents are too harried.  I learned several years ago to add a small amount of milk to the beaten eggs to make the batter stick to the bread better, and challah is the grandchildren’s favorite bread for me to use.  Our oldest grandchild has even learned to put cinnamon sugar on the French toast to add additional sweet flavor.

Every holiday brunch, our oldest daughter makes the most delicious, Make Ahead Baked French Toast that almost tastes like a dessert.  It goes so fast at her brunches that she makes a double recipe.  The recipe has been passed around in her husband’s family, and now the recipe should be preserved for our future generations.  Here it is to share and enjoy with your grandchildren.  It is definitely an easy dish that grandchildren can help prepare, especially ripping apart the bread!

Make Ahead Baked French Toast


1 1/2 challahs

8 eggs

2 1/2 cups milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dash salt

2 cups brown sugar

3 teaspoons maple syrup (can use light)

1 stick butter


  1. Grease 9×13 casserole dish (or slightly larger size if you want)
  2. Rip challah into chunks and line casserole dish
  3. In a large bowl, combine 8 eggs, 2 1/2 cups milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, dash salt and 1 teaspoon maple syrup. Whisk until blended but not too bubbly.
  4. Pour egg mixture over challah, making sure all pieces are covered evenly with mixture. Pat down to fill in spaces.
  5. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day…

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine remaining ingredients: 1 stick butter, 2 teaspoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 cups brown sugar. Stir over low flame until melted and thickened.
  3. Pour mixture over challah casserole.
  4. Bake uncovered 45-60 minutes until puffed and lightly golden.

* Serve with a side of mixed berries (you can use frozen also)

The Today Show recently had a similar recipe for French Toast Casserole with Mixed Berrieson their website.

As a matter of fact, the Today Show was the source of information that, as with so many other special days designated in the United States, French Toast has a special day each year, November 28.  Of course, it is in the midst of the holiday season.

This Grandma loves to know the origins of our traditions, and the name, french toast, comes from, you guessed it (and see if the grandchildren can), France.  It was called  “pan perdu” or lost bread, a way to use stale bread, to not waste and because food was precious. However, some websites say the dish is older, from the Roman Empire.  For more about the origin of french toast, and to learn about different variations by country around the world with your grandchildren, check out Wikipedia.

On 2017 National French Toast Day, the Today Show reprinted five different favorite french toast recipes.  They are worth looking at.

Freezable French Toast Sticks Recipe

This is another great make ahead recipe to prepare for grandchildren’s visits.  For our younger, “plain” eating grandchildren, leave out the cinnamon.  I would use challah instead of Texas toast as it is sweeter bread.

Peanut Butter French Toast

This recipe adds peanut butter to the batter.  According to Today, the recipe comes from

“Robert Rosenthal, chef and cookbook author of Short Order Dad: One Guy’s Guide to Making Food Fun and Hassle-Free, is the ultimate personal chef to his two daughters, who named him Short Order Dad.”  The book is top rated on Amazon, and I actually immediately bought it as a gift for my son-in-laws who cook for the family.

Strawberry Cheesecake French Toas

This recipe gives me a great idea–that one can make a sandwich from any ingredients, here cream cheese and strawberries, and then coat it in batter and cook.  Why not take Martha Stewart’s Rustic Croque Monsieur recipe and make ham and cheese a breakfast food by putting it in french toast batter?   After all, it is French!  Let the grandchildren experiment with different sandwich ingredients they love.  Why not peanut butter and jelly?

Fruity Pebbles French Toast

This recipe is very colorful, but must be made when parents are not around as it is taking a sugar cereal and then the cooked french toast is topped with more sugar and syrup!  At least, we grandmas can feed it to the grandchildren just before we return them to their parents with a sugar high.

Cinnamon Roll Baked French Toast

This recipe calls for refrigerated cinnamon rolls instead of bread.  It clearly is a dessert!


Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!







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