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Lemon Raspberry French Toast Casserole

Lemon Raspberry French Toast Casserole is the perfect spring-time breakfast casserole for Easter brunch!  Bonus: it can be made the night before!

Lemon Raspberry French Toast Casserole

Ahhh brunch.  Just seeing the word brings images of bottomless cups of coffee, cinnamon rolls, quiches, and perhaps a mimosa or two to my mind.  There’s no better way, in my opinion, to start a weekend day than with these things.

While I definitely appreciate the fun and convenience of going out for brunch, sometimes I really don’t want to get out of my PJ’s and leave of the house on Sunday morning.  Plus, brunch is usually around the same time as Lars’ first nap which is just plain inconvenient.

But really, it’s the whole getting out of my pajamas thing that is the biggest barrier to me going out for brunch.

So instead, I like to cook something special for Marc and I for weekend brunch.  What better way to make up for our (mostly) boring weekday breakfasts than with a fun brunch?

I love French toast casseroles for so many reasons.  One, because it’s almost like eating dessert for breakfast.  French toast casseroles are super similar to one of my favorite desserts, bread pudding, just with less sugar, but we can make up for that with powdered sugar and maple syrup, right?

Lemon Raspberry French Toast Casserole

I also love them because they can be made the night before, leaving minimal prep the morning of.  This one is no different.  All you need to do once you get out of bed is let it sit out for about 30 minutes, and then pop it in the oven for 45 minutes, and you are the queen (or king!) of brunch.  No getting dressed necessary.

This Lemon and Raspberry French Toast Casserole is THE perfect springtime brunch dish – especially Easter!  The bright flavors of the lemon and raspberries are a fun change from the typical cinnamon notes in French toast.  I topped ours with powdered sugar but I think it would also be great with a light drizzle of maple syrup.

Lemon Raspberry French Toast Casserole

Like this recipe?  Check out these other French Toast recipes:

Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole

Streusel-Topped French Toast Casserole

Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Triple Berry French Toast Casserole

Lemon Raspberry French Toast Casserole

Lemon Raspberry French Toast Casserole

Print Pin Rate
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb loaf of day old French bread cut into cubes (about 8 cups)*
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries divided
  • 2 cups milk I used 2%
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract optional but delicious
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • juice from 1 lemon

Instructions

  • Grease 9x13” baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Place half of the bread in the bottom of the baking dish, top with half of the raspberries, then repeat with remaining bread and raspberries.
  • In a bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, maple syrup, extracts, zest, and lemon juice.
  • Pour mixture over bread and raspberries.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • On the morning of, remove from refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 55-65 minutes, until lightly golden and cooked through. I covered mine with foil for the last 15 minutes so the top didn’t become too brown.
  • Top with powdered sugar and/or maple syrup.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

*If bread is not day old, cut it into cubes and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes to dry it out
**Due to some reviews of this recipe turning out mushy, I retested this recipe and the changes (decrease in milk and eggs and increase in baking time) are reflected in the above recipe.
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Lemon Raspberry French Toast Casserole

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  1. I can’t eat lemon, so I just added raspberry extract in place of the lemon extract and eliminated the lemon zest. Came out really tasty. Add just a little (about 2 tbsp.) water to replace the lemon juice for the moisture content.

  2. I must have done something wrong – after 55 minutes the egg was still not fully set
    Maybe I needed older bread than fresh French toast

    The lemon and raspberry is a great combination.

    1. Scott, this definitely works best with older, dry bread. You could cover it with foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes for the middle to set up more without the top getting brown, if able!