This delicious and easy baked lemon French toast is a perfect weekend breakfast treat, or ideal for the brunch table! No overnight refrigeration needed.
If you’re looking to brighten up your weekend breakfast, you may wish to consider this easy, delicious french toast bake. No overnight refrigeration is needed. This one comes together quickly and easily. Just let stand about 20-30 minutes before popping in the oven. Then enjoy the lovely lemon french toast with a drizzle of maple syrup and some berries.
And while I just said you don’t need to start it the night before, if you really want to, you certainly can! Just take out of the fridge and let stand for 30 minutes before baking (to take the chill off it a bit). Certainly a handy option for entertaining.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Bread – You can really use any bread you like for this french toast bake, but do make sure it’s not super fresh. Day old, ever-so-slightly stale bread is perfect. I have set slices of bread on a cooling rack to stale up a bit if it seems a bit too fresh. It doesn’t take long and will help the bread keep its shape as it bakes.
Challah bread would be perfect for this dish. I can never get my hands on challah (unless I make it myself), so I used a round loaf of artisan bread, with wide slices that I cut in half in the middle and over-lapped slightly.
Lemons – regular lemons or Meyer Lemons will work fine here.
Half and Half – this is the 10% butterfat coffee cream and is recommended for some creaminess, but not as rich as a heavier cream. 18% table cream would also work here.
- Try to keep the bread as flat to the bottom as possible, overlapping only slightly. It’s important that most of the bread is submerged in the liquid, with only the very top edges exposed.
- You may not need all the soaking liquid, as the amount needed will vary depending on the type and thickness of the bread used.
- I used an oval copper pan here, but any baking dish of similar size or a 7 x 11 or 9×13 baking dish will work just fine.
- I love this lemon french toast with fresh blueberries, but blackberries or raspberries would also be lovely.
- Don’t forget the drizzle of maple syrup. The combination of flavours with the lemon is fabulous!
Making Ahead, Storing and Reheating
You can assemble this French toast bake the night before. Cover tightly and refrigerate, then bake in the morning.
Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Re-heat leftovers loosely covered with aluminum foil in a 350F oven until warmed or microwave.
Get the Recipe: Lemon French Toast Bake
- 6-10 slices day-old bread, (challah, miche, white etc.)
- 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups half & half (10%) cream
- 1 cup milk, (whole (3%) milk, if possible)
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Fresh blueberries, blackberries or raspberries, for topping
- Icing/confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Mint leaves, for garnish
- Maple syrup, for drizzling
- Grease your baking dish with butter. Lay your bread slices in the dish in a single layer, slightly over-lapping, but ensuring that the layer is as flat to the bottom of the pan as possible.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half & half, milk, vanilla, lemon zest and brown sugar. *Note: You may not need to use all of the soaking liquid. A lot will depend on the thickness and type of bread you are using. Pour mixture over bread slices only until the bread is almost all covered, with only the top edges of the bread slices exposed. Use a fork to gently move the slices so that the soaking liquid seeps between the slices, as well. Allow to stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, pressing down with a fork and adding a bit more of the soaking liquid if necessary, once some has been absorbed by the bread before putting in the oven.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until set and lightly golden. *If necessary, loosely cover with aluminum foil for the last part of baking if top seems golden enough before the bake is set.
- Remove from oven and allow to stand 5 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and scatter fresh fruit over top. Serve with maple syrup, for drizzling.
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!