Gluten Free French Toast Overnight Casserole is one of our favorite breakfasts of the holidays because it makes entertaining out of town guests a breeze! This quick dish is made the night before, making morning prep a snap. The rich and yummy cinnamon-y aromas also help rouse sleepy heads — bonus!
I’ve compiled several dairy-free and egg-free “nog” options to use in the recipe, but don’t worry if you don’t have nog, your favorite cream or milk – dairy/non-dairy will work just fine. I’ve even run across recipes using melted ice cream in place of the milk & eggs traditionally used for French Toast.
Aside from the brilliant simplicity of this method, it would allow you to choose your favorite non-dairy or vegan ice cream to make this dish as rich as any true custard would make it. You gotta love that idea!
Feel free to use whatever gluten free bread you have on hand. I like to make this casserole when I have several days’ old homemade bread that hasn’t been finished off just yet. No waste, and it doesn’t feel like leftovers! My gluten free sourdough bread pictured below is one great option!
The “morning after” holidays and having guests over is often given short shrift because no one wants to get up early to bake, but now you’re armed with this easy recipe for anytime you don’t feel like whipping up something amazing like homemade gluten free Cinnamon Rolls (although my 52 Minute Gluten Free Cinnamon Bun recipe is a pretty good last minute option, as well!).
It’s easy to make (takes less than 10 minutes), and it tastes even better if you make it at night and bake it the next morning (when I’m bleary-eyed and find it hard to rally to bake for guests anyway!).
Another bonus: this casserole is as great for breakfast as it is for dessert at a holiday gathering; it’s almost akin to bread pudding. The nog addition makes it super festive, so it will be perfect for all your edible holiday needs.
It can be tricky to find the right food for every time of day, and one that will make all the guests happy, especially when food allergies and celiac are in the mix. That’s why I think you’ll be so happy to have this gluten free French Toast Overnight Casserole recipe in your repertoire!
Before we get into the recipe though, let me first share with you some fantastic holiday drinks you’ll want to have on hand for baking and for serving!
Vegan Egg Nog Options
I’ve used these “Nogs” to make my French Toast Overnight Casserole even more delectable (although any milk will do), but don’t overlook them as delicious drinks in their own right! Vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, these are tasty and healthy options for all your holiday celebrations!
So Delicious® Coconut Milk Nog – Made creamy with organic coconuts, and rich with just the right amount of nutmeg, you may never crave eggy egg nog again! If you have traditionally preferred thick egg nog, this coconut nog is for you!
Califia Farms Holiday Almond Milk Nog – so smooth and spicy! YUM! Delicious chilled, warmed, or even — dare I say — spiked, this nog is thinner than coconut nog, so choose the nog that suits your taste buds best. (Isn’t it nice to have choices!?)
See, another reason to bake your own gluten free breads — so many fun things to make!
- 1/3 cup (5 Tbs) butter or non-dairy alternative (Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
- 1 loaf gluten-free sandwich bread or French bread (3-5 days old/stale or thawed from frozen works best)
- 6 eggs (OR 1 1/2 cups apple butter, canned pumpkin or mashed bananas)
- 1 1/4 cups soy OR coconut nog (note: if using egg substitutes above, add extra 1/4 – 1/2 cup nog to thin the mixture) OR your favorite cream OR milk OR just melt your favorite ice cream instead
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (optional)
- confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional)
- pure maple syrup if serving for breakfast
- vanilla yogurt to top (optional) – (So Delicious® Vanilla Coconut Yogurt)
Melt butter/Buttery Sticks and pour to cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle enough brown sugar/coconut palm sugar to cover. Reserve approximately 1/4 cup sugar to sprinkle on top of the casserole before baking.
Slice gluten-free bread 1 inch thick. Lay slices on top of butter/sugar coated dish. The slices may overlap slightly, if necessary.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs/egg substitute, nog, vanilla and spices. Pour over top of the bread-lined pan, evenly coating each slice. Sprinkle remaining sugar, nuts and/or blueberries on top and cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
(Click on the photo of me to see a quick video on how quick & easy it is to put this casserole together!)
Remove plastic wrap from the casserole and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes. The bread should have soaked up most of the liquid at this point; if not, remove the foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes.
Serve with syrup or coconut yogurt, or a sprinkle of confectioner's sugar just before serving.
And make sure to pin for later!