I love entertaining with breakfast casseroles. You assemble them the night before, stick them in the fridge, and then the day-of, all you have to do is bake them! This allows you to actually spend time with your guests instead of preparing food! You can prepare it the same day you want to bake and eat it, but you will want to let it set for about two hours so the bread can absorb the custard. So plan ahead!
We recently hosted Mother’s Day brunch. My go-to sweet breakfast casserole is a blueberry cream cheese french toast casserole. I haven’t gotten around to blogging that yet, but I need to because it’s sooooo good! Even though that recipe is tried and true, I wanted to try something new this time. I came across a recipe for Bananas Foster French Toast Casserole and thought it would be great to try. I searched around until I found just the right thing, and boy am I glad I gave it a try. It was so good! I served it with fresh whipped cream and real maple syrup, and everyone loved it! My sister in law (Hi, Jill!) has already been asking when I’m going to have the blog up, so I figured I better get sharing!
The ingredient list is broken down into three parts to make things easier. Unfortunately, it makes things look complicated. Don’t let that deter you. It’s really a simple recipe to prepare, and there aren’t that many different ingredients.
I’m a sucker for a crumb topping, and to me, that just puts this recipe over the top. My husband said the whipped cream did it for him. This is so decadent, it could be a dessert! I want to tell you though, the reheat value is poor. You lose the texture, and it becomes a little soggy. So eat up when it’s fresh!
Bananas Foster French Toast Casserole
Adapted from Certified Pastry Aficionado
- 6 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 large bananas peeled and sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 10 large eggs
- 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 loaf challah or white bread, (about 20 oz.) cut or torn into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons butter unsalted, melted
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup flour
First make the caramelized bananas. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, and salt to the melted butter and stir until combined. The mixture will begin to bubble. Continue to cook for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and add bananas. Gently toss the bananas to coat them in the caramel. Set aside to cool.
Next, assemble the casserole. In a large bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine until smooth. Add the eggs, milk, and half and half. Whisk until all ingredients are incorporated.
Grease a large casserole dish or 13 x 9 baking pan. Add half of the bread to the dish. Pour the caramelized bananas over the bread, and then top with the remaining bread. Pour the custard mixture evenly over the bread and bananas. Make sure all of the bread is wet with the custard mixture.
If making the night before, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge to sit overnight. If making the morning-of, let it sit on the counter for 2 hours.
At least half an hour before you bake the casserole, make the crumb topping. Mix the melted butter, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl until smooth. Add flour to the mixture and combine with a spoon. It won’t resemble crumbs yet so don’t worry. Refrigerate until it’s time to bake the casserole.
When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Crumble the topping evenly over the casserole. Bake uncovered casserole for 40-50 minutes, to desired doneness and consistency.
Serve immediately with syrup, whipped cream, or both!