Spring is in full swing and we are officially in countdown to Summer mode… or at least I am! One of the best treats of this in-between season are ripe and juicy strawberries. If you know me, you know I’m very passionate about in-season strawberries. Those sad, greenhouse-grown ones that are usually enormous, yet have no flavor just can’t hold a candle to their in-season counterparts. I’m talking the little deep-red ones that almost look jewel-like. They have a sweet, intoxicating fragrance that is as sweet as candy before you even taste one. I’m taking full advantage of these delicious little morsels and making this incredibly easy strawberry almond overnight french toast recipe — it’s perfect for brunch this weekend!
In my hometown of Olympia, there’s a famous berry farm, Spooner’s, that sells the best strawberries around. Excitement around the season builds each year as their stands pop up around the city and you better get there early because they’re almost always sold out by noon. Which brings me to today’s recipe. Overnight french toast is sort of like a bread pudding and traditional griddled french toast hybrid. All the delicious flavors and richness of french toast with the ease of bread pudding. The best part of this french toast recipe: you can put it together the night before in about 5 minutes then just bake it off the next morning! See, I told you. Easy.
Now, let’s dig into this french toast recipe!
Easy Strawberry Almond Overnight French Toast Recipe
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 12 slices challah or brioche bread, cut into 1 inch thick slices (about 1 loaf)
- 6 large eggs
- 2 c whole milk
- 2 T amaretto liqueur (such as Disaronno)
- 2 t vanilla extract
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 t ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- ¼ c granulated sugar
- 1 lb sliced fresh strawberries
- toasted sliced almonds, to serve
- whipped cream, to serve
- powdered sugar, to serve
Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and set aside. Whisk together the eggs, milk, amaretto liqueur, vanilla, lemon zest, cinnamon, salt and sugar. Then, dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture then place in the baking dish. Repeat with all the bread slices, overlapping the bread slices slightly in a shingle pattern. Then, pour the remaining custard evenly over the bread slices. Reserve a handful of strawberries for serving then sprinkle the rest over the french toast, tucking some in between the bread slices. Next, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 F. Bake french toast, uncovered, for about 50-60 minutes, until custard is set and bread is puffed and golden brown. If it’s getting too dark before the custard has set, cover with foil and finish baking. After that, sprinkle with toasted almonds, dust with powdered sugar and serve warm with whipped cream and more fresh strawberries.
The strawberries become juicy and jammy in the oven and mingle so well with the crispy around the edges and creamy in the center custard-laden bread. To make it a little extra special, I added a touch of amaretto liqueur to the custard and sprinkled the top with toasted almonds for some crunch. Sprinkle over a generous dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream if you’re feeling it, and voila! The easiest and most impressive brunch or even regular ole Saturday breakfast is served. I hope you make this and let us know if you do! Enjoy!
Looking for even more delicious recipes? Check out these:
- pumpkin nutella swirl tart recipe
- tahini frangipani apple galette with salted honey rose cream recipe
- spiced pear ricotta muffin recipe
- lavender rhubarb upside-down cake