Cinnamon raisin bread, ham, and cheese are soaked in egg and milk before getting baked in the oven for an easy, sweet and savory French toast casserole-perfect for a quick, make ahead breakfast or brunch recipe!
If you’re the type of person that likes when your bacon or sausage gets covered in maple syrup on your breakfast plate, I think this sweet and savory French toast casserole recipe is for you. It’s slightly sweet, yet slightly salty for the perfect flavor combination.
Slices of cinnamon swirl raisin bread are placed in a buttered 11×7” or 9×9” casserole dish. It‘s layered with slices of ham and American cheese, and then topped with another layer of bread. A mixture of egg, milk, cinnamon, and a hint of rosemary are poured over the casserole before baked in the oven until the egg is fluffy and the cheese is melted.
This sweet and savory French toast casserole is simple and easy, making it the perfect make-ahead brunch recipe. The recipe can simply be doubled if you need to make it to for a crowd (such as your Easter Brunch!)
Even though my mom is the star cook in our family, my dad can cook pretty good too. He always adds some mystery “weird” ingredient that would always keep us guessing anytime he made dinner.
One of my favorite things we used to make was grilled cheeses made on cinnamon raisin bread with ham and American cheese. It was perfect: buttery, sweet, and salty…all the good stuff!
Hence, this is where I got the inspiration for my sweet and savory French toast casserole.
So what exactly is in a traditional French toast casserole?
- Cream Cheese
- Brown Sugar
What kind of Bread is used in French Toast Casserole?
The BEST kind of bread to use is anything that’s stale or has an extra crispy crust. This allows the eggs and milk to absorb better, creating that perfect eggy texture in your French toast.
If you don’t have stale bread on hand, you can simply toast your bread in the oven for 10-15 minutes to get it crunchy and dry.
So as you can see this recipe isn’t exactly like your average French toast casserole; it’s got a savory twist by adding the ham and rosemary, yet it’s still slightly sweet with the cinnamon-raisin bread.
This sweet and savory, easy brunch recipe is perfect for a crowd. Prepare it the night before, and bake it in the oven the next morning, for a simple, make ahead breakfast!
Sweet and Savory French Toast Casserole
- 6 slices Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- 4 Eggs
- 1 cup Milk or Half & Half
- ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Fresh Rosemary finely chopped
- Pinch of Salt
- 6 slices Ham thinly sliced
- 6 slices American cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 11 x7” or 9×9” baking dish.
- Place cinnamon raisin bread slices along the bottom of your baking dish (you should be able to fit about 4 slices). Don’t be afraid to squish the bread to fit.
- Layer slices of ham and then slices of cheese. Top with another layer of bread.
- Whisk together eggs, milk, cinnamon, rosemary and salt. Evenly pour over bread, gently pressing down with spatula to make sure all the bread is soaked with egg mixture. Let soak for at least 15 minutes or overnight.
- Bake 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted and liquid is absorbed.