Cinnamon Croissant French Toast Bake is a decadent, delicious, easy, make-ahead breakfast with crispy layered croissants coated in a sweetened condensed milk custard and baked until puffy.
Whether you double it for a large crowd over the holidays or make a small batch for just you and your sweetie on Valentine’s Day, no one has to know just how easy it is to whip up this beautiful and delicious croissant french toast casserole.
Amazingness in a Can
I’m always surprised by the number of people who have yet to be introduced to the goodness that is sweetened condensed milk. Most are extremely confused to discover that it’s actually a super luscious, caramel-like mixture of only two simple ingredients: milk + sugar. That’s it.
Remove the water from the milk, add sugar and something magical happens. I mean, Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk’s entire purpose is to add pure joy into people’s lives through its product, so you KNOW it’s gotta be good.
I remember my grandma and my mom always having at least one can in the pantry. And I’m now the same! I always have a can on hand for whenever a random craving hits.
Because I just never know when I’m going to want to make Easy Two Ingredient Coconut Macaroons, key lime pie, millionaire bars or dulce de leche brownies. I mean, you just never know. You know?
I also always bring a can of Eagle camping so that I don’t have to wait for boiling water to get a delicious coffee fix and instead instantly mix up a glass of Thai Cold Brew Iced Coffee.
It takes only a few minutes and a handful of ingredients to prepare. And it’s so, so, so over-the-top yummy. Poofy and light and crispy and custardy.
- Sweetened condensed milk – or substitute the same amount of canned cream of coconut or use 1 cup of granulated sugar and and extra 3/4 cup of milk.
- Whole milk – or substitute any other milk without any recipe adjustments. But note – if using heavy cream you’ll need to increase the amount to 2 cups and skip buttering the dish because there’s so much milk fat in the cream.
- Stale croissants – If you have leftover croissants after a party or brunch, this is the perfect way to use them up because the drier the better. If not, simply toast fresh croissants for a little longer than the day old ones.
- Butter – just to grease the dish
- Spices – cinnamon powder, nutmeg and salt
- Confectioners sugar- (optional) for serving
Step by step instructions
- Reserve 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk out of the can to drizzle over the baked casserole. Then pour remaining sweetened condensed milk into a large bowl. Measure whole milk with the condensed milk and add to bowl. Then whisk in eggs and a generous amount of both cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Slice croissants in half or rip into pieces then toast in oven and layer in a baking dish.
- Pour egg/milk custard over toasted croissants.
- Cover with buttered foil or parchment and bake until eggs are puffed up. Then uncover and bake a few minutes more until golden brown.
- Cool 5 minutes before dusting with powdered sugar and drizzling with the reserved sweetened condensed milk.
- Serve with variety of toppings like whipped cream, berries, fresh mint and pure maple syrup. Or with ice cream for dessert. Enjoy!
Easy, make-ahead breakfast casserole
This is the best make-ahead breakfast recipe. After a nice long soak, all the flavors meld together and soak in to the croissants. It’s such an easy brunch for a crowd or make-ahead holiday breakfast! Perfect, really, for any morning when cooking and cleaning is the last thing you want to do.
Simply prepare through the point of covering with foil then refrigerate up to 18 hours. Don’t go any longer or the croissants will break down too much and be a soggy mess. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350 and bake as directed.
- Make individual servings of croissant French toast casserole in muffin cups. Perfect for early morning parties and brunches.
- Sprinkle fresh fruit into the custard or sliced nuts on top.
- Use chocolate or almond croissants instead of plain for an even more over-the-top option!
- Instead of tearing apart the croissants, stuff with flavored cream cheese and/or jam before placing in the baking dish and bake them up whole.
This recipe yields 8-12 servings but can easily be halved for a small family or just a couple people.
- 16 ounces Croissants 6-8 depending on size
- 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk 14 ounces
- 1 ¾ cup whole milk 14 ounces
- 6 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut day-old croissants in half lengthwise and evenly spread on a large baking sheet. Toast, cut side up, until crispy and browned about 3-5 minutes. It may take longer or shorter depending on how large and how dry the croissants are. Watch carefully to ensure they don’t burn.
- Remove croissants when crispy and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Let croissants cool then tear into large bite-size pieces.
- Butter a 9” x 13” baking dish and add the croissant cubes, arranging them evenly.
- Reserve 3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk and add the remaining to a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Pour custard over croissants and cover with foil. Let sit at least five minutes up to 18 hours refrigerated.
- Bake covered until puffed, about 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake until golden brown 10-15 minutes longer.
- Cool at least 5 minutes then cover with powdered sugar and a drizzle of the reserved sweetened condensed milk.