Being a working mom can be hard.  Really hard.  I don’t mean in the way of juggling the responsibilities of a job with those of being a mom because that kind of goes without saying.  For me the really difficult part is the emotional aspect of being away from my kids during the day, particularly now that Andrew really realizes my absence and misses me.  Every single morning he says hopefully, “You don’t have to go to work today?!”  Breaks my heart every time.  Thankfully he’s such a good natured little guy that he understands I’m doing what I have to do.  Those days when I do have to leave, I walk out the door to a loud, “Love you, Mom!  PEACE OUT!” and see his profile pressed up against the window when I drive away.  Even better, when I return home I am greeted with a very enthusiastic run-jump-hug-kiss-tickle routine and immediate, “Mom, will you come play upstairs with me?!”

On the blessed weekend days when we are able to be home together as a family, I love to make something, anything, that Andrew considers “special breakfast” (i.e. something we wouldn’t have on a weekday).  A couple weekends ago I decided to try a baked French toast because it was something new and I knew Ben would love it. In the past I’ve had lukewarm feelings toward French toast because it is often made so badly.  I’m happy to say though that all four of us loved this special breakfast.  Andrew gobbled up his, and then swiped a good deal of mine in classic toddler form.  Ben had only good things to say and has talked about it many times since. Caroline provided a constant undertone of growling anytime her mouth was empty because hello, Mom, an empty mouth is unacceptable!  And I loved it because not only did it taste great, but it was prepped the night before in less than 10 minutes with no additional effort required in the morning.  Anything this simple that allows me a little extra snuggle time with my sweet munchkins is a win in my book.


For the French toast:
4 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half (or milk)
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (optional)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash grated nutmeg
1 small French baguette*, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5-6 cups)

To serve: 
Confectioners’ sugar
Maple syrup
Fresh berries


  • 01

    Add the eggs to a large mixing bowl.  Whisk briefly.  Add the half-and-half, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the bowl.  Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean pod.  Add in the cinnamon and nutmeg.  Whisk well until the mixture is evenly combined.  Stir in the cubes of bread until evenly coated.

  • 02

    Lightly grease four individual oven-safe serving dishes (or a single casserole dish – your call.  If you go this route, you will likely need to increase the baking time until the center is baked through).  Divide the bread-egg mixture evenly between the dishes.  Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least two hours or up to overnight.

  • 03

    When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Remove the plastic wrap from the dishes.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until puffed up and light golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.  Serve as desired with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, and fresh berries.

  • 04

    *In case you’re in the habit of making your own French bread, one of these baguettes was the perfect size.


  • This looks divine, I’ve thought about making baked French Toast many times before, but this recipe will probably be the one to finally propel me into the kitchen. I cannot wait to share it with my family during Sunday morning breakfast. Eating that meal as a family is definitely one of my favorite parts of the week. Thanks for sharing :)

  • jabmorris

    I hear peace out all the time in my household. It is so funny. Peace out!

  • April

    Sounds wonderful! I completely understand your sentiments about going to work, leaving the little ones you love savoring the weekends together. Those feelings and the limited time between when I get home from work and when the kids go to bed is what has driven me to make ahead freezer meals. I often use naptimes on the weekend to prepare freezer meals so that I’m not too busy in the kitchen when I get home from work during the week. This French Toast looks fabulous, adding it to my “Annies-Eats Must Try” list.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Love this Annie! The little pots are so pretty!

  • Marilyn

    Love the MAKE AHEAD feature of this recipe!

  • Noelle

    You are a great Mom, I know I don’t really know you, but I can just tell, oozes right through your amazing blog!!! I am always telling everybody I know about this amazing blog, with the amazing recipes, and an amazing lady who is a doctor and comes home and prepares these amazing meals!! Keep doing what you’re doing, your little ones will never ever forget it!! I know I have one almost 24 now…..anyway that French toast looks amazing too!

  • Lindsey Dyda

    Sounds fantastic, also much easier than soaking each slice and putting it on the griddle. Thanks! Oh, and I have a toddler who deems any time he is not eating to be unacceptable!

  • Perfect timing! We’re doing ‘breakfast for dinner’ next Sunday evening with some of our friends, and I was on the hunt for a baked french toast recipe! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Oh sweetness! I think any post you write about your kids pulls at my heart strings because my kids are the exact same age and I always find myself nodding “yup, yup.” :) Your kids sound like little darlings. They’ll always treasure the times you had with them and not think about the times they didn’t because those are the memories that count. You’re doing your best and that’s all that matters. Although I know that doesn’t make the leaving any easier. From one mom to another, you’re doing a good job! :)

    I think this would be a hit in our home as well. I’ve always been scared to make baked french toast because of the sogginess factor but if you say it’s good then I have to give it a go!

  • this looks gorgeous and so delicious!

  • Love those babies! This looks great, girl. I’ve heard of the overnight french toast, but haven’t tried it yet. Bookmarking this one!

  • Jennifer Thompson

    Annie, the emotional part of being away from your child each day is the hardest part of being a working mom for me too. My heart breaks every morning as well, when I have to tell my little guy that “Mommy is working today”. :(

    This baked french toast looks delish! I am hosting a baby shower next month and I think this would be a perfect dish to serve in mini bowls. Thanks for sharing!


  • Emilie @ Emilie’s Enjoyables

    I’ve been looking for a good baked french toast recipe to have on hand, I’ll have to give this one a try!

  • cherronjcsluv


  • TheMrsatSuccessAlongtheWeigh

    Baked french toast = bowlful o’ lovin’!

  • Love this, and I really love “peace out.” Also – is that the new wall color??

  • Kat

    It is *so* hard to leave my little toddler in the mornings. I feel ya, Momma.

    That French toast looks amazing. Will have to try that soon.

  • sweetsugarbelle

    What I love best about this recipe is that my kids can easily help with the prep work! Loving Mr. Peace out. I have a five year old that calls me babe when he can’t get my attention. Guess he figures if it works for dad :-)

  • annieseats

    Haha! I love it.

  • annieseats

    No, I took this in our guest bedroom :)

  • Emily Baker

    My new favorite photo of yours, Annie!!

  • annieseats

    Thanks, Cheri. I know they won’t remember the times I wasn’t work and will focus on when I was home (at least I hope), but yeah, it’s still hard.

    I’m usually skeptical of French toast and especially overnight French toast because of the sogginess factor but this is actually just right I think. Moist, but not soggy. I hate mushy foods :)

  • annieseats

    Aw, you are too sweet. Thank you very much for such a nice comment :)

  • I totally understand what you mean about being a working mom. I keep waiting for it to get easier to leave my son at daycare and everyday it seems harder and harder. I know it is what is best for our family but it’s a struggle. We also relish in the weekends and being able to prepare delicious meals. Breakfast is my all time favorite and this recipe looks perfect! Your pictures also make everything look wonderful!

  • annieseats

    Well, thank you! I love it too. I’m actually getting ready to redo my photo wall in the kitchen and this one definitely made the cut :)

  • Erica

    Perfect timing on this recipe! I’m having a brunch get-together next weekend and I am on the hunt for recipes that I can prep in advance. This one looks great!

  • Megan

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it. What size are your individual serving dishes? I’ve got a set of ramekins that are definitely too small, and I’ve been on the lookout for something larger, but I’m not really sure just what size to get.

    Also, I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, but I’ve made a number of your recipes since I first found your blog a few months ago, and they have always been amazing. So thanks!

  • Lauren

    I saw this on Bakerella – it looks amazing – I think we will try it this weekend!

  • deborahpucci

    Looks yummy!

  • sounds yummy! I’m a working mom too with an 18 month old and I totally feel your pain leaving the house in the morning. knowing that i get to cook on the weekends, and eat as a family, helps me get thru the work week.

  • Kelsey

    Oh my goodness…I am completely cracking up at the thought of Andrew screaming, “PEACE OUT!” He is such a cutie. And Annie, these photos are gorgeous–absolutely to die for.

  • Love that this is a make ahead breakfast! Going to try this out soon!

  • Kim

    Well said! That is exactly how I feel as a working mom.

    You know you’re doing a good job because your son is confident enough to spend the day without you. That’s a sign of a healthy attachment.

    (Peace out is a catch-phrase in our house too)

  • Barb

    I love the blue individual casseroles. Where did you find them?

  • This sounds delicious – especially with all of that vanilla! I also posted a French toast recipe today; a traditional recipe but using a croissant instead of bread!

  • annieseats

    They are Le Creuset and I bought them locally.

  • annieseats

    The dish pictured here is a mini Le Creuset. They are a perfect size, but quite expensive. There are lots of fun dishes out there. I think you just need to go exploring! Sur La Table and Crate & Barrel have a lot of great dishes.

  • Susananderson1223

    I can’t wait to buy some individual casseroles! I’m not fond of french toast but my husband loves it, and I think this would be delicious and so cute. We started eating your steel cut oats breakfast with the shredded apple and maple syrup and it has become our favorite breakfast; so I have full confidence in this recipe as well, and this one will be faster since you can make it ahead. Thank You!!!

  • Chelsia Rief

    I’m wishing this was what was for breakfast this morning!

  • how sweet! I love this little individual casserole. I am usually not a huge fan of French toast, but I do love it in baked casserole form!

  • Summer

    I’ve tried a lot of baked French Toast recipes and they have pretty much all disappointed me. I am excited to try this one though – the weekend can’t come soon enough!

  • I love baked french toast so I am excited to try this version. I have a creme brulee french toast in my repertoire that I am posting soon that is along the same lines. I love when I can prep things the night before! Gorgeous photo!

  • I loved this post. I loved reading about what a sweet, fun, loving mom you are. And, I loved this delicious recipe. I cannot wait to try it.

  • Erica

    I have to comment on that, too.. Even though I don’t know you, I tell my husband about how you are a physician and have kids and have a blog.. He is a physician and we don’t have children yet, so I ask when he is going to start his blog? And he just shakes his head and says he doesn’t know how you do it..

  • Nicole Olson

    I don’t know how you juggle working full time, and being a great mommy (which I’m uber-confident that you are..) with penning this blog — but I know I speak for many of the readers when I say that I’m happy that you do!

  • Maia

    Yum! These sound delicious! I will definitely try them tomorrow after MATCH DAY!! (too many butterflies to try them now)

  • Tammy Powell

    I love baked French toast! I made this for Christmas brunch and everyone loved it! Yummy!

    I may have to make some really, really soon!

  • I love french toast as is, and this looks even better!

  • Sara{wherethecookiesare}

    This looks really good, and reasonably easy too – even better that it can go in the fridge overnight. I’ve had baked french toast before, but with mediocre results. This will be a great one to try!

  • I am a bread addict and yet I have never baked french toast. Your photos are beautiful and so is the recipe!!

  • Sarah

    This is being added to my list for Sunday special breakfasts!!

  • annieseats

    Well, thank you very much!

  • annieseats

    Haha, too funny :)

  • Suzanne Perazzini

    In a way, I am glad those days of feeling guilty are over but I do miss my son’s sweetness at that age. At 21, he is a completely different kind of animal now.

  • Maggie Cooks

    Yummy! I like french toast but sometimes its too eggy, I’ll def try this recipe out! :D Thank you for sharing this recipe! your pictures are gorgeous! :)

  • At Home with Vicki Bensinger

    This is the sweetest story ever. I can just see your son smashing his face against the window as you drive away to work. I can feel what you’re feeling too as you drive away looking at him. Somehow no matter what we do we wonder if it’s the right thing. Although having these special morning breakfasts will always be remembered.

    This French toast sounds so good I’d like to try it. Making it in individual servings makes it even more special. What a nice way to spend quality time on Saturday or Sunday morning.

  • Myfudo

    You are a terrific mom! This is a heartwarming post…I am sure your kid is proud to have you as his mom. Thanks for this breakfast recipe. Awesome!

  • Lori

    I’ll have to try this. My munchins are all big now! 18 & 23 but this breakfast looks like a winner. I will have to try it.

  • This looks really good, the bread with the fruit, what a delicious breakfast or even dessert.

  • Lucie (Thursday Night Dinner)

    i love french toast its one of my favorites, and baking it just seems so much easier than slaving away at the hot stove!

  • Whatscookin52

    Mmm, this looks so good! I love french toast and your photo is wonderful looking.

  • My husband will absolutely love this. He’s always looking for good breakfasts that aren’t too sugary for the morning. Thank you! I’ll be trying this asap!

  • Heather

    Just finished eating this wonderful dish. I did put it all together in a 1.5 quart round casserole dish and baked it at 375 for 37 minutes. It was perfect! Nicely browned on the bottom, the top was crisp and inside was moist and soft, not at all mushy. Thank you for the lovely recipe. My two year old twins devoured it! As did I. :)

  • I love those! They are so adorable.

  • Amen to the mushy foods, thanks for finding a good recipe for the rest of us!

  • Angela

    What a beautiful post—words and pics!

    My husband loves french toast so I am definitely going to try this recipe. Ever since my husband dined at a cute cafe in Boston that served french toast using challah bread my husband doesn’t want his french toast with any other kind of bread. I wonder if this recipe would be ok using challah bread instead or should I just trick him and see if he notices? ;-)

    Thanks again for sharing!

  • These look so lovely! I don’t know how you made egg soaked bread look delicious, but you definitely did!

  • Jen @ Jen’s Favorite Cookies

    This is a breakfast recipe I could get into! I’m definitely trying this! I love the addition of the berries, too. I find that I just love having berries in the house.

  • Seminolewill

    Is it me or did Bakerella post very close recipe a month earlier???

  • annieseats

    That’s possible, but I didn’t get this from her. I listed my source at the bottom of the post, as always.

  • Made this last night for this morning’s breakfast. Everyone loved it, especially my 2 year old little guy! I used the discounted “day old” bakery baguette and it worked great here. Thank you. :)

  • Aline

    Hi Annie, when these are baked am I supposed to see some of the egg mixture in a butter like consistency in between the pieces of bread (bottom pieces) or does that mean it was not cooked all the way through?

  • annieseats

    If you think it’s too liquidy, feel free to bake it until it is done to your liking. Enjoy!

  • Lori

    Annie- my baby was just diagnosed with an egg white allergy. Do you know which egg substitute works best, if any? I made your baked oatmeal today and just skipped the egg but that wouldn’t work for french toast or many other recipes. Thanks so much

  • annieseats

    I’m sorry, I’ve never used an egg substitute so I don’t have any experience in that regard. I’m sure there are websites and blogs out there with egg allergy information. Good luck!

  • Kari

    We enjoyed this french toast this morning for our Christmas brunch! I made it in an 8 x 8 pan and it took 30 minutes to bake through. My husband and I liked it and our two young kids did too. I love how it’s not a huge 9 x 13 pan so nothing went to waste. Thanks!

  • hi, can i not store it in the frigde and bake it immediately?:)

  • annieseats

    For best results, you should follow the instructions in the recipe. If you make changes, results will vary. Enjoy!

  • Suzanne Singleton

    This looks great and I love your blue dish. So pretty. This may be what we have for Mother’s Day.

  • Lindsay Johnson

    I LOVE this recipe! I featured it on my mother’s day brunch round-up here:

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  • debbie_livingstone

    Hi Annie,
    I’ve been following your blog since 2010 and it is by far my favorite food blog, however, this is my first post. I noticed this exact picture posted on a celebrity blog and thought that it looked like your photo. I’m not sure if you want to be made aware of such occurences or not? Or perhaps you may already be aware? If so, please let me know.

  • annieseats

    Debbie, thanks for the heads up. Would you mind sending me a link through the contact form to the site you are referring to? Occasionally sites use my images with permission but most often it is without. I would appreciate the info.