This easy peasy Instant Pot French toast casserole can be made with brioche, challah, or French bread and is drizzled in a delicious cinnamon-kissed custard. To makes things even more irresistible, it’s topped with a sweet praline crumble and drizzled with vanilla icing for a cinnamon roll french toast vibe we’re head over heels obsessed with!
Now that the holiday season is in full swing around here, we’ve been brunching it up on the regular with friends and family.
This Instant Pot french toast casserole makes a perfect (and impressive) main dish breakfast, brunch, and even brinner if you’re a breakfast food fiend like myself!
Instead of dipping and cooking each slice of french toast on its own and slaving away in the kitchen when company is over, this scrumptious french toast cooks all at once, casserole-style, in a creamy custard of eggs, milk, cinnamon, and sugar.
Because I’m all about the toppings, I took my french toast to the next level by adding a praline crumble topping and a sweet vanilla icing on top, giving it a total cinnamon roll vibe that I can’t get enough of!
This post is sponsored by Nellie’s Free Range Eggs as part of a tasty ongoing partnership! I’m very particular when it comes to my eggs and we’ve been choosing Nellie’s for well over a year now. Their free range and Certified Humane® eggs come from independent, family owned and operated farms across the United States.
Fun fact I learned about their cartons: Because they’re made from 100% recycled plastic, they have a lower carbon footprint than both styrofoam and pressed pulp (often called cardboard) cartons. They’re often made from recycled plastic bottles and able to be recycled again after using them, reducing their carbon footprint even further.
Lesson of the day – recycle those egg cartons, yo! 90% of the time we recycle ours right away and the times we don’t it’s so we can upcycle them! My daughter uses the cartons to hold her finger paint and the little egg cups are perfect for holding all the different colored paints for her masterpiece.
Instant Pot French Toast Casserole
In hopes of being as helpful as possible, I made the instructions below pretty darn detailed.
Don’t be intimidated! This Instant Pot French Toast Casserole is actually crazy easy to make! I’ve made it 4 times so far this holiday season for family and friends. Love. it. so.
Instant Pot French Toast Casserole
This easy peasy Instant Pot French toast casserole can be made with brioche, challah, or French bread and is drizzled in a delicious cinnamon-kissed custard. To makes things even more irresistible, it's topped with a sweet praline crumble and drizzled with vanilla icing for a cinnamon roll french toast vibe we're head over heels obsessed with!
- 1 pound stale brioche challah, or french bread (see notes)
- 6 large Nellie's Free Range Eggs
- 1 + 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8-1/4 tsp orange zest (optional but delicious!)
- 2 TBSP brown sugar
- 3 TBSP unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1/4-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 TBSP cream cheese, softened
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- fresh fruit
- maple syrup for drizzling
This recipe works best with stale or dried out bread - see notes below if you need to dry out fresh, fluffy bread to make this tasty french toast casserole!
Prep a 1.5 quart round oven-safe baking dish. Prevent sticking by spraying with cooking spray (avocado oil is my favorite) or rub the inside of the dish with butter. Optional: Cut a circle of parchment paper to line the bottom of the dish for extra easy removal. <-- I do this and love it!
Cut bread (crust included) into 1-inch cubes and add to a large bowl. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and orange zest. Add 1/8 tsp of zest for just a hint of flavor and 1/4 tsp for an extra burst of orange flavor. Whisk until blended.
Pour egg mixture over cubed bread and mix to ensure bread is evenly coated. Pour into prepared dish.
To make the praline topping (optional but soooo good) combine the ingredients and mix well using your hands until texture is almost sandy and paste-like. Sprinkle on top of the casserole.
Cover your baking dish with foil (to prevent condensation while cooking) and place the dish on top of a handled trivet. My Instant Pot came with one but if you only have a regular trivet you can make your own handle out of folded sheets aluminum foil! Pour 1 cup of water into the inner pot of the pressure cooker and lower your baking dish into the pot on the trivet.
Lock the lid and set to 28 minutes high pressure. Ensure sure valve is in the sealed position.
While the casserole cooks, make your icing. Using a hand mixer or a whisk and some muscle power, blend together softened cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in powdered sugar and vanilla and season with a teeny pinch of salt. Blend well and feel free to add an extra 1/4 tsp of vanilla if you'd like extra flavor!
Once the Instant Pot beeps, quick release the pressure by flipping valve to venting position. Remove dish by lifting by the handled trivet using dish towels or gloves (it gets hot) and set aside. Remove foil
For a crisp topping, feel free to place casserole in the oven and broil on HIGH for 3-4 minutes, watching very closely to prevent over-toasting or burning. This is totally optional but it has an awesome texture if you can spare a few extra minutes! Top casserole with icing and dive in with fresh fruit and maple syrup for drizzling.
French toast casserole is best when made with drier, stale bread.
You can leave the bread out on the counter the night before making this dish or cut bread into 1-inch cubes and bake spaced on two baking sheets at 325 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Easy peasy!
The orange zest is optional but adds a little extra flavor to the casserole that I just can't get enough of! It almost ends up tasting like orange cinnamon rolls if you've ever had them!
Looking for a small-batch version of this recipe?
You can totally cut the recipe in half if desired! The halved recipe will fit perfectly into a 7-inch cake pan, push pan, or springform pan. If using a pan with a removable bottom, be sure to tightly wrap the bottom of the pan with foil to prevent any liquid from sneaking out.
You will also want to change the cook time from 28 minutes to 15 minutes high pressure with a quick release at the end. Easy peasy!
French Toast FTW!
If you get a chance to try this cinnamon-kissed Instant Pot French Toast Casserole, let me know! Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation! I can’t wait to see what you whip up!
Looking for more tasty egg-centric eats? So far we’ve used our Nellie’s Free Range Certified Humane® eggs to whip up an Instant Pot Frittata Breakfast Casserole, some crazy healthy vegetarian Breakfast Salads, and some delicious make-ahead Breakfast Burritos. SO GOOD!