Hello, my name is Sarah and I am addicted to overnight French toast. But I want you to know that I’ve made an important breakthrough in my overnight French toast addiction — I’ve stepped beyond the confines of my very favorite Overnight Creme Brulee French Toast. (Note to my family — don’t worry, I won’t stop making the other version! But variety is good too!)
This recipe has been in my head for a few years now. Ever since I discovered that you can buy dulce de leche in a can, I wanted to try using that as the base layer of overnight French toast. But my family has a fierce devotion to the other recipe, so it took me a while to get around to actually creating it. But once I did? Well … this version has a lot going for it.
This starts with a layer of sweet, creamy dulce de leche — which you can buy at some grocery stores or online. It’s in the baking aisle near the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. What I love about it is that it’s so easy to work with. Just open the can, spread it in the pan and you’re done. Simple as can be.
Then you press slices of French bread into the dulce de leche, fitting as many as you can into the square baking dish. Pour over the vanilla-scented egg mixture and then let it sit overnight. The bread will suck up some of that egg mixture, making it super tender as it bakes.
When you finally bake it the next day, the dulce de leche bubbles around the French toast, literally surrounding it with sweet, creamy, caramel-y goodness. It’s heavenly — especially when you flip the pieces out onto plates with that dulce de leche layer on top. How could you say no?
This is a perfect French toast bake for holidays or special occasions. It’s so simple and easy. And the crowd? They’ll totally go wild for this one.
- 1 13.4- oz can dulce de leche
- 1/2 loaf French baguette, cut into 1-inch slices (about 10-12 slices)
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- Pour the dulce de leche into an 8x8-inch glass baking dish. Spread into an even layer. Press the bread slices into the dulce de leche, fitting as many as you can into the baking dish.
- Whisk together the eggs, half and half, vanilla extract and salt. Pour over the bread, taking care to soak each piece. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight. The bread will absorb some of the egg mixture, making the pieces super tender when cooked. (NOTE: This needs to chill for at least 6 hours before cooking.)
- Remove the baking dish from the fridge and let sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the French toast puffs and turns a golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately use a knife to loosen the French toast from the sides of the dish.
- Cut into pieces and use a spatula to transfer to plates. You’ll want to flip the French toast over in the transfer so that the dulce de leche is on top (mmm!).
Hint: Find dulce de leche in a can in the baking aisle. It's usually near the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.