Cozy and insanely flavorful French toast bake made with a homemade hot buttered rum caramel sauce that infuses buttery, sweet brioche bread! This French toast bake can be made ahead of time, making breakfast time a breeze. Perfect for the busy holidays or when you're feeding a crowd.
French toast bake doesn't get any better! This French toast is gooey, caramelly and infused with all the flavors of delicious hot buttered rum! I love to serve it with freshly whipped cream - unsweetened or just very lightly sweetened. It's the perfect fresh balance to the sweet French toast.
When I first made this Hot Buttered Rum French Toast Bake for my now husband, I'm pretty sure that's when he decided he wanted to date me. LOL. It's that good!
Why you'll love this recipe
Can be prepared ahead of time. This French toast bake can be prepared the night before, then chill in the fridge overnight and bake in the morning when you're ready to serve.
Extra saucy and flavorful. Made with lots of homemade gooey rum caramel sauce that adds so much flavor. No dry French toast here!
Minimal ingredients. This recipe calls for pretty pantry staple ingredients. I like to buy a loaf of sliced brioche bread, but you can use whatever bread you have.
- Brioche bread - but you can also use challah, French bread, sourdough, or really anything you have on hand.
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Dark rum
How it's made
Making this French toast casserole is pretty simple and requires about 30 minutes of prep time. Below is an overview of how it's made with a few extra tips!
- Rum caramel sauce. This could not be any simpler. Heat together butter, brown sugar, spices, and rum, then simmer until thickened slightly. Be careful when adding the rum as it will cause the sauce to bubble quite a bit. Just add it slowly and keep your heat down.
- French toast. Just as you would with any French toast, start by mixing together eggs, milk, and some spices. Dip the bread in the egg mixture and transfer to a baking dish that's been drizzled with rum caramel. Don't worry about soaking up all the egg mixture when you're dipping the bread - you'll pour the remaining egg mixture over the bread in the baking dish.
- Drizzle with rum caramel. Drizzle the French toast with more rum caramel and a sprinkle of chopped pecans.
- Chill in the fridge. Cover the French toast casserole and chill in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight to allow the bread to soak up that remaining egg mixture.
- Bake. The next morning, bake the French toast one hour before you're ready to serve.
- Enjoy. Serve warm with whipped cream, maple syrup or more rum caramel. I like to whip up my own whipped cream using heavy whipping cream - I don't add any sweetener because I like the fresh unsweetened contrast to the sweet French toast.
Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe.
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to use brioche bread?
You do not have to use brioche bread. Challah, French, and sourdough bread all work great, as well.
Why is my French toast casserole soggy?
French toast casserole will naturally be a little softer at the bottom of the dish and crunchier on the top. For a French toast casserole that is a little drier, use a crusty loaf of bread such as sourdough or use stale bread.
What is the difference between brioche French toast and regular French toast?
The only difference is the type of bread. Brioche French toast is made with brioche bread, but when making regular French toast a variety of different breads can be used.
What is the best bread to make French toast out of?
I like to use brioche or challah bread. Both are soft and slightly sweet. You can also use a more most crusty bread, such as French or sourdough bread.
This French toast casserole is the perfect make-ahead recipe! Prepare the French toast then let sit in the fridge for just a couple of hours or even overnight. Bake when you're ready to serve!
Store leftover French toast bake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Keep covered and reheat in the oven at 350 until warm.
Make the French toast in a freezer-safe baking dish, such as a disposable aluminum foil pan, and bake as directed. Let cool and cover with plastic wrap then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To reheat, defrost the French toast in the refrigerator overnight. Loosely cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
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Hot Buttered Rum French Toast Bake
- 1 loaf brioche bread, sliced
- ½ cup butter plus more for greasing the pan
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract divided
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon divided
- ¾ teaspoon nutmeg divided
- ½ teaspoon cloves divided
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup dark rum
- 8 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Add the butter to a saucepan over medium-low until melted. Add brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon cloves and ⅛ teaspoon salt, then mix until combined. Slowly pour in the rum (it will bubble) and mix to combine. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to thicken the sauce.
- Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with butter. Pour half of rum caramel sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon cloves.
- Cut the bread slices in half, then submerge each piece in the egg mixture, pressing gently to soak up the liquid. Arrange the soaked bread in the baking dish. Pour the remaining egg mixture over the bread. Drizzle with the remaining rum caramel sauce and sprinkle with pecans.
- Cover and place in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake uncovered for 50-60, or until the center is cooked through and the top is golden brown. Cover with foil for the remainder of the baking time if the top begins to brown too quickly.
- Slice and serve warm with whipped cream, maple syrup, or more rum caramel sauce!