Caramel Banana French Toast Casserole
This caramel banana French toast casserole combines custard-y bread with a rich caramel banana filling and an irresistible buttery brown sugar topping. Perfect for holiday brunches or weekend breakfasts with the family!
When you’re making French toast for a crowd, French toast casserole is the answer. Let’s be real: no one wants to stand in the kitchen dipping dozens of slices of bread in custard and frying a few pieces at a time on the griddle. French toast casserole gives you all that deliciousness, in a form that’s much more convenient for entertaining. And this caramel banana French toast will be your new go-to!
We love how French toast casseroles let you take French toast to the next level with fillings, mix-ins, and toppings. (See our apple French toast casserole, tres leches French toast casserole, and Nutella stuffed French toast for examples.) Hello decadence!
About this caramel banana French toast casserole
Flavor-wise, this caramel banana French toast casserole is a little reminiscent of bananas Foster, but without the alcohol. You’ll make a caramel mixture with butter and brown sugar, then stir in sliced bananas.
The bread cubes are soaked in a vanilla-and-cinnamon infused custard, and the whole thing is topped with buttery streusel—you know, the kind you can’t resist picking at every time you walk by the casserole as it cools.
If this all sounds amazing, that’s because it is. This is the kind of special occasion breakfast that will wow everyone who tries it. Get ready to share the recipe, because everyone will be asking for it!
What you need
- Banana caramel filling: Butter, brown sugar, ripe bananas
- French toast: French bread, eggs, milk, half-and-half, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon
- Topping: All-purpose flour, brown sugar, butter
You can use either dark brown sugar or light brown sugar. Dark brown sugar has a deeper molasses flavor, while light brown sugar is, as its name suggests, lighter and milder.
How to make it
Make the filling. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Stir and cook until the sugar dissolves, then remove from heat and stir in the bananas.
Tip: If you’d like, you can slightly mash the bananas and then fold the mashed bananas into the caramel.
Make the custard mixture. Whisk the eggs, milk, half-and-half, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl until the mixture is completely smooth.
Assemble. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Layer half the bread into the bottom of the dish.
Pour the banana caramel filling over the top.
Layer the remaining bread on top of the filling, then pour the custard into the dish.
Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.
Make the topping. Whisk together the flour and brown sugar in a small bowl, then work the butter into the mixture using your fingers or a fork until it’s crumbly. Refrigerate the streusel until you’re ready to bake the casserole.
Bake. Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and begin preheating your oven to 350ºF. Sprinkle the streusel over the top.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the edges of the French toast casserole are golden brown. Let the casserole rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.
If your bread is too fresh, you may end up with a soggy French toast casserole. For best results, use day old bread and allow the bread to soak up the custard mixture overnight. If you’re starting with fresh bread, dry it out in the oven first by baking it at 325ºF until it’s lightly toasted.
Serve this caramel banana French toast casserole with a drizzle of maple syrup or caramel, a dollop of whipped cream, or scatter some sliced bananas or toasted pecans over the top. You might want to pair it with a savory side like bacon, sausage, or scrambled eggs, or something light and healthy like fresh fruit.
I love French bread for French toast casserole, but you can also use sourdough, brioche, Italian, or challah bread.
How to make this caramel banana French toast casserole your own
Want to make some changes to this caramel banana French toast casserole? You can! Here are some ideas.
- Make it nutty. Mix ½ cup of chopped nuts into the crumb topping. Pecans or walnuts would work well.
- Make it chocolatey. Scatter mini chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate over the filling layer before adding the remaining bread. Top with chocolate syrup.
- Make it with different fruit. Sliced apples would be delicious, or you could use pineapple for a flavor a little bit like pineapple upside down cake.
- Make it without half-and-half or milk. Using a mixture of milk and half-and-half creates a custard that is creamy and rich, without being too thick. However, if you do not have both then you can use one kind of dairy by substituting an equal part of the other.
Make Ahead Ideas
The custard should soak in the bread for at least 2 hours. If you are serving this for brunch then you can put it together earlier that same morning, but it is best when prepared the night before.
Store leftover banana caramel French toast casserole in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. This casserole can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Allow frozen banana caramel French toast casserole to thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. The casserole can be microwaved in individual portions, or reheated in a 350ºF oven for 30 minutes.
More banana breakfast recipes
Get the Recipe: Caramel Banana French Toast Casserole
Banana Caramel Filling
- 8 tablespoons butter (½ cup)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (220 grams)
- 2 large ripe bananas, sliced
French Toast Casserole
- 1 loaf (16 ounces) French bread cut into cubes
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Brown Sugar Topping
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (65 grams)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar (73 grams)
- 3 tablespoons softened butter
Banana Caramel Filling
- In a medium skillet, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Stir and cook until the brown sugar has dissolved.
- Remove the caramel mixture from the stove and stir in the sliced bananas.
French Toast Casserole
- Butter a 9”x13” baking dish, or spray with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, half and half, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
- Lay half of the French bread cubes into the bottom of the baking dish.
- Pour the banana caramel filling over the bread cubes.
- Press the remaining French bread cubes into the pan.
- Pour the egg custard mixture over the French bread.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Brown Sugar Topping
- Mix the flour and brown sugar in a small bowl.
- Using a fork or your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until it is crumbly.
- Cover and refrigerate until the French Toast Casserole is ready to bake.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and sprinkle the brown sugar topping over the bread and custard.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the edges of the bread are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let rest 5-10 minutes before serving. It can be served on its own or for even more decadence, serve with additional caramel sauce or maple syrup.
- The custard should soak in the bread for at least 2 hours. If you are serving this for brunch then you can put it together earlier that same morning, but it is best when prepared the night before.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. This casserole can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
- To reheat: If frozen, allow banana caramel French toast casserole to thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. The casserole can be microwaved in individual portions, or reheated in a 350ºF oven for 30 minutes.