Every morning is special with this easy, overnight Panettone French toast!
Slices of Panettone are soaked overnight in a thick and creamy vanilla batter and then baked with a crunchy cinnamon streusel topping! Use Trader Joe’s Panettone, or make it with your own homemade version. This French toast is perfect for a weekend brunch with company, or a special breakfast for the family. It’s delicious served as is, or with crème fraiche. It’s also great as a dessert, with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
What is Panettone French Toast?
- Panettone is the best bread for French toast! This Italian sweet bread is normally served during the holidays because it’s studded with festive raisins and candied orange or lemon peels. It’s also great for French toast because it’s dense and perfect for soaking up the batter!
- This recipe is easy for every day but also an elegant addition to a brunch buffet or any celebration when company’s coming! Add it to your holiday menu rotation by using eggnog instead of half-and-half!
- Overnight French toast casserole is a delicious way to start the day, especially when all the prep is done the night before! Or serve it as a decadent dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
- This recipe is tailor-made for a special brunch-with-company occasion! Serve it with creamy lemonade, white wine sangria, or homemade Irish cream.
Ingredients and Variations
BREAD: Panettone is made with baked in goodies like dried fruits and nuts which makes this dish extra special. Other breads to try are thick slices of baguettes, challah, brioche, or even raisin bread.
BATTER: Whole milk and half-and-half mixed withbeggs make a creamy batter with a rich flavor. Heavy cream can be used in place of the half-and-half and oat milk is the closest non-dairy switch for whole milk. Feel free to use a favorite sugar-free substitute or omit the sugar altogether, especially if adding sweet toppings like whipped cream, jam, or fruit.
TOPPINGS: Use the streusel topping in this recipe, or garnish Panettone French toast with whipped cream, warmed maple syrup, jam or preserves, fresh berries, or even chocolate chips for the kids!
How to Make Panettone French Toast
- Cut Panettone into ½” slices and then cut each slice in half and arrange them in a baking dish.
- Whisk the batter ingredients together and pour over the bread. Refrigerate overnight.
- Prepare streusel topping (if using) and sprinkle over the French toast.
- Bake until a knife comes out clean, and allow to rest before serving.
Tips and Tricks for French Toast
- Find Panettone at Trader Joe’s year-round, no need to wait for the holiday season!
- Let the slices of bread dry out before using so it’s extra absorbent for the batter.
- Add one extra egg yolk to the batter for a thick, more custard-like result.
- If using the streusel topping in this recipe, save any leftovers to sprinkle on muffins, quick breads, or pancakes.
- Keep leftover French toast in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Reheat portions on the stovetop or pop them in the toaster!
- Assemble overnight panettone french toast, and freeze it before baking. Or bake it, allow to fully cool and freeze. In either case wrap it in plastic followed by aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 6 weeks. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before baking, or reheating.
Tasty Overnight Recipe Ideas
Overnight Panettone French Toast
- 1 ½- 2 loaf loaf panettone 1 pound 10 ounces or 750g, cut into 1 inch slices
- 6 eggs
- 1 cups milk
- 2 cups cream half and half
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Optional Streusel Topping
- ⅓ cup flour
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup quick oats
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup pecans
- Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter.
- Cut panettone into ½ inch slices, and cut each slice in half. Remove any hard crust. Arrange in rows in the baking dish, overlapping to fit.
- Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
- Pour egg mixture on top of bread, coating all pieces. Press the bread into the egg mixture if needed. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Turn oven to 350˚F. Remove baking dish from the refrigerator to the countertop while the oven preheats.
- If adding streusel topping, mix all ingredients together**, using a pastry cutter or two forks, and sprinkle over the top of the dish.
- Bake uncovered for 45-60 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. If the top browns too quickly, tent loosely with foil for the remainder of cook time.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. The dish will puff up while baking, and settle after it's been out of the oven for a few minutes.
- Nutrition calculated with regular bread.
- *Prep streusel topping the night before if desired. Save any leftover topping and use to sprinkle on muffins, quick breads, or pancakes.
- Allow Panettone slices to dry out before using so that it absorbs all of the batter.
- Add an extra egg yolk to the batter for a thick, more custard-like result.
- Refrigerate leftovers in a covered container for up to 4 days. Unbaked, or baked and cooled Panettone French toast can be frozen for up to 6 weeks. Wrap first in plastic, then in foil for best freezer protection.
- Thaw frozen casserole in the refrigerator before baking, or reheating. Reheat portions on the stovetop or pop them in the toaster.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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My favorite breakfast year round because this bread lasts so long.