Drunken Caramel French Toast

5 stars based on 40 votes

caramel french toast

Part booze, part French toast, part bread pudding — how could you go wrong? In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you already had the recipe because such things (i.e., amazingly good, crowd pleasing, make-ahead, easy recipes) tend to get around. I got it from my friend Gayle, who got it from her friend, Lillian, who got it from…you get the idea 🙂


What makes it so good? Well, just consider what’s in it: golden caramel, buttery challah and custard spiked with Grand Marnier. Plus, it’s the ideal company-for-brunch dish because you assemble it the night before, let it sit in the fridge overnight, then just pop it in the oven when you’re ready to eat.



Right before it’s ready, it puffs up and forms a beautifully golden, cracked-in-the-center crust.


This dish is a showstopper, so bring it straight from the oven to the table, relish all the oohs and aahs, then spoon out generous portions.

My Recipe Videos

Drunken Caramel French Toast

Servings: 6
Total Time: 1 Hour


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 large (1-lb) challah
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring until smooth. Pour into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  2. Cut bread into 1½-in slices and remove crusts. Arrange bread slices on top of caramel, making sure entire base is well covered (you will use entire loaf).
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, orange zest and salt until well combined. Pour evenly over bread. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.
  5. Bake, uncovered, in the middle of the oven until puffed and golden, 40-45 minutes. Let cool a few minutes (it will deflate), then serve immediately. The caramel hardens up as it cools in the pan, so it's important to serve hot.
  6. Note: I use plain ol’ supermarket challah (no need to buy anything fancy). If you want to play with the recipe, you could use a raisin challah or any other bread that you like.
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Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (633 servings)
  • Fat: 31 g
  • Saturated fat: 17 g
  • Carbohydrates: 72 g
  • Sugar: 37 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Sodium: 483 mg
  • Cholesterol: 257 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn, Thinking of making this for Fathers day. Is this ok for children or is the Grand Marnier flavor strong? Thanks for your help.

    - Maria on June 7, 2018 Reply
    • Hi Maria, I don’t think it’s too strong — my kids have always loved it. 🙂

      - Jenn on June 7, 2018 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I had this recipe planned for Easter brunch, however with all my preparations the day before, I never got around to getting it done so it could sit overnight. I ended up making it in the morning and we had it as dessert after Easter dinner. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream it was fantastic!! I used a combination of challah and bread; making two layers worked very well. Next time, I might even try adding some diced apple to it. Thanks once again, Jenn.

    - Karen on April 8, 2018 Reply
  • I can’t find challah in Hawai’i. Would it be possible to substitute brioche bread or any other type of bread?

    - Su on March 29, 2018 Reply
    • Hi Su, yes, brioche or a Hawiaan loaf would work nicely here too. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on March 29, 2018 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn- you are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing your skills, recipes and beautiful website. I appreciate your visual recipes very much. Fabu news-every recipe I have tried has been a win and for me, sincere accolades. YAS. I give you all the credit 🙂
    We have a dairy-free friend visiting for brunch this weekend. Any substitutions you could recommend? Or more suited dishes to prepare? (Maybe create an elimination filter to your vast recipe bank?) Dairy is the only restriction. sad. xo proud cheesehead from Lk Michigan. thx in advance from PNW rains

    - Tanja G on March 16, 2018 Reply
    • Hi Tanja, so glad you enjoy the recipes and the website! While I think the half and half could be replaced with a non-dairy milk, I’m concerned that the caramel will not have the right consistency with a butter substitute. You may want to consider this French Toast and replace the cream and milk with a nut or soy milk and the butter with margarine or a dairy-free butter substitute. This Baked Oatmeal is also a crowd pleaser and you could still get good results with non-dairy milk and a butter substitute. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on March 16, 2018 Reply
  • I was wondering do you think I could makes these into individual servings like in a muffin?

    - Erica on February 13, 2018 Reply
    • Hi Erica, I think it would work (sounds good)! Hope you enjoy 🙂

      - Jenn on February 14, 2018 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this for a holiday brunch, following the recipe exactly. It sat on a warning tray during the brunch, which kept the caramel fluid so it didn’t get hard as other reviewers mentioned. This my most-requested breakfast food item when we have overnight company. It’s delicious, beautiful, and unexpected. Hands-down, one of my favorite recipes from my favorite chef! Thanks, Jen!

    - Judy on February 1, 2018 Reply
    • 5 stars

      WARMING tray, not “warning” tray

      - Judy on February 1, 2018 Reply
      • Ha! What a great idea for serving. Glad it was a hit! 🙂

        - Jenn on February 1, 2018 Reply
  • please provide the nutrition information for this dish.

    - BA Ste on January 27, 2018 Reply
    • Done!

      - Jenn on January 28, 2018 Reply
  • First, please accept my compliments for your expertise and generosity! Every single recipe I tried resulted in delicious food. Thank you.
    I was wondering if this is possible to bake stovetop in a covered pan instead of in the oven, and if yes – for how long? Your response would be very appreciated.

    - Sim on January 25, 2018 Reply
    • Hi Sim, Thank you – so glad you’re enjoying the recipes! Unfortunately, this dish can’t be cooked on the stovetop. Sorry!

      - Jenn on January 29, 2018 Reply
  • 5 stars

    We made this for visiting family and it was really enjoyed by all, including our gourmet chef who asked for the recipe (I shared your web site, of course!). Added 1 T maple syrup to prevent the caramel from hardening, otherwise made as directed. Thanks very for this terrific recipe and Happy New Year!

    - Staci H on January 1, 2018 Reply
  • Just one layer of bread slices…correct?

    - Cynthia on December 24, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Cynthia, Generally yes but it doesn’t really matter how many layers, just use all the bread and fit it in. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on December 24, 2017 Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I’m planning on making this for Christmas brunch. I already have a bottle of dark corn syrup that I’d like to make use of if at all possible. Do you think it would work, or be too overpowering?

    - Caroline on December 23, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Caroline, I think it’d work. Please lmk how it turns out!

      - Jenn on December 23, 2017 Reply
      • 5 stars

        Jenn, thank you so much for your quick reply! It came out great. The caramel was somewhat chewy, not sure if that was because of the dark syrup or if yours is like that as well. Either way, it was a huge hit! I’ll be making it again for sure. Thanks again!

        - Caroline on December 26, 2017 Reply
  • I am serving a very flavorful savory sausage/cheddar strata for Christmas breakfast. Do you think this would pair well with that? Sweet vs. savory?

    - Dorriann on December 13, 2017 Reply
    • Yes, definitely. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on December 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was a hit with my family. I substituted the challah with brioche which is all my store carried. Tasted wonderful. Served with bacon/ sausage and maple syrup. An easy recipe to make. Thank you Jen for sharing this one. You are an amazing chef.

    - Donna Leviner on December 6, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn,
    I’ve made this several times and everyone loves it. I follow the recipe exactly and it’s perfect every time. No need to change it!

    - Arlene Feller on December 4, 2017 Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Can’t wait to try this. I make my own Challah, do you think a 1 1/2 lb loaf will suffice here ? Would it be better to use day old or freshly baked? Thanks so much for all of your fabulous, dependable recipes, all are clearly written and always excellent! 😄

    - Chrissy on December 3, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Chrissy, A standard challah is about 1 lb so you should have plenty (and you probably won’t need all of it). Day-old will work well, but it honestly doesn’t make much of a difference here. Glad you’re enjoying the recipes!

      - Jenn on December 3, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this Thanksgiving morning and it was divine. Everyone else thought so because it didn’t last very long. I loved the orange flavor in the dish, it was just enough and not overpowering at all. And let’s not forget that buttery caramel bottom that added the right amount of sweetness. Heaven! As always, Thank you Jenn for your amazing recipes.

    - Vanessa A. on November 29, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This has become a go-to recipe for my family. Depending on what we have on hand, we have substituted brioche for challah, and orange juice for Grand Marnier, both with excellent results. Serve with bacon and fresh fruit for an irresistible Sunday brunch!

    - Bethany on November 29, 2017 Reply
  • The recipe does not include the amount of caramel or instructions showing placing the bread on caramel.

    - Patricia on November 18, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Patricia, you may be confused because the recipe doesn’t require packaged caramel, but rather you’re making it with the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Hope that clarifies!

      - Jenn on November 19, 2017 Reply
  • Hi, Can this be made without corn syrup?

    - Lora Tchekoratova on September 28, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Lora, you’d need to substitute the corn syrup with something else; Lyle’s Golden Syrup would work well.

      - Jenn on September 28, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    absolutely delicious! A crowd pleaser.

    - Dana on September 18, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Family loved it. It was very easy to make and it turned out lovely. No need for syrup though we did add a little whipped cream when serving.

    - julia webster on September 15, 2017 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Made this for my brother’s brunch and it was a hit! Added nutmeg and cinammon to my egg base and left out the alcohol and it was delish! The only problem with this dish is how quickly the caramel hardens….seconds were caramel-less which was a shame. Otherwise tasty and great as a make-ahead dish.

    - Fatma K. on September 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    So this has become my go-to breakfast recipe when company is here for the last 2 years now! I’ve made it with and without the alcohol, kids love it. The only thing that I would say is wrong is that mine never seems to puff, but it always looks and tastes great!

    - Erin on September 13, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My family adores this recipe! From the smallest to the largest member. This recipe is the epitome of decadent. It’s also a great reason to visit Great Harvest Bread Co., for their challah and other yummy treat samples. I like to substitute the zest from Cutie tangerines for traditional orange. It really amps up the flavor profile! Love your recipes!

    - Juliane McDavid on May 13, 2017 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I scaled this recipe to 1/2 and followed the instructions, but it didn’t turn out as expected. The toast didn’t puff at all after 50 min of baking, and cooked in what seemed like a butter bath. Once cool, the caramel never hardened but stayed soft like toffee and got mostly absorbed by the toast. It was also quite heavy. Any idea what went wrong? Should I have waited for the sugar to melt into a complete clear caramel? Mine stayed smooth but opaque like toffee. The liquid came up to 2/3 of the bread slices; should it have covered all the way to the top? I also think I might have turned the Convection bake on. Could that have something to do with it? I’ve tried quite a few of your recipes and all were a success, so I’m thinking I did something wrong here.

    - Tina on May 1, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Tina, that’s a real headscratcher; I’m not certain what may have gone wrong here. Any chance you used margarine instead of butter?

      - Jenn on May 3, 2017 Reply
  • This french toast is decadent and delicious. It’s my daughter’s absolute favorite. On special occasions, we make this and chilaquiles to balance the sweetness of this dish. I do not like orange flavors so I substitute Bailey’s for the Grand Marnier and leave out the zest. I have yet to meet someone who does not LOVE this french toast. And it’s not difficult to make either (but totally looks it!).

    - Lauren on April 27, 2017 Reply
  • I’m excited to make this for Easter brunch tomorrow. I could not find challah bread. Could I use ciabatta as a substitute?

    - Crystal on April 15, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Crystal, I may be getting back to you too late, but I would recommend either brioche or a Hawaiian loaf instead.

      - Jenn on April 16, 2017 Reply
  • I have leftover pannetone from Christmas in my freezer. Would that work as a substitute for the challah?

    - Mary on April 12, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Mary, I’ve never had pannetone, so I can’t say for sure. I googled it, though, and there are a lot of pannetone French toast recipes, so it may be worth a try (but do it at your own risk :)!

      - Jenn on April 12, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Amazing!!! Great way to impress your family or guests.

    I did add 2 tbsp. maple syrup to bottom mixture to keep the mixture soft as I had a straggler coming to brunch – this worked great.

    Due to poor planning, I used really fresh french bread with crusts and only had time for 2 hour soak before cooking. Which did work for me. Next time, I will soak it over night and compare the results.

    Served with breakfast sausages and it disappeared very quickly when served to four adults.

    - Ty on April 9, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this for Breakfast as we had about 6 people here to help put up my new green house, The directions said your caramel sauce would harden so I substituted Dulce De Leche I had made from boiling cans of sweetened condensed milk (In the closed cans) Since people were not all arriving together, I set out some candied pecans and some candied Bacon so guest could sprinkle it over theirs to add a little texture it was a huge hit!!

    - Sandra Roberts on February 19, 2017 Reply
  • Can I substitute maple syrup for corn syrup?

    - Jane on January 13, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Jane, Maple syrup wouldn’t work here, but you could use Lyle’s Golden Syrup instead.

      - Jenn on January 14, 2017 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Great recipe, glad i found it.
    However I added cinnamon and nutmeg in batter and drizzled caramel and sprinkled powdered sugar before serving and daughter made a compote to topping

    - Rhonda on December 30, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jenn: Would I be able to halve this recipe and bake it in an 8 x 8 ” pan?

    - Kathy on December 23, 2016 Reply
    • Yep, that should work fine Kathy. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on December 23, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe is amazing! It was extremely easy and straight forward to make, and I loved that I could do it all ahead of time, leading to very little clean up after serving it. I was originally concerned as my challah had gotten squished in the grocery bag, but it wound up being fine. Overall, the dish was a little on the sweet/rich side, but I loved it. Could even be served as a dessert bread pudding! Can’t wait to make this again!

    - Raquel on December 1, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I did this again for guests over Thanksgiving weekend minus the alcohol and each time, it’s always a big hit.
    I used the Trader Joe’s challah rolls
    http://www.traderjoesfan.com/component/mtree/products/bakery/handbraided-challah and baked them in my http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/le-creuset-heritage-stoneware-rectangular-covered-casserole/?pkey=e%7Cle%2Bcreuset%7C145%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C22&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH
    It was perfect.
    The bread I got was big enough to feed a crowd, sliced it thicker so it fits in the rectangular baker = perfection!!!

    - EILEEN NADAL on December 1, 2016 Reply
  • hi! making this on saturday, but I just want to confirm that an overnight soak won’t make it too soggy. My guests are coming at noon on saturday and I am afraid if i do this around 8pm the night before it will be. thoughts?

    - Casey on November 16, 2016 Reply
    • No Casey, It shouldn’t be soggy; the soaking allows the bread to fully absorb the egg mixture. Hope everyone enjoys!

      - Jenn on November 16, 2016 Reply
      • Awesome! Just prepped it (my gosh it looks amazing!)! Can’t wait to pop this in the oven tomorrow! Thank you!

        - Casey on November 18, 2016 Reply
        • 5 stars

          MASSIVE hit.
          One of my guests: ‘this is literally the best French toast I have ever had in my life!’

          - Casey on November 20, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    A friend made this for my daughter’s post wedding brunch and it was a big hit. Now it’s a Christmas morning must have. We used whole wheat croissants cut in half instead of challah bread and it was perfect!

    - Cindy Bryson on October 11, 2016 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Hi Jen-

    This was yummy but it didn’t puff up at all. So it tasted better that it looked. What did I do wrong? Thanks!

    - Lisa on April 16, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Lisa, Try cooking it a bit longer next time. I find it puffs up right at the very end.

      - Jenn on April 17, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I’m making your drunken caramel French toast for tomorrow’s Easter brunch. Your recipe says you make it the night before. Can I make it this morning or will it become too soggy in the refrigerator for that long? By the way, I have made so many of you recipes and everyone loves them! Your site is beautiful and so well organized. You make each recipe foolproof! Thank you!

    - patti on March 26, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Patti, I think it should be fine to make it this morning. So glad you’re enjoying all the recipes and Happy Easter!

      - Jenn on March 26, 2016 Reply
  • Hi! I’m making the Drunken Caramel French Toast and the Spinach and Cheese Strata. Can the French Toast be baked at 325 like the strata? You mention that the reason for the lower temp is to add creaminess, so I don’t want to lose this. How much longer for the French Toast at 325? Thanks!

    - iesa on March 25, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Iesa, I’d give it an extra 15 minutes or so.

      - Jenn on March 25, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I was looking for a recipe that would provide an alternative to the traditional French toast. This hit the mark. I made this for Christmas breakfast and it was a huge hit with everyone. I would definitely make this again, even if just for the hubby and I. I loved the flavor. I didn’t use the Grand Marnier, so I added in fresh orange juice. It added such a great flavor. Thumbs up!

    - Marie on January 18, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    The whole family was at our home this Christmas. I was looking for something I could make ahead for breakfast on the day after Christmas. Made this and everyone LOVED it. Following suggestions, I served it with lots of bacon and a big bowl of creamy scrambled eggs. Will definitely make again.

    - Linda on January 13, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    It was sooo perfect – served it for breakfast on the 1st of January – everyone loved it. It tastes like a homemade luxurious pastry coming right from the oven and it is so easy to make. And no fuss in the morning. Jenn, thanks a lot. I adore your site and this recipe is again a triumph. Happy holidays and all the best to you and your loved ones!

    - Julia on January 1, 2016 Reply
  • This had all the makings of another excellent recipe from you.

    I baked in a glass pyrex dish and am wondering if this would cause the caramel to burn? The top was perfect but the bottom burnt and stuck to pan. Thanks for your input as I would like to try again,

    - cheryl on December 25, 2015 Reply
    • Sorry you had trouble, Cheryl. Happy to help troubleshoot – was the caramel actually burnt or just hard?

      - Jenn on December 25, 2015 Reply
      • Hi Jenn,

        Thanks so much for the quick reply. I would say it was both burnt and hard. We do want to try again as everything we have made here has been a consistent five star.

        - Cheryl on December 25, 2015 Reply
        • Cheryl, Next time try lowering the heat to 325°F and check for doneness at 35-40 minutes; also, be sure to serve hot while the caramel is still soft. Hope that solves the issue. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it again.

          - Jenn on December 25, 2015 Reply
          • 5 stars


            Thank you so much for your suggestion! Doing that and adding two T of maple syrup as another person suggested resulted in perfection.

            - cheryl on April 1, 2016
      • to make sure the caramel didn’t set too hard I just added a Couple of tablespoons of real vermont maple Syrup to the caramel mixture before adding to the bottom of the dish. Seconds were no problem!!!

        - Hubert on December 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn, I’m pulling out your winning recipes that have become standard Christmas fare for breakfast and dinner in our home. Please remind me why I need to remove crust from Challah bread in your drunken French toast recipe. Best season greetings to you and your family. Cathy

    - Cathy on December 19, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Cathy, If you’d prefer not to have the crust on the bread, you can simply slice it off. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on December 20, 2015 Reply
      • Oops, sorry Cathy, I misunderstood! I prefer to remove the crust for a more delicate texture throughout but it’s not absolutely necessary.

        - Jenn on December 25, 2015 Reply
  • Would it be possible to eliminate the caramel bottom – to decrease the sugar content?

    - Karen on December 16, 2015 Reply
    • While the caramel adds a lot to the recipe, I do think you could eliminate it.

      - Jenn on December 18, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’ve made various forms of baked French toast over the years & none have wowed me until this one. It’s just the right combo of flavors & I would never have thought I would like the orange in it so much. The challah makes it just the right consistency (not too mushy ). This one is going in the table Christmas morning- thanks!

    - Jill on December 15, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    this sounds like it would taste wonderful…is it as easy to make as it sounds?

    - Anita Jude on December 12, 2015 Reply
    • Yes Anita, it’s quite easy (and a definite crowd pleaser :).

      - Jenn on December 13, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Just loved it!

    And with all the prep done the night before makes for a real easy morning breakfast. One question though, as mentioned by a previous poster, once the caramel mixture cools a little it sets up real hard. Would there be a way to make the sauce so it would not harden.

    - Dave on December 10, 2015 Reply
    • There’s not really a different way to make the sauce to avoid that. I would just make sure to keep the dish warm while your serving. (Perhaps you could keep it covered and on the warm setting in your oven.)

      - Jenn on December 11, 2015 Reply
  • what is half and half.

    - anne on November 30, 2015 Reply
    • Half-and-half is a blend of equal parts whole milk and light cream.

      - Jenn on November 30, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’ve made this for the past couple of years at Christmas… it’s been a huge hit! I think the challah makes this perfect! I like to top servings with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. We usually make eggs and sausage to balance out the sweetness level.

    - Tracey Richardson on November 20, 2015 Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    My local store does not carry challah or brioche. Would an Italian loaf or Hawaiian loaf suffice? I could make a loaf of challah but would prefer a store bought loaf for this dish.

    - Mindy on October 27, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Mindy, Yes, either would be fine. Definitely no need to make a homemade loaf!

      - Jenn on October 27, 2015 Reply
  • I m anxious to try this. Is there anything else to use other than corn syrup? I never use it in my recipes any longer.

    - Catherine on October 8, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Catherine, You could use Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Please lmk how it turns out 🙂

      - Jenn on October 9, 2015 Reply
    • I agree. I was distressed to see it listed. I found a substitution rule, though:

      “You can replace 1 cup of light corn syrup with 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water or other liquid used in the recipe.”
      Obviously adjust portion.

      - Lindy on July 22, 2016 Reply
  • I’m trying to figure out what a large loaf of challah would classify as…How many slices of challah are required? Do I just cover the bottom or do I layer it? Thank you so much for all the delicious recipes!

    - Aileen on July 17, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Aileen, I don’t recall how many slices I used to make this dish, but one standard challah should be enough — you just cover the bottom of the dish. (If you’re a little short, you can always fill in with sandwich bread.) Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on July 22, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Absolutely delicious!
    The marriage of Grand Marnier and caramel was heavenly.
    Mine didn’t puff up as nicely as yours, but it was still the best breakfast/brunch casserole I have ever served. A real crowd pleaser.
    Thanks again, Jenn. Yo gave me another “go-to” recipe. And one that can be made ahead is so appreciated.

    - Judi Berlin on July 10, 2015 Reply
  • This recipe looks amazing, but I am not a fan of orange flavoring. I’m sure I can omit the orange zest, but do you have a suggestion for a replacement for the Grand Marnier? Thank you so much. Our family enjoys your recipes often!

    - Jamie on June 25, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Jamie, Yes, fine to omit the orange zest — rum would be delicious 🙂

      - Jenn on June 26, 2015 Reply
  • How does the French toast turn out if you completely bake the day before and warm the next morning?How long would you suggest reheating it?

    - Hungry on May 22, 2015 Reply
  • I know some French Toast recipes ask for the bread to be “day old” to have a crunchy outside and soft inside. Does it matter for this recipe as well? Or can I use bread bought same day? Thank you! This looks wonderful and I am looking forward to making it for Easter!

    - Brie on April 2, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Brie, Same day bread is fine — either way it will be delicious 🙂

      - Jenn on April 2, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this for Sunday brunch today and it was a BIG HUGE hit. First time my daughter’s boyfriend’s parents came over and I needed something wonderful and this was it. I looked good thanks to you once again. Keep it up and I will look amazing 🙂

    - Virginia Tate on March 23, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this the night before to serve for a brunch on saturday. It was a tremendous hit! Served with thick applewood bacon and scrambled eggs with avocado and salsa to balance the sweetness in the meal. Mimosas were a perfect complement to the hint of orange in the dish!

    - Gloria on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Is it possible to use regular cream instead of half and half? Will it change the recipe much?

    - Michael on January 27, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Michael, Regular cream should work fine.

      - Jenn on January 30, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    WOW. The taste, texture, and presentation is heavenly. I served four grown men (my husband and three brothers-in-law, who were visiting from out of town) and they were still raving over the next couple of days. I loved being able to get this prepared (and so easily) the night before because I enjoy the meal and am much more relaxed not trying to serve, carry on conversation, and get everything cooked and beautifully presented at once. Great brunch dish that pleased all of us! Thank you!

    - Jane W on January 18, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    I made this over Thanksgiving and it received rave reviews. The orange zest really gives it a fresh flavor. I substituted Cointreau for the Grand Marnier.

    - Tari Parmely on December 18, 2014 Reply
  • how do you make perfect scrambled eggs?

    - kathleen burns on December 18, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Kathleen, To make perfect scrambled eggs, cook them in a butter over very low heat, stirring occasionally.

      - Jenn on December 19, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    The first time i made it I used challah bread and it turned out perfectly. Second time I used white sandwich bread. Big mistake! It turned to mush. Still tasted good though. Don’t skip the hallah or brioche bread, it won’t turn out right. I like to make 1.5x the caramel too. That way it’s got plenty of sauce to go around.

    - Ryan on December 4, 2014 Reply
  • 4 stars

    First, I have to say that the taste was AMAZING.

    I do have to follow that up with the caveat: you have to serve this HOT as the caramel on the bottom of the pan cools and turns into a solid piece fairly quickly. We found it difficult to have seconds – we reheated in the same pan the next day, but it was hard to get the bottom hot enough to melt the caramel without burning the top. I might make a more “traditional” french toast using the custard recipe she has here, and then have the caramel be a separate little dish for drizzling.

    - Sam M. on July 10, 2014 Reply
  • Looks fabulous, but i have little kids to feed. Any suggestions for a non-drunken version??

    - Renee on April 23, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Renee, It’s fine to leave out the booze. Or, if you think your kids would like the orange flavor, you could add a little orange juice instead.

      - Jenn on April 23, 2014 Reply
  • I have make this French toast for Christmas for my family for the past couple of years. Yes, it is in the fridge right now chilling for the morning. It is much anticipated & loved by all. It is a real treat. Thank you for posting this recipe. Happy holidays to you & your family.

    - Elaine on December 24, 2013 Reply
  • I have made this recipe 3 times already and am getting ready to make it again for family visiting. Everyone loves this French toast. I love it because it’s so easy to pop it into the oven in the morning after it sits in the fridge overnight. One glorious pan of decadent deliciousness. Love your recipes.

    - Elaine on March 28, 2013 Reply
  • This big hit on valentine’s day!

    - MsLola on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • This is so so so good! I used Brioche bread, and didn’t use the orange zest (not a fan) other then that it is a very Cozy meal!

    - patricia Barna on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • OmG….I make french toast all the time, but this recipe is totaly out of this world fabulous….made it for out of town visitors….the platter was empty in no time…with lots of mmmm-good comments….this is another winner rerecipe !

    - Barbara J on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • Oh, the first time I made this I use Amoretto instead….and it was ddddelicious!!

    - Katzzz on October 9, 2012 Reply
  • Ok…I need everyone to know that this recipe is out of this world amazing!! I’m not exaggerating. I quickly put it together the night before, in the morning I slid it in the oven, put a few slices of bacon on a baking sheet along side it and poored my husband a coffee and myself a tea……and we were able to spend time with our two little girls!!! Now that’s a great recipe!

    - Katzzz on October 9, 2012 Reply
  • This was a big hit at our brunch this morning. Mine didn’t puff out quite like the one in your picture did, but it sure was yummy. I’m glad we had some salty bacon on the side to counteract the sweetness of the french toast; it made a great counterpoint. This is a keeper.

    - Karen on September 30, 2012 Reply
  • I know I’m a little later than the rest of the commenters but I had to pop in and thank you for this recipe! I took this dish to a ladies’ breakfast at church and it was a HIT! Several ladies asked for the recipe and I referred them all to this site. Also, I thought I’d share how I squeezed a dessert out of it: I saved the crusts that I’d cut off the challah bread and let them sit out overnight to go stale. Then I used them to make my family’s favorite bread pudding but I added a layer of this recipe’s caramel on the bottom and added orange zest and Grand Marnier to the custard mixture. FABU! I have a feeling I’ll be making Drunken Caramel Bread Pudding whenever I make the French Toast. And I have a feeling that will be OFTEN!

    - Pippajo on September 23, 2012 Reply
  • OMG!!!
    I’m a caramel addict already and you just gave me another fix!
    Our family makes the rounds at Christmas & everyone starts out here. I make something very similar, without the caramel, . Everyone asks for the French Toast casserole.
    ****Wait until they try THIS recipe! ****

    - Laurie on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Good recipe but I made it a little better by mixing a little cinnamon and sugar together and right before it goes in the over, sprinkle it on the top and dot with a small amount of butter.

    - Patty on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • We had family in town this weekend and I made this to serve for breakfast – it was a hit! Everyone loved it, even the picky ones!

    - Carissa on May 22, 2012 Reply
  • Made this as a birthday party breakfast and everyone loved it.

    - mindy t on May 18, 2012 Reply
  • Wish I had this for Easter. Sounds just too good.
    What do you think about putting this in lg. muffin
    Cups for individual servings. Thanks for a super recipe

    - Julie Hannegan on May 18, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Julie, I think that would work just fine. Hope you like it!

      - Jenn on May 18, 2012 Reply
  • Yummy, I wish I had come across this recipe a few weeks ago when I need a frech toast casserole recipe. I am putting this on my board for next time.

    - Lazendra Hairston on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • mmmm…. yum! this looks so good. it reminds me of a creme brulee styled french toast. can’t wait to try and make it!

    - Ada Howe on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • This is delicious! I love the caramelly brown sugar flavor and I’m a freak for a good custardy French toast. I’m in love and will be making this over and over….and over. 🙂

    - Jenniffer Hernandez on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • I’m going to have to try this one after my husband and I get back from our honeymoon. Sounds like a great breakfast!

    - Andee on March 6, 2012 Reply
  • I am trying this on the weekend. It looks foolproof!

    - teresa on March 6, 2012 Reply
  • Love this! Definitely a go-to when I have company in town!

    - Stefani on March 3, 2012 Reply
  • a must have, but not until next week’s budget! ha ha

    - Annie Cowing on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • This quickly became my instant go-to recipes for anybody. I’ve “tailored” it for serving kids and adults. Its so easy and makes for a elegant breakfast…or dinner. Yes, it was so good the kids asked for it for dinner! We ended the meal with us hovered around the empty baking dish with spoons eating remaining caramel. Delicious!

    - Tessa on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • The first time I made this one my husband looked for the second dish!!!! Big hit at family camping breakfast…..makes me look so talented thanks I love you for this one.

    - Cindi on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Another one of my go-to recipes when relatives are in town. I make it a night or two before and just pop in the oven. So yummy!

    - Amy on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Scrumptious. This disappeared immediately! I think it could be a dessert.

    - Jennifer Skibins on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • This looks amazing!

    - Randi on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • needing to try this very soon!!! Sounds delicious!

    - Jan on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Will try this Saturday. My husband cooks for a local B&B on weekends — this looks very promising!

    - Reed on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • This is my favorite French Toast – It is also a great gift! I made several at Christmas Time and handed them out so that the familys had Christmas Breakfast ready!

    - Judee on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • This is just amazing. I make it every time I have guestst for brunch 🙂

    - Roni on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I’m putting this on the menu for Saturday Morning. 🙂

    - Lori O. on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Wow! This was a great Christmas brunch dish. My daughter has declared it “dangerous”! It is also very easy to put together, especially for something so very delicious.

    - Claudia Nicholson on December 26, 2011 Reply
  • Jorge Millen

    Major thankies for the blog.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

    - Jorge Millen on December 10, 2011 Reply
  • Hi Jen, I’m hesitant to say because I’ve never tried it and all eggnogs are different. You might just use it instead of the cream, and reduce the eggs in the recipe by one or two depending on how “eggy” the eggnog is. Also, if it’s spiked, you may want to omit the Grand Marnier. Hope that helps!

    - Jennifer on December 5, 2011 Reply
  • I’ve made this before and it’s delicious! I’m planning on making it again for Christmas morning. Could I use eggnog in place of the eggs and custard?

    - Jen on December 4, 2011 Reply
  • Sometimes I buy the tiny bottles that they have on airplanes or in hotel mini bars. If you can’t find Grand Marnier, you could also use Triple Sec or Cointreau. You could also just leave it out but then you’d miss out on the boozy orange flavor. Hope that helps!

    - Jennifer on August 10, 2011 Reply
  • This recipe looks amazing, I’m so excited to try it. Is there a substitute for the grand marnier that I could use? I wouldn’t want to buy it just for 3 tablespoons and then have the rest go to waste. Thanks for the recipe!

    - bre lish on August 10, 2011 Reply
    • Hi there!

      Grand Marnier would actually keep pretty much forever, but you couls also go buy a little tiny bottl (think airplane size bottle) from the liquor store for between $3-$5. 🙂

      - Michele B on August 16, 2012 Reply
  • Oh..my..gosh!! I made this for Mother’s Day morning & it was excellent! I personally am not a huge fan of french toast (guess I have never had any that’s been really good until now)but this was awesome! We even had a little left over & it was fantastic a couple of days later. I will make this for guests for sure & for us frequently! Thank you for yet another outstanding recipe!

    - Esther on May 23, 2011 Reply
  • A wonderfully easy & decadently delicious recipe. Huge hit at a recent brunch I hosted. You are a culinary genius!!!

    - Patti on January 10, 2010 Reply
  • YUM!!! Best french toast casserole I’ve tasted. Made it for company and everyone was asking me for the recipe…always a good sign!! I used raisin challah which was a nice twist….it was even good reheated in the microwave the next day.

    - Denise on November 13, 2009 Reply
  • This recipe is amazing. We literally scraped the pan clean. I thought the hint of orange was just perfect. This will definitely be an entertaining stand-by for me.

    - K.L. on November 10, 2009 Reply
  • Seriously, brilliant. Excuse me while I bookmark this!

    - CinnamonQuill on October 10, 2009 Reply
  • This was a big hit with my husband and brother-in-law yesterday. They ate so much of it, they had to take naps soon after 🙂
    I had forgotten to stop at the market for the Challah, so I used plain wheat sandwich bread – worked just fine. I also didn’t have a chance to make it the night before, and again, didn’t seem to affect the taste.

    One thing I added before serving: A few maple glazed pecans from your salad recipe.

    - Amy L on October 5, 2009 Reply
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