If you’re looking to host your pals for brunch with minimal effort, consider this baked French toast. Throw it together in minutes; toss it in the oven; and use your extra time to whip up a killer pitcher of Bloody Marys (or maybe even catch a few extra zzz’s!). You and your guests will enjoy a warm, custard-laced dish that tastes even better than it looks. We brightened up our version with a pile of fresh berries, but you can easily sub in any other fruit of your choice. Serve with warmed maple syrup and — voila! You have a no-fuss, seriously delicious dish.


Recipe Note: This recipe can be easily doubled; use a 9 x 13-inch pan or equivalent.

(Serves 6-8 )


  • 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, plus more for preparing the pan
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf of challah bread, preferably a few days old
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon flaked almonds, toasted (optional)
  • 1 heaping cup berries or sliced fruit
  • powdered sugar, for garnish
  • maple syrup, for serving


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish and set aside.

2. Slice the bread into approximately 1-inch pieces. Spread over a rimmed sheet pan or in a large bowl and toss with melted butter. Pack the bread into the prepared baking dish.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together half and half, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and orange zest. Pour over the bread and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

4. Bake until custard is set and the top is golden brown and nicely puffed, approximately 40 minutes.

5. Cool 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted almonds (if using), fresh fruit, and a dusting of powdered sugar. Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup.

Looking for more easy summer recipes? Check out our DIY Recipes!

(Photos and recipe via Jessica Smith / Brit+Co)