Overnight French Ricotta Toast is the best make-ahead, feed a crowd, impress everyone, and work as little as possible breakfast dish of my DREAMS. Take my word for it - you need this recipe in your life!
I just love it whenever I get to have overnight guests that have breakfast or brunch with us on the weekend. It's one of my favorite things - often times I will find myself planning the breakfast menu weeks in advance! Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day, and so many of my best food memories growing up as a kid involve yummy breakfast recipes my mom would make.
As much as I love entertaining and making something special for guests to have in the morning, I like to keep things simple when it comes to the prep work. Because who wants to get up 2 hours earlier than everyone else to make a morning feast?? Not me! That's why I keep several versions of overnight French toast in my breakfast recipe arsenal! It's the easist treat yourself kind of breakfast that makes everyone feel special yet requires minimal effort. And this Overnight Ricotta French Toast is my seasonal SPRING version of this favorite dish!
- Ricotta cheese - ever had ricotta pancakes before? The fluffy, cloud-like, rich texture makes them a dreamy brunch favorite, so naturally I wanted to replicate that in French toast! For this recipe, I used my easy homemade ricotta recipe (I made it a few days beforehand). But you can use storebought whole milk ricotta as well! The full fat cheese will make your French toast silky and decadent - almost like the texture of a cheese blintz.
- Brioche bread - buttery, soft, and dense at the same time, brioche is an excellent option for French toast and bread pudding! There are several great store-bought options. Walmart and Aldi both sell loaves of French-style brioche that I have used for this recipe and loved!
- Butter, eggs, milk - this combination is what forms the liquid custard that the bread sits in and soaks up overnight. I've used 2% or whole milk in this recipe before and enjoyed both varieties.
- Honey - while most overnight French toast recipes are sweetened with brown sugar, I thought honey would pair nicely with the ricotta in the custard. I love the hint of honey flavor in the brioche, and the way it complements the honey flavor in my Strawberry Lavender Syrup that I use as a topping for the toast.
- Lemon zest - just a tad bit of citrus zest brightens and balances the flavors of the rich custard and brioche, taking the dish to the next level!
Making this recipe is so simple that you almost don't even need a recipe! But it does help to use brioche that is a couple of days old or on the drier side, as this will help the bread soak up all the yummy ricotta custard mixture without becoming soggy. You simply place the bread on top of melted butter in a baking dish, combine all the rest of the ingredients together, pour on top of bread, cover, and you are done! Breakfast will be all ready to pop in the oven the next morning when everyone wakes up. Trust me, this is so nice and simple!
- Fresh fruit - berries or peaches are my favorite with this recipe.
- Bacon, sausage or country ham - bonus points for candied bacon!
- Strawberry lavender syrup - it screams springtime and is something fun and unexpected at the breakfast table!
This overnight ricotta French toast is a PERFECT option to make for Easter brunch or to surprise mom with on Mother's Day - get ready for compliments on your cooking!
Are you ready to try this Overnight Ricotta French Toast? I’m so excited for you to try this recipe. Once you get the chance to make it, please let me know how it turns out for you! Leave a comment and rate the recipe below. This will help me with the creation of future recipes! I’d also love to feature your creation in my monthly newsletter, so you can upload a photo to Instagram or Twitter with the tag @sweetcayenne5 to be featured!
Overnight Ricotta French Toast
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 12 slices of brioche bread (about a 1-pound loaf)
- 6 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- ⅔ cup ricotta cheese, homemade if able
- ½ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest (optional)
- Powdered sugar
- Strawberry lavender syrup
- Maple syrup
- Fresh berries
- Pour melted butter in 9 x 13 baking dish. Place bread slices overlapping on top (6 on each side.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, ricotta, honey, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest. Pour evenly over the bread using a spoon to press down the corners of the bread into the liquid. Cover and refrigerate overnight for 8-10 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Let the French toast sit out at room temperature while the oven is heating. Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes until the toast is set and golden brown around the edges.
- Remove from oven and serve hot garnished as desired with strawberry lavender syrup, powdered sugar, syrup of choice, and fresh fruit!