Bagel French Toast Casserole

Wondering what to do with a pack of slightly stale bagels?  Turn ’em into this delicious Bagel French Toast Casserole!

Wondering what to do with a pack of slightly stale bagels?  Turn 'em into this delicious Bagel French Toast Casserole!I’ve always been a sucker for a deal.  I cut coupons, and I skim the weekly sales flyers for our local grocery stores.  A couple of weeks ago, I was shopping and stumbled across a cart of half-priced bakery items sitting at the front of the store.  I couldn’t resist the half-price sign!  I ended up with a pack of English muffins and 2 packs of bagels.  Awesome!

Wondering what to do with a pack of slightly stale bagels?  Turn 'em into this delicious Bagel French Toast Casserole!Well, not so awesome.  Apparently I still haven’t learned my lesson about grocery store bakeries.  As I discovered with king cakes, hot cross buns and babka, grocery store bakeries often fall short of my expectations.  Nevertheless, I still picked up a couple packs of half-price bagels.  The next morning, Laura and I toasted up a couple of those bagels for breakfast.  They were basically stale white bread in the shape of a bagel.

I realized the error of my ways, but I was determined to figure out a way to use those bagels.  That’s when it hit me.  French toast.  French toast is a great way to use white bread that’s a bit on the stale side.  So could I use those stale bagels for French bread?  The answer is yes!  This Bagel French Toast Casserole is absolutely delicious.  In fact, this recipe will become a staple around here for weekend breakfasts or brunches…especially when we have company staying with us.  (Company in town is always a good excuse to make something special for breakfast!)

Wondering what to do with a pack of slightly stale bagels?  Turn 'em into this delicious Bagel French Toast Casserole!Bagel French Toast Casserole

For this Bagel French Toast Casserole, I started with a 6-pack of bagels.  As noted above, the bagels were slightly stale.  I suspect even fresh bagels would work in this recipe, though.  (Stale bagels just soak up the liquid a bit better.)  From there, I soaked those bagels in an egg + milk mixture that was flavored with maple syrup, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger.  All of my favorite baking spices together in one!

Wondering what to do with a pack of slightly stale bagels?  Turn 'em into this delicious Bagel French Toast Casserole!That mixture does need to rest in the refrigerator for an hour while the bagels soak up the liquid.  However, it can also rest overnight.  If you’re planning on serving this casserole for breakfast, I would recommend mixing it up the day before.  That’ll save a bunch of time the next morning!

I happened to have purchased cinnamon raisin bagels, so I used those in this Bagel French Toast Casserole.  However, any sweeter flavored bagels (or just plain bagels) should work here.  Even though I love a good everything bagel, I’d steer away from that flavor for this casserole.  Actually, come to think of it, we could use this same concept for a savory bagel casserole.  Stay tuned – I might have to try that idea out sometime!

Wondering what to do with a pack of slightly stale bagels?  Turn 'em into this delicious Bagel French Toast Casserole!One of my favorite things about this casserole is that it’s a great way to use fresh fruit and berries.  I piled sliced strawberries, blackberries and blueberries on top of this casserole – colorful and delicious!  If you’re looking for a tasty and unique breakfast recipe, then put this casserole on the list.  It’s a great way to use up any stale bagels you happen to have laying around, too.  Happy baking!

Did you bake this Bagel French Toast Casserole at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!

Wondering what to do with a pack of slightly stale bagels?  Turn 'em into this delicious Bagel French Toast Casserole!

Bagel French Toast Casserole

Wondering what to do with a pack of slightly stale bagels?  Turn 'em into this delicious Bagel French Toast Casserole!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 383kcal

Ingredients

For the Casserole

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk 2% or whole
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 6 cinnamon raisin bagels cut into 1” pieces (see note)

For the Topping

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup unsalted butter cold

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • assorted berries for topping

Instructions

For the Casserole

  • Using a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, milk, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg.
  • Add bagel pieces to the bowl and toss until well combined.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. (Note: This can be refrigerated overnight for an easy breakfast.)

For the Topping

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Spray a 9”x13” baking pan with non-stick baking spray. Transfer the bagel mixture into the baking pan.
  • Using a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon; stir until well combined.
  • Cut the butter into small cubes. Using two butter knives or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry mixture. Sprinkle this mixture on top of casserole before baking.
  • Bake casserole for 85-90 minutes, or until fully baked. (Note: Peek at the casserole during the last 10-15 minutes. If the top is beginning to burn, tent with foil for the remaining baking time.)
  • Remove casserole from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.

For the Glaze

  • Using a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, maple syrup and milk. Drizzle glaze on top of casserole.
  • Sprinkle berries on top before serving.

Notes

Cinnamon raisin bagels worked great in this casserole, but I could see other sweet flavors (like blueberry) working well, too.

Wondering what to do with a pack of slightly stale bagels?  Turn 'em into this delicious Bagel French Toast Casserole!

Looking for more bagel inspired recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too:

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Have you ever made Homemade Cream Cheese?  It's easier than you might think!  And then you can whip up all sorts of fun flavored cream cheeses, too!Homemade Cream Cheese

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22 Comments

  1. Cant wait to make this soon for me for the casserole can i use vegan butter and almond milk / for the topping can i use vegan butter and for the glaze can i use almond milk i never had bagel french toast casserole before perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work

    1. Hey Ramya! Yes, you can certainly use vegan options for this recipe. It should work well. I’m not sure if you can find bagels over there, but if you can then put this recipe on the list for a weekend breakfast idea!

  2. 5 stars
    I always head straight for the in-store deals too David. In our local supermarket there’s a section where they put the reduced items and I try and get there early most days. Ha ha! Love those spices you’ve used here. Some of my favourites too. I bet this bagel french toast casserole tastes delicious!

    1. Some of those reduced deals are great! In fact, I got some amazing seeded bread there one day that made for excellent toast and sandwiches. But the bagels? I got burnt on that deal…at least until I realized I could turn ’em into a casserole! 🙂

  3. I love this for so many reasons, not the least of which is that you didn’t give up on the bagels. I can’t stand throwing away food. I also like that you soaked them. I’m sure they needed it, but still, I think that soaking French toast makes it better in any case. (So long as the bread doesn’t fall apart, but that’d be the particular beauty of bagels – I’m sure they’d stay nicely intact.) Mixing them up the night before: obviously genius.

    1. Oh, you and me both, Jeff. We can’t stand throwing away food, so we often try to figure out how to repurpose stuff. (Laura is an excellent taco maker with random leftovers!) Using bagels for French toast casserole? I’m pretty sure this is the only way I want French toast casserole now. It really is quite delicious! Now I just need to find a steady source of stale bagels…haha.

  4. 5 stars
    Yeah, I fins that most store-bought baked items fall short of my expectations, too. (And even bread!) But turning it into something delish like a bread pudding or casserole is always a good idea. This one looks awesome; restaurant-worth presentation!

    1. I’m with ya, Ben. But yet I still fall victim to in-store bakeries because it looks so good! This was a fun way to use up some otherwise unusable bagels. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    What an excellent idea David! This bagel french toast casserole looks addictingly delicious. Definitely the perfect breakfast or brunch for company. 😋. And I love the spices you’ve used here. Cardamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup are such a great combo. And don’t get me started on that glaze, yum!

    1. I hear ya, Shannon – when I saw cardamom, nutmeg and maple? I know it’s going to be something that I like! Those spices are never far away in my kitchen. 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Ahh, what a creative idea on using cinnamon raisin bagels in this casserole! I rarely ever have leftover bagels, but when I do, I’ll be sure to make this!

    1. To be fair, we normally don’t have leftover bagels either! But this batch of bagels? Not so good. Now I think this is the only way I want to make French toast casserole…it’s SO good! 🙂

    1. I do think a savory version of this would be pretty fantastic, Marissa! Ooo…everything bagels, cheese, green onions. Yup, that needs to happen!

  7. 5 stars
    Not usually a fan of bagels but doing it this way is definitely different, bagels for me are usually dry and preparing it this way gives it a nice moisture which I would definitely love

  8. 5 stars
    Like you, I can’t resist picking up baked goods when I go to the grocery. I seriously have so much bread stuffed in our freezer (because how can we possibly eat it all so quickly?), so I’m totally understanding what you’re saying. Well, you certainly put those stale bagels to good use and I’m sure that this French toast casserole tastes amazing (and definitely much better than a bagel…though I do love those too)!! Love the addition of berries too. This is just perfect for weekend brunch with lots and lots of coffee! Have a great weekend!!

    1. Haha – I hear ya, Dawn! I have a hard time turning down a good loaf of bread, too. I really enjoy making bread here at home, but I don’t have as much time for it lately. Soon…soon. In the meantime, though, this casserole is an amazing way to use up stale bagels!! Perfect for the weekend with a nice mug of coffee. 🙂

  9. this sounds very sweet and delicious david. I do like a savoury version tho 🙂 Bagels aren’t such a big deal here in australia so i would have to try another form of carb i think. but of course it would be a tasty dish.

    1. Hmmm – I remember you saying that bagels aren’t a big deal down there. You could totally do this with French toast, too. And I like the idea of a savory version – hmm, that gets the old wheels a’ turning! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Nicole! The cinnamon raisin bagels were perfect in this casserole – but I bet any of the sweeter bagel flavors would work. I’ve always been partial to blueberry bagels myself!

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