holiday — kid-approved

Instant Pot French Toast Casserole

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prep time 10 minutes
cook time 28 minutes

Overview

A decadent breakfast casserole in your Instant Pot? Yes, it's possible...and easier than you could have ever dreamed! Make warm bites of French toast covered in nutty praline streusel and lip-smacking vanilla icing your Saturday morning reality.

BY:Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 1 pound stale brioche challah or French bread (see notes)
  • 6 large Nellie's Free Range Eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoons orange zest

For the praline streusel topping:

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the vanilla icing:

  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

To make the filling:

  • Prep a round 1.5 quart oven-safe baking dish smaller than the circumferece of your Instant Pot. Grease the inside of the dish with a cooking spray of your choice or butter. Cut a circle of parchment paper to line the bottom of the dish for easy removal.
  • Cut bread (crust included) into 1-inch cubes and add to a large bowl. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and orange zest (1/8 teaspoon adds a hint, while 1/4 teaspoon adds a burst of orange flavor). Whisk until blended.
  • Pour egg mixture over cubed bread and toss to ensure bread is evenly coated. Pour into prepared dish.

To make the praline streusel topping:

  • Combine all topping ingredients and mix well using your hands until texture is slightly sandy and paste-like. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
  • Cover your baking dish with foil and place the dish on top of a handled trivet. Alternatively, fashion a handle out of folded sheets of aluminum foil and attach to a regular trivet.
  • Pour 1 cup of water into the inner pot of the Instant Pot and lower your baking dish into the pot on the trivet.
  • Lock the lid and set to 28 minutes on high pressure. Ensure valve is in the sealed position.

To make the vanilla icing:

  • While the casserole is cooking, use a hand mixer or whisk to blend together cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in powdered sugar and vanilla and season with a small pinch of salt.
  • Once the Instant Pot beeps, quick release the pressure by flipping the valve to venting position. Remove dish by lifting by the handled trivet using dish towels or heat-safe gloves. Carefully remove foil.
  • Top casserole with icing and serve immediately with fresh fruit and maple syrup for drizzling, if desired.

Notes:

  • This recipe is best when made with dry, stale bread. If you have a fresh loaf, leave it out on the counter the night before making this dish. Alternatively, cut loaf into 1-inch cubes and bake, spread out among two baking sheets, at 325F for 25 minutes.
  • For a small-batch version, simply cut the recipe in half! The halved recipe will fit perfectly into a 7-inch cake pan, push pan, or springform pan. If using a pan with a removable bottom, be sure to tightly wrap the bottom of the pan with foil to prevent any liquid from sneaking in or out. You will also need to change the cook time from 28 minutes to 15 minutes.
  • For a crisp topping, place casserole in the oven (before adding vanilla icing) and broil on high for 3-4 minutes, watching very closely to prevent over-toasting or burning.
  • No Instant Pot? This casserole can be baked in the oven at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until the middle is cooked through and the top is golden. Easy peasy!
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