Banana and Chocolate Chip Baked French Toast

by heidi on June 12, 2012

It hasn’t stopped rocking and rolling around here.

School just got out, schedules are in transistion, my husband is in full rehearsal mode with the band getting back together (oh Lord, did I just admit that is really happening?) and I just got back to town after an amazingly inspiring trip to Seattle for BlogHer Food. I did my fare share of blogger-stalking, business card exchanges and tweeting #overkill and met many of my fave bloggers and even more new faces I am so stoked to now/soon be following. And yes my pants are fitting a bit tighter. Damn Seattle has some good eats!

Chocolate Chip and Banana Baked French Toast from FoodieCrush.com

I’ll be doing a blog biz wrap up later this week and can’t wait to share the highlights. And BTW Austin, watch out  ’cause this bloggo bunch is headed your way next year.

Before I left for Seattle I was crazy busy with deadlines, all of that said above and most importantly our Smudge’s 8th birthday. I’m still not sure if my post-party hangover is from the night of 8 year olds who don’t know any other speed than full throttle or food bloggers who pretty much do the same.

Either way, they both created new inspirations for me. Like this ooey gooey concoction that thanks to requests at our house for more combinations of chocolate and banana, has yet to fade from the peanut gallery.

I blame it all on my favorite Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, a recipe that quickly crowned me “the best cook of all the moms,” an invisible badge that I secretly—but oh so proudly—display.

Foodie Crush Banana and Chocolate Chip Baked French Toast with Oatmeal Crumble

For the birthday party my title was put to the test. The sleepover with eight of Smudge’s friends meant morning would arrive early, creating a house humming with hungry girls who were dangerously low on blood sugar after the previous night’s all-night binge.

And if you’re a mom, you know the mere thought of the clamor that was about to begin was ample motivation to create an easy, no-fuss breakfast. Hey, I might even get a few extra minutes of shut-eye before the next torrent of girl-frenzy began. (Disclosure: I did not, thank you.)

I considered pulling out my favorite stand-by Ham and Cheese Breakfast Souffle but quickly realized this meal called for an extra dose of sugary sweetness.

I’ve made baked french toast plenty of times, but this time decided to continue the banana/chocolate chip theme with a riff on my daughter’s newest obsession of pancakes studded with said ingredients. As I was pulling the dish together I started daydreaming of fruit crumbles (mind wandering: is it age or adult onset ADD?) so impulsively mixed a little oatmeal, butter and brown sugar together for a struesel-like topper. It was just the texture balance the custardy dish needed.

A couple of tips to make this recipe easy and flavor-filled for the morning bake:
1. Use store-bought cinnamon swirl bread to add an extra layer of flavor. Bonus: The bread I used had a sugary topping that simply added to the sweetness of the dish.
2. No need to break up the bread into pieces, go ahead and layer the slices whole with crusty bottoms of slices alternately stack with the golden top crusts.
3. I use a deep-dish lasagna pan so I can use 4 layers of bread
4. Like banana bread, go ahead  and use those almost too ripe bananas to enhance the banana flavor
5. Prepare the night before, but remember to pull from the fridge a half hour to bring to room temperature before going into the oven

 

Banana and Chocolate Chip Baked French Toast with Oatmeal Crumble

Yield: serves 12

Banana and Chocolate Chip Baked French Toast with Oatmeal Crumble

Ingredients

2 loaves sliced cinnamon swirl bread (about 24 slices)
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 eggs
3 cups whole milk
¼ cup butter, melted and cooled plus 1 tablespoon for greasing pan
1 tablespoon vanilla
for crumble
½ cup oatmeal
½ cup butter, at room temperature
½ cup brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Generously grease a 9 X 13 deep-dish casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of butter. Place a layer of bread slices alternating direction of bottom crusts and top crusts to outside of pan. Add a layer of bananas and chocolate chips. Repeat 2 more times ending with layer of bread.
  2. In a large bowl whisk eggs, milk, butter and vanilla together. Slowly pour over bread layers making sure to coat evenly.
  3. In a small bowl combine oatmeal, butter and brown sugar and mix into clumps with your fingers. Top casserole with oatmeal clumps. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  4. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about a half an hour. Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes or until edges are bubbling and top is golden. Remove and let set for 5 minutes and serve.

special supplies: a 9 X 13 deep dish lasagna or casserole dish. If you choose to use a regular depth baking dish, reduce milk by 1 cup and layer bread just 3 times rather than 4

http://www.foodiecrush.com/2012/06/banana-and-chocolate-chip-baked-french-toast/

Baked French Toast can be adapted and customized in so many unique ways. Check out these food blogger’s twists on the standard breakfast classic.

Savour-Fare’s Savory Baked French Toast Croque Monsieur is an even Frenchier twist on french toast in only the best of savory ways: with cheese, ham and egg.

Becky marries the sweet to the sour with Vintage Mixer’s mama’s recipe for Baked Strawberry Rhubarb French Toast with an almond struedel topper.

The Urban Baker’s version of Baked Blueberry French Toast is best when left to rest overnight, but in a pinch, Susan’s breakfast treat is pretty darn tasty when the kids demand.

And since we really can’t get enough blueberry love, go ahead and dive into Creative Culinary’s decadent Blueberry and  Cream Cheese Baked French Toast

Maple bacon, sliced apples and white dinner rolls (!) make Kitchen Runway’s Maple Bacon Apple Baked French Toast a triple threat of the Triple S’s: sweet, savory and salty.

Related Recipes
Ham and Cheese Breakfast Souffle
Dutch Babies 
Ham and Cheese Egg Cups
Salmon and Egg Bagel Benedict
Grandma’s Scrambled Eggs

Thanks for reading and please keep in touchSubscribe to Foodie Crush and follow me on  TwitterFacebook and Pinterest and check out  Foodie Crush magazine and  Cookie Cravings cookbook.

58 comments |

Posted in: baking and breads,breakfast and brunch,recipes

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Spencer June 12, 2012 at 2:10 am

Looks delicious! I hope I can recreate the recipe as good as your photo looks.

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heidi June 12, 2012 at 7:58 am

No matter what it looks like, it still tastes good :)

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Kathryn June 12, 2012 at 2:24 am

Yup, I think this would pretty much win you the title of ‘best mom ever’. Can’t wait to hear all about BlogHer; I was following the tweets and pictures all weekend and it sounds like such an amazing and inspiring weekend.

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heidi June 12, 2012 at 7:57 am

Thanks lady! I think I did a little overkill on the tweets at Blogher but it was too inspiring not to share with those not there.

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Kathryn June 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Not overkill at all, they may well have made me try to convince my boyfriend that we need a trip to Austin next June ;)

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Liz @ Blog is the New Black June 12, 2012 at 3:33 am

I need this in my life!

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar June 12, 2012 at 7:00 am

I loooove the look of this! Yum!

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Meg June 12, 2012 at 7:27 am

This looks good — and I also like the idea of Savour-Fare’s croque version. BlogHer sounds fun – would love to hear more!

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Holly W June 12, 2012 at 7:38 am

how delicious does this look? I don’t even like bananas, and I still want to nom on this! I love the picture of the syrup drizzling down to the french toast… adds anticipation.

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heidi June 12, 2012 at 7:56 am

Ah thanks Holly, I has a hard time deciding which to put as the lead and I like your description of building anticipation. Very appropriate for syrup laced dishes! BTW, love the name since its the same as my lil sister’s :)

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Bev @ Bev Cooks June 12, 2012 at 7:50 am

That is the most beautiful french toast I HAVE EVER SEEEEEN. No lie.

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Marian (Sweetopia) June 12, 2012 at 8:14 am

Heidi, it was SO good to meet you at BlogHer Food! It was an absolute highlight of the trip for me. And this recipe, wow, looks scrumptious!

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Jennifer June 12, 2012 at 8:15 am

I love all of these recipes for french toast! Yummy, yummy!

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Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. June 12, 2012 at 8:24 am

I love French toast and this collection of recipes! YUM!

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Jessica@AKitchenAddiction June 12, 2012 at 8:36 am

Oh my. This looks incredible!! I want.

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Jennifer | Mother Thyme June 12, 2012 at 8:44 am

These are some mighty good looking french toast!

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Karista @Karista's Kitchen June 12, 2012 at 8:49 am

Heidi, What an absolute pleasure to meet you at the food conference! I hope our fair and rainy city was good to you. :) Love, love Foodie Crush. I think I’m officially addicted!

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Sue T. June 12, 2012 at 9:02 am

Oh my goodness, this is making me so hungry. I want to eat all of these!

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Mary @ Fit and Fed June 12, 2012 at 11:10 am

Cool dessert, kind of like a hybrid of bread pudding and a sticky bun. Considering our recent weather here in Seattle, I’ll bet it rained on you, a lot. Glad you enjoyed it anyway, our restaurants are always good!

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Barbara @ Barbara Bakes June 12, 2012 at 11:13 am

What a fun flavor. The crumble on top is a great addition.

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Cassie June 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm

This looks amazing Heidi. So bummed I didn’t make it to BHF. Hopefully we will meet soon!

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Laura (Tutti Dolci) June 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

This looks scrumptious, I love the oatmeal crumble!

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Denise June 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm

This looks so delicious (how can you ever go wrong with the combination of banana and chocolate?) and I love what you did with that topping: such a clever idea!

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Maria June 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I love baked French toast! Can’t wait to try this one! Had a great time in Seattle with you-like always:) Can’t wait to see your recap post!

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Jen @ Savory Simple June 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I’m glad you had fun at BlogHer! I recently attended Eat Write Retreat and the food blogging community is so wonderful. This french toast sounds amazingly good.

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Cat June 12, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Yum, love this flavour combination. I’m a big fan of bread pudding/baked french bread and changing the flavour combo.

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Barbara | Creative Culinary June 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm

First, thanks for including my Blueberry and Cream Cheese French Toast but more than that thanks for turning me on to so many other great recipes too. Yours is especially delectable. I’ve never cared for a banana split so much as I just LOVE ice cream with banana and chocolate fudge sauce all by itself; you know this is just crying out to me!

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Cookie and Kate June 12, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Dang, that looks decadent. I want to hear all about BlogHer! I am totally going next year, no doubt about it.

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Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles June 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Oh my goodness…this looks absolutely incredible!! I WILL be making this. (When I have some company for the weekend, so I don’t eat the whole thing!)

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katinka day June 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Oh wow, this looks so amazing! I wish my mundane salad would magically turn into this french toast. thank you so much for sharing!

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Annalise June 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm

You had me with the title alone. And the pictures are making me drool. Swoon!

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Ali @ Gimme Some Oven June 13, 2012 at 5:38 am

So excited to join you all in Austin next year!!! And oh my heavens — this looks AMAZING! :)

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brandi June 13, 2012 at 9:59 am

i still can’t believe i didn’t meet you, especially when we were both RIGHT THERE with our own 50 across the street, strutting his stuff at the window.

love this! breakfast is my favorite.

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Marcos T. Rodrigues June 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm

All the ingredients are healthy specially banana good for the heart, most of all looks delicious and mouth watering, I if I want to go in your house and bite some!!!

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Julia June 14, 2012 at 10:49 am

I’ve self diagnosed myself with adult onset ADD. Or maybe it’s just too much coffee. Either way… It’s taking everything in me just to focus and type this one comment. Oy.
I love the crunch you added to the top! This would go over just swimmingly in my house!

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Melissa June 14, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Oh my this looks amazing!

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Marnie Byod June 14, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Looked really delicious maybe I could also baked this at home and use vanilla instead of chocolate cos my mom loves vanilla flavor. Do you think it will be ideal to use vanilla?

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heidi June 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm

I think that whatever you want to doctor it up with would be perfect. Other nuts, dried fruits, other sweet treats. Only as limited as your imagination.

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carrian June 19, 2012 at 11:46 am

Yup, that looks fantastic. Geez, lady! I’m trying so hard to only eat sweet things once a week and I’m obsessed with these flavors, so now I have to make it for my family tomorrow. Blast this healthy eating!

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heidi June 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Healthy eating is sometimes overrated!

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Jenny June 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Ohhhh wowwww … so excited to try this! I’m pretty sure I’ll be earning my own badge after whipping this one up!

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Eva {Not your mama's dinner} June 24, 2012 at 9:53 am

This looks absolutely scrumptious… If falling in love with french toast is a crime; you should arrest me!

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Kayla January 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm

This looks really delicious! How should I reduce the ingredients for a 8×8 baking dish of regular depth?

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Barbara | Creative Culinary June 6, 2013 at 10:05 am

Your French toast looks and sounds completely decadent but I love that it uses purchased cinnamon bread. If your recipe had started with, ‘Get up at 4am to make the cinnamon bread’ I know you would have lost me.

Thanks for including my stuffed blueberry and cream cheese French toast in your lineup Heidi; it was the first dish I served to a group of local bloggers the first time they came to my home. Says a lot about how much I love it huh? :)

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Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures March 25, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Sounds like a fun birthday party! Sugary breakfast foods are the best :)

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Kelly April 14, 2014 at 4:54 pm

This looks so good! My daughter is begging me to make it! I made challah French toast with a Meyer lemon and blueberry compote last week. You can check it out at http://www.cupsandspoonfuls.com. I also mentioned your recipe on my list of 5 French toast recipes to try for Easter.
Happy Spring!
Kelly

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heidi April 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Thank you so much for the mention, I was checking out your blog last night and your challah looks hollariffic!

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Cecile@My Yellow Farmhouse April 30, 2014 at 9:45 pm

O M G !! It just doesn’t get any better than this!! The only thing better than something delicious for breakfast is something delicious which can be made ahead! Pinning it – and I know it’ll get tons of ‘repins’!!

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