Take time to savour a delicious breakfast or brunch and make this Slow Cooker Blueberry French Toast recipe! It's easy to make with your choice of baguette, brioche, or challah or your favourite gluten-free bread. This overnight slow cooker blueberry French toast has crispy edges, a soft interior, a rich, custard-like flavour and a crunchy streusel topping!
Blueberry French toast for breakfast? Yes please! We love to go out for breakfast, but sometimes there are few gluten-free choices on a breakfast or brunch menu. Pancakes, waffles, French toast--they're all usually off-limits to those of us who can't digest gluten.
I make Air Fryer French Toast Sticks for breakfast sometimes because I can use my favourite gluten-free bread and I love the crispy texture the air fryer gives it. Lately, however, when I need a French toast casserole like this Gluten-free Apple Cinnamon French Toast bake, I've used this slow cooker blueberry French toast recipe and I love it!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- It's easy to prepare the night before. Avoid stress and sleep peacefully, knowing that your breakfast or brunch dish will be all ready to go.
- Your slow cooker does all the work. Set it and forget it! Let it work its magic while you relax and have a cup of coffee or go out for a walk.
- No soggy bread! Sometimes French toast baked in a skillet gets too brown on the outside while the inside is still soggy. No messy dipping and frying slice by slice with this recipe!
- No "eggy" taste: You'll combine the eggs and cream thoroughly so there are no bits of overcooked egg in this French toast casserole
- It's full of sweet blueberries in every bite and it's topped with the most delicious streusel topping!
- This gluten-free French toast recipe is made without cream cheese. Many people, often kids, don't like the tangy flavour of cream cheese, so this recipe is for them!
- It's an easy recipe to adapt to make it dairy-free.
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are a few details about the ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfectly every time.
bread: for best results use a firm, dense bread. An Italian loaf may be too chewy. I use a gluten-free brioche loaf when I make this recipe and it turns out perfectly every time. A hearty bread with structure will work, a loaf of regular white sandwich bread will not.
eggs: you'll need large eggs
cream: I use "half and half" which (depending on where you live) is half milk and half cream. Half-and-half contains between 10.5 and 18 percent milkfat while whole milk has just over 3 percent. You can substitute plant-based milk like almond milk, cashew milk or oat milk if you'd like. It will still be delicious, it just won't be as creamy. Oat milk seems to be the creamiest of the plant-based kinds of milk that I have tried.
maple syrup: you can substitute sugar or monkfruit sweetener if you prefer
vanilla extract and ground cinnamon: the aroma of vanilla and cinnamon wafting through the kitchen as this breakfast casserole bakes is intoxicating!
blueberries: fresh or frozen berries will work. I add a little lemon zest to enhance their flavour.
streusel topping: made with almond flour (or other flour), pecans, cinnamon and sweetener.
🔪 How to make Slow Cooker Blueberry French Toast Step-by-Step
Get everything ready.
You can either cut the bread into cubes or tear it for a more rustic look. Leave the crusts on as they'll soften during cooking and they provide extra crispy texture. Either let the bread sit out to dry out, or toast it in the oven at 300°F. for 10- 15 minutes. Check it often so it doesn't burn.
Make the custard.
Use a whisk, or preferably a blender or an immersion blender to thoroughly combine the eggs, cream, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon.
Layer it in the slow cooker bowl.
Rub a tablespoon of butter around the inside of the crockpot bowl, or spray it generously with olive oil to prevent the baked French toast from sticking to the sides.
Start with a layer of bread, followed by blueberries with lemon zest, then repeat the layers.
Add the custard.
Pour the sweet egg and cream custard mixture over top of the bread and blueberries. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate it overnight, or let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours, or you can bake it right away! Letting it stand for at least a couple of hours will allow the maple cinnamon-flavoured cream to soak into the toasted brioche.
Just before you turn on your slow cooker, add the streusel topping, sprinkling it evenly over the top of the layers. If you add it the night before it may absorb moisture from the cream and eggs and become soggy. You want a sweet, crunchy pecan streusel to top this blueberry French toast!
Bake for 2 to 2.5 hours on high or 4 hours on low. Place a tea towel on top of the bowl under the lid. The towel will collect condensation and prevent it from dripping down onto the casserole.
Serve with maple syrup!
Run a spatula around the edge to loosen it, then scoop out portions to individual serving plates. Serve with maple syrup and more fresh blueberries if you like. Warm sweet bread with a creamy pudding-like texture topped with a crunchy pecan streusel. Oh-so-good! Be prepared to serve seconds!
👍🏼 Helpful Tip
If you use frozen blueberries, don't thaw them first or you'll have a purple blueberry French toast bake!
❓Questions you might have
Insert an instant-read thermometer in the center of the casserole. It should read 175°F. The edges will show a reading higher than that, but it won't be overcooked.
Try raspberries or blackberries!
🔁 Possible Variations
Keep it dairy-free: If you want to make this French toast without cream, substitute plant-based milk for the half-and-half cream.
Keep it nut-free: omit the pecans from the streusel topping and substitute oat flour, gluten-free flour or all-purpose flour for the almond flour in the streusel.
🥶 Storage and Reheating Instructions
Leftovers? Store any leftover casserole in a covered container in the fridge. Reheat it in a 350°F. oven in a baking dish covered with foil for 10 - 12 minutes or until heated through, or reheat individual portions in a microwave covered with a piece of paper towel.
🍽 Serving suggestions
This French toast casserole with blueberries has a minimal amount of sweetener, so it's extra-specially delicious with maple syrup. You could dust it with powdered sugar, but maple syrup adds extra moisture and is my preference.
🗒More breakfast recipes
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📖 Recipe Card
Slow Cooker Blueberry French Toast Casserole
Blueberry French Toast
- 14 oz. (400gm) bread cubed or torn. See note #1.
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups half-and-half cream See note #2
- ¼ cup maple syrup or brown sugar or monkfruit sweetener
- 1 ½ cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (not thawed)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, pure
Cinnamon Streusel Topping
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 tablespoon coconut sugar, or brown sugar or Golden Monkfruit
- 1 ½ teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil for greasing the slow cooker bowl
Blueberry French Toast
- Prepare the bread. Either cut a 14 oz. loaf of bread into cubes or tear it into rough pieces. Leave the crusts on. Toast the cubes on a baking sheet in a 300°F. oven for 10-15 minutes. The bread should be slightly crisp on the edges, but soft inside.
- Thoroughly grease the inside of a slow cooker bowl with butter or oil to prevent sticking.
- Divide the bread pieces in half. Form a layer with half the bread, half the blueberries and half the lemon zest, then repeat with the remaining bread, blueberries and zest.
- In a blender or bowl, thoroughly combine the eggs, half-and-half, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Pour this custard mixture over the bread in the slow cooker bowl.
- At this point you can cover with a lid and refrigerate overnight or for two hours or more.
- When you're ready to bake, remove it from the fridge and allow it to come towards room temperature. Sprinkle the cinnamon streusel on top of the bread.
- Cook in a slow cooker on High heat for 2 to 2.5 hours or on Low heat for 4 hours. To test for doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer in the center. It should register 175°F.
- Use a spatula to loosen the edges, then scoop out individual portions. Serve with maple syrup and extra fresh blueberries.
- For best results use a firm, dense bread. An Italian loaf may be too chewy. I use a gluten-free brioche loaf when I make this recipe and it turns out perfectly every time. A hearty bread with structure will work better than a loaf of regular white sandwich bread.
- You can substitute plant-based milk like oat milk, almond milk or cashew milk for the half-and-half, or you can use whole milk, but it won't be quite as creamy.