Repurpose leftover cornbread into breakfast for a crowd with this EASY baked cornbread french toast. No need for individual flipping! This simple recipe is sweetened with maple syrup and doesn't require a long soak time.
I baked my honey cornbread three times in the week I finalized that recipe and took photos. With a household of two, it's safe to say I contemplated different ways to use up leftover cornbread quite a bit!
Cornbread croutons have long been a favorite for repurposing an odd two or three leftover slices, but I was dealing with volume this time and didn't need a mountain of croutons.
With baked panettone french toast in mind, I took that simple framework of milk, eggs, and maple syrup and applied it to leftover cornbread for a fun and festive breakfast perfect for after Thanksgiving.
Reasons to Love This Recipe
- Have you made a batch of cornbread for Instant Pot turkey chili and are now wondering how to get through the rest before it goes stale? This recipe uses less than one whole batch of cornbread, making it the perfect thing to make to reduce food waste.
- Who wants to stand at the stove and babysit individual small slices of cornbread french toast? This baked "casserole" of sorts will serve nine and is prepped all at once.
- You don't have to prep this way ahead of time, rather it soaks up the liquid in the time it takes for the oven to pre-heat.
- This quantity of liquid ingredients does not overly sog up the cornbread, so slices will hold their shapes well when slicing and serving.
- Cornbread: Leftover cornbread is best as it's a bit staler and less moist. All cornbread recipes can yield a different amount, but you'll need one pound of prepared cornbread, which is around 6 cups of cubes.
- Milk: I recommend using milk with at least a 2% milkfat percentage.
- Maple Syrup: This amount can vary! If your cornbread is sweet and you don't like overly sweet breakfasts, I would stick with adding 4 tablespoons. Increase this amount if your cornbread isn't that sweet or if you like sweeter french toast.
Easy Recipe Steps
- Generously grease baking dish with unsalted butter.
- Slice cornbread into cubes around ¾- to 1-inch wide.
- Whisk together the rest of the ingredients: milk, eggs, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt.
- Lightly press the cubed cornbread into an even layer in the prepared baking dish.
- Slowly pour the whisked egg/milk mixture over the cornbread, ensuring that each piece is moistened. Lightly press down on the cornbread with a spoon or spatula to help it soak up the liquid even more.
- Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes, or until the surface is golden-brown and the center is no longer liquid-y but is set. Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar and maple syrup.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Adjust the sweetness. This recipe is a bit tricky to make precise as everyone is starting with different prepared cornbread. If your cornbread is not on the sweet side, consider adding more maple syrup to the milk and egg mixture, or adding a few tablespoons of granulated sugar.
- It's not swimming in liquid. As cornbread is less sturdy and more crumbly than the more traditional breads you'd use when making regular french toast (like challah in challah french toast - yum), I didn't want an excess of milk and eggs to cause the cornbread is mush up entirely while this dish bakes. The liquid will not entirely submerge the bread, which is a good thing!
- Simple serving options. Just prior to serving, dust the top of this baked cornbread french toast with confectioners' sugar and serve with maple syrup. Adding a nice drizzle of maple syrup is also a good way to bump up the sweetness so everyone can add enough to their taste.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating in the recipe card and/or a comment review below!
Baked Cornbread French Toast
- 16 ounces (454g) leftover cornbread (6 cups cubed)
- ¾ cup (180 ml) milk I use 2%
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup up to ½ cup (see note)
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with butter or spray with cooking spray. Set aside for now.
- Slice cornbread into cubes roughly ¾-inch wide, then arrange in an even layer in the prepped baking dish.
- Add milk, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt to a mixing bowl and whisk well to combine.
- Drizzle the milk mixture evenly over top of the cornbread, working to moisten every piece. Lightly press down on the cornbread with a spatula to soak everything.
- Now heat the oven to 350°F (177°C), allowing the pan of cornbread french toast to sit and soak up the liquid during the 10-15 minute period it takes for the oven to preheat.
- Once the oven has heated, bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the center has set and the surface has crisped. If the surface is browning too quickly, tent a piece of aluminum foil over top of the dish until it's fully-cooked.
- Let it cool off some before serving. Serve with a shake of powdered sugar, berries, and drizzles of maple syrup.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer