Glazed Donut Breakfast Casserole
May 31, 2019 by Nicole Collins
I'm officially convinced...
Donuts taste amazing with EVERYTHING!
I mean, there was never a question that donuts could pretty much make any situation in life better. But, they really are WAY more than just a sweet breakfast pastry.
Last week, a local bar/grille was having a beer, burger, and donut pairing special event. They featured a local brewery and local bakery to put together this insanely delicious dinner experience. And, I even got a souvenir glass to commemorate the occasion!
The burger consisted of a beef patty topped with a spicy peanut butter and a bacon jam sitting upon a toasted, glazed cronut. You got your choice of fries, chips, onions rings, or tots on the side. I picked tots, of course! And, then you washed all of the deliciousness down with a Pilsner.
Now, more than one person questioned my excitement over this beer/burger/donut pairing. They'd obviously forgotten about this ridiculous Donut Burger that I made last fall. But, I got even more excited when I heard there was going to be peanut butter on the burger.
Let me just tell you, I could've lived a happy life just smelling this burger. It smelled sweet, and savory, and caramelized, and like complete perfection. But, the peanut butter oozing out of the sides pretty much sealed the deal for me. You all know I'm a peanut butter junkie, and I've heard of PB&J burgers before. I'd just never had the opportunity to try one. Well folks, let's just say that you shouldn't be surprised if you find a PB&J Burger recipe on The Yummy Muffin sometime in the near future.
The ironic thing about this donut event happening last week was that I'd already been eating an insane donut casserole that I'd tested earlier in the week. It's possible that my body is made up of 50% donut, at this point. But, guess what? That's what we're making today!
Today, we're making Glazed Donut Breakfast Casserole!
This casserole is essentially an overnight French toast bake. And, the components are pretty standard in that type of casserole: bread, custard, and optional fillers. So, it really wasn't too far of a stretch for my brain to decide that donuts just had to be the bread component of this decadent breakfast meal.
We start with glazed donuts, of course. But, we don't want them straight from the bakery. In fact, we need them to be a little on the stale side so they don't turn to mush while soaking in our custard mix overnight. Now, I understand that it takes an impossible amount of willpower to allow a box of donuts to sit in the house untouched for a few days. So, we can compromise by cutting the donuts into 1 inch pieces and allowing them to sit and dry out for an hour or two before we start mixing the rest of our ingredients together. Letting them sit exposed to the air for a bit will create the same results as a donut that's a few days old.
To the donut pieces, we're going to add in some cooked maple sausage, some crumbled bacon pieces, and some shredded cheddar cheese. If there's anything else you know about me, it's that I live and breathe for the salty sweet combo of flavors. And, the ingredients in this casserole equal the epitome of that. The donut is sweet; the bacon and cheese are salty; the maple sausage is both. It's the perfect harmony that you could ever want to achieve in any recipe.
The casserole filling gets soaked in a basic custard mix of egg, milk, and cream. Then, it sits overnight (or for 4 hours, at least) to allow the donuts to absorb all of the eggy goodness. After it's rested, it goes in the oven for just under an hour. And, it's ready to devour!
I chose to top mine with a little dollop of hollandaise sauce. I cheated and used a store bought packet. (I know. I know.) But, I actually took a cooking class at work last week where I learned how to make hollandaise from scratch, so I wouldn't be surprised if you see a benedict recipe coming soon, too! Regardless, the hollandaise is optional, but it adds an extra layer of richness to this casserole. Mmmm mmm good!
If I had to pick my favorite thing about this casserole, and if “everything” was not a possible answer; I'd say the bits of crisp, caramelized donuts that pop out of the top of the casserole is the element of the bite that takes this casserole to another world. Really, the only thing better than a donut is a donut that crunches!
Ok, folks. That's all I've got for today. If you need me, I'll be running around the block for the next month or so working off all of the donuts I ate last week.
See you soon! And, let's eat!
Glazed Donut Breakfast Casserole
Serves: 4 Print
6 glazed donuts, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 4 cups)
8 oz maple breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ cup shredded cheddar
½ cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
½ cup heavy cream
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
hollandaise sauce, for serving (optional)
In a mixing bowl, add donut cubes, sausage, bacon, and cheddar. Gently toss to combine. Spray an 8x8 casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour the donut mix in to the casserole dish.
Wipe down the mixing bowl used for the donut mix. Add eggs, milk, cream, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour the custard evenly over the donut mix, making sure the custard touches every piece of donut. Press the bread mix with your hands down in to the custard to help the donuts absorb the custard mix. Cover the dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.
Remove the casserole from the fridge. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake casserole for 45-50 mins, laying a piece of aluminum foil over the casserole after 30 minutes to prevent the top from getting too dark. Cut, and serve with hollandaise sauce, if desired.
*You don't want your glazed donuts to be bakery fresh. This casserole works best if the donuts are a few days old. If you don't have days to wait, you can allow the cut donut pieces to sit uncovered in the bowl on the countertop for 1-2 hours to give them a chance to dry out a little bit. Then add your meats and cheese, and proceed with the recipe from there.
*Covering the casserole with foil after 30 minutes helps prevent the donut pieces sticking up at the top from getting too dark. You don't have to tent the casserole. Just lay a piece right on top as a shield.
*This recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 9x13 casserole dish. Just add about another 10-15 minutes to the cooking time. You'll know it's done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
*You can use whatever type of milk you have or prefer. Just make sure not to sub out the heavy cream.