Looking for an easy Christmas morning breakfast? This Cranberry Eggnog French Toast Bake can be made the night before or the day of, and is loaded with flavor.
The only time I'm a morning person is on Christmas Day. I make sure I'm up early and get the coffee going so that my husband and I can enjoy a cup while we watch our son open his gifts.
After the gifts are opened, then we sit down for breakfast. Breakfast is always something special, because after all, it's Christmas! At the same time, the recipe needs to be easy, because I don't want to be prepping and miss out on the gift-opening.
What is a French Toast Bake?
I call it a French toast bake, but it's just a breakfast casserole, or even a breakfast-y bread pudding. The egg/milk mixture that French toast is typically soaked in is perfect for a baked casserole.
I love the combination of eggnog and cranberries, so since this is a Christmas dish, I used eggnog instead of milk. I added a little vanilla extract and cinnamon for extra flavor.
Q: Can I make this ahead of time?
A: Yes! Make the recipe through Step 5, including covering with tinfoil, and place the dish in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, place the covered baking pan on the counter at room temperature 30 minutes before baking. Continue with Step 6 as written.
Q: I don't like eggnog. Can I use regular milk?
A: Yes, you can use regular milk (whole, 2% or 1%), or a non-dairy milk like almond milk. You can add 1 tablespoon of fresh orange zest, too.
Q: How do I serve this casserole?
A: After slicing and plating, you can dust the plate with powdered sugar, or pour on some maple syrup, just like traditional French toast.
Bacon or breakfast sausage would make a great savory side, and can be cooked on the stove while the French toast bakes in the oven.
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, divided
- 1 lb thick-sliced brioche bread, stale, cubed
- 2 cups eggnog (see Note 1)
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- powdered sugar, for serving
- Line a 9x13 baking pan with tinfoil.
- Combine the maple syrup and melted butter. Spread in the bottom of the baking pan.
- Spread half of the cranberries over the syrup mixture. Sprinkle the cubed bread, then add the remaining cranberries.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggnog, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Pour over the bread cubes. Use a spatula to press down on the bread cubes to ensure all of them soak up some of the liquid. Cover the baking dish with tinfoil and let sit at room temperature for one hour (see Note 2).
- Halfway through the soaking time, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Bake the covered french toast bake for 30 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.
- Let the dish sit for 10 minutes, then cut into 8 slices, dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Note 1: Not an eggnog fan? Substitute 2 cups of milk instead.
Note 2: You can make this recipe through Step 5, and place the dish in the refrigerator overnight. Set the dish on the counter at room temperature 30 minutes before baking. Continue with Step 6 as written.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 437Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 253mgSodium: 303mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 1gSugar: 42gProtein: 12g
I am not a certified nutritionist. This nutrition information is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only.
Welcome to #ChristmasSweetsWeek 2020! Co-hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! What better way to celebrate the holidays than with food and fun? 21 bloggers from around the country have come together to share some of their favorite sweet Christmas recipes!! Deck the halls and get ready for very merry sweet treats, like fudge, cookies, Christmas morning breakfasts, layer cakes, cocoa, and more! Follow along on social media with our #ChristmasSweetsWeek hashtag. Happy Holidays!
Enjoy these #ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes from our bloggers:
Homemade Dark Hot Chocolate Mix by Bear & Bug Eats
Breakfast and Baked Goods Recipes
Cherry Croissant Breakfast Bake by Making Miracles
Classic Cinnamon Rolls by The Nifty Foodie
Cranberry Eggnog French Toast Bake by The Redhead Baker (recipe above)
Spiced Pear Quick Bread by Simply Inspired Meals
Star Bread by House of Nash Eats
Candy and Fudge Recipes
3 Ingredient Old Fashioned Potato Candy by Blogghetti
Bourbon Caramels with Chocolate and Vanilla by Christmas Tree Lane
Chocolate Peppermint Graham Crackers by Kathryn's Kitchen Blog
Spiced Sugared Pecans by Love & Confections
Pastry and Dessert Recipes
Banana Cake by Palatable Pastime
Blue Curaco Velvet Cake by Magical Ingredients
Cranberry Orange Sugar Cookie Bars by Sweet Beginnings
Egg Nog Ice Cream by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Hazelnut & Raspberry Balsamic Brownie Cookies by The Spiffy Cookie
Hot Chocolate Sweet Rolls by Kate's Recipe Box
Lemon Ricotta Cookies by A Little Fish in the Kitchen Lemon
Peanut Butter Cut Outs by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
Pecan Crusted Pecan Pie by The Mandatory Mooch
Peppermint Dipped Chocolate Chip Cookies by An Affair from the Heart
Pioneer Woman’s Nantucket Cranberry Pecan Pie by For the Love of Food