The perfect make ahead french toast casserole for Christmas morning or brunch. A festive french toast breakfast recipe with cranberries and orange.
Christmas morning can be hectic when it comes to breakfast. Everyone is opening up presents and enjoying time together do you really want to have to cook? In my family we love to make some make ahead meals that we can just pop in the oven. Usually it’s a hash brown casserole but this year I thought what about overnight french toast. To make it festive I decided to make it a cranberry orange overnight french toast.
Cranberry Capital of the World
I live in Massachusetts which is the cranberry capital of the world. Once you head towards the Cape you can stop at any mom and pop shop or farm stand and get fresh cranberries this time of year. I have also shared our family’s cranberry orange bread. This quick bread recipe has been past down for 3 generations.
Love cranberries and looking for a cocktail? Try this Christmas margarita. It’s a holiday favorite.
My friend Lynn at Nourish and Nestle also shares a love for cranberries. If you love cranberries and have an abundance try her spiced Winter cranberry conserve.
Which french bread to use for french toast
Now you can use any French bread but I prefer brioche. Brioche is a soft bread I am not a fan when my french toast is too crunchy. It is made with more eggs and butter than most bread which gives it a rich flavor. Some people like to make their french toast in whole slices but for a casserole I like to cube the bread into bite size pieces. One loaf should be more than enough to fill your 13×9 baking pan.
Cranberry orange not a favorite for everyone in your family? This can be easily made with blueberries or chocolate chips and be just as delicious!
- 1 Loaf of Brioche Bread Cubed
- 1/3 Cup of Chopped Cranberries
- 6 Eggs
- 2 Cups of Whole Milk
- 1 Cup of Orange Juice
- Zest of One Orange
- 3 tbsp of Light Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp of Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of Salt
- Confectioner's sugar or maple syrup (optional)
- 4 tbsp of Brown Sugar
- 2 tbsp of Granulated Sugar
- 2 tbsp of Cold Butter
- 1/2 tbsp of Cinnamon
- Grease a 13x9 inch pan.
- Cube Brioche bread into bite size pieces and layer in the greased pan.
- Combine eggs, milk, orange juice, orange zest, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- Add cranberries to your pan of cubed bread.
- Pour egg mixture over cubed bread and cranberries.
- Cover and store overnight.
- In the morning take the pan out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for about 20-30 minutes. You don't want to put a cold pyrex in the oven it can shatter.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- For the topping combine brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon. Cut in cold butter.
- Sprinkle topping over your french toast.
- Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Top with confectioner's sugar or maple syrup when served.
For a sweeter french toast you can use up to 6 tbsp of brown sugar in the egg mixture. Make sure to not put the pan in the oven too cold.