Egg Nog Baked French Toast with Cranberry Maple Syrup

Egg Nog Baked French Toast with Cranberry Maple Syrup is put together the night before and baked the next morning!  It’s light, fluffy, and the perfect breakfast for the Christmas season!

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I know, I know….it’s eggnog before Thanksgiving!   Well, the official Christmas season does start in about a week.  A WEEK!  And eggnog has been out for weeks, too.  I know, because I made this weeks ago and could barely keep myself from waiting this long to post it.  #yourgonnaluvit

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The funny thing about egg nog is, I don’t even like drinking it.  That’s a heck of a thing to say in the midst of bombarding you with fluffy egg nog French toast photos, isn’t it?   I may not like drinking egg nog, but I love using it in my baking.  It adds such a nice richness and flavor, and makes things ultra moist.  Cakes, pies, breads, pancakes, waffles…and yeah, French toast. 🙂

Last year I made pancakes with egg nog and loved the results.  It was after New Years, so I never posted it because it would’ve sunk to the bottom of the blogosphere faster than the Oakland Raiders fell to the bottom of the AFC West (yes, I went there).  There’s no place for egg nog French toast after New Years…everybody knows it’s smoothie time after that. 😉

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Bottom line is, I couldn’t stop thinking about breakfast-y egg nog recipes all year long, so I got right on it when I spied the egg nog in the store.  This French toast completely blew my mind, too.  It was like bread pudding, and I even lightened it up somewhat or I’ll be living in leggings this winter.

My bread of choice for French toast is Challah bread because it’s so light and airy in texture.  I used the crust and all, and cut it into small cubes.  Perfection. 🙂

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The milk mixture contains about a bazillion eggs (I said somewhat lightened up, didn’t I?), and a combination of light eggnog and whole milk.  Add some orange zest and cinnamon, and you’re good to go.

Since the eggnog is sweet already, there’s no extra sugar in the custard.  We’re saving ourselves for the fresh cranberry maple syrup after all. 🙂

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Those tart, sweet cranberries and maple syrup are the perfect compliment for this mildly sweet, fluffy egg nog,-cinnamon-French toast.  And you can whip this up the night before and let it sit, then bake it off in the morning.  It’s the perfect breakfast to feed a holiday crowd, or just your family.  The leftovers are ah-mazing after two days!  I ought to know because I ate it 3 days in a row.  No judging allowed…see if doesn’t happen to you.  🙂

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Eggnog Baked French Toast with Cranberry Maple Syrup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Eggnog Baked French Toast is light, fluffy, and topped with tart, sweet fresh cranberry maple syrup. It's the perfect breakfast for the Christmas season!
Author:
Serves: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
For the french toast
  • 16 ounce loaf challah bread (minus the very crusty edges), cut into 1" cubes
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups light egg nog
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • sliced almonds for the top, if desired
For the cranberry maple syrup:
  • ¾ cup fresh cranberries, divided
  • ½ cup maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray. Place the cubed bread evenly into the dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg nog, milk, ground cinnamon, orange zest, and vanilla until well incorporated. Pour the egg nog-milk mixture over the bread. Press the bread down into the liquid to ensure that it's completely wet. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the French toast from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds, if using. Bake in the middle rack of your oven for 45 minutes to one hour, or until completely puffed in the middle and golden brown on top. If the French toast browns to quickly, cover it with foil while it continues to bake. Cool on a wire rack 10-15 minutes before serving.
Prepare the syrup:
  1. Place half of the cranberries in a small saucepan with the maple syrup and heat over medium low heat until they pop and thicken slightly. Add in the remaining half of the cranberries and cook until they pop. Remove from heat, and serve warm over the French toast. Enjoy!
Notes
Total time above includes 8 hours for the French toast to soak overnight.

Cranberry maple syrup may be made in advance, but it will thicken like cranberry sauce. Reheat and add more maple syrup or water to thin, if necessary.

Recipe by Flavor the Moments.