This Overnight Cranberry French Toast Casserole is a sweet breakfast idea made with fresh cranberries. Topped with a dusting of powdered sugar and a drizzle maple syrup, this baked french toast is a great make-ahead recipe to have on hand for the holidays! Christmas morning breakfast anyone?
Easy Overnight Cranberry French Toast Casserole
You guys. This Overnight Cranberry French Toast Casserole absolutely has to be on your holiday breakfast menu this year. Forget the cinnamon rolls, because your Christmas morning breakfast could be this baked french toast masterpiece!
Just look at those beautiful, tart, fresh cranberries. Mixed with a hint of orange zest and pure maple syrup, this cranberry breakfast casserole just can’t be beat. The holidays aren’t quite here yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the best french toast of your life. So treat yourself! You deserve it.
If you love French toast, I have a few more recipes I bet you will enjoy: Classic Overnight French Toast, Baked French Toast Muffins, Apple Pie French Toast Casserole, Berry Stuffed French Toast, and Pumpkin French Toast Casserole!
I could stare at that gorgeous picture all day, but let’s get baking! Here’s what you’ll need to make this cranberry casserole:
- Cream Cheese: You will want to use full fat cream cheese.
- Eggs: This recipe uses 11 eggs total, which may require a trip to the store before you get started.
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Loaf of Day-Old Brioche Bread: Challah bread will also work well.
- Fresh Cranberries: Fresh cranberries (or frozen whole cranberries) add a beautiful pop of color and that fresh tart flavor. You can use dried cranberries or dried cherries instead, but fresh fruit gives the best flavor in this casserole.
- Whole Milk: You can also use evaporated milk.
- Maple Syrup: Pure maple syrup will give you the best flavor!
- Granulated Sugar
- Orange Zest: this is optional, but I love the tangy flavor it adds.
*Pro Tip: use a little more powdered sugar at the end for garnish.
Can You Use Frozen Cranberries?
Yes! You can definitely use frozen cranberries if you have them on hand; just make sure you let them thaw a little before you sprinkle them in. Dried cranberries will also work if you would rather use those.
How to Make this Brioche French Toast Casserole
Ready to wow your tastebuds? Awesome. Here’s how you create this french toast casserole:
Prep Work: Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Set aside.
Mix: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 egg, powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until smooth. Set aside.
Add Bread: Arrange half the bread cubes in the prepared baking dish, and top with spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle 1 cup of fresh cranberries over the cream cheese.
Add More Cranberries: Top with remaining bread cubes and sprinkle top with remaining 1/2 cup fresh cranberries.
Mix: In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, maple syrup, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest.
Refrigerate: Pour milk mixture over the bread cubes and press down with hands to allow the bread to soak up the milk mixture. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, or for a minimum of 2 hours.
Bring to Room Temperature: Remove the casserole from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before baking and let sit at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake: Cover, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes more, until center is firm and surface is lightly browned.
Enjoy: Serve warm with powdered sugar and maple syrup as desired!
u003cul class=u0022rich-text block-editor-rich-text__editableu0022 role=u0022textboxu0022 contenteditable=u0022trueu0022 aria-multiline=u0022trueu0022 aria-label=u0022Write list…u0022u003ern tu003cliu003eu003cstrong data-rich-text-format-boundary=u0022trueu0022u003eMake-Ahead Breakfastu003c/strongu003e: You don’t have to refrigerate the unbaked casserole overnight (you can refrigerate it for 2 hours and then bake it) but it’s so nice to do all the prep work for breakfast the night before, and then just wake up, bake it, and eat!u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eu003cstrongu003eTypes of Breadu003c/strongu003e: As mentioned above, you can use brioche or challah bread, but french bread will also work. You can also use cinnamon swirl bread or old fashioned cake donuts.u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eu003cstrongu003ePress the Breadu003c/strongu003e: Make sure you really take the time to press the bread cubes into the milk mixture so that it soaks up the liquid and your french toast isn’t dry.u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eu003cstrongu003eAdd Booze:u003c/strongu003e A few tablespoons of rum or bourbon can add a nice grown-up kick!u003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003e
Delicious Topping Ideas
Are you really doing french toast right if you don’t have any toppings? These are some of my favorites if you’re looking for inspiration:
- Maple Syrup or Honey: It’s not french toast without a river of sweetness!
- More Cranberries: Their tart flavor blends perfectly with the sugary maple syrup.
- Raisins or Dried Cherries: Throwing in some extra fruit is always a good idea.
- Chopped Nuts: Walnuts or pecans would provide great texture and extra flavor!
- Bacon Crumbles: Cook up some crispy bacon, then crumble it up and sprinkle over your french toast. The hint of saltiness mixed with the sweetness of this casserole is pretty addictive.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
You’ll want to refrigerate any leftovers you have in an airtight container, or under a couple tight layers of plastic wrap. Your french toast casserole will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
When you’re ready to reheat the casserole, it’s best to bake it for a little bit in the oven until it reaches the desired temperature.
Overnight Cranberry French Toast
- 2 8 oz packages cream cheese
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, divided
- 1 large loaf day-old brioche or challah bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
- 10 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups whole milk
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- zest of 1 orange, optional
- powdered sugar, for garnish
- Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 egg, powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until smooth. Set aside.
- Arrange half the bread cubes in the prepared baking dish, and top with spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle 1 cup of fresh cranberries over the cream cheese.
- Top with remaining bread cubes and sprinkle top with remaining 1/2 cup fresh cranberries.
- In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, maple syrup, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest.
- Pour milk mixture over the bread cubes and press down with hands to allow the bread to soak up the milk mixture. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, or for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Remove the casserole from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before baking and let sit at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cover, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes more, until center is firm and surface is lightly browned.
- Serve warm with powdered sugar and maple syrup as desired!
More Festive Holiday Breakfast Recipes
- Biscuits & Gravy Casserole
- Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls
- Gingerbread Pancakes
- Overnight Ham Breakfast Casserole
- Gingerbread Muffins
- Easy Cinnamon Bread
- Overnight Bacon & Sausage Casserole
- Grinch Pancakes
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