Special thanks to Pyrex for sponsoring this post!
Few things are more magical than Christmas morning. Staying in your pajamas, stockings on the mantle and the excitement of gifts to and from family and friends will warm the heart. And for us, this Christmas is even more special as my husband and I celebrate our first married Christmas together and start our own family traditions.
If you’re doing Christmas right, the merriment is only made better by the food! Aromas of baked goods or the preparing of the family feast drift through the house to help create the perfect holiday ambiance. But, let’s be real — as relaxing as we want the morning to be, there’s a certain bustle to it that can make one short on time for a tasty breakfast.
My husband and I are determined to make Christmas breakfast and important tradition in our family, and that’s where this Christmas Cranberry Orange French Toast Bake comes in! It’s going to take the stress out of our holiday breakfast decision and give us plenty of time for everything else that makes Christmas the best day of the year. It’s the perfect combination of wintry flavors — cranberries, cinnamon and nutmeg — creating a magnificent mix of sweet and savory that your family is sure to enjoy as well!
And even better, it’s an easy treat that can be prepped primarily on Christmas Eve!
To make this festive little number, prepare your french toast the night before in a 13×9 inch Pyrex baking dish (you can also use two of the Pyrex 1.3 quart oval baking dishes if you want to save one for later). Everything can be prepared, stored overnight, and then baked in this Pyrex dish first thing in the morning, so breakfast is ready to go as soon as your earliest risers are ready!
Start by spraying the Pyrex baking dish with cooking spray. Cut a loaf of french toast in 1-inch cubes and spread evenly in a single layer at the base of the dish. Top with a granulated sugar, orange zest, and cranberry mixture. Be sure to cover evenly so every bite gets some of that sugary goodness!
In a separate large Pyrex mixing bowl, add eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg (all my favorite Christmas flavors!). Whisk until fully combined and pour the mixture evenly over the top of the bread in the Pyrex baking dish.
Now for the fun (and most delicious part). In a separate medium bowl, make the cinnamon streusel topping with flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Use a pastry blender to fully blend into small crumbles. If you don’t have a pastry blender, a fork will work just fine but may take an extra couple minutes. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of your french toast bake and cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Now you’ve done a bulk of the leg work and can enjoy a festive Christmas Eve cocktail (here’s my favorite!). On Christmas morning, all you have to do is preheat the oven, replace the plastic wrap with an aluminum foil and bake away! After 60 minutes of your house filling with sweet and festive aromas, your french toast bake is ready to go!
Remove your Pyrex from the oven and bring directly over to the table to enjoy! Preparation, storage, baking, and serving all in one dish! That’s a win in my book!
Oh, and make extras… The leftovers are arguably even better, and can be stored or shared with the other containers in the Pyrex family! This scrumptious Christmas breakfast is sure to become one of your favorite traditions.
- 1 loaf french bread, cut into cubes
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- zest of 1 large orange
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, halved
- 6 large eggs
- 2 ½ cups milk
- ¾ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅓ cup flour
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- Spray a 9x13 rectangular Pyrex baking dish with cooking spray. Fill the base of the dish in a single layer with the bread cubes. Set aside.
- Add granulated sugar and orange zest to a medium bowl. Using the back of a spoon or your hands, mix the sugar and zest together. They should be fully blended and fragrant. Add the cranberries and stir.
- Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the bread, making sure to cover evenly.
- In a separate large bowl, add the eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk until fully combined and Pour the mixture evenly over the top of the bread in the Pyrex baking dish. Set aside and make the streusel.
- To make the streusel, add flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter to a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour until mixture is fully combined. This should be in small clumps. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the casserole.
- Cover the french toast dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning when you are ready to bake, preheat the oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the french toast and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake, covered for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 20 more minutes or until lightly golden on top and french toast is fully set.