As we all know, this year Christmas will be different from the norm. We won't be having large gatherings and celebrations like we usually do, so I'm stepping it up a notch with my Christmas themed dishes. Normally, I put all my energy into the Christmas dinner, but this year I'm going all out on breakfast, appetizers, snacks, heck the whole 9 yards. True, it will only be for the two of us but that doesn't mean it can't be delicious! To start the festivities, I'm making an overnight gingerbread french toast. Serve the warm breakfast with a cranberry compote and whipped cream and it's one magical morning.
Overnight Gingerbread French Toast
Overnight gingerbread french toast
- ¼ cup maple syrup (85 grams)
- ¼ cup brown sugar (50 grams)
- 2 tablespoon molasses (40 grams)
- 6 tablespoon butter, melted (85 grams)
- 1 French loaf sliced into 1-inch thick slices
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups milk (500 ml)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
- 1 teaspoon ginger ground
- ½ teaspoon allspice ground
- ¼ teaspoon cloves ground
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg ground
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups fresh cranberries (260 grams)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar (66 grams)
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- juice of 1 orange
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon ground
- whipped cream for serving
- Combine the maple syrup with brown sugar, molasses, and melted butter. Pour the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
- Whisk together the eggs with milk, vanilla, and spices. Dip the bread into the egg batter, letting the bread sit for 30 seconds before transferring them to the baking dish. Shingle the slices of bread in the baking dish and pour the remaining egg batter on top. Cover and let the french toast sit for at least one hour or in the fridge overnight.
- Meanwhile, make the cranberry compote. Combine the cranberries with brown sugar, orange zest and juice, and cinnamon in a medium saucepot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and continue to simmer for 10 minutes or until the cranberries are softened. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake the french toast for 40-45 minutes or until the toast is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes. Serve with the cranberry compote and whipped cream.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
So I'm going to come clean and tell you, I never made overnight french toast...until now. I've seen the dish but for some reason never had an urge to make it. But the other day, a light bulb turned on and I thought, "what if I infused the french toast with gingerbread flavors?" Now that was one dish that I can get on board with.
Making the overnight gingerbread french toast is incredibly easy. In fact, I think it's easier to make then regular french toast. You just prepare everything the night before and pop it in the oven the next day. Can't get any better than that, right?
To give the french toast that gingerbread taste, first pour melted butter with molasses, brown sugar, and maple syrup in the bottom of the baking dish. Then, dip the bread slices in the egg batter seasoned with warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. I used sliced French bread but you can use brioche, Pullman bread, even croissants! I do recommend using thick hearty slices so that the bread doesn't get too soggy.
Pour the remaining egg batter over the bread, cover the dish, and let it sit for one hour or overnight in the fridge. That's another great thing about this french toast. If you don't want to wait until the next day, just let it sit for 1 hour and it'll be ready to go!
Meanwhile, make the cranberry compote. This can also be made the night before. Simply simmer cranberries with sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and cinnamon. It's basically like you're making cranberry sauce, so if you happen to have extra sitting around, you can even skip this step.
Preheat the oven and bake the french toast for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees F. The tops of the bread should become a lovely golden brown when it's ready. If the tops begin to darken too quickly, loosely cover the dish with foil. Let the overnight gingerbread french toast cool for 10 minutes before digging in.
Top the french toast with whipped cream and the cranberry compote and serve warm. The whipped cream slowly melts, almost becoming a sauce for the toast. You don't even need syrup because of the molasses and syrup that has now soaked into the bread. This breakfast was such a winner, I might need to make it a new Christmas tradition.
For more french toast inspiration check out this stuffed french toast with strawberries and guava!