Overnight Cranberry Orange French Toast Casserole
The flavors of cranberries, orange, maple syrup, and cinnamon shine in this Overnight Cranberry Orange French Toast Casserole.
Make-ahead breakfasts. They’re pretty essential, right? Because sometimes (ok, most times) all you want to do when you wake up in the morning is pour a cup of gingerbread coffee and then relax while the caffeine kicks in.
This Overnight Cranberry Orange French Toast Casserole is a make-ahead breakfast that’s perfect for special occasions. Maybe you’ll be hosting out of town guests this holiday season? Maybe you want a special treat to enjoy on Christmas morning? This holiday french toast casserole is just the recipe you need!
I love to make french toast for breakfast or brunch but, when it comes to french toast casserole, I’ve always worried that they’d be too soggy, or too rich for breakfast. This Overnight Cranberry Orange French Toast Casserole is neither.
There’s just the right amount of custard to soak into the bread and bake up soft but not wet or soggy. Whole milk, rather than half and half or cream, combines with the eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon to produce a custard that’s delicious but not too heavy. Pure maple syrup adds flavor and sweetness to this french toast casserole. And finally, I’ve added a sprinkling of sweet streusel to top this french toast. The streusel is a combination of whole wheat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. As the casserole bakes, it caramelizes onto the top layer of bread (I used whole wheat)… yum!
This Overnight Cranberry Orange French Toast Casserole is so convenient for special mornings, whether you have guests visiting or you just want to relax with your family. It takes just a few minutes to prep the french toast the night before, and then it rests in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning all you need to do is pop it in your oven and then wait for it to be done! The waiting is the hardest part, as the smell of cranberries, oranges, maple, and cinnamon fills your kitchen while the casserole bakes. This one’s a keeper, my friends.
Overnight Cranberry Orange French Toast Casserole
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- zest of 1 large orange
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, halved
- 1 loaf day-old french bread, preferably whole wheat
- 6 large eggs
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the streusel:
- 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- Place granulated sugar and orange zest in a medium bowl. Use your fingers to mix the sugar and zest together until fragrant. Add the cranberries and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Spray a 9x13 rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. Cut the bread into small pieces (about 1-inch cubes). Place the bread cubes in the dish and arrange them into a single layer as much as possible. Sprinkle the cranberry-orange sugar mixture over the bread.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Whisk until well combined and then pour evenly over the bread in the dish.
- To make the streusel, stir together the flour, brown sugar, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the butter pieces and then use a pastry blender or your fingers to work the butter into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are no bigger than small peas and the mixture begins to clump together. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
- Cover the french toast with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- When you are ready to bake the casserole, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Once the oven is preheated, remove the plastic wrap from the casserole and cover it with foil. Bake, covered for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes, until lightly golden on top and set in the center. Serve and enjoy!
Oh man this french toast is screaming at me to make it. I love a good breakfast dish and this one is by far the best looking one I’ve seen yet. I love that crumble too. This would be perfect Christmas morning. So pinning this. 🙂
Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day, Cyndi! I think you’d love this french toast bake! 🙂
This looks awesome- cranberries and crumble?! Such an easy and delicious holiday brunch item 🙂
Thank you so much, Medha!
I love this! I’ve never made a french toast casserole…but I love that it is SO much easier than dealing with standing over the stove to make french toast. Cranberry and orange is the best flavor combo too 🙂 yum!
Thank you, Rachel! I LOVE cranberry and orange together, too!
Make ahead breakfast are my favorite, especially when it involves french toast! This casserole looks amazing, Kristine! I love the cranberry and orange combo. It sounds so festive and I bet your house smelled amazing when this was baking! What a perfect Christmas morning treat!
Thank you, Gayle! Yes, my house smelled so good while this baked! 🙂
I love overnight french toast bakes! This cranberry orange version is just GORGEOUS, Kristine! So perfect for an holiday breakfast!
Thank you so much, Sarah!
I’ve never made a French toast bake before, but this looks like a wonderful recipe for a holiday brunch!
Thanks, Kelly! I know we’ll be enjoying this at least once more this season!
I’ve seen a few recipes for french toast casserole, but everyone puts their own delicious twist! I haven’t tried it before, but sounds like a great holiday breakfast.
Thank you, Mary! This one’s definitely a keeper!
Ohh this sounds wonderful! Thanks so much for the Post, Picture’s, and the Recipe, I will have to give it a try!
You are too sweet, Rebecca! I’m so glad you like this recipe! 🙂
Overnight french toast casseroles are the best! Cranberry and orange sounds like such a delicious combination for one!
Thank you, Christin! The cranberry orange flavor is so good in this!
I have never actually made baked French toast. One of those things I’ve been meaning to try for ages, but never have. Definitely need to try this, it looks amazing! And make ahead is always a good thing!
You do need to try baked french toast, Stacey! I haven’t made it too many times myself, but after trying this version I’m hooked!
We’re on the same wavelength again, Kristine — I have a cranberry orange baked oatmeal coming soon. 🙂 I love baked french toast for special breakfasts — it’s the best! We would love this!
Isn’t the cranberry-orange combo the best? I can’t wait to see your baked oatmeal recipe!
This looks so delicious! My mom loves cranberries so I’m always looking for unique new ways to use them… she’ll love this!
This recipe looks delicious! Do you think you could use dried cranberries in lieu of the fresh?
Yes, I think that would work. I hope you enjoy this, Meredith!
Could I use regular flour and salted butter for the topping?
Yes, that will work. Enjoy!
Has anyone made a dairy-free substitution for the milk? I might try this soon with almond milk because it’s what I have already, but I would love to hear successes from others!
Thank you for sharing this recipe. Can we use frozen cranberries if we can’t find fresh?
Yes, frozen should work great. Enjoy!
Do you think a loaf of cranberry orange breakfast bread would be ok to use, or too much?
It’s hard to say. I think it really depends on the texture of the bread. If it is a really soft bread, it might not work as well.
This has been our Christmas morning breakfast for three years now. Absolutely delicious.