7.30.20 Orange Cranberry French Toast Casserole

Y’all, there’s one thing you should know about me: I LOVE breakfast, and french toast is my absolute favorite breakfast food. As a kid, I thought that all french toast had cinnamon in it (obvs the best part), and I was always so sad when I would order it at a restaurant and there was no cinnamon! Kind of silly, but that’s always been how I judge a place’s french toast: is it yummy? does it have more than just one texture, is there crispy edges? and most important, is there cinnamon in it?

Thankfully, this french toast casserole checks all of those boxes, brings some extra flavors to the party, AND makes enough for 6-8 people without all the flipping of traditional french toast. I love it so much! I tested a few versions, and it was important to me that there was a variety of textures involved. The key I found is to bake it at a higher temp, and put the cinnamon sugar on top. A streusel felt like too much effort, and anything is improved with cinnamon sugar! Just don’t forget to grease the pan before getting started…I did that on one test, and absolutely regretted it. Learn from my mistakes, friends!

I’ve also been working on my food photography, clearly not my biggest strength, and I think I’m getting better! Just check out the pics of this casserole, I’m so proud of them. It helps that the subject is truly just that amazing 🙂

Orange Cranberry French Toast Casserole

Serves: 8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45-50 minutes
Total time: ~13 hours

Ingredients

  • 10-16 oz day old challah (I used this recipe from molly yeh, although store bought is great too)
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries
  • 1/2 C slivered almonds
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 1/4 C milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 C sugar

How to do it

  1. grease a 9×13 or 8×12 pan
  2. cube the challah into 1/2″ pieces. place half of the bread into the bottom of the prepared pan. scatter half of the cranberries and half of the almonds on top. layer the remaining bread, cranberries, and almonds
  3. combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, salt, orange zest, 1 tsp cinnamon, and nutmeg. pour over bread mixture. cover and place in the fridge overnight, or at least 4 hours
  4. after the bread has absorbed all of the milk mixture, remove from the fridge and let it come to room temperature while the oven preheats to 375*
  5. combine the remaining cinnamon and sugar. sprinkle over the surface of the casserole, then cover with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes, uncovering about halfway through
  6. let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!

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