Brunching today with this Baked Cinnamon Crème Brûlée French Toast with Raspberry Preserves.
If there was ever a decadent french toast, this has got to be it. It’s pretty much one of the best holiday breakfast/brunch recipes you can find, and it’s delicious.
My current state of mind, cooking wise, is prep all things ahead and bake later. This year I’ve made it a goal of mine to be more organized come Christmas Eve (I think I say this every single year though). Therefore, I’m on the hunt for recipes that can be prepared in advance. It seems every Christmas I’m frantically running around cooking, mixing up cocktails, and wrapping gifts. It’s basically full on chaos. I don’t hate it one bit, but there’s definitely room for some organization and make ahead recipes.
Anyone else with me?
K, cool. Let me tell you about this french toast.
Here’s the quick story. Both my mom and oldest brother, Creighton love french toast. Every single Christmas Creighton will walk himself down to my house and request his annual French Toast breakfast, complete with bacon and a giant glass of milk (because apparently he’s still twelve years old). This breakfast doesn’t happen on Christmas morning since we always, always have Mom’s Monkey Bread, but more often it happens on Christmas Eve morning.
To me, Christmas Eve is my favorite day and actually trumps Christmas Day. I love the excitement in the air, it’s the best. Because Christmas Eve is so special to me, I always cave in and make the boys whatever they request. It’s my sisterly duty, plus I’m just a sucker. Whenever anyone asks me to make something, 99% of the time I’ll do it…yep, people pleaser right here.
Anyway, the point is, I’ve realized french toast on Christmas Eve seems to have become tradition. This year I’m being extra smart and prepping this french toast bake the day before, thus leaving me free to do things like wrap gifts, cook Christmas Eve dinner, and maybe even chill for a second? Maybe…
Since it’s Christmas, you know I had to come up with a rather decadent French Toast.
Enter this Baked Cinnamon Crème Brûlée French Toast. Oh my gosh, it’s heaven. No joke, it’s pretty much like eating dessert for breakfast, but hey, it’s the holidays, where anything goes so it’s cool.
So what is Crème Brûlée French Toast? It’s toast that’s eggy, custard infused…with plenty of cinnamon and orange liquor, has a crunchy sugar bottom, and is topped with whipped cream and raspberry preserves. Pretty sure it just doesn’t get better than this.
I served this up for Asher and I during our “Christmas Day” this past Sunday and the girl went crazy for it. Of course she doubled up on the whipped cream and skipped out on the raspberry preserves, but the little girl loved this baked French Toast and said that the just so slightly crunchy bottom was the very best part.
The recipe is pretty simple. It’s a mix of maple, brown sugar, and butter, spread evenly in the bottom of a baking dish. This is the “Crème Brûlée” part of the recipe. The sugars then caramelize as the french toast bakes up in the oven and create a slightly crunchy crust over the bottom of the french toast. It’s literally just incredible, think Crème Brûlée topping on eggy french toast. SO GOOD.
The custard is a simple mix of eggs, milk, cinnamon, orange liquor, and vanilla. I highly recommend using the orange liquor as it adds that touch of special holiday flavor. And truthfully, you really should have a bottle of orange liquor on hand at all times, especially during the holidays…so you can make these Cranberry Orange Margaritas.
Once the french toast has been assembled, simply place it in the fridge for up to overnight. This is the perfect breakfast for early mornings when you don’t have time to cook. Simply remove from the fridge and bake.
To add a pop of festive color, I like to serve this with some raspberries preserves, but, going to be honest here, it’s pretty delicious just straight out of the oven with zero toppings. Maple and powdered sugar are really not even needed here, as the french toast is pretty sweet on its own, but of course do as you please and top as desired.
The more the merrier, right?
Yup, going with that!
Baked Cinnamon Crème Brûlée French Toast with Raspberry Preserves
Servings: 8 servings
Calories Per Serving: 786 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 8 large eggs beaten
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 loaf challah bread, sliced into thick slices
- 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 jar (10 ounces) raspberry preserves
- whipped cream, for serving (optional)
- 1. Grease a 9x13 inch-baking dish with butter. 2. In a small bowl, mix together the maple, brown sugar, and butter. Spread the mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, Grand Marnier, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Submerge each piece of bread into the egg mixture, allowing the bread to sit at least a minute and soak up the eggs. Arrange the bread in the prepared baking dish. Pour the remaining egg mixture over the bread slices.4. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the french toast. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the French toast is golden and crisp. If the tops of the bread begin to brown too quickly, loosely cover the French toast with foil.5. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the raspberry preserves and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes until warm.6. Serve the french toast warm, topped with whipped cream, if desired, and preserves. Enjoy!
The perfect plate of french toast.