This Gingerbread French Toast Bake is a stunning dish to make during the holiday season. It’s perfect for Christmas morning because it is mostly make ahead and tastes like a festive celebration! Molasses, maple syrup, and warming gingerbread spices make this one something really special that you’ll want to make time and time again.
- 1 loaf crusty Italian or French bread, cubed (you want roughly 8 cups of bread)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (no need to defrost if using frozen)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk (2% works well too)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup dark unsulphured molasses
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (from roughly ½ of a large orange)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Powdered sugar, for serving
- Additional maple syrup, for serving
- Butter or spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the cubed bread in the baking dish. Scatter the cranberries evenly over the cubed bread.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, milk, cream, molasses, maple syrup, orange zest, spices, and salt until well combined.
- Pour the mixture evenly over the bread cubes. Gently press down on the bread cubes to submerge them as much as possible in the custard. It’s OK if you have some exposed bread cubes on top – they will add nice crunchy texture.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place the baking dish in the fridge overnight (or for a minimum of 6 hours).
- When you are ready to bake, remove the baking dish from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the baking dish and place it in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the bread is crisped and golden and the custard is completely set (I recommend checking it around 25-30 minutes).
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with syrup when serving.
Bread that is a couple days old or slightly stale works best for this type of recipe. When the bread it a little dry, it really soaks up the custard and creates a fluffy, moist French toast experience.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus additional chilling time)
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: breakfast
Keywords: gingerbread french toast bake, gingerbread french toast casserole, christmas morning french toast, christmas brunch, gingerbread french toast