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Cranberry Brown Sugar Baked French Toast

This festive and filling French toast comes from Danielle Kartes’ cookbook, Rustic Joyful Food: Generations, and is perfect for any holiday breakfast table. Make it the night before and enjoy your morning. Plus, you can swap the cranberries for any seasonal fruit and serve it throughout the year.

Cranberry Brown Sugar Baked French Toast Topped with Toasted Pecans, Buttermilk Maple Syrup, and Whipped Cream
Serves 4

Ingredients

For the French toast:
3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for the baking dish
5 large eggs
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 to 5 cups chewy artisan bread, cubed
1 cup frozen cranberries, tossed in sugar

For the buttermilk syrup:
1 cup good maple syrup
1/4 cup full-fat buttermilk
For the fresh whipped cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt

For the toppings:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup toasted pecans

Directions

1. Make the French toast: Butter a 9×13-inch deep baking dish.

2. Up to 2 days before serving, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, milk, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Fold in the bread. Transfer to the baking dish. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but overnight is best.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

4. Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator at least 10 minutes prior to baking. Sprinkle with cranberries and dot with butter, tucking and folding gently into the bread.

5. Bake until puffed and golden, about 35 to 45 minutes.

6. Make the buttermilk syrup: In a medium bowl, stir together the maple syrup and buttermilk until combined.

7. Make the whipped cream: In the base of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together cream, sugar, and salt until soft peaks form.

8. To serve: Top French toast squares with butter, buttermilk syrup, whipped cream, and pecans.

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