Donner's Eggnog and Croissant French Toast Casserole is the ultimate Christmas morning breakfast! You can make it the day in advance and just pop it in the oven in the morning.
Easy peasy and full of Christmas flavors like eggnog, cranberries, and orange. And not to mention all that buttery, delicious croissant. For more eggnog recipes, make sure you check out the blackberry eggnog panna cotta, eggnog white Russian, and eggnog cherry Christmas pavlova.
Why you’ll love this recipe
So to summarize why you'd absolutely love this croissant French toast casserole - it is:
- Christmas flavors
- Buttery croissant
You actually don't need a lot for this recipe because eggnog usually has a lot of flavor already.
- Croissants, I used store-bought mini croissants but any plain, buttery croissant is fine.
- Eggnog, here I always go for homemade eggnog, it has a mellow hint of nutmeg and cinnamon and is so creamilicious and perfect for the croissant French toast.
- Eggs, even though eggnog is full of eggs, we add a little extra. The eggs are the binder and firm the liquid up upon heating. They also make the dish richer.
- Salt, to enhance the flavors.
- Orange zest, for a fresh pop of color and flavor.
- Fresh cranberries, work amazingly with the orange, and bring tartness to the dish making it easier to eat more of it!
- (Bonus) cream cheese, for that extra tang. You will love it.
The steps for this eggnog French toast casserole are similar to any French toast casserole, so if you liked this, you will probably also love this lemon blueberry French toast casserole for other times of the year.
Tear day-old stale croissants into large chunks. I used mini croissants, but regular-sized work too. Add half of them to an 8-inch (20 centimeters) round pie pan or square pan. Drop random small spoonfuls of cream cheese over, and top with halved cranberries.
Layer the rest of the torn croissants on top, and add another layer of cream cheese and cranberries.
Whisk eggnog, eggs, and orange zest together. Pour over the bread. Sprinkle with extra orange zest if desired.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill for 3+ hours, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 350F° (175C°). Remove the pan from the refrigerator. Bake uncovered for about 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown.
If you think it browns too quickly, you can cover it loosely with aluminum foil for a while.
This eggnog French toast casserole can be stored covered and unbaked in the refrigerator for about 3 days. You can also store it baked, for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
To reheat baked croissant french toast, preheat the oven to 300℉ (150℃) and bake for about 10-15 minutes. If you love the crispy topping as much as me, switch to the broil settings for a minute at the end.
Another way to extend its life is by freezing it. Frozen it will keep for up to 6 months. Depending on the size of the leftovers you freeze, it can take some time in the oven to reheat.
Choose a lower temperature like 210-250℉ (100-120℃) and cover loosely with aluminum foil. It is done when it is warmed through and a little crispy on top.
I like to take the aluminum foil off the last 5 minutes and increase the temperature a little so that it crisps up nicely.
Why is my French toast casserole soggy?
There are mainly two reasons for this: 1) you have too much egg mixture compared to the amount of bread, so the bread can't soak everything up as it should, and 2) your bread is too fresh, again so it doesn't soak up the eggs.
What do you eat with it?
I usually eat French toast casserole with a form of berry sauce. In these photos, I use a chunky strawberry sauce. Blueberry sauce is another great option, even cranberry sauce for an extra festive touch.
Fresh berries are also delicious and of course, will freshen up the dish.
The best bread for French toast casserole
For this particular French toast casserole, you obviously need to use croissants. However, any type of white bread that you like, is a good bread to use in general.
It is better if it is stale, so that it soaks up the egg mixture, or else you end up with a soggy French toast.
What kind of alcohol is in eggnog?
Alcohol serves as a thickener and preservative, which are both great arguments for spiking up eggnog. Although as a preservative you need to add way more alcohol than what is tasty, in my opinion. The best, tasty ratio is 1 part alcohol to 5 parts eggnog.
Here are some great choices for alcohol:
- brandy, the classic alcohol for eggnog
- rum, the other popular alcohol used in eggnog, I use dark!
- Vodka, if you prefer lighter flavors
You can just as well make this dish with non-alcoholic eggnog. Use my recipe for homemade eggnog, and don't add the rum at the end. This will keep for a week in the refrigerator.
I've mentioned some of these already, but there are many ways you can switch up this dish. The easiest way is by the toppings. Here are some of my flavor pairing ideas:
- As pictured: Whipped cream and chunky strawberry sauce
- Extra festive: Eggnog whipped cream and cranberry sauce (or cherry sauce)
- Another classic: Crème anglaise or vanilla custard sauce
- Something different: Infuse the heavy cream with spices like cinnamon and allspice, cool, and then whip as normally. Top with a poached pear or apple.
- The fresh: Whipped cream and fresh seasonal fruits, like clementines, pomegranates, and pears. Top with extra clementine or orange zest.
Did you like this recipe? Here are more eggnog recipes I think you’d love:
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.
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