baked stuffed orange french toast

Ahh, breakfast on Christmas morning — it can be a challenge to get to the kitchen and round everyone up for fortification. This dish is a family favorite, because you can assemble it the day before, bake it and serve it. Again, I am the QUEEN OF MAKE-AHEAD!

Following this recipe, you will find links to lots of other dishes, mostly make ahead as well, to round out your menu. Just add a fruit compote, and there you go! How many ways can you say YUMMMMM?

baked stuffed orange french toast 

  • softened butter, for the pan
for the crunchy part:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (if desired)
  • pinch of salt
  • 12 slices brioche or other bread

for filling:

  • 8 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
for french toast:
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • finely grated zest of one medium orange
  • ½ cup milk
  • freshly squeezed juice from one orange, about ½ cup
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur

for serving:

  • maple syrup

Generously butter a 9X13?inch baking dish; set aside.

In a small pan, melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, liqueur if using, pecans and salt. Spread half of this mixture in the prepared 13X9-inch pan. Lay 6 of the bread slices in the pan, in one layer.

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients for filling. Spoon a bit of the filling in the center of each of the breads slices in the pan; top with the remaining slices and press together.

In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, milk, orange zest, orange juice, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and orange liqueur until well blended. Pour egg mixture over bread. Top with remaining crunchy stuff mixture. Cover and allow to stand 30 minutes at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the French toast 40 to 45 minutes, until puffed and browned. Serve immediately with warmed maple syrup.

Serves 6.

Need more ideas for Christmas morning?

 skinny sweet potato hash browns

sausage stuffed mushrooms


hot buttered rum

pumpkin muffins

lemon curd, to spread on biscuits or english muffins


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