This eggnog French toast bake is made with crusty bread, eggnog, warming spices, and bourbon, and can be prepared the night before for an easy overnight breakfast bake!
Is it time for eggnog yet?
It's only October, but the grocery store shelves are already fully stocked with this thick, creamy drink.
And my eggnog-loving husband has already purchased two cartons of eggnog. He didn't mind its early appearance.
When I saw the eggnog sitting inside my fridge, I remembered something.
This recipe is an updated version of an eggnog French toast recipe that appeared on Champagne Tastes back in 2016. The original version was a little more complicated, had quite a few more ingredients, and (frankly) I prefer this simplified version.
This eggnog French toast bake is made with bread soaked in an easy, spiced eggnog custard, and then baked until golden.
What Kind of Bread Should I Use?
I like to use either a French baguette or an Italian loaf.
A French baguette will soak up less of the custard, and flavorful custard will form along the bottom of the casserole dish.
An Italian loaf will soak up most of the custard, so the final consistency will be different, but still delicious.
I can't decide which type of bread I prefer, and either will work perfectly in this recipe.
Whichever type you use, keep in mind that stale bread is the best bread for French toast.
Should I Use Store-Bought or Homemade Eggnog?
I used to make French toast with homemade eggnog, but recently I've been trying to make things simpler.
This recipe works perfectly with store-bought eggnog. Just make sure you like the flavor of the eggnog you're buying.
That said, if you want to try making homemade eggnog for this recipe, go for it!
If you've got leftover eggnog, try making this eggnog latte next!
Why Bake French Toast?
Because it's easy!
You can prepare it ahead of time, there's zero rushing, and both the flavor and texture are perfect.
As much as I love fried French toast, when using eggnog I definitely prefer to bake the bread, not fry it.
The thick eggnog mixture tends to cling to the crust, and I think it cooks more evenly when baked.
Making an Eggnog French Toast Bake
Start by slicing the bread into 1" pieces.
You want stale bread so that it will absorb a lot of liquid. If your bread isn't stale, you'll need to toast it in the oven before starting.
Whisk together some eggnog, milk, brown sugar, bourbon, and cinnamon.
One by one, dip the bread slices into the eggnog mixture. Arrange the slices in a casserole dish.
Next, pour the remaining eggnog custard over the bread.
Cover the pan, slide it into the fridge, and refrigerate the bread for at least an hour or overnight.
When you're ready to bake the eggnog French toast, dot the top with some cubes of butter.
Slide the French toast into the oven and bake until golden.
Any custard that was not absorbed into the bread should be set, and the bread should be toasted on top and soft inside.
Eggnog French Toast Bake
- 1 French or Italian loaf, cut into 1" thick slices Stale, dried-out bread works best
- 1 cup eggnog
- 1 cup milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 ounce bourbon Use 2oz for a boozier French toast
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon or Chinese 5-spice
- 2 tablespoon butter, cubed
- fresh fruit (such as plums or berries), optional
- maple syrup or honey, optional
Prepare the French Toast:
- If bread is soft and fresh, place on a single layer on two baking sheets, and bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. If bread is stale, skip this step.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggnog, milk, eggs, brown sugar, bourbon, and cinnamon.Dip each slice of bread in the custard, and then layer bread in a large casserole dish. (A 9"x13" dish or a 10"x10" dish work well.)Pour remaining custard over the bread and place the casserole dish in the refrigerator.Soak the bread at least one hour, or overnight.
Bake the French Toast:
- Preheat oven to 350º F.Dot the French toast with cubed butter.Cover the French toast with aluminum foil, and bake covered for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake an additional 20-25 minutes, until the bread is golden. (Total baking time 45-50 minutes.)
- Serve warm. Top with fresh fruit and maple syrup (or honey) if desired.Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days in the fridge.