This orange cranberry French toast bake uses winter flavors in an unexpected, new way. It’s a morning dish that’s way more fun than muffins — and maybe easier, too.
You can prepare this the night before, maybe even while making fresh cranberry sauce, and your breakfast or brunch will be a surefire winner!
A few tips before you start:
- Save the orange peel of at least one orange, and set aside the zest for the egg mixture.
- Cut the croissants in half and place half of them on a large baking pan. Disperse half the cranberries, orange slices, and crumbled goat cheese evenly between the layers of croissants. Add the remaining croissants, and then top with the remaining oranges, cranberries and goat cheese.
- When you pour the egg mixture over the ingredients, not everything will be drenched. That’s ideal. You’ll get the French toast custard-like bake on most of the dish, while some of the croissants at the top stay nice and toasty. This adds texture that separates the dish from strata and bread pudding.
ORANGE CRANBERRY FRENCH TOAST BAKE
Makes: 8 servings
- 12 fresh croissants (medium sized), cut in half
- 2 cups whole cranberries
- 2 oranges, peeled and sliced
- ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
- 12 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons orange zest (peel of one orange)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Lightly coat 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
- Microplane orange zest of one orange. Set aside.
- Peel and slice two oranges. Set aside.
- Unwrap and crumble goat cheese using sharp knife. Set aside.
- Cut croissants in half.
- Arrange 12 croissant halves evenly in baking dish. Top with half of orange slices, cranberries and goat cheese, distributing evenly.
- Top with remaining 12 croissant halves, and repeat with remaining orange slices, cranberries and goat cheese.
- In large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, maple syrup, orange zest, vanilla and salt.
- Pour mixture evenly over pan. Cover with foil and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
- Remove baking dish from refrigerator; let stand for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until center is firm.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve.