Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas French Toast Bake

On Christmas morning, I like to have something special to serve for breakfast and I do not want to spend alot of time making it.  French Toast Bakes are great because they can be assembled the night before.  Christmas  morning you just need to pop it in the oven  and serve it with powdered sugar and  maple syrup.

This french toast bake uses Panettone.  Panettone is an Italian sweet bread that originated in Milan.  It was prepared to enjoy for Christmas and New Years.  This bread contains candied orange, citron, lemon zest, and raisins.  You can also find  it made with chocolate or plain.

In this recipe, I use  a Panettone made with candied orange peels  and raisins.  I bought my Panettone  at Cost Plus World Market.

I slice the Panettone  vertically into 8 slices.  I then spread 4 of the slices with mascarpone cheese.  I take the remaining  4 slices and place them on top of the cheese.  You make sandwiches.  I then cut the sandwiches into 1 inch squares.  Put the bread in a buttered baking dish and pour the egg mixture over the bread.  Press down on the bread with a spatula to soak up the custard.  Cover and refrigerate.  Pull out of the fridge the next morning and bake.  It's that simple.

                                            Christmas French Toast Bake

Butter for greasing the baking dish
1 (1.6 pound – 750 grams) panettone loaf bread
1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese
10 eggs
2 cups half and half
1/3-cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup orange juice
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Powdered sugar for dusting
Maple Syrup


1. Butter a 9x13 inch-baking dish.
2. Remove the paper from the panettone . Cut the ends off the bread (you can discard them or use them in the bake).  Slice the loaf vertically into 8 slices (about ½ inch thick).

3. Spread 3 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese on 4 slices of the panettone.

4. Place the remaining 4 slices of panettone on top of the cheese.  You are making four sandwiches.
5. Cut each sandwich into 1-inch squares and place the squares in the prepared baking dish.
Note:  If you wish, you can cut the end pieces into 1 inch squares and toss them in the pan.
6. Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Add the half and half, maple syrup, orange juice,  vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Whisk together  until well combined.
7. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread.  Press the bread down gently with a spatula into the egg mixture.
8. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
9.  Remove from fridge when you are ready to bake it.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
10. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until the bake is puffed.
11. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes.
12 Transfer french toast to plates and lightly dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with maple syrup.

Serves 12

Cut Into Squares

Bread Squares

In The Dish Waiting For The Egg Mixture

Pressing The Bread Into The Egg Mixture

Ready For Oven


MMM Good


  1. This looks amazing and fun to make, although we already have our Christmas morning breakfast traditions I think I may give it a try during the holiday time. I only have to get my hands on panettone bread, never saw it around but we'll give it another look. I wonder would it work with some soda-based-bread... like one with raisins and nuts? Thanks for inspiration, wishing you all the best!

  2. You can order panettone bread on the web if you cannot find it at a store near you. Yes, you can use a different bread. In fact, I have used cinnamon raisin bread - about 12 cups cubed and it came out delicious. I personally have not made french toast bake with Irish Soda Bread, but I have seen recipes that do use it. Let me know how it turns out. Best regards, Geri