Do you have your Christmas breakfast all planned out already? Do you do a big thing? We don’t always do the same thing, it really depends on what the kids are leaning towards. The last few years, I’ve made cinnamon rolls with the make ahead option, the best! And really easy. Make ahead options are a must for our Christmas breakfast. I don’t want to have to get up really early, or stuck spending a lot of time in the kitchen when everyone is anxious to open presents and spend time as a family.
Since I don’t have enough make ahead options for breakfast, I decided this would be a perfect recipe to add. This baked french toast casserole is really easy, and takes probably 5 minutes to throw together the night before. I mean really, could it be any more simple? And, you don’t have to make anything if you don’t want to. I used homemade french bread, only because I had some in the freezer already. Otherwise, I would have bought a quality loaf from the store to use.
Let me break down this really awesome, healthy and simple breakfast. Grab your favorite french bread and tear it into chunks and place in a greased baking dish. Whisk together some eggs, milk, mashed banana, maple syrup and spices and pour over the french bread. Top with frozen fruit, cover and pop in the fridge! I mean seriously, could it be any easier? The next morning, mix together a little brown sugar, butter and almonds and sprinkle over the top, then throw it in the oven and let the amazing smells begin. You can serve it with maple syrup, whipped cream, whatever your heart desires. This is a great, make ahead option for Christmas morning, or any special weekend breakfast!
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
For the casserole
- 1 (8 oz.) loaf french bread or baguette, torn into 1-inch cubes
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs
- 3 large egg whites
- 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (12 oz.) package frozen mixed berries
For the topping
- 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish well. Place the torn bread pieces evenly in the greased baking dish. In a small bowl, mash the banana well, then whisk in the eggs, egg whites, maple syrup, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix until combined. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread pieces. Sprinkle the berries over the bread, then cover with foil. Place in the refrigerator over night.
- The next morning, when you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- In a small bowl, mix together the almonds, light brown sugar and butter with your fingers until slightly crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the bread mixture. Cover the dish with foil again and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until set. Remove the foil and and bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving with maple syrup.
Mix up the fruit by using frozen stone fruit instead, if you prefer. Don't like almonds? Use walnuts or your favorite nut instead.