This easy-to-make eggnog French toast casserole is the best holiday breakfast or brunch dish. It can even be made ahead of time if you want!
My love of eggnog is pretty obvious if you start diving into my archives. I’ve made mini eggnog scones, eggnog cinnamon rolls, eggnog cheesecake, eggnog pancakes, and added eggnog biscuits on top of my apple and fig cobber. But every year, when the holidays roll around, I get excited and think to myself, what else can I do with that carton of eggnog (beside drink it)? This year’s solution is this eggnog French toast casserole, which has all the best flavors of French toast and eggnog, with minimal effort involved, making it a great Christmas or holiday breakfast for brunch.
How do you make eggnog French toast casserole?
Making this casserole is super easy. Cut the crusty bread into 1-inch cubes, then whisk together eggs, eggnog, rum (or bourbon), vanilla extract, nutmeg, and salt. Pour the custard over the bread crumbs and add the dried cranberries. Toss to coat and let sit while you assemble the crumb topping.
Make the crumb topping by combining flour, sugar, maple syrup, turbinado sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and melted butter. Then sprinkle the topping over the soaked bread. Bake and serve.
What sort of eggnog should you use?
You can use whatever eggnog you have on hand or like to drink. You can use store-bought or homemade eggnog as well. If you find the eggnog you have is especially sweet, you might want to reduce the sugar in the crumb topping down to 2 tablespoons of white sugar.
What’s the best bread for this French toast casserole?
I recommend a hearty, crusty French bread for this casserole, though you can also use a baguette or sourdough. Avoid white or wheat sandwich bread, as it’s a little too soft and will disintegrate when it soaked in the custard.
Can you make it ahead of time?
This casserole is a great make-ahead dish. You can either assemble it ahead of time and then refrigerate the casserole and the bake it the day you want to serve it. Or you can bake it ahead of time and then warm it up.
I like to assemble it, and then let the custard soak overnight in the fridge. This allows the bread to truly absorb the custard and evenly distribute the flavor. Assemble the filling, then cover and let sit in the fridge overnight. When you bake it, remove the cover, add the crumb topping, then place in a cold oven. Turn the oven on and let it come to the appropriate temperature, then bake for the recommended time plus an additional 10 minutes to accommodate the cold temperature.
If you bake it ahead of time and store in the fridge, take it out of the oven and reheat it in a 350°F for 15 minutes to warm it up and re-crisp the top.
How do you store it?
Store leftover in the fridge for up to 5 days, covered tightly. Make sure to let the leftovers cool completely before storing. Reheat the casserole in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes to warm it up and re-crisp the top before serving again.
This eggnog French toast casserole is super flexibles and customizable. Here are few ideas on making it your own.
- Dried fruit swap: don’t like dried cranberries or don’t have any on hand? Swap them out with golden raisins, regular raisins, dried blueberries or dried figs. Or just omit the dried fruit if you’re not feeling them!
- Fresh fruit: Add in a 1/2 cup of fresh berries like cranberries, blueberries or blackberries. Or add 1/2 cup of diced 1/2-inch apples chunks to the casserole!
- Nuts: Try adding in 1/4 cup of chopped pecans, walnuts, pistachios or almonds to the crumb topping for a little nutty crunch.
- Chocolate: if you’re a chocolate find, add in 1/4 cup of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate instead of the dried cranberries. Beat in 2 tablespoons of Dutch-processed cocoa to the eggnog to make it a chocolate eggnog custard. Or drizzle some melted chocolate on top of the casserole once it’s out of the oven. You can even add in 2 or 3 tablespoons of roasted cacao nibs to the crumb topping if you want to give it more nutty chocolate crunch and texture.
What to serve with this casserole
Serve this eggnog casserole by itself, dusted with powdered sugar, or with a dollop of whipped cream. You can also add fresh fruit like blueberries, or strawberries to your serving. Or just drizzle a little more maple syrup on top if you’d like!
If you like this Eggnog French Toast Casserole, check out these other holiday and winter recipes:
- Chewy Molasses Cookies
- Striped Chewy Peppermint Cookies
- Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread with Orange Zest
- Cardamom Buns
- Cranberry Spiral Bread
- Chocolate Crackle Cookies
Eggnog French Toast Casserole
French Toast Filling
- 8 ounces crusty bread 225 g
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries 35 g
- 4 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cup eggnog store-bought or homemade
- 2 tablespoon dark rum or bourbon skip or use 1 teaspoon rum extract for non-alcoholic option
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 105 g
- 1/4 cup white sugar 50 g
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- If baking same day, preheat the oven to 350° and lightly spray an 8 x 8 or 8 x 8 casserole dish with cooking oil.Cut the crusty bread into 1-inch cubes and place it in the casserole dish. Sprinkle the dried cranberries over the bread.
- Whisk together the eggs, eggnog, rum, vanilla, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl.
- Pour the custard over the bowl bread and cranberries. Dunk and press down with a rubber spatula or spoon to make sure all the bread cubes are soaked with the custard.At this point you can cover and refrigerate the casserole dish if you want, to bake the next day. Or just proceed to the next step.
- Make the crumb topping by whisking together the flour, sugar, turbinado (or brown) sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Combine the melted butter and maple syrup together in a glass measuring cup with a spout. Drizzle the melted butter and maple syrup over the ingredients, tossing ingredients together with a fork until they start to clump into a topping.
- Sprinkle the crumb topping over the custard-soaked bread.If baking the day of making the casserole, bake in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the custard in the middle has set and a butter knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.If baking from an overnight refrigerated casserole, place casserole dish (uncovered) in a cold oven, then turn it on to 350°F. Once the oven temperature has hit 350°F, bake for 65 to 75 minutes.The internal temperature of the casserole should be 160°F if you have a quick read thermometer. If you find the top of the casserole is browning too fast, cover it with aluminum foil and continue to bake until done. Let cool for 10 or 15 minutes before serving.