Cranberry French Toast with Vanilla Sauce captures the flavors of the holidays! Now is the time to buy fresh cranberries and keep them in your freezer to use all through the winter. This is a wonderful dish to make for a special holiday breakfast or brunch with lots of friends or family.
using fresh or frozen cranberries
Fresh cranberries should be plump and red. Discard any withered or brown or blackened cranberries. Place in gallon ziplock bags and squeeze out excess air before sealing. Store in the freezer. When ready to use, thaw the cranberries and wash them thoroughly. And if you need more ideas for using cranberries, take a look at “9 Ways to Use Fresh Cranberries that Aren’t Cranberry Sauce.”
the best ingredients make the best dishes!
We always use pure vanilla extract rather than vanilla flavoring. Vanilla extract has a much more intense flavor, and it complements the cranberry flavor in this French toast. You can use either Grand Marnier or Cointreau, but we find Cointreau to be a little more bitter and Grand Marnier to be a bit sweeter.
Challah is an egg bread which has a nice firm texture for French toast. We always use whole milk for cooking. Skim milk doesn’t have the fat content and recipes may turn out differently.
Cranberry French Toast with Vanilla Sauce is easy to make ahead
This recipe is not as complicated as it may seem. The French toast should be made ahead of time and topped with the cranberry mixture just before baking. Make the vanilla sauce the day before and store in a jar in the refrigerator.
try changes to the recipe
Try putting a little bourbon in the egg mixture for the French toast. Orange and cranberry are great flavor partners, so you could also try this with an orange sauce or orange syrup.
here are some other French toast casserole recipes
Baked French toast made in a large casserole dish is a great way to serve a fantastic breakfast to a lot of people. Try Blueberry French Toast Squares or Strawberries and Cream French Toast, especially when those berries are in season.
Stay at the Bottger Mansion for a fantastic breakfast
We love using seasonal ingredients and fruits for breakfast. In the fall, expect Pumpkin Pancakes with Ginger Butter. This year Steve developed this wonderful recipe for Cranberry French Toast with Vanilla Sauce. You’ll find never-ending opportunities for adventure waiting for you in New Mexico!
Stay with us at the Bottger Mansion of Old Town. Our historic bed and breakfast in Albuquerque, NM provides comfortable rooms, outstanding amenities, and friendly hospitality. Our warm, delicious breakfast served first thing in the morning will help you start your day off right. Explore the many attractions of Albuquerque or simply relax in the peace and quiet of our cozy inn. Our beautiful haven in New Mexico is waiting for you, so check our availability and book your stay today!
|Prep Time||20 minutes|
|Cook Time||40 minutes|
|Passive Time||1 hour|
- 8 eggs
- 14 oz. milk
- 8 oz. orange juice
- 2 oz. Grand Marnier orange liqueur
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 16 oz. challah or French bread cut into 1" cubes
- 6 oz. cream cheese cut into 1/2" cubes
- 2 cups fresh cranberries if using frozen, microwave for 40 seconds
- 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup pecans chopped
- 12 oz. water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- pinch salt
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
Deb's Vanilla Sauce
- Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
- If the bread is fresh, cube and dry it in a 300F oven for about 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, toss the bread and return to oven. Let cool.
- Whisk eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Add milk, orange juice, Grand Marnier, sugar, vanilla, and salt; whisk until combined. Place the bread in the baking dish and evenly pour the egg mixture over the bread, making sure all the bread is soaked. If necessary, press the bread down by hand.
- Place cranberries, powdered sugar and salt in food processor and pulse 6-7 times. Spread the cranberries evenly over bread. Top evenly with the cream cheese and pecans.
- Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.* Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 350F. Bake uncovered 35-40 minutes. The internal temperature should be 170F.
- Cut into servings. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with Deb’s Vanilla Sauce. (We serve the French toast on a puddle of sauce and then dust with powdered sugar.)
- * If you are unable to make it the night before, you can let the bread sit for about an hour to allow the bread to absorb the egg mixture.
- Bring water to boil. Meanwhile, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. Whisk sugar mixture into boiling water. Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat.
- Add butter and whisk until incorporated. Stir in vanilla. Serve warm. Refrigerate any remaining sauce.
- * Used by permission. If you like it, consider buying one of the cookbooks by the Eight Broads in the Kitchen, www.8broads.com