Fact: if there is a way to fit more dessert into my day, I'll find it. Case in point, this gingerbread french toast bake. Technically, a french toast bake is the same thing as a bread pudding, and technically bread pudding is dessert, but who really cares about technicalities when dessert is involved? And have you looked at the ingredient list? It's basically all stuff you'd eat for breakfast anyways- eggs (scrambled), toast with cinnamon and sugar, and cream/milk for your coffee. So before you go feeling all guilty eating dessert for breakfast, stop and think for a second about the fact that you may actually be eating breakfast for dessert (and that's got to be some sort of crime, right?!). At the end of the day, though, breakfast, snack, or dessert, as long as it tastes good, that's all that matters. And I promise you, this easy (no overnight refrigeration necessary, because who has time for that?!) gingerbread bake is so good you'll be wanting to eat it all all day long, all holiday season long.
GINGERBREAD FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
- 4 cups very small bread cubes (any type of bread, but day-old is best)
- ½ cup milk (I use 2%)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 3 eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon each cinnamon, ginger and all-spice
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- Zest of 1 orange
- Powdered sugar and maple syrup, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spread out the bread cubes (definitely make sure they are very small, the smaller the better, to allow the liquid to easily be absorbed since this isn't refrigerated overnight) in an 8x8 inch glass-baking dish. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and whisk them together until they’re well combined. Pour the mixture over the bread. Stir the cubes around to make sure the liquid gets evenly dispersed and that each cubes is well soaked in the liquid.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top has browned and the liquid mixture has set. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately with maple syrup, coffee, sausage and whatever other breakfast goodies your heart desires.
Makes 4-6 servings
You can truly use any bread for this, but two of my favorites are challah or brioche. This would also be good using leftover gingerbread cake.
Though it isn't necessary, this does taste extra delicious served with a dollop of cream (extra points for one that is spiked with some rum or orange liqueur) or even maple or vanilla yogurt.