Cold winter mornings are good for a few things: pajamas, fuzzy socks, slippers, hot cups of coffee, and most definitely comforting breakfasts. Especially on Christmas morning and New Year’s Day! I want a warm, special meal without having to spend hours in the kitchen.
Assemble this make ahead French toast the night before (in about 5 minutes!) and bake it in the morning. You’re left with all the delicious holiday flavor of gingerbread baked right into one of the most comforting breakfast meals there is.
The Best Make Ahead French Toast with Gingerbread Coffee and Pecan
I was never really “into” gingerbread until last year. I always associated it with iced brown holiday cookies that when put side by side with any other cookie (especially those involving chocolate), just never stood a chance. But then I realized the flavor is kind of amazing! And in a warm breakfast dish you can’t go wrong.
The secret is in the gingerbread coffee. But don’t worry, you don’t have to buy a special flavor. You can make your own by adding cinnamon and ground ginger with the coffee grounds before brewing.
If you’re dragging from a long night on Christmas Eve or New Year’s, then French Toast with a caffeine kick is the perfect way to get yourself moving. Because, of course, the kids never sleep in.
And like most freshly baked foods, this is best served hot from the oven. If you can’t eat all of it, cover it and store it in the refrigerator and eat the rest the next morning. Toast in the oven to crisp it up, if desired.
Baked Gingerbread Pecan French Toast
- 1 loaf hearty white bread sliced
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup brewed gingerbread coffee see note if you don't have gingerbread coffee on hand
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Butter a baking dish generously. Let sit while you gather the rest of your ingredients.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, coffee, vanilla and spices.
- Arrange the bread in the baking dish in a staggered (staircase-like) manner.
- Pour the liquid over the top of the bread, fully coating each piece.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Take the plastic wrap off the baking dish and spoon whatever liquid has not been absorbed over the tops of the bread.
- Sprinkle the nuts and brown sugar on top and bake for 35-40 minutes until the liquid is cooked and the tops of the bread are starting to turn golden brown. You can broil for 1-2 minutes at the end for an even more toasted look.
- Remove from the oven, garnish with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm with maple syrup and butter.
Photos by Ana Stanciu1