Monday, December 27, 2021


For Christmas morning brunch I made a French Toast Casserole with Orange Zest.  It was a big hit with everyone, and I wanted to share it right away before it got lost in the shuffle.  It comes from a blog called "StyleBlueprint For A Life of Style", not a food blog perse and if you take a look you will see what I mean.  The original recipe by Liza can be found on this page.  Thank you Liza!

French Toast Casserole with Orange Zest

1 large loaf of French bread from Panera, sliced and diced (or about 10 cups of one-inch cubed French bread) - Denise's note: I used a large loaf of Challah bread from our local supermarket

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

8 large eggs

1 cup 2 percent milk

1 cup half-and-half

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Zest of 1 orange

Juice of same orange

2 tablespoons powdered sugar



 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar

1 cup chopped bourbon pecans, optional (our host says you can get these from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods.  I also looked online and there are many recipes to choose from.  I didn't use pecans this time but think I would keep mine plain, maybe  toast them instead.) 

Maple syrup for serving


Coat a 9 x13-inch glass baking dish with butter.

Arrange the bread cubes in the baking dish.

Place the cream cheese in a large bowl.

Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. 

Add the milk, half-and-half, vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest, orange juice and powdered sugar. 

Mix until smooth.

Pour this mixture over the top of the bread cubes and cover with plastic wrap. Chill overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Remove the dish from the refrigerator, remove plastic wrap, and let stand for 20 minutes. Bake 45 to 50 minutes (test by sticking a knife in the center).

This is what it looks like when it first comes out of the oven.  

Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar and chopped bourbon pecans just before serving, if using.

Liza suggests adding the orange flavored icing recipe which I shared below.  (I did not use this time but it sounds delicious.  It was also delicious without.)  Her recipe came from Homemade Orange Sweet Rolls found at this link.


1 cup confectioners' sugar (or more for a thicker glaze)

3 tablespoons orange juice

Fresh orange zest from 1 orange

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl, mix together all of the glaze ingredients and drizzle over before serving. Add more orange juice to thin out, if needed.

I am glad I found this recipe.  It was enjoyed by all of us.  

As I already had a container of whole milk to use in baking over the weekend and wanted to use it up, I decided to replace the 2 percent in the recipe for 1 cup whole milk.  

I forgot to put the fresh fruit on the list, and it was too late to go to the store.  Instead, I found the recipe below for using frozen berries.  At least the intention was there, but I ended up not making it and just used the sliced oranges to go with the casserole.  It was more than enough.  I will enjoy trying the following recipe next time.

We used good old plain Maple Syrup to pour over the casserole.

And for the next time:

Fruit Compote with Frozen Berries

Makes 1 cup 

Serves 4

Calories per serving: 96 calories

Recipe found here.

½ cup frozen blueberries

¼ cup frozen strawberries

¼ cup frozen raspberries

¼ cup raw sugar (you can use 1/4 cup honey instead)

¼ cup water

1 tablespoon butter, unslated


1 tablespoon unbleached flour

Combine blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, sugar, water, and butter in a small saucepan. 

Bring to a boil and cook until berries break down, about 5 minutes. 

Reduce heat to medium and continue to simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to thicken until consistency is similar to a chutney or thick jam, adding flour to thicken even more if preferred. 

Serve warm or chilled.


You can use any mix of frozen or fresh berries that you like (blueberries, wild berry mix, strawberries, raspberries, dried cranberries, as long as they equal 1 cup).

Thanks for looking.  I hope your weekend was a great one, and I wish you a great week ahead.


  1. Yum! Both an elegant and comforting breakfast!

  2. Oh that french toast casserole looks delicious. I was going to make one for Christmas morning but then decided against doing all the work to put it together. Now I wish I would have.

    1. Thank you Ann, having not made one before I was very happy it turned out so good :)

  3. This is zero carb, right?? 😂

  4. Oh wow, this sound and looks delicious. I am saving this recipe, YUM
    I wish you all the best in 2022, a happy and healthy New Year. Take care, enjoy your day and week ahead.

    1. That's great Eileen. I wish you the same in 2022 and thank you :)

  5. I would love French toast! We don't even keep eggs in the house as JB cannot eat them.

    1. If ever I come across a similar casserole that doesn't need eggs Jenn, I will publish it and let you know :)

  6. it looks super good and I know it taste even better than it looks.

  7. I love French toast! Yummmm!

    Wishing you a wonderful 2022, Denise!

    1. Me too Veronica, even when it's a single slice of bread with an egg :) Wishing you a wonderful 2022 also :)

  8. It all sounds delicious, I have saved the recipe :-) Happy New Year Diane

    1. That's great, thank you Diane :) Happy New Year!

  9. Many thanks for sharing the recipe.

    My good wishes for a happy and healthy 2022.

    All the best Jan

    1. You are very welcome Jan and thank you. I wish you the same :)

  10. Replies
    1. Great, that makes me happy William :) Thank you!

  11. Yum, yum - beautiful French toast - fruit just makes it better!

    1. Thanks Carol and I agree totally, adding fruit to the plate is a must for me :)

  12. Looks so Yummy. I love French Toast at breakfast, and I haven't had it in awhile.


    1. Thank you Sheri, this was my first French Toast Casserole :) I have been wanting to try the recipe in quite a while. It has been a long time since I fixed French toast for breakfast.

  13. This really sounds good. I can see why everyone enjoyed it.


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