This Make Ahead Challah French Toast Casserole with Cranberries recipe is perfect for the holidays and out of town guests.

Buy Challah bread on a Friday so they don’t sell out!

Make Ahead Challah French Toast Casserole with Cranberries

Count your Blessings. When I hear or read those words, they pierce my soul. I am truly grateful for so much that I never want to take for granted. Do you ever feel like you’re forgetting to give thanks, or that you don’t do it enough?

To put these words in to action, every day of our lives, is what knocks out despair, discontentment, negativism, worry, stress.

Giving thanks brings joy, perspective, appreciation, peace, a positive attitude. It’s a ray of sunshine in our lives!

Gratitude - ReluctantEntertainer.com

By the way, I’m counting my blessings for this season with our kids in our lives. Our kids are funny. They love to play music when we are out of the house, or gone a a few hours. Which, as a mom, I love sitting back and enjoying every note played. But I too remember doing the same thing — cutting loose on the piano when I had the house to myself.

We’re savoring every moment when the kids are home with a heart full of gratitude.

Elliot piano

I snuck a FB video of my oldest playing, here. (If you’re a Facebook Friend with me). :)

Make Ahead Challah French Toast Casserole with Cranberries.

He helped me in the kitchen last week prepare this amazing recipe, Make Ahead Challah French Toast Casserole with Cranberries.

Gather the ingredients.

Make Ahead Challah French Toast Casserole with Cranberries

Spread the preserves on the bread.

Make Ahead Challah French Toast Casserole with Cranberries

Soak up the egg mixture overnight.

Make Ahead Challah French Toast Casserole with Cranberries

Refrigerate 4-18 hours, then add the topping.

Make Ahead Challah French Toast Casserole with Cranberries

Baker and serve.

We were experimenting together with the recipe, and just in time for Abby and and a handful of her friends to enjoy, as we pulled this out of the oven!

A holiday morning meal.

WOW! I’m posting this recipe today because it’s perfect for the week ahead if you have out of town guests arriving, or for the month of December! Actually, any season will do, it’s that good.

When you’re hosting over the holidays and you have out-of-town guests, a morning meal is so appreciated by all.

Pulling a dish out of the fridge and placing it in the oven means nothing but EASE and RELAXATION for the host. I love this type of meal. It makes me feel good, like I made something special for my guests, without all the hard work.

Syrup and plenty of napkins.

Set out the syrup, plates, napkins, forks. Let the guests dive right on in!

Enjoy, and I hope that many of us will work hard (yes, Thanksgiving preparation is a lot of work), but still be able to sit back, relax, and savor the blessings that are coming to us this very week!

Do you try to focus on daily gratitude in your life?

Make Ahead Challah French Toast Casserole with Cranberries

Make Ahead Challah French Toast Casserole with Cranberries
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Make Ahead Challah French Toast Casserole with Cranberries

Soak the bread in the egg mixture and jam (or apple butter) the night before, and add the crunchy topping the morning of, before placing in the oven to bake! Perfect make-ahead breakfast to serve to out-of-town guests. This recipe adapted from Fine Cooking Holiday Dishes.

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup cranberry-apple butter, I used Trader Joe’s or favorite preserves
  • 1 lb. loaf challah bread or brioche, cut into 1-inch thick slices (discard the ends)
  • 1/2 cup butter, 1 stick, softened
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cranberries

Instructions

  • The night before, assemble the French toast. Prepare a 9×13 pan by lightly spraying the sides and bottom.
  • Mix the eggs, milk, apple juice, vanilla, and salt. Set aside.
  • Spread a thin layer of the preserves on one side of each slice of bread, and then dip into the egg mixture. Arrange the slices jam side up in the baking dish, overlapping slightly if necessary. Pour any remaining egg mixture over the bread and gently press the bread into the custard. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate for 4-18 hours.
  • In a large bowl, combine the butter, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and nuts. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to bake the French toast.
  • In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the egg/bread mixture and press down on the bread to absorb any custard on the bottom of the dish. Scatter the topping on the dish, sprinkle with cranberries, recover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until puffy and golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with syrup, powdered sugar, or more preserves.
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