The countdown to Christmas is on, and whether you’re hosting a formal holiday brunch or just doing breakfast downstairs in your pajamas, we’re here to help get you inspired for one of the season’s most casual-yet-treasured meals. Bread, butter, eggs…you can never go wrong with a delectable French toast, especially when it has a cheerful twist or two.
Retro Plaid Santa Stoneware Plates, 4 for $15.96 at World Market
Lend a little extra holiday cheer to your table with these vintage-inspired plates.
From lattes to pancakes, fall may be reserved for all things pumpkin-spiced, but post-Thanksgiving, it’s all about eggnog. The nutmeg-flavored, dairy-based beverage is synonymous with the holidays—it’s actually been associated with Christmas since the 1700s. Combine the holiday punch with eggs, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and sliced French bread for a rich Christmas morning meal. Get our Eggnog French Toast recipe.
Like eggnog, gingerbread is basically synonymous with Christmas. The smell of it baking is enough to signal that the holidays have arrived. Fill the room with the spicy scent of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves by making this casserole. Prep it overnight and pop it into the oven in the morning to wake your guests up with its delightful aroma. Get the Overnight Gingerbread French Toast Casserole recipe.
Gingerbread French Toast
Even easier: “You could also do a traditional Gingerbread French Toast,” says Stonewall Kitchen Recipe Development Specialist, Stephanie Miller. “Take our Gingerbread Pancake Mix and prepare the mix as directed, then thin it out with additional milk until it coats the bread without being too thick. Dip thick bread slices in the pancake mixture and pan-fry as you normally would.” For an extra special presentation, Miller advises using a squeeze bottle and drizzling the plate with Gingerbread Butter (um, yum) or topping your Gingerbread French Toast with whipped cream and a mini gingerbread man.
Gingerbread Pancake and Waffle Mix, $4.99 at Stonewall Kitchen
This warmly spiced mix makes breakfast easy—and delicious.
Gingerbread Butter, $3.49 at Stonewall Kitchen
This tasty spread contains no butter (the creaminess comes from sweet potato), but it does have three kinds of ginger and vanilla.
Let’s be honest, Nutella is the stuff our Christmas dreams are made of. The decadent chocolate-hazelnut spread regularly stars in your favorite desserts or on its own with a piece of toast, but it’ll also kick any special occasion breakfast up a notch. The key is to use a rich, eggy bread like challah or buttery brioche, cut into thick (2-inch) slices. Serve with chopped hazelnuts and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or, you can top with strawberries for a pop of color. Their juicy sweetness will help balance out the richness in the dish. Get our Nutella-Stuffed French Toast recipe.
This French-influenced dish is like the OG French Toast, and it’s popular and perfected on brunch menus across the U.S. from Williamsburg’s new French café La Cafette to the iconic Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Its name, “lost bread,” comes from its ingredients: stale French bread, rescued before it might otherwise be lost (to the garbage). The bread (thickly sliced) is then soaked in a custard batter before being cooked in batches on a griddle. This Pain Perdu recipe comes from Tory McPhail, executive chef of the famed Commander’s Palace.
Cinnamon rolls are a family fave in our house, especially on holidays. Give store-bought refrigerated tubes an upgrade for Christmas morning with this easy-to-make recipe. Plus, it’s made in a pan and sliced so it’s easy to serve, especially for a big group. Get the Cinnamon Roll French Toast recipe.
If you’re hosting a big brunch, easy-to-eat finger foods are always a solid option. These roll-ups are made of sliced white bread and cream cheese and turn crunchy after some time in the freezer and the oven. Plus, you can make a big batch of these ahead of time (and freeze them for up to 2 months) so you won’t be slaving away in the kitchen on Christmas morning. Get the French Toast Roll-Ups recipe.
Do you really need any more convincing than this recipe’s title ingredients? Strawberries and cream cheese are mixed together and stuffed snugly between thick slices of bread. Yes, please! This sweet (and slightly savory) concoction is a bonafide breakfast favorite, and makes for a beautiful presentation, too. To achieve it, just top with fresh mixed berries, powdered sugar, and whipped cream. It’s a dish that’s sure to impress even your most discerning holiday brunch critics. Get the Strawberries and Cream Stuffed French Toast recipe.
This a.m. casserole is fresh and packed with berry flavor. The recipe calls for a mix of frozen berries, many which you probably already have in your freezer: blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries; it’s a little lighter and also very bright and colorful. Baked in a large dish, it’s great for a group and ideal for a big breakfast or brunch. Plus, the recipe calls for almond milk instead of regular milk, making it a great option for your dairy-free guests. Get the Triple Berry French Toast Casserole recipe.
Who doesn’t love dessert for breakfast? This recipe turns our favorite aspects of the burnt cream French after-dinner treat—custard and caramelized sugar—into a delicious holiday morning dish. Baking it on a sugared baking sheet helps to mimic the cracked sugar of the traditional dessert. Pro tip: Sub an orange liqueur like Grand Marnier for the rum/orange juice. Get the Crème Brûlée French Toast recipe.
This recipe by Bryan Voltaggio may call for bananas and chopped pecans, but we’re not even going to pretend that it’s healthy. (And that’s okay because it’s the holidays, right?) Regardless, this elevated French toast is tasty. Here are the basics: You’ll need a sandwich/panini maker, ripe bananas, vanilla bean seeds, and day-old challah. To serve, top the pressed toast with homemade pecan maple syrup and whipped crème fraîche. Get the Banana-Stuffed French Toast recipe.
Related Video: How to Make Fruitcake French Toast
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Header image courtesy of Molly Tavoletti / La Cafette.