Gingerbread Pear French Toast Casserole – a delicious holiday morning casserole that is prepped the night before! All the delicious flavours of gingerbread with chopped pear for freshness, which compliments the spices well. Holiday breakfasts are so easy with this french toast casserole!
Wow, December sure is flying by! With only a week left until Christmas, it feels like the holiday season will be here and gone before we know it! In the meantime, I plan to enjoy every little bit of it I can.
The last few weeks have been packed with activity. Between work, running errands, preparing for our trip, shopping for presents, and celebrations with friends and family it sure has been busy! I feel like I have been slacking when it comes to the seasonal recipes this year, but that is just how things go sometimes. Luckily, I’ve been able to rely on old favourites from previous years.
I do have this one festive recipe left for you though! I love having a fancy breakfast for holiday celebrations, and this french toast casserole certainly fits the bill while still being easy to throw together. Lets dive in, shall we?
How to make gingerbread pear french toast casserole
This french toast casserole is SUPER easy to make! It’s perfect for the busy holidays, when we all tend to have a bit more of a hectic schedule. It’s as simple as prepping the recipe the night before, placing it in the fridge overnight, and then in the morning you just need to bake it!
Spread the cubed up bread in the casserole dish and add in the chopped pear, stirring to try and get an even distribution of everything. Once that has been done, mix up the custard and pour it over the bread, trying to soak all the pieces with the mixture.
This casserole is best when you give time for the custard to soak into the bread, resulting in a more delicious, fluffier casserole, which is why we let it sit overnight in the fridge here. Mornings are already pretty crazy – especially those filled with fun and excitement such as Christmas – so preparing everything the night before makes this easier as well as more delicious!
If you decide to prep this in the morning instead, give it at least 20 minutes to let the bread absorb the custard mixture.
While the casserole is baking in the morning you can focus on other things – like opening up stockings and gifts, cozying up on the couch, or relaxing and having a cup of coffee (perhaps with a shot of Baileys?). It is the holidays after all!
What is the best type of bread to use?
I recommend using a nice bread that will soak up all the custard – French bread, Italian bread or a whole wheat bread would work well here. Using a load that is a day or two old works best, as the drier bread will soak up that custard and prevent things from being soggy. If you have a fresh loaf, you can dry your cubed up bread in a 325°F oven for about 15-20 minutes.
(A great way to prevent food waste is to save leftover scraps of bread by cubing it and keeping frozen in a freezer safe bag! Once you have enough you can use it to make this delicious French Toast Casserole!)
Any leftover gingerbread pear French toast casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat individual servings, you can place them in the microwave for approximately 1 minute per serving (this may vary by microwave). Alternatively, for more servings you can place the casserole covered with foil in 325°F oven for 30 minutes until warmed through.
Well, that will likely be it for recipes this year unless I manage to find time to squeeze one last post after our vacation in. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas or happy holidays, and a happy New Year as well!
If you make this gingerbread pear french toast casserole please let me know! You can leave a comment below, rate it, post on the Zest & Simmer Facebook page or share photos on Instagram with the hashtag #zestandsimmer. I am always thrilled to hear from you!
Gingerbread Pear French Toast Casserole
- 1 loaf French, Italian or whole wheat bread , cut into 1-inch pieces (day old bread works best)*
- 3 pears , cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 6 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 3 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- In a large 8x10 casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray, spread out the bread and pear chunks so that there is a fairly even distribution of both.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, butter, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and ground cloves until thoroughly combined. Pour mixture over bread, trying to evenly coat and get all pieces covered.
- Cover casserole dish, and place in the fridge overnight.** (see note)
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°. Once the oven has preheated, cook french toast casserole for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes before cutting into and serving while still warm. Serve with maple syrup for topping if desired.