Christmas Morning Creme Brûlée French Toast

There was a time I was getting up at the crack of dawn (after being up late stuffing stockings and such) to fix monkey bread and other fun holiday morning deliciousness — what in the world was I thinking??  Running myself ragged is NOT my idea of a meaningful Christmas day.  
Enter… make ahead breakfast dishes!  It revolutionized the morning for me.  
This fabulous, caramel goodness is indeed made ahead of time, making it a perfect Christmas morning treat for the family!  You can even freeze it and de-thaw if you really want to avoid the last minute rush.  

Cut french bread into cubes and place in a dish (use wheat or white).  Wisk the eggs in a dish with the milk, half -n- half, vanilla, salt, sugar, and liqueur.  Boil the other caramel mixture on the stove.

 Pour the egg mixture over the bread.

 Top the entire stack with the caramel mixture.  Let sit at least 8 hours or overnight.  

 Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min. covered.  Uncover and bake 15 more minutes.  


Christmas Morning Creme Brûlée French Toast



  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 loaf french bread, sliced 1-inch thick with each piece sliced in half diagonally
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier (optional)
  • powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Lightly butter a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside. Melt the butter and brown sugar with the corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir until smooth and bubbly. Pour the mixture into a prepared dish. Arrange the bread slices on top in two overlapping rows. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half -n- half, milk, vanilla, sugar, salt and liqueur until well combined; pour evenly over the bread. Cover with foil and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake until set in the center, about 45 minutes. Uncover the dish and bake an additional 15 minutes until golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with sauce from the dish.



7 comments… add one
  • J Carter December 8, 2015, 9:27 pm

    Hi. This looks perfect. I like that you mentioned you can freeze it and thaw it out before baking. Please elaborate on the process of freezing and thawing out (how long do you let it sit in the fridge after it was frozen? Do you pull it out of the freezer before going to bed- stick it in the fridge and then bake the next morning?) I’ll be so busy on Christmas eve that I won’t want to do anything. Thanks!

    • kristagilly December 8, 2015, 10:06 pm

      Thanks for your question – I get it out the day before to thaw on the counter about an hour, then I throw it in the refrigerator. However, I have also gone from freezer to oven, and this works also, you just have to adjust the cooking time and make sure to not go too high on the heat. I start at a low temp to defrost, then move to a cooking temp. Does that help?

  • Katie December 25, 2015, 7:12 pm

    I know this is an older recipe, but you may want to change the second ingredient to read “brown sugar” instead of “butter.” That got me very confused! 🙂 My family inhaled it the morning and raved about how good it was. Thank you!

    • kristagilly December 31, 2015, 6:48 am

      Thank you Katie! Done… and so glad they like it – it’s just awesome, isn’t it?

  • Bee-Ja Thompson April 2, 2017, 5:39 pm

    The directions differed from one to the other. In the write up at first,
    it says to pour the caramel mixture over the top of everything. later, in the recipe, it says to put the caramel mixture in the pan first. Which is the correct order?

    • Krista April 4, 2017, 8:01 pm

      Hi Bee-Ja – you pour the caramel mixture on the bottom and the egg mixture on top. Does that make sense? I hope so! Let me know how you like the dish!

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