This healthy Gingerbread French Toast Bake is made with whole wheat bread, naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup, and flavoured with warm gingerbread spices. It’s a small-batch recipe, yielding just two hearty portions of French toast bake – perfect for a couple on Christmas morning!
A healthy, overnight Gingerbread French Toast recipe
The holidays are here! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been hankering for some gingerbready goodness for the past three weeks. So this hearty and healthy Gingerbread French Toast Bake could not have come at a better time!
If you’ve never made a French toast bake before, you are in for a treat. You get all the deliciousness of a platter of French toast but without all the standing at the stove and flipping for hours. Everything is mixed together in a single bowl and then placed in a pan and left overnight before baking in the morning. Easy!
You are going to love this small-batch French toast casserole – it’s perfect for a couple or smaller household and tastes and smells just like Christmas morning!
Is French toast healthy?
French toast can definitely be healthy! Using protein-packed eggs, whole grain bread, dairy-free milk, and a natural sweetener easily turns French toast into a nutritional breakfast. Top your portion with seasonal fruit and you’ve got a hearty, healthy meal.
Ingredients in this recipe
- Baguette: Any crusty, slightly stale bread will do for this recipe, but I love it with a whole wheat baguette or sourdough.
- Eggs: Essential for holding the Gingerbread French Toast Bake together and providing protein.
- Pure maple syrup: A dash for a little natural sweetness to combat the heat of the spices.
- Molasses: Imperative for that classic gingerbread flavour!
- Vanilla extract: Perfect for adding a little extra flavour to the custard.
- Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice: Our quartet of gingerbread spices!
- Milk: To round out the custard and create a lovely soak for our bread; use dairy-free if you need to.
How to make Gingerbread French Toast Bake
This Gingerbread French Toast Bake is essentially a one-bowl recipe. Most of the work is done overnight in the fridge, so all you have to do is chop your bread, prepare your custard, and pop it in the oven in the morning! Here’s the exact process:
1. Prepare the gingerbread custard:
Whisk together all of the wet ingredients and the spices in a small bowl until well combined.
2. Prepare the bake:
Pour the custard over the top of the cubed stale bread. Press the bread into the custard to thoroughly soak it. Seal it with foil and place it in the fridge overnight.
3. Bake it up:
In the morning, sprinkle with the optional cane sugar mixture and then bake it up!
Full details are in the recipe card at the end of this post.
French Toast Bake Q & A
What kind of bread is used for French toast?
You can use any kind of crusty bread for French toast! That’s what makes French toast bakes so great – you can use up any stale or leftover bread you have lying around the house into a delicious and hearty breakfast.
My personal favourite breads to use for this Gingerbread French Toast bake are a whole wheat sourdough or crusty baguette.
Why is my baked French toast soggy?
If your French toast bake is soggy, you either used too much liquid for the amount of bread you had or you didn’t bake the casserole long enough or at a high enough temperature. Always follow the instructions in the recipe card.
What temperature should French toast be baked at?
In general, French toast casseroles should be baked at 190ºC (or 375ºF). The slightly higher temperature makes the top and sides nice and crispy while keeping the inside soft and fluffy.
What goes with baked French toast?
The beauty of French toast bakes is that they can be paired with many different breakfast options or toppings.
I love this Gingerbread French Bake on its own with some maple sweetened whipped cream, fresh seasonal fruit, and maple syrup. But it would also be happily at home alongside a larger buffet breakfast of scrambled eggs, bubble and squeak, bacon, sauteed veggies, the works!
Tips for making this recipe perfectly
- Let your bread sit out uncovered. This Gingerbread French Toast Bake is best when the bread you use is slightly stale. This allows the bread to soak up as much custard and flavour as possible. I let the cubed bread I’m going to use sit out uncovered during the day before I prep the casserole in the evening.
- If your bread is VERY stale: I would recommend using an extra 15-20ml of milk in the custard to thoroughly saturate the bread.
- Dairy-free? Feel free to sub in your favourite nut, oat, or hemp milk instead!
- You can swap honey or agave nectar for the maple syrup, but I love the hint of maple with the gingerbread spices.
- Got leftovers? This recipe only makes two hearty portions, but if you have some leftover, simply wrap slices up in aluminum foil (shiny side in) and then refrigerate. To reheat, simply pop the foil packet into a 190ºC (375ºF) oven for 15-20 minutes.
Looking for more refined sugar free Christmas brunch options?
Cranberry Baked Oats
Pumpkin Sausage Bubble & Squeak
Overnight Strawberry French Toast Bake
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
Chai Spiced French Toast Bake
Sausage & Kale Sweet Potato Crust Quiche
Chocolate Raspberry Baked Oatmeal
Mandarin Orange French Toast Bake
Maple Bacon Twists
If you make this recipe, let me know by snapping a picture and tagging me on Instagram @naturallysweet_kitchen. I love seeing your creations and sharing them in my Stories. Or let me know you love this Gingerbread French Toast Bake recipe by leaving a comment and rating below!
Gingerbread French Toast Bake
A healthy Gingerbread French Toast Bake made with whole wheat bread, warm gingerbread spices and naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup.
- 180 g whole wheat baguette, slightly stale
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- 80 ml milk
- ½ tbsp raw cane sugar
- ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground ginger
- Cut the bread into 2 ½ cm (1 inch) chunks and place in a greased 450g (1 lb) loaf tin. Set aside.
- In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla, and spices until well combined. Pour in the milk and whisk it into the egg mixture.
- Pour the custard evenly over and around the bread. Gently press the bread into the custard, making sure to drench the top crusts.
- Cover the tin tightly with foil and refrigerate overnight.
- The following morning, preheat the oven to 190°C (375ºF) and remove the tin from the fridge.
- Mix together the optional topping of raw sugar and chai spice and sprinkle evenly over the bread.
- Once the oven has heated, remove the aluminum foil and bake the French toast for 23-25 minutes. Remove the bake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving with whipped cream, fresh fruit, and pure maple syrup.
Leftovers can be kept sealed in portioned packets of aluminum foil in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply toss the packet into a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.