The Pioneer Woman's Baked French Toast — The New Girl

Every morning I wake up to my stomach growling. So when planning for the weekend, the first thing I account for is my breakfast lineup. While cereal and toast suffice Monday through Friday, my appetite is slightly more indulgent and demanding on Saturdays and Sundays. The biggest question becomes sweet or savory?

Although I usually opt for recipes involving bacon or eggs, every now and again I need my maple syrup fix. Pancakes and waffles are easy enough to whip together to satiate my a.m. sweet tooth. But for an extra special treat, I like the Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Baked French Toast.

Why ditch the skillet and change up a classic? You can do all the work the night before. For a relaxing, mess-free morning, Ree transforms the original into a make-ahead breakfast casserole. After popping the dish into the oven, the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg fill the air and the hardest part becomes waiting.

While it may be simple to prepare, this French toast is devilishly decadent. Think bread pudding topped with a thick layer of cinnamon streusel. Served with even more butter and drizzled with maple syrup, it’s a breakfast that doubles as dessert. It may not be the healthiest way to start the day, but no one will be complaining.

Here are a few things to consider before making this recipe:

  • This dish is very heavy and yields 12 servings. You can easily halve the recipe and use an 8x8 baking dish.
  • As with all French toast, day-old bread is preferable. I didn't have any on hand, however, and it was still delicious.
  • Serve this alongside fresh fruit. The bright flavor offers a nice contrast to the warm spices.
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