Eggnog French Toast with
Apple Cranberry Compote

A special make-ahead breakfast for Christmas morning. Thick slices of panettone or another bread are soaked overnight in eggnog, then buttered and baked, sprinkled with powder sugar and then, spooned with a delicious apple and cranberry sauce.

Eggnog French Toast with Apple Cranberry Compote

One year, an Italian fruit bread called panettone [pan-uh-TOH-nee] appeared beneath the Christmas tree. Ever since, it’s been an essential holiday ingredient.

Panettone makes lovely toast, lightly textured and barely sweet. It has replaced lady fingers in our Christmas trifle. Last year, we made Eggnog French Toast on Christmas morning and this year, by popular demand, it will return, the new family tradition.

Panettone comes in large festive boxes and is easy to find before Christmas, if you look. The Italian groceries on The Hill sell panettone and I’ve also seen it in local groceries and even stores like Home Goods, World Market and Trader Joe’s.

UPDATE Use panettone to make Christmas Trifle too!

APPLE CRANBERRY COMPOTE In a saucepan, cook 1 cup apple cider, 3 tablespoons light corn syrup and 1 tablespoon brown sugar on medium heat until reduced by about half. Meanwhile, in a skillet, melt a tablespoon of butter and cook 2 Golden Delicious apples (peeled, cored and chopped) til just soft. Stir in a cup (about 6 ounces) of fresh or frozen cranberries and 2 tablespoons sugar (or more, to taste) and cook til berries pop. Stir in cider mixture and simmer til sauce thickens slightly, about 5 – 10 minutes. Can be made ahead (and is just a tad bit better when made a day or two ahead) but rewarm to serve. Makes 1-1/2 cups. Consider a double batch; it’s delicious over ice cream too.
ALANNA's TIPS The slightly tart compote beautifully offsets the sweet French toast. The two together are really special, the French toast alone is good but not great. For the compote, Golden Delicious really are the perfect apple, they soften just right and still hold their shape. Here, well, Delicious are delicious! If you plan to drink the eggnog and are concerned about raw eggs, do use pasteurized eggs. Don't feel like you have to make the homemade eggnog for the French toast, commercial eggnog works just fine.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe for Christmas morning that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!


Perfect(ly easy) for Christmas morning
Hands-on time: 15 minutes night before, 15 minutes in the morning
Serves 4
  • 2 eggs (see TIPS)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups milk (low-fat is good)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (for French toast, peppermint for drinking)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Brandy to taste (omit for French toast, optional for drinking)
  • 8 slices panettone (from half a two-pound loaf) or another good bread such as challah
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups homemade eggnog (or commercial eggnog)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Melted butter
  • Powdered sugar

HOMEMADE EGGNOG Whisk eggnog ingredients. Makes 2-1/2 cups, reserve half cup for the cook!

EGGNOG FRENCH TOAST Whisk eggs, 2 cups eggnog and spices. Drizzle some of the eggnog mixture over the bottom of a glass or ceramic dish, then arrange bread in a single layer. Pour the eggnog mixture over top. Cover, refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 450F. Brush slices on both sides with butter. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet, bake for 15 minutes. Turn slices over, bake another 15 minutes or until golden brown and slightly puffy.

TO SERVE Transfer French toast to plates and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Top with warm apple cranberry compote. Buon appetito!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving, made with Homemade Eggnog using low-fat milk and Panettone/French bread: 900/556 Calories; 18/22g Protein; 38/17g Tot Fat; 24/10g Sat Fat; 122/75g Carb; 7/3g Fiber; 194/907mg Sodium; 377/220mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 21/12 points Believe it or not, this recipe has been 'Alanna-sized' with reductions in fat and sugar. A NOTE ON CALORIES & NUTRITION ANALYSIS This make-ahead French toast recipe is so easy to make and tastes so good. But yes, especially when it's made with panettone, it's laden with calories -- even though I've included plenty of fruit, reduced the use of butter and sugar -- sooo many calories, I seriously considered not sharing the recipe at all. Still, the recipe is instructive. Look it over. It looks rich, yes, but really, 'not that bad' for a special occasion. It just goes to show how important it is to use recipes from sources that include nutrition analysis, not just for weight loss and weight management purposes but because, truly, we deserve to know and too often, it's just not easy to tell. Off my soapbox!
Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2001

HOW MUCH BREAD For a double batch, I used 1-1/2 pounds of Great Harvest's cranberry orange bread, twas plenty. I used a double layer of bread for soaking, making sure that the first layer was pretty wet before adding the second.
HALVING THE RECIPE For a half batch, there was less soaking liquid than needed. (In this batch, I also used the Great Harvest bread and only soaked the slices 4 hours. Either one might have contributed. I do believe that the bread should soak overnight, not just a few hours.)

Apple Cranberry Compote

The slightly tart Apple Cranberry Compote and the slightly sweet Eggnog French Toast are a beautiful combination.

Homemade Eggnog

Homemade Eggnog is light for drinking (none of that heavy stuff from the carton) and wonderful in French toast.

More Make-Ahead Recipes for Christmas Morning

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Swiss Bircher Müesli Tomato Basil Quiche Five-Week Bran Muffins

~ more Make-Ahead Recipes for Christmas Morning ~
from BlogHer, a piece I wrote with recipes from fellow bloggers

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© Copyright 2008 Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Oh how I love eggnog. Have never had it in a French Toast before. I just posted an Eggnog Coffee Cake you may like...


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