My husband loves breakfast. The bigger the better, in his mind. But he doesn't take the time to make a big breakfast most days. Whenever he has the chance, he will go out to breakfast with anyone who will go with him. Since he loves breakfast so much, I like to treat him with "special breakfasts" on special occasions. I usually make him some kind of special breakfast on his birthday. I wanted to do that yesterday for Father's Day. But since we are church-going people, a big breakfast on Sundays do not work. And he had already said he wanted to go out to lunch, so I asked if he would like breakfast-for-dinner. He was totally on board with that. I had pinned this recipe from Allrecipes recently and thought it would be absolutely perfect for Father's Day as my husband loves all things orange.
This is not your average French toast! The custard has orange juice and orange zest. It is baked in the oven instead of on the stove, which I love because I am not so great at cooking French toast or pancakes evenly. But the best part? It self-glazes with a yummy layer of caramel and pecans. Oh my goodness. And it was super easy to put together too.
Baked Orange Pecan French Toast
⅓ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
½ cup pecans, chopped
12 ¾” thick slices French bread
1 cup orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
½ cup milk
3 tbsp sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
Coat a 9x13” baking dish with baking spray. Set aside.
Place butter in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in microwave. Add brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir well. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Lay the bread slices on top of the pecans, fitting them in there as best you can.
In the bowl that the brown sugar mixture was in, lightly beat the eggs. Add the orange juice, orange zest, milk, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir well. Pour this egg mixture over the French bread slices, ensuring that all pieces are moistened. Cover dish and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°. Remove dish from fridge and let it sit out for 20 minutes before baking. Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. To serve, use a small server or spatula to remove a slice and flip it over on the plate, so the caramel and pecans are on top.
Makes 4 servings, 3 slices each.
Super simple. You just put down a mixture of brown sugar, butter, and pecans in the bottom of a casserole dish, lay on the bread slices, then pour the custard over it all. If you are making this for breakfast in the morning, you can do this the night before and refrigerate overnight. I was making it for dinner, and, confession time: picked out the recipe not realizing it was baked. I figured it out at about 2:00 that day. Oops! So I had it all put together by 2:30. I let it sit for 2.5 hours and baked it at 5:00 and it was awesome. So if you don't have all night, or even several hours, to make this ahead of time, don't sweat it. It will probably still turn out well.
This is what it looks like coming out of the oven. The bread should be a light golden brown on top and the caramel should be all bubbly in the bottom. Flip the pieces over when you serve them to have the caramel and pecans on top.
This stuff is just as good as it sounds! Definitely a dessert-for-breakfast kind of thing, but that is my husband's favorite! I would certainly only make this for special occasions; not your everyday Tuesday morning meal. But you have to have a special treat every now and then.
My husband loved this French toast. And bonus, my kids loved it too. Eva wasn't crazy about the pecans, but she dealt with them. We only ended up with one piece leftover for this morning.
I had never made French toast in the oven before, but this was so awesome that I would love to find other (less decadent) recipes like this because it was so incredibly easy.
Since I made this for Father's Day, I have to share a few pics of my girls with their daddy.