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Perfect for an indulgent weekend breakfast!
Orange French toast has a creamy filling and a delicious pecan crust. Serve it hot out of the oven with powdered sugar or a drizzle of maple syrup!
Unlike some baked French toast recipes, this one doesn’t require overnight soaking. Instead, my orange marmalade French toast comes in the form of a sandwich so the cream cheese filling oozes out of the center.
You’ll still use an egg mixture to get it crispy on the outside, and a sprinkle of chopped pecans adds an extra crunch!
Looking for more ways to amp up your mornings? I’ve got several different takes on this breakfast favorite – there’s one that is bursting with blackberries or another made with slices of banana bread.
Or, try my Savory Fig Ricotta Toast made with nutty arugula, Italian salami, and a drizzle of honey on top.
Key ingredients & substitutions for Orange French Toast
- Bread — I used a thick-sliced artesano bread, but any dense loaf should do. You’ll get better results when it’s a bit stale, so let the package sit open on the counter overnight.
- Orange marmalade — Unlike jam, this contains tiny bits of citrus peel. Not only does it create a stronger aroma, but it adds a touch of bitterness so the spread isn’t too sweet.
- Pecans — Feel free to use chopped walnuts if you prefer.
- Nutmeg — This adds warmth that goes nicely with the flavor of the nuts. If you aren’t a fan, substitute cinnamon or leave it out entirely.
- Need to dry out your bread quickly? Place slices in a single layer on a baking sheet – even better if you have a wire rack to rest inside. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 300 degrees or until dry but not toasted.
- Be sure to use room temperature ingredients for better results. Crack the eggs and measure out the milk, then let them rest on the counter with the cream cheese while it softens.
How to make orange marmalade French toast?
STEP 1 | Assemble the sandwiches
Spread softened cream cheese and marmalade over half of the slices, then place the remaining slices on top. You should end up with four sandwiches total.
STEP 2 | Coat in egg mixture
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients plus a dash of nutmeg. Dip both sides of the sandwiches in the mixture, then place them on a greased baking sheet.
STEP 3 | Bake
Sprinkle the tops with chopped pecans. Use a spatula to gently press the nuts into the bread. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
One of my favorite cookie sheets is the OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Half Sheet (with a bonus cooling rack). The textured surface allows better air flow for even baking, and it’s made with heavy-gauge aluminum steel while promotes even heat distribution.
- When cooking bacon in the oven, use the cooling rack as an insert so the fat drips into the pan. Your strips end up extra crispy too!
Frequently asked questions
Adding too much dairy and sugar will dilute the egg and prevent it from cooking properly. Bread that is too soft is a common culprit as well.
Dense, stale bread is what you want. Sourdough, Italian bread (like a brioche), or French loaf are popular choices. I used Sara Lee Artesano bread for this recipe. It’s thick-sliced and slightly sweet which adds a nice flavor to the overall dish.
Cook the slices on a non-stick griddle, large skillet, or well-seasoned cast iron pan that’s been pre-heated on medium. A light coating of cooking spray or butter doesn’t hurt. Or, use a non-stick baking sheet for baked recipes.
A drizzle of maple syrup is all you need on this orange marmalade French toast. Honey is a wonderful alternative, or try a sprinkle of powdered sugar for a more elegant presentation.
Round out the plate with some crispy bacon slices or breakfast sausage and a scoop of fresh fruit!
Life can get really busy — I bet you can relate! -— and there are times when our pantry doesn’t get restocked for a few days. When this happens, it takes a little creativity to put a meal together without making a mad dash to the store!
And that’s exactly how this baked orange marmalade French toast came to be.
Part of the fun in cooking for me, as my husband would say, is seeing what I can “concoct” from what we have on hand. Sometimes a concoction becomes a new favorite recipe, and then I get to share that excitement with you!
Orange French Toast
- 3 ounces light cream cheese softened
- 3 Tablespoons orange marmalade
- 8 slices Italian bread
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 Tablespoons chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Spread equal amounts of softened cream cheese on top of 4 bread slices. Next, spread equal amounts of the orange marmalade over the cream cheese and top with remaining bread to make 4 sandwiches.
- Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, and nutmeg.
- Dip toast sandwiches into egg mixture coating on both sides and place on baking sheet.
- Sprinkle pecans evenly over top.
- Bake 20 minutes. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
About Sheila Thigpen
Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer
Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.