Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cinnamon Baked French Toast...Lightened Up

I recently discovered The Pioneer Woman.  Her ranch-style recipes are food she makes for her cowboy husband and they are simple, hearty, and decadent all at the same time.  Her blog and cookbook are filled with fabulous photos detailing each step of the meal-making process.  She pretty much rocks.  But because I don't regularly burn the calories of a ranch hand, I simply can't justify the eating the calories her meals contain.  I do want to eat them though, so they must be lightened up!

I had a loaf of homemade oatmeal honey bread in the freezer and planned to use it for French toast for dinner (we like to have breakfast for dinner on occasion).  But then the idea came to me that we could have baked French toast instead and, needing a recipe, I found one.  From The Pioneer Woman, of course.

Enlightened Baked French Toast
1 loaf crusty sourdough or French bread (I used homemade honey oat bread)
2 cups liquid egg whites
2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. Splenda
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) cold light butter, cut into pieces

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Cut bread into cubes and evenly distribute in the pan.

In a mixing bowl, combine egg whites, almond milk, whole milk, sugar, Splenda and vanilla.  Pour over the bread cubes.

Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Add butter pieces and mix together with a fork until it resembles fine pebbles.  Cover and reserve in the refrigerator for baking time.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and sprinkle with the crumb mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes for a bread pudding-style result or for 60 minutes for a firmer, crispier texture.  Serves 8.

Top with light butter, light pancake syrup, and cinnamon sugar and enjoy!

Calories:  Depends on the variety of the bread used.  Approximately 375 calories per serving, plus syrup and any additional toppings.

Click here for a printable copy.

Next time I'd like to try adding some finely chopped apples to the butter blend.  A little crunch and some fruity sweetness would be excellent!  And while I've never tasted The Pioneer Woman's original recipe, I was thoroughly impressed with this one.  We'll definitely make it again.  And I'll definitely use The Pioneer Woman as inspiration again, too.


  1. This sounds yummy. I think I will try it for my hubby. I will use raisins and walnuts in mine! Thanks Dana.