This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

A French toast bake is always easier than dipping and cooking individual slices of French toast. Not only is this casserole easier, it’s quite the treat! Today’s baked cream cheese French toast casserole is stuffed with sweet cream cheese and topped with a brown sugar crumble topping. It’s a wonderful recipe for a brunch or breakfast gathering because you can prep the casserole the night before.

The 1st review was from baker Kristen, who says “This. was. phenomenal. I made it for Christmas breakfast, and it was perfect! Multiple people asked me for the recipe! Thanks for sharing!”

french toast casserole with sweet cream cheese and crumb topping

Today’s cream cheese French toast casserole is one of my favorite all-in-one, always crowd-pleasing, homerun breakfast recipes. You don’t need an excuse to make it– the dish tastes just as lovely on an ordinary Saturday morning as it does for Christmas brunch. If you’re not into cream cheese, simply leave it out. You could skip the crumb topping, too. Some readers even layer in 1 cup of fresh blueberries for a blueberries & cream version. You can also add mixed berries like we do in our berries & cream French toast.

As long as you stick with the bread & egg/milk layers, it’ll be a hit.

This Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole Is:

  • Totally decadent and indulgent
  • Stuffed with sweet cream cheese
  • Topped with a crumb cake-like streusel
  • Perfect for anyone who loves lots of texture and flavor in each bite
  • A delicious Christmas/holiday/special breakfast recipe
  • Easy to prepare and feeds a crowd
  • A convenient make-ahead brunch option

spooning a serving of baked cream cheese French toast casserole

Three Layers to Love

This isn’t your ordinary bland & soggy breakfast casserole. Rather, there are three glorious texture-packed layers:

  1. French Toast Bread: Pour a fabulously rich custard sauce made from eggs, whole milk, brown sugar, and cinnamon over thick pieces of bread. Use whole milk for the richest taste and texture. The bread soaks this up, especially if the bread is stale (see next section). The soaking time is longer than it is when making regular individual french toast, so everything gets fabulously flavorful.
  2. Cream Cheese: To make this casserole extra special, add cream cheese. Combine cream cheese with confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract to make a sweet filling. Make sure you use block style cream cheese– the kind sold in individually wrapped bricks. We’ll layer spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture with the bread to create cream cheese stuffed french toast. It doesn’t get much better for breakfast!
  3. Crumb Topping: Immediately prior to baking, sprinkle the casserole with a brown sugar cinnamon crumb topping made from brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and cold butter. While optional, I don’t recommend leaving it out because it adds a crisp-crumbly texture.

Success Tips for French Toast Casserole

These success tips also apply to pumpkin French toast casserole, a delicious seasonal twist on today’s recipe.

  1. Quality Bread. Bread is the main ingredient in any baked french toast casserole, so don’t skimp here. Flimsy sliced bread won’t do you any favors and the casserole usually ends up tasting flat and soggy. Rather, go for a fancy beauty like challah or croissant bread. French toast made with challah or croissant bread tastes 4873% better than french toast made with any other bread. (I did the math.)
  2. Stale Bread. When you have the quality bread you need, let it sit out for a few hours to get a little stale. Like whole wheat stuffing or everything bagel breakfast casserole, french toast casserole is best when the bread is somewhat stale.
  3. Overnight is Best. Assemble the bread/cream cheese/custard layers and then before baking it, let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. This time gives the crusty bread a chance to soak up the cinnamon-spiced egg custard. You can leave the prepared french toast casserole in the refrigerator anywhere from 3-4 hours to 24 hours. I find the longer the bread soaks, the tastier the casserole. So, go to sleep. It will be amazing.
cubed bread

In Pictures: How to Make Baked Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

The full printable recipe is below, but let me walk you through the process so you know what to expect when it’s your turn in the kitchen.

As pictured above, spread half of your stale bread cubes into a greased 9×13 inch or any 3-4 quart baking dish. Make the cream cheese filling and drop random spoonfuls on the bread layer:

cream cheese mixture in glass bowl and spooned onto bread cubes

Layer the remaining bread cubes on top of cream cheese. Make the egg custard mixture. For this you need eggs, whole milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. (Note that cinnamon floats to the top, so that’s why it looks like a lot of cinnamon!)

egg custard mixture

Pour this over the bread. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the casserole for at least 3-4 hours or overnight. Make the crumb topping and sprinkle over the casserole before baking.

cream cheese french toast casserole before baking
serving of French toast casserole on wood plate

Right before serving, drizzle the entire casserole with maple syrup or try a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. This is french toast done right! It’s like French toast, crumb cake, and cheesecake combined. Yes!!

What to Serve with Baked Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

The following suggestions can complete your brunch or breakfast meal, especially if you’re making this dish for Thanksgiving, Easter, mother’s day, father’s day, New Years Day, or any special morning.

See hundreds more breakfast recipes.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
spooning a serving of baked cream cheese French toast casserole

Baked Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 hours, 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 12 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This baked cream cheese french toast casserole is stuffed with sweet cream cheese and topped with a brown sugar crumble topping. It’s a wonderful recipe for a brunch or breakfast gathering because you can prep the casserole the night before.


  • 1 (12-14 ounce) loaf french bread, sourdough bread, or challah*
  • 8 ounces (224g) block cream cheese, softened to room temperature*
  • 2 Tablespoons (15g) confectioners’ sugar (do not leave out)
  • 3 teaspoons (15ml) pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (540ml) whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup (133g) packed light brown sugar

Crumb Topping

  • 1/3 cup (69g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (41g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons (86g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • optional: maple syrup and/or confectioners’ sugar for topping


  1. Grease a 9×13 inch or any 3-4 quart oven-safe dish with nonstick spray. Slice then cut the bread into cubes, about 1 inch in size. Spread half of the cubes into the prepared baking pan.
  2. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the room temperature cream cheese on medium-high speed until completely smooth. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract until combined. Drop random spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture on top of the bread. Layer the remaining bread cubes on top of cream cheese. (I like to make sure some cream cheese is still exposed on top just for looks.) Set aside.
  3. Whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, and remaining vanilla together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours and up to 24 hours. Overnight is best.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Remove pan from the refrigerator.
  5. Prepare the crumb topping: Whisk the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Cut in the cold cubed butter with a pastry blender or two forks. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the soaked bread.
  6. Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown on top. I usually bake it for 45 minutes because I like it softer. Drizzle with optional maple syrup or dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.
  7. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can prep the dish through step 3 up to 24 hours in advance. (See step 3.) You can also prepare the crumb topping 1-2 days in advance, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator. Sprinkle over the soaked bread immediately before baking. To freeze, prepare the recipe through step 3 and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and then continue with step 4. You can freeze the prepared casserole with the crumb topping or add it on right before baking, but keep in mind that fresh crumb topping always gives the dish a little more texture. You can also freeze the leftover baked and cooled casserole for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, and then reheat to your liking in the microwave or cover and bake in a 300°F (149°C) until warm throughout, at least 20 minutes.
  2. Bread: Day-old, crusty bread is perfect for french toast casseroles. Slice and cut it into 1-inch cubes and let it sit out uncovered all day. You’ll have about 12 cups of cubed bread– a little more or less is fine.
  3. Cream Cheese: Since the cream cheese is only mixed with a little sugar and vanilla, make sure you are using quality cream cheese that tastes good. I use and love full fat Philadelphia brand brick-style cream cheese for this dish.
  4. Half Recipe: This recipe can easily be halved in an 8 or 9-inch baking pan. The bake time will be slightly shorter, around 30-35 minutes.
  5. Can I add berries? Some readers have added blueberries, blackberries, and/or raspberries sprinkled throughout the casserole. Feel free to scatter 1 cup of fresh berries over the spoonfuls of cream cheese before topping with the remaining bread cubes. I do not recommend frozen berries.

Keywords: overnight french toast casserole, cream cheese french toast casserole

baked cream cheese french toast casserole

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Made this for a work function. It was GONE! It’s a winner! Tastes like a cinnamon roll, French toast, and bread pudding. It’s the best of all worlds. So so good.

  2. SO GOOD!!! Made this for Easter brunch and our whole house smelled delightful. It was a hit… people went back for seconds and asked for the recipe. I wish I would’ve made a second batch to have on hand because they devoured it so quickly! The cream cheese mixture was the perfect, not-too-sweet surprise inside. We put syrup & powdered sugar on the table so people could choose if they wanted to add (didn’t need either, in my opinion… perfect just the way it is).

  3. I made this as well for Easter brunch 2022! Everyone loved it. Might have to add it to the Christmas menu. Thank you for creating and sharing.

    1. Hi Jill, you can certainly double this recipe and make in two pans or one larger pan. If doing the latter, we’re unsure of the exact bake time, but you may need to cover the edges of the pan part way through the bake time so that the edges don’t over bake before the center is finished.

  4. Hi Sally, I’d like to make this recipe and your egg casserole recipe for Mother’s Day. I’d like to put them both in the oven at the same time but the oven temps are slightly different. What do you suggest?

    1. Hi Sarah, You can bake the egg casserole at 350 if you need to. Keep in mind will take longer to bake, but we are unsure of the exact time yours will need. Hope you enjoy both recipes!

  5. Hi, How do you think Brioche would work in this? This recipe sounds very very good. Thanks for posting it.

    1. Hi Mike, Brioche is delicious here! Enjoy!

  6. Sadly this is the first recipe that hasn’t worked for me. All the cakes from Sally have been the best I’ve ever made! But I must have done something wrong for this one. . Maybe I needed to cook it a lot longer but it was so soggy. Maybe because I used brioche, I could see a sturdier bread like suggested would work better. My kid liked it though and said yummy in my tummy.

    1. Did you make sure the bread was dried out before putting it in the egg mixture. I usually leave my bread out all day and flip it over occasionally to get it to dry out. In a pinch you can put it in an oven as well. But if it’s not dried out enough it does get soggy.

  7. Made this for Mothers Day brunch and everyone loved it!!!! Thank you for sharing this excellent recipe.

  8. I just made this for Mother’s Day brunch and it was a hit! Everyone from 4 to 74 loved it! I doubled the recipe and baked it in a half sheet tray at 350 for an hour and 15 minutes. Sooo good!

  9. We just served a double batch of this awesome delectable for Mother’s Day. It was a smash hit! We assembled it the night before, and loved the fact that this morning, we were simply able to just bake it and serve it.

    We loved that this dish is a casserole that can be prepared beforehand, as that allows for quick assembly and quick serving, and no one was stuck trying to griddle up 40 slices of French Toast and keep them warm for serving.

    We are definitely adding this recipe to our breakfast/brunch repertoire!

  10. Absolutely Delicious! Used Challah bread. Light and fluffy yummy eggy under cinnamony crispy crumb topping. I mistakenly sprinkled on topping before storing in fridge overnight and it was still amazing. Thank you Sally!:)

  11. I love this recipe, and have made it many times! If possible, could you provide some suggestions on how you would add pecans and bananas? I always have bananas left over and want to find a way to use them with breakfast! Thank you!

    1. Hi Meghan, You could keep the recipe as is and add sliced banana and sprinkle with pecans before baking. Enjoy!

    1. This French toast bake is delicious with out without the crumb topping, Ashley!

  12. Delicious, this is definitely more of a bread pudding dessert.

  13. I made it the afternoon before for Father’s Day bfast. We both loved it and I used whatever bread I had on hand…1.5 pkgs of hotdog buns + about 8 slices French bread leftover from our chargrilled oysters at Acme + 2 end slices of sandwich bread.

  14. We LOVE this French Toast! My husband’s coworkers request it frequently. This last time I made it I sprinkled cinnamon/sugar mix in middle layer!

  15. My husband and my in-laws really loved this casserole. This is a super recipe. Thank you for sharing it.

  16. My casserole is waiting in the fridge for morning bake. I did add 1lb of cooked sausage crumbles to the middle layer of cheese spoonfuls. I love savory with sweet. Crossing my fingers!

  17. This was SO good. I added pumpkin purée and pumpkin spice to make it a little more seasonal.

  18. Hi Sally, I tried the recipe with my day old sourdough bread. I soaked the bread and kept it overnight in fridge. After baking, there was a layer of egg mixture/egg custard at bottom. Did my bread didn’t soak enough egg mixture?

    1. Hi Pinky, I’m sorry your French toast casserole didn’t come out very well! Make sure you are using a quality bread and that you let it get a little stale so it can really soak up all of the custard. But you can certainly try cutting back on the egg mixture a bit, or even adding slightly more bread to the mixture so there is more of it to soak up the liquid. I hope you give it another try!

  19. Delicious! I made this with a pumpkin bread that had turned out dry. I left out the cream cheese and cut the sugar in the custard by half. We ate it as dessert.

    1. Hi Holli, make sure your cubed butter is extremely cold. If not, it will create a paste. Don’t over-mix either, you want to stop when the mixture resembled crumbles. If it’s too moist, you can add extra flour. Cold butter is key!

  20. No recipe needs to be exact. Remember cooking is an experiment. You can add and change to fit you and your family. Never be afraid to try something. It may not work quite right the first time but tweak it a little.

    Really good recipe though, thank you for what your love brought for eveyone.

  21. My family and I loved this and will definitely make it again and again; the sugar is on point; I added chocolate chips on top and will also add them in the middle in future cause you can never have too much chocolate ; overall, great recipe

  22. Hi Sally!
    This recipe sounds so delicious! We have some gluten intolerant members in our family. Can you please tell me how to make this recipe gluten free?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Loretta, we haven’t tried it ourselves, but you can certainly try using a loaf of gluten-free bread and try gluten-free 1:1 flour (like Bob’s Red Mill or Cup4Cup) in the crumble topping. Let us know how it goes!

  23. Great recipe. I agree with Rhonda who thinks it is more of a dessert. That being said, both my hubby and I loved it (especially the topping). The next time I’m going to cut back on the sugar expect for the topping. I would be proud to ta take this to any potluck. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

  24. Great recipe!
    Family just voted 5-0 on Thanksgiving morning to replace cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast.
    Thank you for such easy and clear directions!

Leave a Review!

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.