Baked Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

Stuffed with sweet cream cheese and topped with streusel, this baked cream cheese french toast casserole feeds a crowd. For anyone who enjoys basic french toast, this indulgent overnight casserole is certainly a revelation. This easy recipe hits the spot in the morning and you can prepare it the night before.

The BEST overnight french toast casserole I've ever had. Stuffed with sweet cream cheese and topped with streusel! Found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You don’t need an excuse to make baked french toast casserole. Especially when it’s stuffed with cream cheese and dripping in maple syrup. It’s perfect for Christmas brunch or any ordinary Saturday morning– no big celebration required to enjoy a large helping!


Baked Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole Video


This French Toast Casserole Is:

  • The ultimate breakfast comfort food
  • 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 great make-ahead brunch option

The BEST overnight french toast casserole I've ever had. Stuffed with sweet cream cheese and topped with streusel! Found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Three Layers to Love

This isn’t your ordinary, bland, soggy breakfast casserole. Rather, there are three glorious texture-packed layers. Everything we love about classic french toast and baked together in 1 pan.

  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– just like when we make regular french toast. The soaking time is longer, so everything gets extra flavorful.
  2. Cream Cheese: To make this casserole extra special, add cream cheese. Combine cream cheese with confectioners’ sugar and vanilla to make a sweet filling. Make sure you use block style cream cheese, the kind sold in individually wrapped bricks. We’ll add dollops of the cream cheese mixture to the casserole to create cream cheese stuffed french toast. It doesn’t get much better for breakfast!
  3. Streusel Topping: Immediately prior to baking, sprinkle the casserole with a cinnamon streusel topping. The streusel is, without a doubt, the best part. Made from equal parts brown sugar and flour, a dose of cinnamon, and cold butter. While optional, I don’t recommend leaving it out!

How to make overnight french toast casserole

How to Make Baked Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

  1. Grease a 9×13-inch or similar size casserole pan.
  2. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. Spread half of the cubes into the prepared baking pan.
  3. Make the cream cheese filling. Drop random spoonfuls of this cream cheese mixture on top of the bread.
  4. Layer the remaining bread cubes on top of cream cheese.
  5. Make the egg custard mixture. Whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, and remaining vanilla together. Pour this over the bread.
  6. Refrigerate overnight. Overnight is best, but if you’re tight on time 3-4 hours works.
  7. Make the cinnamon streusel topping. Optional, but highly recommended! Sprinkle on top of the casserole.
  8. Bake until golden brown.

The BEST overnight french toast casserole I've ever had. Stuffed with sweet cream cheese and topped with streusel! Found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The BEST overnight french toast casserole I've ever had. Stuffed with sweet cream cheese and topped with streusel! Found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Success Tips for French Toast Casserole

  1. Quality Bread. Bread is main ingredient in any baked french toast casserole, so don’t skimp here. Flimsy white 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 bread. French toast made with challah bread tastes 4873% better than french toast made with any other bread. Trust me on that– 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 my herbed sausage and apple stuffing or everything bagel breakfast casserole, french toast casserole is best when the bread is somewhat stale. I always pick up a loaf of challah at my regular grocery store (in the bakery aisle), slice it, then let it sit out all day on the counter. Then you’re ready to prep the baked french toast casserole that evening.

Overnight Is Best

Let the french toast bake sit overnight in the refrigerator, which 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 overnight. I find the longer the bread soaks, the tastier the casserole. So, go to sleep. It will be amazing.

The BEST overnight french toast casserole I've ever had. Stuffed with sweet cream cheese and topped with streusel! Found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now this is french toast done right. Just look at that melted brown sugar streusel! It’s like French toast, crumb cake, and cheesecake combined. Yes!!

Print

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
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This easy recipe for baked cream cheese french toast casserole hits the spot in the morning and you can prepare it the night before!


Ingredients

  • 1 (12-14 ounce) loaf french bread, sourdough bread, or challah*
  • 8 ounces (224g) brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature*
  • 2 Tablespoons (15g) confectioners’ sugar (don’t leave it out, trust me)
  • 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

Streusel Topping

  • 1/3 cup (69g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (42g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons (86g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • optional: fresh fruit, maple syrup, and/or confectioners’ sugar for topping

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9×13 pan with butter or spray 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. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the room temperature (not cold!) 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. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, and remaining vanilla together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Pour over the bread. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and stick in the refrigerator for 3 hours – overnight. Overnight is best.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Remove pan from the refrigerator.
  4. Prepare the 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 over the soaked bread.
  5. Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown on top. I usually bake it for 45 minutes because I like it softer. Serve immediately. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can prepare the topping 1-2 days in advance, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator. Sprinkle over the soaked bread before baking. For freezing, prepare the recipe through step 4 (without preheating the oven) and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed. You can freeze the prepared casserole with the streusel topping or add it on right before baking– fresh streusel always gives the dish a little more texture.
  2. Bread: Day-old, crusty bread is perfect for french toast casseroles. I prefer challah bread. Slice it up and let it sit out all day. You’ll wind up with about 12 cups of cubed bread. A little more or less is OK.
  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 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.

Keywords: overnight french toast casserole, french toast casserole

The BEST overnight french toast casserole I've ever had. Stuffed with sweet cream cheese and topped with streusel! Found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

187 Comments

  1. Hello! Is it possible to half this recipe to accommodate an 8X8 pan? Any suggestions would be appreciated. A 9X13 is a bit much for the amount of people I plan on serving.

    1. Yes, that will work. Enjoy!

  2. Just had this at a friend’s house…OMG ! can you add fruit (blueberries) to this version as well?

    1. Hi Sue, You sure can add berries! I recommend about 1 cup (similar to my Blueberry French Toast Casserole).

  3. I have trouble getting mine to cook in the middle. What am I doing wrong. I’m a fairly decent bakers so this is driving me nuts!!

    1. Hi Stefanie! I recommend a few things– first, bake the casserole on a lower oven rack to prevent the edges from browning to quickly. Similarly, tent the casserole about halfway through bake time with aluminum foil to help it bake a little more evenly. Finally, you can try lowering the oven temperature and baking for longer so the casserole can cook a little more evenly. Hope all of this helps for next time.

  4. Can’t wait to serve this at my daughter’s birthday brunch! I’m hoping for some advice beforehand, however. We have a few overnight casseroles that we need to put in the oven that morning. There will be six dishes needing a bake (I’m doubling this and two other egg casserole recipes). I always fail at oven Tetris. Nothing seems to cook well when I try to cook multiple dishes at once. Any suggestions on increasing time or temperature? My altitude might have something to do with my poor success rate; we live in Denver. Thanks for any wisdom shared!

    1. Hi Amanda, I wish I could help, but I have no experience baking at high altitude. I know some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

    2. Lol at oven tetris

  5. How long does it need to sit out when in a glass 9×13 dish into the oven. I have had a glass shatter and so I worry about this happening. Am I the only one?

    1. Hi Renee, I have never had this happen with my glass Pyrex dish but I have heard stories of other glassware breaking when going into the oven cold. Just leave it out long enough to take the chill off, shouldn’t take more than an hour depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

  6. Looking forward to making this! Could I use buttermilk instead of whole milk?

    1. Absolutely! The casserole will have a tangier flavor.

  7. Angela Price Rubin says:

    Just made Cream cheese french toast casserole, made for baby’s brunch nothing was left. I would have to say it was a hit. I used challah.

  8. I would like to add diced fresh pears or apples, would this add too much extra liquid as they bake down? Also, can I make the topping ahead of time and store it in the fridge overnight? Plan is to give to my brother’s family tomorrow evening and have them bake it themselves for Easter morning breakfast on Sunday so the fewer steps they have to do the better.

    1. Hi Archie, due to the heavy volume of questions (and the weekend!) I’m just seeing this question now. You can add diced fruit to the casserole– the bake time may be slightly extended. You can also prepare the topping in advance and store covered in the refrigerator.

  9. Hi! I want to make this so bad, but my question is, Do I half to refridgerat it for 3 hrs.? Or can I make it right away?

    1. Yes it does need at least 3 hours for the bread to soak up the liquid.

  10. Made this for breakfast this morning. I absolutely loved it! Unfortunately, my husband did not. He thinks the whole thing is too sweet and didn’t like the texture. The texture reminded me of a custard my grandma used to make so I loved it!!! I’ll try the half recipe next time and just make it for myself! 🙂

  11. Can you use dark brown sugar instead of light brown?

    1. Sure can.

  12. Amazingly yummy do ahead casserole! I used Montana Gold (a local bakery) cinnamon swirl bread and let it sit on the counter for several hours after cubing. I also added a mounded tablespoon of freshly grated orange zest, splitting it between the cream cheese and the custard mix. It was subtle, but people noted how good the orange flavor was.
    Thanks for a great recipe!

  13. Thanks for all the great recipe, Sally! You never disappoint!

    I would love it if you had an breakfast entree section when you search by category. There are so many yummy looking brunch recipe you publish, but I can’t easily scroll through them in one place. Having a section with all your french toast casseroles, egg bakes, etc. would be amazing!

  14. Timothea Sansing says:

    This was better then I expected! I already had a loaf of plain regular white bread. That was about to go bad and kinda stale already. So I just used that. I wanted to try it so bad. And it turned out really good. So I can only imagine how amazing it would be if I used a good quality bread. And even something with a little sweetness to it like Hawaiian bread or french bread. The only problem I had was getting the topping to crumble. It was more like a paste then crumbles. I had even put my butter in the freezer for about an hour before putting the topping together. I had to add alot more flour and a little bit more brown sugar. Just to get it to crumble. So I don’t think it ended up as sweet as it should have. Next time I think I’ll reduce the butter by like half at least. But when finished it was still really really good. My roommate that doesn’t even like french toast loved it. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    1. I have made this so many times because it is the most delicious amazingness ever! I do not include the streusel topping, and it is still absolutely perfection. I’ve made it witj challah, gluten free bread, regular cream cheese, and dairy free. All variations are incredible!!!

  15. Tried this recipe for Mother’s Day breakfast this morning… amazing!!! Came together very quickly last night and streusal topping this morning was a snap. Mom and toddler approved!!!

  16. Janice Todd says:

    Can leftovers be put in freezer for a later date.

  17. Made this for Mother’s Day breakfast. It was wonderful! Definitely will make again. Yes, challah bread is a must!!!!

  18. My son made this for Mothers Day using Hawaiian rolls and part half-n-half for the milk. It was stupendously good! We decided to add finely diced apple to the mix next time.

  19. Joan Rosenberg says:

    This was FANTASTIC!! I could not get challah so used french baguette. I serve Maple syrup on the side and it was perfect. This will be a Mothers’ Day brunch regular!!! Thanks Sally!!

  20. Followed recipe exactly and everyone raved about it. Served the leftovers cold. Those who tried it hot and cold couldn’t decide which they liked best!

  21. Oh Sally this is heaven. I’ve actually never tried this recipe until today and I’m not sure how I’ve survived countless holidays and Sunday mornings without it. New family favorite. It’s one of those recipes where I started scrolling through my phone after, knowing I would need to share the link with some friends. This recipe is meant to be shouted from the mountain tops lol honestly. That good.

  22. Eileen Elko says:

    I made this for Mothers day breakfast. I added pecans with the bread and on top. It was delicious. I froze half of it after I baked it since there is only 2 of us eating it. I have tried other recipes but didn’t like them. This is definitely the best I cant wait for the weekend to eat it again.

  23. What an outstanding recipe! I did what one person recommended and added 1 cup fresh blueberries on top after putting on the cream cheese dollops. It came out absolutely perfect! We put a tiny drizzle of maple syrup on our plate but that wasn’t even necessary. Thanks for the yummy breakfast!

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