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

243 Comments

  1. This looks amazing! I love french toast and I’ve never thought about adding cream cheese to it before 🙂 I’m convinced, haha.

  2. Ohh yum!!  Our kids have their favorite breakfast requests when they come home, and I think this will get added to the list.  I had a fun adventure the other day… I made challah for the first time ever (someone requested it) and it was quite easy… braiding bread dough is so fun!  Do you ever make challah?  It would make some amazing bread pudding too!  Yesterday I made your crockpot chicken chili with the last of my garden tomatoes… soooo delicious…. sooo many timely recipes lately!!  Thanks and have a great weekend!  🙂

  3. Gosh, how delicious! My sister would love this. And it’s the perfect canvas for mix-ins like fruit or chocolate chips! Can you imagine with cherry-pie type filling swirled in?? 😀

  4. Hey, Sally! This looks delicious and I would really like to try to make it for Christmas morning. However, there are only four of us, and we definitely don’t need the leftovers. Would there be any way to half this recipe? And if so, what adjustments would you suggest?

    1. You can just easily halve all of the ingredients and bake in a 9 or 8 inch round or square pan. I’m unsure of the bake time– definitely a little less!

  5. Sally I’ve made your regular French toast Casserole many times and am always amazed at how good it is! So excited to try this variation soon xx

  6. This looks perfect for breakfast, lunch or diner! After you cut up the bread do you leave it out on the counter (not covered up)  or do you put it in a container? 

  7. I agree that regular sliced white bread is just not up to the standards of brioche or challah when it comes to French toast 😉
    This looks too good to resist for breakfast! 
    I’m a sweet breakfast person so this is right up my alley.
    Thanks Sally

  8. Sally, I just love your blog and I love the way you write. You are always making me laugh. How do you think blueberries would work in this cream cheese french toast? Any different cooking instructions? 

  9. Sally, Sally, Sally!  What a dilemma you have caused now – I have everything ready (except the bread) to make your BLUEBERRY french toast casserole for Christmas morning.  Now you throw a cream cheese recipe at me.  What to do, what to do?!  Also, I whipped up your chocolate peanut butter no-bake cookies for a potluck lunch at work on Friday and returned home with an empty container.  Not a single one for the poor roomie who wanted a taste Thursday night but was told severely NO and that there would be leftovers.  Poor thing!  So, I may just throw in the blueberries with the cream cheese – that would be totally good too, don’t you think?  Merry Christmas to you and your family, and please give Jude an extra special treat since you ignored him for so, so long.  ~smile~

    1. Blueberries AND the cream cheese would be amazing Roseanne! Why not combine them?! Happy those no-bakes were such a hit! I made them again yesterday 🙂

  10. I will definitely be making this for Christmas morning( if I can wait that long). Love all of your recipes Sally and this is no exception!!

  11. I am obsessed with french toast casserole and this is the best one I have seen! So excited! Pinned! Shared! Trying to get a hold of myself! 😉

  12. French toast bakes are a huge hit in our house! LOVE the addition of cream cheese – such indulgence! Love it! Pinned! 

  13. My friends are all HUGE fans of your overnight French toast bake (I have apparently set a precedent for our friends in NYC, where if we crash there, I make breakfast. I’ve made your vanilla crepes as well. They were always asking “When are you coming up again?” I eventually just bought a second copy of your book and sent it to them). And since I’ve been thinking of trying my hand at streusel (I don’t have a pastry blender; any advice for using forks with the cold butter?), now this has to happen. The best part? I don’t like cream cheese, so they can’t make me try it–my excuse of “I don’t bake for me!” has apparently worn thin.

    1. Hahaha Liz you’re too funny. And how sweet of you to send them a copy of the book! For the cold butter– cube it. So, cut it into small squares. Then add it to the streusel ingredients. Then mash it up with 1 or 2 forks as best you can until you have smallish crumbs.

  14. Thank you SO much for posting this at just the perfect time!  My peeps voted on overnight french toast for Christmas morning. I’d searched Pinterest, knowing what I was looking for. I didn’t find a recipe I was trilled with so had kludged two and came up with my own (close to this). Imagine how excited I was to see you posted exactly what I wanted, score!!  This looks perfect. The addition of the challah bread is genius, and I’m so excited to try this twist!  Merry Christmas, Sally. 

  15. Hi Sally,
     I am so excited to try this recipe. To freeze it, should I sprinkle the struesel on before it goes in the freezer or wait and sprinkle that on before baking it?

  16. Hi Sally,

    I just recently discovered your site but it is already one of my favorites!  Do you use much mascarpone in your cooking/baking?  What do you think of substituting it in place of the cream cheese?  I’m not sure how it stands up to heat, I’ve only ever used it cold.  

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Welcome to my blog, Laura! I don’t use mascarpone much– no rhyme or reason to it! I’m unsure how it will do in this baked french toast, to be honest. If you try it– let me know!

    1. I’ve been asked that before, and I’m entirely unsure if the texture will be OK. I do recommend putting a paper towel directly under the lid to keep condensation off the french toast. Cooking on low would be my guess.

  17. Thank you so much for sending this recipe out! It looks amazing, and is exactly what I was looking for to serve on New Year’s morning, when we have a house full of hungover friends. I’m so sorry I missed your book signings when you were in Cleveland, that was a really crazy weekend for me. I’ll have to see you next time, if you write a 3rd book!

  18. So I want to make your blueberry french toast casserole and your make ahead breakfast casserole for the same brunch this weekend but they have different oven temps. Would you suggest making the breakfast casserole first and then reheating it after the french toast casserole is finished? I have never made a breakfast casserole!

    1. Yes, I’d make the breakfast egg casserole first then warming it back up in the oven for a few minutes after the french toast is finished.

  19. Hey there, great recipe, any suggestions on how to add some booze into this? I was thinking of adding a bourbon cream as part of the cream for the custard, or maybe just adding a little bourbon and grand marnier as a finisher. Thoughts?

  20. This will be the 6th recipe I’ve made off your web site in a week! My husband now asks ‘is this another Sally recipe?’ 🙂
    Love how consistent your recipes are – they always turn out delicious. Can’t wait to try this french toast casserole out tomorrow morning with some fresh berries and mimosas.  Yum! 

  21. Hi Sally! Your notes mention freezing it in the make ahead portion… Does it have to be frozen, or can I prepare the casserole the night before and store it in the fridge then bake first thing in morning?

    1. I’m not Sally (obv) but I wanted to help out. You can do both, actually! You can make it the night before, put it in the fridge, and bake the following morning. Or you can put in the freezer up to two months for a make-ahead breakfast.  

  22. Merry Christmas, Sally!! I realize it’s 11:50 pm on Christmas Eve (I’m last minute like that)…. However, I was wondering if this is to be baked covered or uncovered. Hope you and your family are having a fabulous holiday season!! TIA!

  23. I prepared this and have it in the fridge waiting to be baked Christmas morning! My family and I can’t wait to try it. Merry Christmas, Sally!

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