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. Can you bake, freeze for a couple days, then reheat this recipe after it’s thawed in a fridge? I’m making today for a breakfast at a reunion Sunday. Wondering what’s best. 

  2. Hi Sally! I love your blog.. I always make french toast with cream cheese so this looks like a hit! I was wondering if the casserole has a more soggy texture or if it was more substantial, similar to french toast in a pan? Thanks 🙂 

      1. Great, thanks so much!! I have this and 3 of your other recipes saved to make over the Thanksgiving holiday and could not be more excited to try them out..Not to mention your Nutella chocolate chip cookies are my family’s favorite! 

  3. I love this recipe my favorite part was the topping. I had gone through a couple of these but I like this one the best. I’ve been making this particular one for about 6 months now and the only thing I do differently is I thin my cream cheese out a little with milk (about a 2-4 tablespoons.) and instead of having large spots of cream cheese I have a marble effect with an even flavor of cream cheese, when I gently toss the bread with the cream cheese before putting it into a pan. It looks beautiful when I cut a piece out. today my partner noticed I had a bunch of stuff to make this and its his birthday so he got all excited it is one of our favorite dishes. I have yet to try challah bread cause I can’t find it but I haven’t been to a bread store in awhile either. I usually just use the on sale French bread that’s older and already partially dried out because of that. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing

    1. Hi Amanda,

      So you thin the cream cheese, and then toss the bread in it. And then pour the milk mixture over it all?

      Thanks!

      Bronwyn 

  4. Hi Sally! I currently have two trays of this in my fridge for my sister’s baby shower brunch tomorrow! Can’t wait to try it. Question – since I have two trays, can I cook them together at the same time? If so, should I increase the temp and/or cooking time? Thanks!

  5. Made this for breakfast on Saturday and there was so much flavor in that pan. So much goodness in fact that my husband said “You have to leave a comment for Sally.” We heated the leftovers up in the oven Sunday morning and it was just as delicious the next day. Thanks for creating delicious and simple made from scratch recipes.

  6. Hi Sally – just wondered if you leave the Challah bread out whole or do you slice it and then leave it out so all sides get a little stale?
    Thanks…Liz

  7. have you ever tried stuffing with Nutella instead of cream cheese? What do you think. I want to try both my sister does not like cream cheese so I wanted to make one with something else??

  8. Hi Sally! I am planning on making this for Christmas Day breakfast, but I won’t have time to put it all together tomorrow (Christmas Eve), so I was just wondering if it would be okay if I were to assemble it today, and refrigerate it today, AND tomorrow and then bake it Christmas Day morning? Or is that too much time in the fridge? Thank you! P.S. I have your crinkle cookies, perfect chocolate chips, and cake batters chilling now- sooo good!

  9. I made this last year for Christmas breakfast with Italian bread, and it was amazing! This year I work at a local bakery and I am fortunate enough to be able to take home fresh challah bread, so I’m super excited to make it again!

  10. Since my husband is deathly (literally) allergic to cinnamon… what do you think of adding pecans throughout the casserole, AND into the streusel and figuring out some other spice for the streusel? We really like coriander OR nutmeg OR ginger OR maybe more vanilla??

    1. A little nutmeg and ginger would be fabulous! Adjust the spices based on what you like and can have in the household. Pecans would be a great addition too!

  11. Made this tonight for dinner. Delicious!! I divided it into two pans and froze one. I will appreciate that the next time I have no idea what to do for dinner. 

  12. Made this today for brunch (fell asleep last night so I didn’t get to do the overnight soak). It was delicious and everyone loved it.

  13. I made this for our Social Workers for Social Work month and it was a HUGE hit! OMG, so dadgum delicious! I think next time I am going to put cut up peaches in with the bread and chopped pecans in the struesel.

  14. This is seriously SO awesome! I used caramel apple cinnamon cream cheese and it is amazing. Thank you for the awesome recipe! 

  15. HI Sally,

    I am not in a position where I can get challah bread and i’ve got a little french bread left. could i use regular bread?

  16. This was amazing! I made it for Mother’s Day brunch, and everyone loved it. I sprinkled powdered sugar on top and drizzled it with syrup. The top was perfectly crusty while the rest was soft, and the cream cheese and streusel added to the already wonderful flavor. I had issues making the streusel (my Kerrygold butter was too soft straight out of the fridge, thus my first attempt at streusel ended up looking like creamed butter and sugar; I stuck it in the freezer for a few minutes, cut it into cubes, then put it in the freezer again and it worked perfectly), but otherwise I would definitely make this recipe again. 

  17. I plan on making this for my brother’s birthday but I was wondering; in your opinion, which of the three breads are best to use? Thank you!

  18. This is to DIE for, I added blueberries to it and used a crusty Vienna loaf, there were 3 of us and we went through it so fast.

    1. I do not cover this casserole until maybe the last couple minutes in case it begins to look over-browned on top.

  19. I am super excited to make this for my Team at work on Monday but will it be tasty if I have to wait to serve it for a couple hours after baking it?

  20. I’ve made this several times for my daughter who LOVES it! The Philly cream cheese blends perfectly with the cinnamon. Thanks. Love your recipes.

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