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!!

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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

189 Comments

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  1. Thanks for this recipe, Sally!!! I’ve been wanting to do a baked french toast for a while and came across this…. I halved the recipe except for the cream cheese part and used a baguette. Was thinking about making a compote for it and then forgot. Next time for sure. Nothing better than fresh strawberry compote to top breakfasts and desserts alike.

    1. You are so welcome! I recently made this recipe with strawberries and strawberry compote. https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2018/03/30/strawberries-cream-french-toast-casserole/

      So good!

  2. I made this for a breakfast event at my work, and everyone loved it! I cannot say enough good things about your website. I constantly use your recipes and everything always turns out amazingly. You’re very good at what you do!

  3. This is one of those recipes I am sure is illegal. Recipes like this make you slap your mamma and bite the dog! Being YOU brought up challah bread I was hoping you had a recipe for a loaf of Challah that wasn’t terribly huge. Most, in fact, are really big. So Sally what have you got hidden in your bag of magic tricks? Your fans await. BK

    1. Haha! Thank you for the laugh 😉

  4. Can I double the recipe?

    1. Yes! Enjoy!

  5. Farah Rehman says:

    When you say “leave the bread on the counter” is that out of the packaging or in the package? If it’s out of the packaging do you cut it and leave it out?

    1. Hi Farah! I recommend leaving it out of the package so it’s exposed to air so that it gets a little stale 🙂 You can cut it into cubes or leave it as slices.

  6. I’d like to add peeled, cubed apple. How much should I add & at what point in preparing the recipe (which layer) do I add the cubed apple? Thank you❣

    1. Hi Teresa! I would add the chopped apple on top of the bread/cream cheese layer. Use 1 – 2 cups peeled chopped apple. Whichever makes a nice even layer.

  7. Many thanks for this ‘fool-proof’ recipe! I state ‘fool-proof’ due to the fact that I am hands-down one of the world’s worst cooks. I have tried other’s 5 Star recipes, have followed instructions to the letter, yet somehow turned the finished product into a tasteless affront to God and Man. This, however, turned out perfect, so good in fact that it may be the ONE dish I would confidently serve to others as my daughter LOVED it!

    Many thanks and Merry Christmas!
    Bob F
    Winthrop ME

  8. I made the stuffed French toast bake for Christmas morning and it was a hit. Thank you for the recipe

  9. I was looking for a breakfast recipe to feed a crowd and this one seemed interesting. It was absolutely delicious, and I will not hesitate to make it again. I used dark brown sugar instead of the light since I prefer its sweeter flavor. This was the only adjustment I made since the recipe is perfect just the way it is. Thank you!

    1. You are welcome! I’m thrilled you enjoyed it so much, Sue!

  10. Made this with chocolate hot cross buns last week. OMG soooooooo good! Any tips on sizing down to 3-4 serves or freezing as it’s too big for my family to eat before it goes bad

  11. love this recipe, made it for work for a breafast party and everyone loved it! i added blueberries onto the top and bake it accordingly and it came out great. excellent flavors. i also put in some almond extract along with the vanilla, because i love the almond taste
    thank you

    1. I bet it was great with the almond extract! I’m glad it was a hit!

  12. Made this today and turned out great,been sending pics to my wife who was still at work and can’t wait to eat it.thanks for the recipe,..my new favorite…..NEXT is the overnight cinnamon rolls.

  13. Caitlynn Gangarossa says:

    Can this be easily doubled?

    1. Absolutely. Double each ingredient.

  14. Making was easy enough. Smelled wonderful while baking. was good VERY sweet. A little goes along way. Not sure about warming it up….? Would make again for a crowd/guest.

    1. Glad you tried it, thanks! I recommend reheating this casserole covered in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 15 minutes.

    2. I added toasted pecans to this recipe, it cut the sweetness just a bit.

  15. Laura Scheele Koelzer says:

    Made this morning for Father’s Day brunch. Huge hit. Will definitely keep this in my make ahead breakfast rotation.

  16. I made this for a holiday brunch and it was one of the best things I ever ate. Drooool

  17. What’s the best way to reheat this dish without cooking it again?

    1. The oven is the best place for reheating (keep covered) unless you’d like to reheat individual servings in the microwave.

    2. Instead of cream or whole milk, i used egg nog for the holidays. Highly recommend!

  18. I made both the blueberry french toast and cream cheese french toast to freeze for a brunch that is in a week. The one thing that was perplexing to me was the streusel topping. It was not of the consistency to sprinkle; extremely moist. Looking at the small amount of flour, I can see why it is a more moist consistency than other streusel toppings I have made in the past. The picture you posted of the completed dishes on your website show a crumby topping. Please let me know if I need to add more flour to achieve the correct consistency. Both dishes look amazing but the topping has me a little concerned.

    1. Hi Denise, 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 still too moist, you can add extra flour. I’ve never had to do that before with my crumble toppings though. Cold butter is key!

  19. Hi Sally,
    This recipe looks so delicious! My son keeps bugging me to make this and I can’t wait to try it! I have two questions for you. First, I have 2% milk on hand – will that make much of a difference or should I add some melted butter to the milk to make it whole? If so, how much? Second, is the casserole compromised in any way if you mix everything together and freeze? I’m thinking texture wise. Thank you so much for your help and please keep up the great recipes!

    1. Hi Bella! Happy to help. You can use 2% milk in this– honestly, it will be fine and just as tasty! The texture has still always been wonderful after freezing then 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.

      1. So when you freeze – when do you add streusel topping before you freeze or before you cook?

      2. Hi Dana! You can do it either way– freeze with the streusel or freeze without and add right before baking.

  20. I have this in the fridge now wondering if I should leave out the crumble to make it less sweet not a huge sweets person

    1. Feel free to skip the crumble topping!

  21. Made the casserole last night to bake this morning. Guests delayed coming today. Do I bake today as planned then reheat in the morning? Ty Beth

    1. Yes, that’s what I would do!

    2. Renate Hagerman says:

      We reheated the leftover the next day and it was even better than the first day. I added the blueberries before baking it. When we were ready to eat it, we topped it with a drizzle of maple syrup and cool whip. Oh my! We had it with thick strips of bacon on the side. My hubby wanted me to put the bacon inside the casserole, but I declined.

  22. Hello Sally, I cant wait until Christmas so i can do this dish. My question is, can i bake it the night before and reheat it in the morning?

    1. Hi Nuria, After its assembled you want to cover it and keep it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before baking but overnight is best. If you bake it the night before you can cover it and store it in the refrigerator until the morning. Enjoy!

  23. susan karpman says:

    My family is asking for chocolate and banana. I assume I can’t go wrong with either sprinkling chocolate chips along with the cream choose and sliced banana, or adding random spoonfuls of Nutyella along with the cream cheese (and some sliced bananas).. Anybody tried this or thoughts?

    1. Both sound incredible. You can even skip the cream cheese mixture and just add spoonfuls of Nutella as well as sliced bananas before baking. Or keep the recipe as is and add sliced banana and sprinkle with chocolate chips before baking.

  24. Made this recipe for Christmas morning for the first time two years ago. It has now become an annual tradition with my family putting on their request for it in October.
    I follow the recipe exactly and it always turns out delicious.

  25. Loved it! It was the hit of our holiday brunch. My tweaks: I did add two thinly sliced bananas on the cream cheese layer and sprinkled generously with chocolate chips. I would highly recommend that. Also I worried I didn’t have enough bread (used a whole challah) so I looked in my freezer and cut up and added whatever sweet breads I had. There was half a large danish; two muffins that had been there a month and I had a couple of not-fresh donuts on my counter, whatever I could find. I cut everything up into cubes and immersed in the custard. That was actually amazing. I used up stuff I’d probably never eat and in the custard, they all blended together to exquisiteness

  26. Can I use brioche bread ?

    1. Yes, definitely.

  27. My store was out of challah bread. What do you think of substituting croissants for challah?

    1. YES! It will be delicious!

  28. This was wonderful! Got nothing but great compliments. Made my place smell good, too.

  29. Hi! Do you have any reservations on making this 24+ hours before baking? I’m hosting a New Years Eve party that’ll turn into a New Years morning brunch. I’d like to have everything prepped by the evening before NYE (Monday night) to bake on NY day (Wednesday morning). Thoughts?

    1. That’s totally fine– I’ve done it before with no problem. Just do it later in the day/evening on Monday night if you can.

  30. Oh, yum. My family loved it for Christmas morning brunch. I did make a bit more stuffing, using 12 oz cream cheese, 3 T. confectioner’s sugar, and about a half teaspoon vanilla mixed into the cream cheese and sugar, so a bit more decadent. Otherwise followed recipe faithfully. This is a keeper.

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