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. When I search for a recipe and Sally’s Baking Addiction comes up in the search engine, I get all giddy because I know that’s the only one I need! You have never disappointed me!

    1. I agree with you Beth, Sally’s recipes are a go to for me as well! I’m currently baking your French toast casserole for my work Christmas potluck breakfast!

  2. Made this today, I say a breakfast item book is in need. Girl, you good! Your recipes never ever disappoint. This was a huge huge hit. I used brioche btw and barely left it to stale for more then 1-2 hours. Another quick tip.. microwave the cream cheese to speed up the room temp. process for like 12-15 seconds. Enjoy!! 

  3. Hi Sally
    Was thinking of adding raspberries and white chocolate chips – would all that work together? Should I still mix confectioners sugar into the cream cheese if I’m adding white chocolate?

  4. Served this Christmas morning with 3 other brunch items. Fixed it just as described and it was the best dish on the table. Several asked for the recipe. Will definitely be making this again. 

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Hey, Sally! After refrigerating it over night, how long do you leave it out on the counter before popping it in the oven? Thanks!

    1. Hi Brittany, You don’t have to leave this at room temperature before baking! Just take it out of the fridge, place topping on top, and place it in your oven! Enjoy!

  11. 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

  12. Followed recipe exactly. Served Christmas morning. Was absolutely delicious. Everyone raved. Served it up cold the rest of the week as a dessert topped with a little whipped cream. Again it was a hit and those that were lucky enough to try hot and cold couldn’t decide which they liked best. My adult children and their families have decided this recipe will be our new Christmas morning tradition.

  13. 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!

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. What are the specific nutritional values for the French Toast Casserole in terms of Total Fat; Carbs; Fiber and Protein; calories per and size of each serving. Thank you

    1. I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

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