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

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

  2. 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!

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

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. Would this be okay to make at night and stay in the fridge until dinner the next night? I rarely have an occasion to do a big breakfast but loooove to do brinner so this sounds amazing for that (maybe served with my favorite maple chicken sausage). Love your page and your recipes!

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. I have this in the oven right now and it smells delicious. I’d consider myself a seasoned baker, but I could not get the streusel right for the life of me. Any tips? Mine never got to a crumble, it was pea-sized butter with the dry mixture. Did I under-mix?

    1. It sounds like it was under-mixed yes. Just keep working the butter and dry ingredients together until they combine– they will, I promise!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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