This baked cream cheese french toast casserole is filled with sweet cream cheese and topped with a brown sugar crumble. Because you can prepare the casserole the night before, it’s ideal for a brunch or breakfast gathering.
- 1 (12-14 ounce) loaf french bread, sourdough bread, or challah*
- 8 ounces (224g) block cream cheese, softened to room temperature*
- 2 Tablespoons (15g) confectioners’ sugar (do not leave out)
- 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
- 1/3 cup (69g) packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (41g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 Tablespoons (86g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- optional: maple syrup and/or confectioners’ sugar for topping
- Nonstick spray a 913 inch or any 3-4 quart oven-safe dish. Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes after slicing it. Half of the cubes should be placed in the prepared baking pan.
- Beat the room temperature cream cheese on medium-high speed with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until completely smooth. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Spoon spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture onto the bread. On top of the cream cheese, layer the remaining bread cubes. (I like to leave some cream cheese exposed on top for appearances.) Set aside.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, and remaining vanilla extract until there are no brown sugar lumps. Pour over the bread in an even layer. Refrigerate the pan for at least 3-4 hours and up to 24 hours, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Overnight is ideal.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). Take the pan out of the refrigerator.
- To make the crumb topping, combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut in the cold cubed butter. Evenly distribute the topping over the soaked bread.
- Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Because I prefer it softer, I usually bake it for 45 minutes. Drizzle with maple syrup, if desired, or dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve hot.
- Refrigerate leftovers for 2-3 days, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
Bread: A day-old, crusty loaf of bread is ideal for French toast casseroles. Slice it into 1-inch cubes and set it aside uncovered all day. You should have about 12 cups cubed bread– a little more or less is fine.
Because the cream cheese is only mixed with a little sugar and vanilla, use high-quality cream cheese that tastes good. For this dish, I use and enjoy full fat Philadelphia brand brick-style cream cheese.
- Category: Breakfast
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 8 servings
- Calories: 382kcal
- Sugar: 32g
- Sodium: 328mg
- Fat: 17g
- Saturated Fat: 9g
- Carbohydrates: 48g
- Protein: 9g
- Cholesterol: 159mg
Keywords: Baked french toast casserole, french toast casserole, breakfast recipe, baked french toast, french toast recipe