French Toast Casserole with Cream Cheese

(3 votes)
38 Comments
3 minutes
January 19, 2023
Andi GleesonJump to Recipe

This Overnight French Toast Casserole with Cream Cheese is a perfect make-ahead dish for breakfast!

a serve of French Toast Casserole with Cream Cheese on a table

Are you a fan of bread pudding? I never thought I was even though I had probably never even tried it. It seems to often contain raisins, which is kind of a deal breaker for me. When I found out that french toast casserole (which I love) and bread pudding are practically the same things, I changed my mind. Leave out the raisins, and I will gladly accept a big bowlful!

I found a recipe for overnight french toast casserole in a magazine a few years ago, made it for Christmas morning, and a tradition was born. The whole family loves this one, and it’s easy to put together before bed and bake when you wake up. Drizzle with a little more maple syrup, grab a cup of coffee, and breakfast doesn’t get much better than that!

a French Toast Casserole with grapes on a plate

Final Thoughts on French Toast Casserole

Sadly, I’ve had to give up wheat since I started making this french toast casserole with cream cheese, and I was afraid it meant the end of our Christmas morning tradition. Last year I made it with a combination of gluten-free and spelled (which I can eat) sandwich bread, and it still turned out great!! I was so happy to still indulge in a big hunk of bready goodness even though I can’t eat regular bread anymore.

While I don’t have a cookbook (yet), this recipe DID appear in print in my oldest’s preschool cookbook a few years ago. That might be as close as I get to hitting it big and getting my work in print. The recipe did feature a photo of my kid in his Christmas jammies eating this breakfast casserole, so it might be even better than a “real” cookbook. I hope you will keep coming back to this version again and again!

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Overnight French Toast Casserole: Perfect #makeahead #breakfast!

French Toast Casserole with Cream Cheese

Put this together before you go to bed, and it’s ready to bake when you wake up the next morning!

  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Spray a 9 x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 of the bread cubes into the pan.
  2. Drop small pieces of cream cheese evenly over the bread. (The only way I have figured out to do this is to pinch small pieces off with my fingers and sprinkle it around.) Spread remaining bread cubes on top.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and cinnamon until combined. Whisk in maple syrup, vanilla, milk, and melted butter. Pour this mixture over the bread.
  4. Press down on casserole with a spatula to help the bread absorb the liquid. Cover with foil and store in refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
  5. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F until golden brown on top, about 45 minutes. Serve with maple syrup.

Notes

Adapted from Cooking Club magazine.

  • Author: Andi
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Category: Breakfast

Here are some other breakfast casseroles you might enjoy:

Andi Gleeson

38 comments

Jen
12 months ago

I am trying this recipe today to make for Mothers day brunch for our extended family. I just put it in the fridge. Can someone please tell me how long to cook 2 pans of this?

Anthony
2 weeks ago

If cooking two pans you shouldn’t need to adjust the cooking time, but if they are on racks above one another I would switch them halfway through cooking.

Judith
5 years ago

Oh my, I have looked for this misplaced recipe for several years. Bet we had the same holiday magazine. I am so happy to have found your recipe because my family just loved it and it was so delicious to serve for Christmas brunch. I served mine with Apple syrup recipe in same magazine. Thank you, now once again we will have a yummy Christmas brunch with sausage and bacon fresh fruit, juice and coffee.

FRANCENE BARBRO-MEINERS
5 years ago

I made this with gluten free bread and lactose free milk – could not even taste the difference. Wonderful breakfast and everyone was able to enjoy.

Deb Huns
1 year ago

Instead of milk can I use heavy cream.

Rosie
1 year ago

Did you know that adding milk to eggs makes French toast possible? French toast requires both a liquid to “bind” the ingredients together and something to soften the bread. The milk is a component of the batter or custard used to soak the bread slices; the main ingredients in a rich custard are full-fat milk and eggs. And yes, you may replace milk with heavy cream by diluting it and adding a little water. For every cup of whole milk, use half a cup of heavy cream and half a cup of water. Combine 1/2 cup heavy cream with 1/2 cup water to make 1 cup whole milk. Have fun cooking and enjoy!

Callie
6 years ago

If we are baking 2 of these, how long would you suggest baking it for? Thanks! Looking forward to it!

Christmas Round-Up: Christmas Morning Breakfast Ideas! - That One Mom
7 years ago

[…]  Overnight French Toast: Andi of The Weary Chef considers this a Christmas morning tradition. One surprising ingredient is […]

Janet Chatary
7 years ago

i’ve been making a version of this for many years. My recipe calls for 8oz of cream cheese cut into small cubes. I have no problem evenly arranging the cheese cubes over the bread cubes. Also, I use regular bread that is a few days old & also cinnamon swirl bread (about equal amounts of each) total 8 to 10 cups. Since I make mine in a 4qt oblong casserole, I use 8-10 eggs, 2 1/2 cups milk or half & half, 2tsp. vanilla, & 1/2 cup maple syrup all blended together. Pour over the bread & cream cheese, pat down with rubber spatula, then sprinkle with a little cinnamon & drizzle a little extra maple syrup on top. Cover with foil & chill for a couple of hours or overnight. Remove foil & bake at 325deg. for about an hour or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean & casserole is lightly browned & puffy. I eliminate additional sugar since the cinnamon swirl bread is a little sweet. My family devours this. It is definitely a favorite. Nothing is left over.?

LauRena
9 years ago

I’m confused as to why the recipe says to start with a baking sheet? Do you mean casserole dish or is there a step missing?

Andi
9 years ago

Thank you SO much for pointing that out so I could correct it! That was a typo and should have been baking dish not baking sheet (like a Pyrex dish). Thanks again, and Happy Holidays!

Meghan
10 years ago

Just made this the other day and everyone loved it! Mine didn’t brown up very much on top so I ended up broiling it for a few minutes. The only thing I may do differently next time is to add more cream cheese. It’s the best part!

Andi
10 years ago

I’m so happy you liked it, Meghan! The original recipe did have more cream cheese, but I reduced it just to lighten it up a bit. I’ll make a note that you can add more to taste :) Thanks for your note!

Mary Leon
10 years ago

Maybe I’m just slow! :) It did take me about 25 minutes to prepare. The baking time was accurate. It was a big hit with everyone, from young 20’s to 65. My testers said it’s a keeper! I was thinking of trying it with buttermilk next time. I also used vanilla bean paste, which leaves little specks of vanilla bean which were super flavorful. Thank you for the recipe!

Andi
10 years ago

I will split the difference and bump up the prep time to 20 minutes. I might be faster since I’ve made it a lot! The cream cheese process definitely isn’t a quick one. I’m so happy to hear that you all enjoyed this casserole! Buttermilk is an interesting idea. Let me know how it tastes if you try that next time. I hope to hear from you again soon, Mary :)

Mary Leon
10 years ago

It definitely takes longer than 15 minutes to put together. Mine is in the refer, to be baked in the morning. As far as the cream cheese ‘sprinkle’, i found that a baby spoonful of the cream cheese can be wiped onto the cubes of bread, here and there. Seemed to be the most expedient way for me. :)

Andi
10 years ago

Thanks for that feedback, Mary. I have made this many times, but maybe I underestimated how long it actually takes. I will extend that if you think it is not a good estimate. That’s a great tip about the baby spoon for the cream cheese. I’ll try that next time. Thank you for your nice comment, and I hope you enjoyed the casserole!

Cindi
10 years ago

I used a similar recipe, which stated to heat the cream cheese in the microwave. I think 1/2 cup of brown sugar was mixed in, and then the mixture could be spooned over the first layer of bread cubes. Hope this helps!

Andi
10 years ago

That’s a great idea, Cindi. Thanks!

Mrs. B
10 years ago

This looks so yummy and I think the kids will actually eat it too, bonus!! Thanks for sharing!

Andi
10 years ago

My kids are champion picky eaters, and they both like this! I hope yours will too. Thanks so much for stopping by :)

Louida
10 years ago

I love bread pudding so I know I’ll love French Toast Casserole. I’m going to pin this, thanks!

Kelly
10 years ago

Have you made this with regular loaf of whole wheat bread before? I have a few loafs I need to get rid of!

Andi
10 years ago

Hi, Kelly. I’ve only made it with sourdough or French bread, but I think it would still taste great with wheat bread. The texture will probably just be a bit different. I say go for it! :)

Kelly
10 years ago

ok thanks!

Brandi
10 years ago

I have a question, should I leave foil on during baking? Looks great and I can’t wait to make!

Andi
10 years ago

Hi, Brandi. You should bake it uncovered, and I updated the recipe to clarify. Thanks so much for your question, and I hope you like this casserole as much as we do!

Winnie
10 years ago

It looks fantastic. I’m not a breakfast girl but….. with this casserole I’m changing my habit :)

Andi
10 years ago

Thank you, Winnie! During the week my breakfast usually consists of coffee and maybe whatever my kids don’t finish off their plates. On the weekends I like to a good breakfast though :)

Kelly
10 years ago

Yum, I love make ahead meals and this overnight french toast casserole looks delicious! Perfect for a hot weekend breakfast and can’t wait to try it :) Pinning and thanks for sharing Andi!

Andi
10 years ago

I need to start doing make ahead meals more often. It’s so nice to have the work done ahead of time for breakfast OR dinner! Thanks for pinning :)

Deb@CookingOnTheFrontBurner
10 years ago

I love overnight french toasts and like that this one has cream cheese. Great recipe – pinning!

Andi
10 years ago

Everything is better with cream cheese ;) Thank you for the pin, Deb!

Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron
10 years ago

I love make ahead dishes and french toast! I can’t wait to give this a try, it looks fantastic Andi!

Andi
10 years ago

Thank you, Chelsea! It’s so nice to be able to just pop it in the oven in the morning and not have to cook!

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
10 years ago

I’ve done overnight French toast but never a wonderful casserole like this before. I must make this!

Happy New Year!

Andi
10 years ago

Hi, Maureen! How nice of you to drop by! Please let me know how you like it if you get a chance to try the recipe. Have a nice weekend!

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