I love overnight breakfast dishes – cinnamon rolls, French toast, oatmeal, breakfast casseroles, etc. Especially now that I’m pregnant, I wake up starving, and I can’t wait an hour or two to eat breakfast.
So, if I want something more exotic than my usual pb&J, it has to be prepped the night before, so I can just pop it in the oven in the morning. I tried this French toast casserole because 1 – it sounded good (who doesn’t like things stuffed with fruit and cream cheese?) and 2 – we had some leftover strawberries that I needed to use. The cream cheese and strawberries formed a custard-like layer in the middle of the French toast, which I wasn’t expecting, but, man was it good!
This is a recipe that you can absolutely customize with other fruits, such as apples, raspberries, or blueberries – like I did with my Overnight Bananas Foster French Toast and Overnight Apple Fritter French Toast Casserole. The sweetness of the finished casserole will largely depend on the fruit you use, so if you like your French toast on the sweet side (like we do), you may want to either add more sugar to the egg mixture, more powdered sugar at the end, or top it with maple or strawberry syrup and leave the sugar out of the egg mixture.
One important note – if you’re making this ahead of time, don’t use a glass pan. Putting a cold glass pan into a hot oven can make them break.
Overnight Strawberry Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast Casserole
- 8 slices large sourdough sandwich bread or French bread crusts removed, and cut into cubes
- 8 oz . cream cheese cubed
- 2 c . sliced strawberries
- 6 large eggs
- 1 c . milk
- 1/4 c . granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp . vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp . almond extract
- Pinch of salt
- 3 T . powdered sugar for garnish
- Layer half of the bread cubes over the bottom of a greased 8-inch square dish.
- Place the cream cheese cubes over the bread cubes.
- Layer the sliced strawberries over the cream cheese, and cover with the remaining bread cubes.
- Combine the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Mix well.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread, and smoosh the bread down a little so that the bread can absorb the egg mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Take the pan out of the refrigerator and leave out while preheating the oven to 375.
- Uncover and bake for about 30-40 minutes.
- Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
-This can be made and baked the same day. Rather than chilling overnight, skip ahead, and bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes.
-It will work better if the cream cheese is cold when you cube it. Also, I used the 1/3 less fat cream cheese, though I wouldn't recommend using fat-free cream cheese.
Adapted from The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever.