Make yourself the hero of your house this weekend with this strawberry cream cheese French toast bake. Who knew that stale bread and those almost moldy strawberries would get you so far in life?

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast BakeStrawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake

If you’re anything like me when you’re planning for a houseful of people over a weekend, there are a few things that make you incredibly anxious:

  • The state of your bathroom(s). Are there enough clean towels?
  • Or better yet, where are all of the towels?? How do we keep losing towels??
  • And…the weekend menu.

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake

And you would think, that as a food blogger for over 9 nine years (NINE! phew!), I’d have the food part handled.

Well, nope.

It just gets harder and harder. So many ideas in my brain, so many recipes, and yet so little time to focus on planning better.

Half of the time, I’m just making up meals throughout the weekend.

You know: pulling random ingredients from the fridge and pantry with cookbooks strewn all over the place.

I’m a mess!

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake

To be honest, I’m not that much more organized on the weekends when it’s just me and Kyle at home either.

Work kicks my butt during the week and I end up vegging out way more than I like to admit on the weekends.

But I mustered up the energy (it was minimal, believe me) to throw this strawberry cream cheese French toast bake together one Saturday night a few weeks back.

And I’ve been dreaming about it ever since!

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake

Because: roasted strawberries. cream cheese. baked French toast. Do those words not make you want to just sing?!

I imagined the dish to be a bit like the strawberry stuffed french toast I made a few years ago but this was oh so much better. So much!

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake

The roasted strawberries mingle up with pockets of soft, tangy cream cheese and play off the lightly sweetened French toast like they were always meant for the same dish.

Plus? It’s a make-ahead meal so in my opinion, Sunday mornings are never so outstanding as when breakfast practically makes itself.

Except when donuts happen, of course.

Do yourself a favor and make this French toast bake this weekend.

Your stale bread and almost moldy strawberries are calling you from the kitchen!

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast BakeNo? Just me? Hmmmm.

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake

Yield: 8-10 servings
Active Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 13 hours 15 minutes
Make yourself the hero of your house this weekend with this strawberry cream cheese French toast bake. Who knew that stale bread and those almost-moldy strawberries would get you so far in life?

Ingredients

For the casserole:

  • 16 oz day-old, thick-cut bread, like challah or a soft Italian bread (see note below)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups half-and-half or milk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp table salt
  • 1 (8 oz) package full-fat cream cheese, cold and cubed
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries, stems removed

For the topping:

  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed

Instructions

  1. To make the casserole: Grease a 3-quart (13x9-inch) baking dish with butter or baking spray. Spread the bread cubes out in the dish in an even-ish layer.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, half-and-half/milk, vanilla, brown sugar, and salt together until well-combined. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes and press the bread lightly into the liquid. Scatter the cream cheese cubes around the bread, tucking it into some of the open spaces - you'll want it to get down into the middle of the bread layer. Scatter the strawberries over the bread in the same manner.
  3. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight or up to 12 hours.
  4. The next morning, take the dish out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 350° F with a racked centered in the oven.
  5. To make the topping: Stir the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Using two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients. The mixture won't be crumbly but just make sure the butter is pretty evenly distributed. Uncover the dish and sprinkle the topping over the top of the casserole.
  6. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes. The center should be set, the bread on top nicely browned, and the sugar in the topping caramelized. If the sugar is still uncooked on top, slip the dish under the broiler for a couple of minutes to allow the sugar to brown - watch it carefully though as it can burn quickly. Serve with maple syrup or whipped cream (if you're feeling indulgent). We ate ours without anything on top and thought it was sweet enough as is.

Notes

Stale bread works best for this recipe but if you've got fresh bread, you can dry it out in the oven. Just cube it and toast it on a baking sheet for about 15 to 20 minutes at 350° F.

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  • May 25, 2016 at 7:49 PM

    Roasted strawberries and cream cheese with french toast sounds so perfect for a Saturday morning!

  • June 7, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    This looks incredible! Can’t wait to try it out! 🙂

  • Shari Barnes
    May 9, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    Hello! Can this be made without the strawberries?

    • Tara
      May 13, 2017 at 9:49 AM

      Sure! You could use other berries instead of strawberries too – blueberries, raspberries, blackberries – or even sliced peaches! Oh man! Peaches would be amazing!!

  • Liz N.
    May 21, 2017 at 9:12 AM

    I made this recipe this morning and it was delicious! It wasn’t overly sweet and during need any additional syrup or other toppings. It’s a keeper and saved as a favorite in my Paprika app!

  • Liz N.
    May 22, 2017 at 8:45 AM

    I made it yesterday and it was AMAZING! I had to bring leftovers to work because I have enough self-awareness to know that I could consume the entire dish by myself. This will be my go-to during the holidays or brunch. I’ll just change it up with fruit that’s in season.

    • Tara
      May 25, 2017 at 12:02 PM

      Yay!! So happy this turned out well for you, Liz! And I totally understand the need to get it out of the house – this is a dangerous breakfast to have around! Thank you so much for coming back to let me know how the recipe turned out.

  • Cassie
    September 13, 2017 at 6:44 PM

    Can this be left in the fridge longer than 12 hours before baking?

    • Tara
      September 17, 2017 at 6:20 PM

      Sure! Up to 18 hours or so is fine.

  • Diana
    April 18, 2018 at 2:34 PM

    Flavor is good but way too soggy. Found 2 1/2 cups of half and half way too much for just 4 eggs.

    • Tara
      April 24, 2018 at 10:43 AM

      I’m sorry to hear you found this to be too soggy but maybe yours needs some extra time in the oven. We really loved it and didn’t find it too soggy at all.

  • Terry Nelson
    May 20, 2018 at 5:42 PM

    Can you use frozen strawberries?

    • Tara
      May 21, 2018 at 2:07 PM

      I haven’t tried frozen strawberries with this recipe so I can’t say if they’ll work well but as a quick substitute, they should be ok. I would not thaw them before adding to the casserole dish since they’ll thaw a bit while in the fridge overnight. Let me know how it turns out for you this way, Terry!

  • Liz
    April 15, 2019 at 12:23 PM

    Can this be made without the cream cheese? Should I change the amounts of milk/eggs if I do so? (I have a couple picky eaters unfortunately)

    • Tara
      April 17, 2019 at 9:39 PM

      I don’t see why not! If I were to cut the cream cheese, I would probably add an extra 2 eggs and maybe a 1/2 cup of milk. The egg:milk ratio for this recipe is pretty flexible so I’m sure whatever you do will work ok. I hope your family loves this, Liz! Please come back to let me know!

  • Tracy
    April 28, 2019 at 10:44 AM

    Company = Panic.com for me 😳. I don’t mind a sandwich bar setup for lunch and then something on the grill for dinner but I always struggle with breakfast. So many components and the house reeks of bacon/sausage AND it means I have two more meals to fix after that! THIS French Toast Casserole is gonna change my hostess skills! But since it’s that good, my Company will want to stay 😉. Can’t wait to make your masterpiece, THANKS!!

    • Tara
      April 28, 2019 at 12:54 PM

      This is one of the funniest comments I’ve read in so long! I feel the exact same way, except I struggle and stress myself out over what to serve for lunch too. I’m positive this french toast casserole is a game-changer and I know you will love it as much as we do! I want to know what you think about it so please come back to leave a review after you make it and leave a star rating (right above the recipe) too!

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