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Raspberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

This overnight french toast casserole has tart raspberries and a smooth cream cheese filling in each bite. The crispy top and custard-like bottom will have you going back for seconds….and thirds!
Some days, a bowl of cereal just ain’t gonna cut it. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good bowl of cereal, but on special occasions and holidays, I’d prefer to kick the day off with something a little more special.

Growing up, my mom would always have the most delicious breakfast ready on Christmas morning. Whether it was a meaty egg bake, a fruit-filled braid or cinnamon rolls, it was something that was saved for special occasions.

My favorite breakfast to wake up to was those fruit-filled braids – raspberry in particular. They had the light and crispy puff pastry, the tart berry filling and a line of cream cheese down the center. This is exactly what inspired me to create a recipe for Raspberry Cheesecake French Toast Casserole!

What kind of bread works best for an overnight french toast casserole?

If you have tons of options at your grocery store or local bakery, I’d recommend either brioche or challah bread. If the options are more limited (which is typically my case!), a French bread will work great, too! No matter which kind you decide on, make sure to get an unsliced loaf so you can make nice large cubes for the casserole.

Brioche would be my first choice. It’s sturdy, so it’ll hold its shape when soaking overnight. Brioche is a little more rich in flavor (due to extra butter and eggs in the dough) than your average white bread, making it extra special and so delicious.

Challah has some of the same qualities as brioche. It’s sturdy and has similar flavor. You’ll know it’s a challah bread by its signature shiny and braided look.

French bread is also a good option. It tends to be a chewier bread, but there’s plenty of time for the egg mixture to soften it up in this overnight egg bake!

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Ingredients:

French bread: 1 loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes
Cream cheese: 8 ounces (225 grams), cut into small cubes
Fresh raspberries: 1 cup (about 125 grams)
Eggs: 8 large
Milk: 2 cups (480 mL)
Heavy cream: 1/2 cup (120 mL)
Sugar: 3/4 cup (150 grams)
Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon (5 mL)
Ground cinnamon: 1 teaspoon (5 mL)
For the topping:
Powdered sugar: for dusting
Raspberry syrup: for drizzling

Instructions:

Prepare the casserole:

Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange half of the bread cubes evenly in the dish.
Scatter the cream cheese cubes and half of the raspberries over the bread.
Top with the remaining bread cubes and raspberries.

Mix the custard:

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
Pour this mixture evenly over the bread, ensuring all pieces are covered. Press down slightly to soak.
Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the bread to absorb the custard.

Bake the casserole:

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
Remove the casserole from the refrigerator while the oven heats.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center is set.

Serve:

Let cool for a few minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and drizzle raspberry syrup over the top before serving.
Serve warm with additional fresh raspberries if desired.

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