Fresh mixed berries, dollops of sweetened whipped cream cheese & a soft custard-like filling! This berries & cream french toast casserole is sweet, creamy & an easy make-ahead brunch recipe!
There’s nothing I love more than a lazy weekend brunch. And whenever I think of brunch (especially with the family), I think of french toast casseroles! They’re incredibly low maintance, so flavorful and there’s so many different ways to make them. This berries and cream french toast casserole has to be one of my favorites during Spring! The fresh berries, sweetened whipped cream cheese and custard-like center are so good together!
But I think the “make-ahead” aspect of a french toast casserole is what I really love the most. There’s no spending hours in the kitchen flipping bread slices for breakfast. Instead your ingredients are put in dish and left to soak in a sweetened egg mixture overnight then bake it in the morning! The result: a flavor-packed breakfast casserole with a crispy top, soft custardy center and you got to spend the morning enjoying the company of your family!
This is one of my favorite make ahead Easter brunch recipes!
Ingredients For Your French Toast Casserole
- French bread loaf: Use a large bakery loaf (around 14-16 ounces) for the best results. (We love using french bread or brioche bread for ours.) Day old or slightly dried out bread works the best too!
- Berries: Use your favorite mix of berries! (We love using strawberries, blackberries and blueberries!)
- Cream cheese: You’ll need 1 block of cream cheese for this recipe.
- Eggs: You’ll need 6 large eggs for this recipe.
- Milk: Any type of milk works! (I’ve used regular and dairy free milks for this casserole and they’ve both turned out delicious!)
- Maple syrup: Use real maple syrup for the best results! It’s thinner and sweeter than other processed syrup and works so well for this french toast bake.
- Vanilla: One teaspoon goes into your french toast “batter” and a ¼ teaspoon goes in your sweetened cream cheese.
- Spices: Cinnamon and salt are all you need for your french toast casserole.
How To Make A Berries & Cream French Toast Casserole
- Slice your bread loaf. Cut your loaf into 1 inch pieces and set them aside.
- Make your sweetened whipped cream cheese. Use an electric mixer to beat your cream cheese, powdered sugar and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla together until light and fluffy.
- Mix your “batter” ingredients. Whisk your eggs together in a large bowl. Then add your milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and remaining teaspoon of vanilla and whisk again until fully incorporated.
- Assemble & cover. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray and spread half your bread pieces over the bottom of the pan. Then dollop half of your cream cheese mixture over the bread pieces and sprinkle half your berries over the top. Repeat the layers then pour your “batter” mixture over the casserole making sure to completely cover all the bread pieces. Then cover the pan with aluminum foil and let it sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes – overnight. (Note: The longer your casserole sits, the more custard-like it will be in the center.)
- Bake. When you’re about ready to serve, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then take the foil off the pan and and sprinkle your casserole with cinnamon sugar (if desired). Place the pan in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is toasted and the casserole is cooked through.
- Serve! Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top then slice it and serve immediately with maple syrup.
We love this breakfast casserole whenever a holiday is coming up! It’s easy and hassle-free allowing us more time to spend with our loved ones. And because berries are in season right now, I can’t think of a better dish to serve for Easter brunch or Mother’s Day!
- Switch up the bread! Brioche or challah bread would be a fantastic replacements!
- Switch up the berries! Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are all delicious in this casserole! (Or replace the berries with chopped peaches when they’re in season! Trust me, it’s soo good!)
- Want more “cream”? Make up a double batch of your sweetened whipped cream cheese for double the creaminess!
Tips For Making Your French Toast Casserole
- Day old bread works the best for this recipe. Try to let your bread “dry out” a bit (1-2 days in advance) before using it in your casserole. This allows the bread to soak up your “batter” more and prevents your french toast from becoming too soggy.
- Let your cream cheese soften at room temperature before beating it! This makes it easier to mix and spread over your casserole.
- The longer your casserole sits before you bake it, the softer and more “custard-like” the center will be. (I suggest letting it sit overnight for the best results.)
- For thinner slices: Use a 9×13 inch pan. (You’ll have a more crisp topping and less baking time.)
- For thicker slices: Use a 7×11 inch pan. (The center of your casserole will be much more “custard-like” (think a bread pudding consistency and may require more baking time.)
Storing & Reheating
To store: Either cover your leftover french toast casserole with plastic wrap or place your leftovers in an airtight container and keep it stored in the refrigerator. It should stay good for up to 3 days.
To reheat: Heat your leftover french toast casserole in the oven at 350 degrees until it reaches your desired temperature. Or reheat individual pieces in the microwave until warm. (I personally prefer using the oven method because the top of the casserole stays crispy.)
- How many days beforehand can I prep my french toast casserole? It’s the best if prepped 24 hours in advance.
Why you’ll love this french toast recipe!
- A hassle-free breakfast/brunch! Make it up the night before then toss it in the oven when you’re ready to eat! It’s so easy!
- Perfect for holidays! This french toast casserole looks festive and feeds a lot of people, making it perfect for a holiday breakfast! Serve it for Easter, a Mother’s Day brunch or even breakfast Christmas morning!
- A great way to use up old bread! Don’t throw out those older bread slices! Save them instead & make a yummy breakfast with them! (Psst dried our bread makes the best french toast casserole!😉)
More recipes you might like:
- Baked Blueberry French Toast Casserole
- Breakfast Tacos with Bacon & Avocado
- Easy Stuffed Bagel Bites
- Bacon Parmesan & Chive Egg Clouds
[Made one of my recipes? Tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments – I love seeing what you create!]
Berries & Cream French Toast Casserole
- 1 large french bread loaf (14-16 ounces), cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups mixed berries, chopped if needed (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc.)
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups milk of choice
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 2-3 Tbsp powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you want your cream cheese)
- 1¼ tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Cinnamon sugar, optional (to sprinkle over the top)
- Optional toppings: powdered sugar, maple syrup, extra berries
- Using an electric mixer, beat your cream cheese, powdered sugar and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla together in a bowl. Set is aside once done.
- Next whisk your eggs together in a separate bowl. Then add your milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla and whisk again. Set it aside once done.
- Spray or grease a 9×13 inch pan and spread half your bread pieces over the bottom. Then dollop half your cream cheese mixture over the bread pieces and sprinkle half your berries over the top. Repeat the layers then pour your egg mixture over the casserole making sure to completely cover all the bread pieces.
- Then cover the casserole with aluminium foil and let it sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes – overnight. (The longer your casserole sits, the more custard-like it will be in the center.)
- When you’re ready to eat, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then take the foil off the pan and sprinkle your cinnamon sugar (if desired) over the top of the casserole. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is slightly toasted and the casserole is cooked through.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar then slice and serve immediately with maple syrup.
- Baking in a 9×13 inch pan: You’ll have thinner slices with more crispy topping.
- Baking in a 7×11 inch pan: You’ll have thicker slices with a more “custard-like” center. It may require more time to bake too. I’d suggest baking it for 50-55 minutes.