Cinnamon Crunch Bagel Breakfast Casserole

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cinnamon bagel bake on a wooden cutting board

Cinnamon Crunch Bagel Breakfast Casserole with Cream Cheese Glaze is the perfect stress-free holiday breakfast or brunch. Each soft, sweet bite of this casserole bursts with buttery, cinnamon-sugar flavor from cubed Cinnamon Crunch Bagels soaked in creamy custard. Drizzled with cream cheese glaze, it’s a festive holiday breakfast or brunch that can be entirely prepped ahead.

The secret to easy holiday mornings are make-ahead breakfast dishes like Slow Cooker Bagel Breakfast Casserole, and this cinnamon bagel casserole. Rich and satisfying breakfast casseroles make the kitchen smell delicious and bake entirely hands-off. What could be easier than assembling breakfast the night before and popping it in the oven when you wake up? 

This recipe may start with basic bagels, but it turns into so much more. First, you cube the bagels the day before. Then toss them with a sweet vanilla, cream, and cinnamon and sugar mixture. Cover and let it soak overnight. For dense bread like bagels, the overnight time in the fridge allows them to fully soak up the cream mixture, giving them a rich, soft custardy texture. The result is a cinnamon casserole that is golden brown on the outside and perfectly tender and soft in the middle. It’s perfect for the holidays, or anytime you need an extra special breakfast treat.

cinnamon crunch bagels on a white plate

Cinnamon Crunch Bagels

This bagel bake is really fun when made with Cinnamon Crunch Bagels (I buy them from Panera). The crunchy bits of cinnamon topping add extra sweet flavor and texture to the casserole. However, really any type of bagel will work. 

What to Serve with a Sweet Breakfast Casserole

This bagel bake breakfast is satisfying on its own, or as part of a decadent holiday brunch. If serving on it’s own, accompany the dish with something light and simple like a bowl of mixed fresh fruit. If you’re making this Cinnamon Crunch Bagel Bake as part of a holiday brunch, try serving it with crisp bacon, pan-seared sausage, and a simple lemony arugula salad. You could also serve it as part of a larger spread with my Frittata with Asparagus, Bacon, and Goat Cheese, which is a savory and naturally gluten-free complement to the sweet bread-based casserole.

Storing Leftovers

Before storing, let the bagel bake cool completely. Once cooled, you can either slice into individual pieces and store in airtight containers, or keep the bagel bake intact and store it in one airtight container.  Because this cinnamon casserole contains cream and eggs, store it in the fridge. Enjoy up to 4 days after baking.

Cream cheese glaze can be stored in the fridge and softened by reheating it in the microwave until smooth and pourable, stirring every 20 to 30 seconds.

cinnamon bake on a wooden cutting board

Ingredients

  • Eggs – Create a soft base for the binding mixture. These give the bagels a custardy texture like French toast. 
  • Milk – Any type of milk works in this recipe. For a richer bagel bake, use a fuller fat milk, like whole milk. For a little less decadence, use skim or 1% milk. Almond, soy, or other milk alternatives should also work.
  • Heavy Cream – Adds extra creaminess and soft texture.
  • Sugar and Ground Cinnamon – The warm combination of cinnamon and sugar gives the dish even more cinnamon sugar flavor than the bagels do on their own.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract – For a hint of vanilla flavor.
  • Pinch of Salt – Salt offers a touch of seasoning.
  • Cinnamon Crunch Bagels – Use the Cinnamon Crunch Bagels (found at Panera) for maximum cinnamon flavor. Regular cinnamon, cinnamon raisin, or even plain bagels will do just fine but won’t have as much of that sweet flavor. It’s just fine if the bagels are a day or two old and / or if you want to cube them in advance.
  • Unsalted Butter – Prevents sticking on the sides of the bundt pan, and helps the bagel pieces achieve a golden brown color.   
  • Cream Cheese, Powder Sugar, More Milk – Don’t skip these – you’ll want that sweet cream cheese glaze on top. 
mixing cinnamon into egg mixture in a glass measuring cup
pouring egg mixture over cubed bagels in a white bowl
baked bagels in a bundt pan

Variations

  • Try different bagel flavor combinations – This recipe is perfect for mixing and matching flavors. Egg, blueberry, or cinnamon raisin bagels can easily replace the cinnamon crunch bagels. Mix in fresh fruit like blueberries, strawberries, or black berries, and toasted nuts for some extra crunch. 
  • Topping ideas – Dust your Cinnamon Crunch Bagel Bake with powdered sugar and then drizzle with warm maple syrup for a French toast feel. A dollop of homemade whipped cream would feel especially festive!

FAQs

Can I make this ahead?

You can assemble the dish ahead, but it’s best to wait to bake it until before serving. It doesn’t have to be piping hot when you serve it, but will be best served within an hour of baking. Any leftovers are great just reheated in the microwave.

Can I bake it in a 9×13?

Yes. Increase the recipe by 50% (use 9 bagels, 12 eggs, etc.). The baking time should be the same. 

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cinnamon crunch bagel casserole on a wooden tray
4.64 from 11 votes

Cinnamon Crunch Bagel Breakfast Casserole

This sweet, cinnamon-flavored baked treat is baked in a bundt cake pan for a show-stopping breakfast or brunch. Cubed cinnamon crunch bagels (or any type of bagels) are sturdy enough that you can assemble the dish the night before and bake whenever you’re ready.
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 10

Equipment

  • Bundt Pan
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Stand or Handheld Mixer

Ingredients 

Cinnamon Crunch Bagel Bake:

  • 8 large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 6 Cinnamon Crunch Bagels, sliced into bite-sized cubes (see note)
  • 8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 6 ounces Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Milk

Instructions 

  • Grease a Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray or some softened butter. Set aside.
  • In a very large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs. Add milk, heavy cream, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Whisk well.
  • Add bread cubes on top of egg-milk mixture and fold together until nearly all of the liquids have been soaked into the bread cubes. Take a few minutes to gently stir these to encourage as much of the milk mixture to soak in as possible.
  • Transfer bread cubes to prepared bundt cake pan. Pour any remaining egg-milk mixture over top.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight, anywhere from 12 to 18 hours.
  • When ready to bake, remove the bundt pan from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature while the oven is heating.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.
  • Pour melted butter over bread and down sides of pan.
  • Bake until golden brown around the edges and cooked in the center, 40 to 45 minutes (it may take 5 to 10 minutes longer if the bake was still very cold when it went into the oven).
  • Let bagel bake cool in pan for 10 minutes while making glaze.
  • Using a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or hand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes on high. Add the powdered sugar (start on low and slowly increase speed) and mix until fully combined. Add in the milk a little at a time until the glaze is smooth and pourable. (You may not need all of the milk.)
  • Turn bagel bake out on a serving platter. Drizzle glaze over top. Slice and serve warm.

Video

Notes

Bagels – For something fun and added cinnamon flavor, I used Panera’s Cinnamon Crunch Bagel in this breakfast bake. Any type of bagel will work well here. 
Make Ahead – The cinnamon bagel casserole can be refrigerated, covered, overnight. Bake directly from the refrigerator (add 5 to 10 minutes to baking time). The cream cheese glaze can be made up to 3 days ahead. Warm glaze briefly in the microwave to bring it back to a smooth, pourable consistency before using.
9×13 – The casserole can be made in a 9×13 baking dish. Increase the recipe by 50% (use 9 bagels, 12 eggs, etc.). The baking time should be similar.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 481kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 206mg | Sodium: 321mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 1032IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.00
Calories: 481
Keyword: baked breakfast recipe, Holiday recipe, make ahead breakfast
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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