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
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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!
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 9x13?
Yes. Increase the recipe by 50% (use 9 bagels, 12 eggs, etc.). The baking time should be the same.
More Festive Brunch Recipes
- Croque Madame Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bake
- Slow Cooker Bagel Breakfast Casserole
- Sheet Pan Hash Browns and Eggs with Avocado Salsa
- Brioche Baked Egg in a Hole
- Overnight Yeasted Whole Wheat Waffles
Cinnamon Crunch Bagel Breakfast Casserole
- Bundt Pan
- Mixing Bowl
- Stand or Handheld Mixer
Cinnamon Crunch Bagel Bake:
- 8 large Eggs
- 1 ½ cups Milk
- ½ 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 ½ cup Powdered Sugar
- ½ cup Milk
- 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 together softened cream cheese and powdered sugar (start on low and slowly increase speed). When fully combined, start slowly adding 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.