When you turn classic French toast into a sweet casserole, you get this recipe for Raspberry and Cream Cheese French Toast Bake, a decadent brunch recipe that’s perfect for a crowd. Part of what makes this recipe so easy is that it can be made ahead, so go ahead and enjoy those cozy mornings!
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT RASPBERRY FRENCH TOAST BAKE
French toast is always at the top of my list when it comes to weekend breakfast and brunch, but this Raspberry and Cream Cheese French Toast Bake takes the cake. With all of the rich, warm flavors, it falls somewhere between breakfast or brunch and dessert. Thick sourdough cubes soak up the vanilla-almond custard, while cream cheese and raspberries add notes of berries-and-cream. The inside of this baked French toast is bouncy and custard-like, and the sweet eggy outside is crispy and golden brown around the edges.
This dish is a real crowd pleaser, but even better because it’s make-ahead friendly. Assemble the baked French toast ahead of time, then pop it in the oven the next morning.
CAN I MAKE BAKED FRENCH TOAST WITH SANDWICH BREAD?
The type of bread you use makes all the difference. While sandwich bread will work, the results won’t be quite the same as using a fresh, thick loaf like sourdough or French bread that will hold up to the custard even if left in the fridge overnight. A whole (un-sliced) loaf of bread allows you to cut the bread into just the right sized cubes. Sourdough is my favorite because the subtle sour flavor provides a nice contrast to the sweetness of the custard, but any hearty type of bread will work.
HOW TO REHEAT BAKED FRENCH TOAST
You can reheat baked french toast in the microwave or oven. It will reheat best if sliced into individual portions first. If using the microwave, about 2 minutes on high should work. In the oven it should take 15 to 20 minutes at 350°F / 177°C.
- Cream Cheese - Slightly sweet and slightly tangy, cream cheese has just the right flavor and creamy texture for this French toast bake. Be sure to use block cream cheese so it’s easier to cube.
- Eggs - Just like good old fashioned French toast, eggs bind the cream, milk, and sugar mixture to the bread for a light, fluffy, custard-like French toast.
- Milk / Heavy Cream - Using milk and heavy cream gives you a rich French toast, without being too heavy.
- Sugar - Adds just the right amount of sweetness.
- Pure Vanilla Extract / Almond Extract - Sweet almond extract is the perfect complement to vanilla.
- Sourdough bread - One of the secrets to delicious French toast is selecting a good quality bread. Sturdy, slightly tart sourdough bread works in this recipe because it balances the sweet flavors of the dish.
- Raspberries, fresh or frozen - Tart raspberries balance the rich, decadent layers of cream, vanilla, and almond.
- Try Different Toppings - When it comes to adding toppings to French Toast, the sky’s the limit! Whipped cream, blueberries, strawberries, any variation of mixed berries is delicious on warm, custardy baked French toast. You could also toast sliced almonds, pecans, or walnuts.
- Swap in Different Fruit - Bake French toast with berries like strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries in place of raspberries for the ultimate berries and cream French toast.
More Breakfast / Brunch Favorites
- Croissant French Toast
- Croque Madame Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bake
- Brioche Baked Egg in a Hole
- Sheet Pan Hash Browns and Eggs with Avocado Salsa
- Slow Cooker Bagel Breakfast Casserole
- Double Chocolate Whole Wheat Pancakes
- 6-inch Global Knife
- Cutting Board
- Serrated Knife
- 3-Quart Casserole Dish
- Anchor 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowls
- Pyrex 2-cup Glass Measuring Cup
Raspberry and Cream Cheese French Toast Bake
- Mixing Bowls
- 3 Quart Casserole Dish
- 6 ounces Cream Cheese (be sure to use block cream cheese)
- 8 large Eggs
- 2 cups Milk
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- ¼ cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- ¼ teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1 pound Sourdough bread, sliced into cubes
- 1 ½ cups Raspberries, fresh or frozen
- Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Maple Syrup, for serving (optional)
- Before getting started, place the block of cream cheese in the freezer for 10 minutes. (It will be easier to cube if very cold.) Slice into even cubes about ½-inch in size. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.
- Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish (or other 3 quart casserole dish).
- Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
- Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour egg mixture over bread cubes and gently fold / stir until most of the egg mixture is absorbed by the bread. (This may take a few minutes of folding and stirring.)
- Spread half the bread cubes out in the casserole dish. Top with half the cream cheese cubes and raspberries. Finish with second half of bread and then remaining cream cheese and raspberries.
- Cover casserole dish tightly with foil. Bake until set, 35 minutes (if assembled ahead and very cold, add 15 minutes to this initial bake time).
- Remove foil and continue baking, uncovered, until deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more.
- Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes (it will continue to firm up as it rests).
- Dust with powdered sugar. Slice and serve with maple syrup.
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