Overnight Cinnamon French Toast Bake

Hands down the best French toast casserole, this overnight cinnamon French toast bake can easily feed a crowd, or just your family! It’s like a cinnamon roll made out of bread. Delicious!

overnight cinnamon french toast bake

Well, it’s Christmas Eve tomorrow, and I am about 70% prepared. I have all of the present shopping done, but none of the wrapping! It struck me this morning too, that I still need to go buy 2 cards for family that I’ll be seeing on Christmas. Little details. 

Since we got home from Hawaii, it’s just been go, go! We were thrown right into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and to be honest, I have loved it. Sure, it’s been crazy busy and at times I feel like my mind is running on an endless loop of plans, lists and worries, but I’ve got my tree up, the fireplace going and the Christmas music blasting. It really is one of my favorite times of year! I would say THE favorite, but since I’m a summer girl through and through, I just can’t bring myself to declare a winter holiday as my “favorite”, ha!

So I had about 10 other recipes I wanted to post on the blog before Christmas, but it’s just been so busy I haven’t gotten around to them all. I guess I’ll be a step ahead next year when it comes to recipe testing, right? For a few minutes, I thought about beginning my break from work after last week’s post, but I really wanted to get this overnight cinnamon French toast bake out to you before Christmas, because it is THE BEST HOLIDAY BREAKFAST!

overnight cinnamon french toast bake

What is a French toast bake?

It’s basically cubes of bread that have been soaking all night long, in a mixture of eggs, milk sugar and cinnamon. In the morning, you can just pop the whole thing into the oven and bake it up while you sip your morning coffee in the sunshine. A much better alternative to standing there and flipping individual pieces of French toast while your toddler pulls on your leg.

There are many variations to an overnight French toast casserole, but what makes this recipe extra special, is the cinnamon cream cheese and DECADENT toppings that go with it! Baked right into the casserole are dollops of rich and creamy cinnamon cream cheese, and when the casserole comes out of the oven, you’ll top it with a cream cheese frosting and a cinnamon sugar topping. Drool! 

I’ve been making overnight French toast bakes now for a few years, and this particular recipe is my own creation after many, many delicious test runs.

How do you make overnight cinnamon French toast bake?

To make this recipe, you need to start with some fairly basic ingredients:

  • bread
  • milk
  • cinnamon
  • eggs
  • brown sugar
  • cream cheese

The night before you plan to eat this casserole, start by cutting up your bread into 1″ cubes and spreading half of them into a large casserole dish, typically 9 x 18″.

What kind of bread should you use?

My favourite kind of bread to use for this recipe is sourdough, but challah is also a great option. You want a bread that’s fairly hard and dare I say it, stale. Since the bread will be soaking all night long, you need to use something that will hold up well. You could use regular bread, but be sure that it’s not super soft and fresh. Choose a bread that’s a bit on the drier side!

Once you layer half of the bread slices, prepare the cinnamon cream cheese by mixing together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract together, either by hand or with an electric mixer. Drop the cinnamon cream cheese, one spoonful at a time, throughout the chunks of bread.

After dropping in the cream cheese, add the other half of the cubed bread into the casserole dish.

Next, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon and brown sugar. Pour this egg mixture all over the cubed bread, being sure to make every piece of bread wet with the eggs. The bread doesn’t have to be totally submerged, just moist.

Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the fridge for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Can you use dairy-free milk?

Yes! I’ve made this recipe with both almond milk and regular cow’s milk with great success. I imagine that coconut milk would work as well, although I would suggest the thinner, refrigerated kind of coconut milk versus the thicker, canned coconut milk.

Keep in mind that if you’re looking for a dairy-free breakfast, you will want to leave out the cream cheese mixture, as well as the cream cheese topping! There is also butter in the cinnamon topping, so use a dairy-free butter or coconut oil.

How long does the French toast bake spend in the oven?

After removing the casserole from the fridge and preheating the oven, the French toast bake will need about 45-50 minutes. Just enough time to prepare the toppings (and make your coffee).

The cinnamon topping is composed of MORE cinnamon, brown sugar and butter. I usually microwave my butter, then whisk in the brown sugar and cinnamon. It takes all of 3 minutes!

For the cream cheese frosting, I would advise the use of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or an electric mixer. The frosting is simply cream cheese, milk and powdered sugar.

Once the French toast bake comes out of the oven, immediately drizzle both toppings over the surface, and serve!

This casserole is equal parts hearty and decadent. The bread chunks are perfectly soft and cooked, and the cream cheese in every bite is pure joy! Your whole family is guaranteed to love it, and probably ask for more. This recipe makes quite a bit, so you’ll have enough to feed 6-8 people. Luckily, the leftovers keep quite well in the fridge, so you can always eat it over 2 days!

Since this is my last post of the holidays, I want to wish you a VERY Merry Christmas. I hope it is filled with delicious eats and drinks! Thank you for following along with me this past year! 

Cheers!

overnight cinnamon french toast casserole

overnight cinnamon french toast bake

I LOVE BREAKFAST. If you do too, you’ll LOVE these other breakfast options:

Or try these cranberry orange eggnog pancakes by Flavor the Moments!

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overnight cinnamon french toast bake

Overnight Cinnamon French Toast Bake


  • Author: Katherine | Love In My Oven
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 hours
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x

Description

Hands down the best French toast casserole, this overnight cinnamon French toast bake can easily feed a crowd, or just your family! It’s like a cinnamon roll made out of bread. Delicious!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf sourdough bread* ~12 oz
  • 8 oz cream cheese**
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups milk***
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature**
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk***

Instructions

  1. The night before: Spray a 9×13″ casserole dish with non-stick spray or grease with softened butter. Slice the bread loaf into 1″ cubes, and spread half the cubes into the bottom of the dish.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, or using an electric handheld mixer, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon and vanilla extract until smooth. Drop the mixture, one spoonful at a time, throughout the scattered cubes of bread. Place the rest of the bread cubes over the top the dish.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, milk and brown sugar and pour this over the bread cubes in the casserole dish, making sure that each piece of bread is moistened by the egg. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in the fridge for overnight.
  4. The next morning: Remove the casserole dish from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350F. Once heated, place the dish in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the liquid is set and the bread is slightly browned. If the bread is becoming too brown while baking, lightly cover the top of the dish with aluminum foil.
  5. While the dish is baking, prepare the cinnamon sugar topping. In a microwave-safe dish, melt the butter, then add the brown sugar and cinnamon, whisking to thoroughly combine. Set aside and prepare the cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar and milk until the consistency is smooth and fairly runny. Add more milk or powdered sugar to achieve the desired consistency.
  6. Once the casserole comes out of the oven, drizzle both the cinnamon sugar topping and cream cheese frosting**** over the top of it, and serve immediately.

Leftover casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days, and reheated in the microwave.

 


Notes

*See blog post above for best types of bread. I recommend sourdough, challah, or a dry, more stale bread

**Use light or full-fat, but be sure to use the brick and not the spreadable tub

***I usually use full-fat dairy, but you can make this with almond milk or (non-canned) coconut milk.

****Place the cinnamon sugar topping and cream cheese frosting in (separate) plastic bags, with the tip snipped off the end, in order to create the drizzle effect.

  • Category: breakfast
  • Method: bake

Keywords: French toast casserole // French toast bake with cream cheese // easy baked French toast // cream cheese French toast casserole

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Hands down the best French toast casserole, this overnight cinnamon French toast bake can easily feed a crowd, or just your family! It\'s like a cinnamon roll made out of bread. Delicious! // French toast bake with cream cheese // easy baked French toast // cream cheese French toast casserole

28 Comments

  1. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

    This sounds delicious! A perfect Christmas breakfast! Merry Christmas, Katherine and family!

  2. I love the hustle and bustle of the season too! But I’ll be happy to kick back and relax for a few days this week! I’m glad you made time to share this one. It sounds perfect for breakfast on Christmas morning! I hope you, Etienne and the kids have a lovely Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

    • I’m definitely enjoying this relaxing time the past week, Leanne. It’s so nice to take a breather!! This dish is a perfect holiday breakfast! I think I’ll be making it every year for Christmas Day πŸ™‚ Hope you had a terrific holiday too!!

  3. This looks fabulous! Sadly, I probably won’t make it ☹️ For years I’ve made special carby items fro Christmas breakfast, from ebelskiver, to brioche to panettone, to panettone French bread, yeasted waffles and so forth, oh and various stollen… nobody eats them!!!!!

  4. Ben @ Havocinthekitchen

    I am 90% prepared. Until yesterday, I was sure all my present shopping was done, but then I realized (When wrapping the presents. Don’t like this part and keep it till the last moment!) one thing for Andrey was missing. I mean I was literally keeping that item in my hands in the store, and all this time (For almost a month!) I was positive I got it, but something must have distracted me. Christmas blackout, ha-ha. Anyway, this French toast bake looks wonderful and so soul warming; loving the addition of cinnamon and cream cheese. Excellent choice for the holidays. Merry Christmas and see you with your new recipes in New Year!

  5. So perfect for Christmas morning! Love that you can make it ahead. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas, Katherine. xo

  6. Definitely decadent! I love the special touch of the cinnamon sugar topping and cream cheese frosting – could easily have two servings.

  7. I haven’t wrapped anything yet either…yikes! I’m almost done though so I’m not too worried. πŸ™‚ My boys love overnight french toast so I make it for holidays a lot. This looks delicious and I can smell the cinnamon from here. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Katherine!

  8. This is so perfect for Christmas morning because it always gets hectic, but I like making a big breakfast for the boys! I will have to make this next year! This year I am making cinnamon rolls (overnight). Wish me luck hahaha. And Merry Christmas Katherine!

  9. This looks so decadent and delicious for Christmas morning! Love all the cinnamon in there!!! It’s been so fun getting to know you Katherine, I hope to see you at EFC again in 2020. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!!

  10. This looks like the perfect holiday breakfast Katherine, quick easy and delicious. Thank you for this great recipe. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year πŸ™‚

  11. These overnight french toast bake is easy to make and so incredibly good!

  12. These overnight french toast bake is easy to make and so incredibly good! Thanks for sharing <3

  13. Beautiful holiday breakfast Katherine. Our home is going to be full of people next weekend and it is such a perfect solution to make everybody happy early in the morning πŸ™‚ Thank you and happy holidays !

  14. Oh man does this ever look delicious, it must smell just heavenly in the oven, perfect for a winter morning!! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

  15. I love overnight recipes like this, Katherine! They always are a hit, and it’s so great to have done the work the night before! Hope you have a great New Year my friend!

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