Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast

This is a make ahead recipe, which is wonderful if you actually remembered that the evening before and didn’t make it at 8am on a snowy May morning, (yes, I am looking for sympathy!) put it into the oven and then double check how long it should bake for only to want to bang your head off a wall as you realise that it needs time to chill out.  Thankfully, its brief foray into the oven didn’t scare it too much and it was happy sitting in the fridge until Sunday.

And it is a make ahead breakfast dish… so what if I made it really far ahead?

I also used frozen strawberries as that was the only option I had.

This, when we did finally get to eat, was literally heaven on a fork.   Allan who prefers savoury breakfast dishes had a second portion.  That is very high praise!

Strawberries and cream cheese French Toast

Strawberries and cream cheese French Toast just out of the oven

Add some Strawberry Sauce and you are into total decadence!

Add some Strawberry Sauce and you are into total decadence!

 

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast

  • 12 slices home-style white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes, divided
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cold cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries – I used frozen strawberries, as really it is snowing here and strawberries don’t do well on the freight plane.
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup

Sauce:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Generously grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Arrange half the bread cubes in the prepared baking dish. Evenly distribute cream cheese cubes over the bread cube layer; sprinkle 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries atop cream cheese layer. Layer the remaining bread cubes over strawberry layer.

Pour half-and-half into a blender; pulse for a few seconds. Blend eggs into half-and-half until fully incorporated. Add maple syrup and blend until smooth. Pour mixture evenly over bread mixture. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Remove baking dish from refrigerator 45 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Bake the covered casserole in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and continue baking until French toast is puffed and golden brown, about 30 more minutes.

Stir sugar, water, and cornstarch together in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Mix 1 cup sliced strawberries into the sugar mixture; cook and stir until strawberries are softened, about 10 minutes. Add butter and stir sauce until butter is melted.

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