Blueberry cream cheese french toast casserole is embedded in warm cinnamon and sour cream custard, sweetened tangy cream cheese, juicy blueberries and topped with honey graham cracker crumble. The perfect way to jump start your weekend brunch!
Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole
Blueberry cream cheese french toast casserole is the best breakfast to wake up to on a late weekend and the perfect way to round off a productive, or maybe not so productive, work week. It's kind of like a little reward for “adulting” when you really don't want to.
Don't get me wrong, I love french toast cooked the traditional way (on the stove-top) but I love it even more when it's baked with yummy blueberries, cream cheese and honey graham cracker crumble.
When I'm feeling
lazy fancy, I prefer to grab a loaf of brioche and bake a big batch of blueberry cream cheese french toast for my big appetite family.
Why this blueberry french toast recipe works
- What I love about this blueberry french toast casserole is something you don't find on most french toast casseroles. Honey graham cracker crumble topping! The crumble is so delicious!
- The custard is made with no milk. I only used sour cream. I love cooking with sour cream. It makes everything taste better and adds so much flavor to this casserole.
- I also love the tangy cream cheese filling. The tangy flavor rounds out the sweetness and adds some tanginess to the casserole.
- Brioche bread is already sweet enough, therefore I don't add white sugar. I only use brown sugar because it's not as sweet as white sugar and it's tastes more flavorful in this recipe.
- The juicy sweet blueberries is a must! I used two cups. You can use frozen or fresh. I prefer to use frozen. See recipe notes about this below.
- Another great thing about this recipe is that the prep time is cut shorter since you don't have to cut the bread into cubes. The bread is baked on top of of one another.
- You don't need to add syrup or powdered sugar. It's absolutely delicious without additional syrups.
- It makes a perfect quick grab and go breakfast because you don't have to, reheat leftovers. It's just that good! Just remove it from the fridge. Slice whatever amount you need, let it come to room temperature and serve.
This blueberry cream cheese french toast casserole combines delicious brioche bread, all the fixings of french toast, blue berry, tangy cream cheese filling, sour cream, and a mouth-watering graham cracker crumble that steals the show.
If you like french toast casseroles, you're in for a treat. The best part? You can make it the same day and reheat it in the morning, or prepare it the night before and bake it in the morning.
Why is my french toast soggy?
Usually, this means you used too much dairy, and the egg wash wasn't able to cook all the way. Don't go overboard with your dairy ingredients, and you'll get that brown Maillard effect you know and love with french toast. To fix this issue, try baking the casserole until it's no longer wet.
What is the Secret to a Good French Toast?
A good baked blueberry french toast isn't complicated. You just need to pick the right ingredients and show them some love. Don't choose a flimsy slice of bread. Use a thick, ¾-inch or 1-inch slice of brioche, or another sturdy bread. I like to switch things up sometimes and use Texas toast too! It's sturdy it soaks up the delicious custard perfectly.
Watch your sweetness, too. If you're topping it off with a bunch of sugar, your custard doesn't need to be super sweet, too. If you make it just right, you won't need to additional syrup or powdered sugar.
Finally, and this is the real secret. Use day-old bread. Fresh stuff works just fine too, but bread that has firmed up a bit and is right on the verge of being stale makes the texture you get at a fancy restaurant because it has lost most of its moisture.
Blueberry French Toast Ingredients
I've put a complete list of ingredients and measurements in the usual spot, but I want to take some time to talk about the more notable ingredients I used to make this blueberry french toast bake. It takes a classic french toast bake up a whole bunch of notches.
- Brioche Bread: A good loaf of brioche makes the difference with this blueberry cream cheese french casserole. Its thick, just the right density, and has a flavor that perfectly compliments the rest of the dish. You can buy it unsliced, which I recommend since it lets you pick the thickness of your slices, or you can get the bagged slices near the usual white and wheat bread at the grocery store. If you can't find brioche, you can also buy a loaf a Texas toast (not the frozen kind).
- Blueberries: The traditional cream cheese filling is sweet, creamy, and the perfect topper for baked french toast. Blueberries take all of that, turn it on its head, and kicks it into full gear. You don't have to include them, but trust me, you won't regret using them. Frozen or fresh is fine, however, lately I've noticed that frozen blueberries have a more concentrated flavor. I always but mine fresh and then freeze them until I'm ready to use them.
- Graham Cracker Crumble: Streusel is a classic, but I can't even begin to explain how much a graham cracker crumble adds to a french toast bake. Graham crackers are packed with more flavor, and they have a soft crunch to them that I can't even explain. And they add a bit of childhood nostalgia to the mix.
- Sour Cream: A lot of other recipes use milk for their custard, but I like to go all out with sour cream in my blueberry french toast. Talk about flavor! It adds a tangy robust-ness to the flavor, and they make the perfect custard to soak your bread in. If you have not tried sour cream french toast, YOU ARE MISSING OUT!
How to Make Graham Cracker Crumble
I am absolutely crazy about graham cracker crusts and toppers. It's tastes amazing in this recipe. I replaced the traditional streusel in similar recipes with graham cracker crumble. It's always a delicious treat!
Graham cracker crumble is super easy to make, and you only need a few ingredients: Butter, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and of course, graham crackers.
Step 1: Toss all the graham crackers, melted butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a food processor until it looks like a sandy crumble and it comes together. That's it! Just let it chill in the refrigerator until it's ready.
What Type of Bread Do I Use?
You can technically make french toast out of any bread, but I highly recommend inch-thick brioche. It holds up well, dries up easily, and just adds that extra richness to the toast that you don't get from other breads.
As I mentioned earlier, any thick bread will work but I recommend staying away from anything pungent and “complex” like pumpernickel, or flimsy bread. Keep it simple and stick to proven classics.
How to Make Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole
- Step 2: The Sour Cream Custard: This is a simple mix up. Add sour cream, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and eggs to a large bowl, and beat it together like there's no tomorrow.
- Step 3: The Filling: The cream cheese, and confectioner's sugar come together to make a sweet cream cheese filling that turns traditional french toast into something special. Use room temperature cream cheese. Add it to a bowl along with the powdered sugar.
Using an electric mixer. Mix until it's smooth. Don't worry if you notice tiny lumps. It's fine. Once it's all mixed together, place dollops of it on top of your bread. It's supposed to be random, but make sure you get plenty of it in there so each bite is perfect. Spread the cream cheese just a bit. It doesn't have to go to the edges of the bread.
- Step 4: Layer the Bread: To layer the blueberry cream cheese french toast casserole first butter a 9x13 baking dish. Take a slice of bread and dip it into the custard mixture. Let the excess drip off. You should be able to fit about six slices. If you have to cut a slice or two of bread in half to make it fit then do so. Top bread with blueberries.
Place dollops of the cream cheese on the bread. It's supposed to be random, but make sure you get plenty of it in there so each bite is perfect. Smooth the cream cheese out some. It doesn't have to cover each and every entire slice of bread.
Next, Add the blueberries all over the top. Dip the bread into the custard mixture again, let the excess drip off. Place the bread on top of the blueberries and cream cheese. Pour the rest of the custard all over the bread. Top with the remaining blueberries.
- Step 5: The Finishing Touch: Now, you're just about done. Grab your graham cracker crumble from the fridge and sprinkle it over the top. Now decide if you want to bake it right away or bake in the morning then read below.
How to make in Advance
- Making it in advance two ways:
1st way: For a lazy lay-in-the-bed-half-the-day type situation, prep it the night before and bake it in the morning. If you want to eat it the same day, you can do that as well.
Here's how to make a blueberry cream cheese french toast casserole in advance.Wrap the pan with plastic rap and tuck it in for a little rest in the fridge overnight. When you wake up in the morning, or afternoon for that matter, your blueberry cream cheese french toast will have had a goodnight's sleep, and it'll be ready for its big day in the oven. Just put it in and bake at 350 for an hour and 15 minutes until it's golden brown and no longer wet. Serve it warm and you're in for the best breakfast of your life.
2nd way: This is my favorite way. I love to make it the same day, bake it, then once it cools down, I'll cover it and refrigerate it until the morning.
In the morning, I take it the french toast bake out, let it come to room temperature and serve. I don't EVEN bother heating it up because it's just that good! Try it, you won't regret it.
Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole
Graham Cracker Crumble
- 4.5 graham crackers a half of a sleeve from a 14 oz box of graham crackers
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 tbs unsalted butter melted
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- salt small pinch or two. Start off small then taste.
- ¾ cup milk
- 3 eggs
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 5 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
Cream Cheese Mixture
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 3 ½ tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 cups blueberries
Graham Cracker Crumble
- Read the ingredients, instructions, and notes all the way through before you begin. Food process the graham crackers, brown sugar, melted butter, salt and vanilla extract until it comes together and resembles sand.
- In another bowl, add the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Whisk very well.
Cream Cheese Mixture
- To a bowl, add the cream cheese and powdered sugar. With an electric mixer, mix until smooth. Don't worry if you see tiny lumps.
Layering the blueberry french toast casserole
- Dip the slices into the custard. Let the excess drip off. Place into the pan. Pour half of the custard evenly over the bread. You can also just place the bread into the pan and then pour the custard all over the bread. I prefer the first way. Then pour the remaining custard over the bread right before you add the crumble. FYI: You should be able to fit about six slices on each row. If you have to cut a slice or two of bread in half to make it fit then do so. Top bread with blueberries.Next, scatter half of the blueberries on top of the bread. You can add the cream cheese first, if you like then add the blueberries (it may be easier for you, but it doesn't really matter).Place dollops of the cream cheese mix on the bread. It's supposed to be random, but make sure you get plenty of it in there so each bite is perfect. Smooth the cream cheese out some. It doesn't have to cover the entire slice of bread.Dip six more slices of the custard dipped bread on top of the existing bread, blueberries and cream cheese mix. Pour the rest of the custard evenly over the bread. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumb all over the top of the bread. Dot with the rest of the blueberries. **See notes below to make it overnight.**
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover with foil. Bake 35 minutes. Uncover then bake for 40 minutes or until no longer wet. **See notes below**
What Type of Bread Do I Use?I highly recommend inch-thick brioche. It holds up well, dries up easily, and just adds that extra richness to the toast that you don't get from other breads. If you can't find brioche, you can also buy a loaf a Texas toast (not the frozen kind). As I mentioned earlier, any thick bread will work but I recommend staying away from anything pungent and “complex” like pumpernickel, or flimsy bread like white bread. If you only have white day old bread, you should probably use less custard mixture because it may come out soggy.
Frozen or Fresh Blueberries
- Blueberries: Frozen or fresh is fine, however, lately I've noticed that frozen blueberries have a more concentrated flavor. I always but mine fresh and then freeze them until I'm ready to use them.
Here are two ways to make a blueberry cream cheese french toast casserole in advance.
- 1st way: For a lazy lay-in-the-bed-half-the-day type situation, prep it the night before and bake it in the morning. If you want to eat it the same day, you can do that as well. Wrap the pan with foil and tuck it in for a little rest in the fridge overnight. When you wake up in the morning, or afternoon for that matter, your blueberry cream cheese french toast will have had a goodnight's sleep, and it'll be ready for its big day in the oven. Don't remove the foil. Bake 35 minutes. Uncover then bake for 50 minutes. Serve warm.
- 2nd way: This is my favorite way. I prefer to make it the same day, bake it, then once it cools down, cover and refrigerate until the morning. The flavors get to mingle together overnight which makes this french toast taste even more flavorful. I don't EVEN bother reheating it because it's just that good! When you're ready to eat, let the casserole come to room temp and serve. Try it, you won't regret it. If you'd like to reheat the blueberry french toast casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the foil, bake until it's warmed throughout. Serve warm.
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