March 5, 2022| By

Strawberry French Toast Casserole

Prep Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
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Strawberry French Toast Casserole is a simple yet tasty make-ahead breakfast of buttery stacked french toast, topped cream cheese and strawberry jam, then finished with powdered sugar. Everyone will love this fruity spin on a breakfast classic. Get ready because brunch is served!

If you are looking for more breakfast faves then I have you covered with my Brioche French Toast Casserole, Brown Butter Waffles with Cinnamon Apples or my Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes with Raspberry Coulis.

strawberry french toast casserole in a baking dish with strawberries and mascarpone

This French toast is soaked for at least an hour in a rich custard that includes strawberry preserves, brown sugar, milk, and eggs, before being baked and topped with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar. This french toast bake is so easy to make!

The finished dish is sweet and decadent, with a crisp caramelized coating and a thick, fluffy inside. This is the perfect french toast to start your day!

sliced strawberry french toast casserole on a plate

Which is better: pancakes, waffles, or French toast?

French toast is part of the great breakfast trifecta. At different times, I have preferred waffles or pancakes but this Strawberry French Toast Casserole makes the competition even stiffer!

French toast has always felt easier to make in comparison to homemade waffles and pancakes. The same holds true with this recipe. You simply mix, soak, and then bake in the oven. Even if you don't have much time, you can make this the night before and bake it in the morning. You can't go wrong.

The added bonus is that it requires no time on the stove! This dish is ideal for brunch since you just pop it in the oven before your guests arrive.

what bread should be used for french toast?

All breads are not created equal! I recommend using thick, hearty bread like Challah or Brioche. Brioche is my top choice for French toast because it soaks up the custard really well. It also brings that super buttery flavor!

Brioche bread has a high butter and egg content which impeccably complements the other ingredients in French toast. I used this brioche bread.

other key ingredients for strawberry french toast casserole

  • Eggs: Binds the ingredients together. Use room temperature eggs to ensure it incorporates well so you do not end up with pieces of cooked egg on your French toast.
  • Milk: Use your preferred milk. Milk adds moisture and flavor.
  • Brown Sugar: This will caramelize the bread and add deep caramel-y notes.
  • Strawberry Preserves: The heart of this recipe!
  • Vanilla Extract: Add this for a classic French toast flavor.
  • Salt: This balances the sweetness.
  • Cream Cheese: This compliments the strawberry jam. Use room temperature for easy spreading.
  • Powdered sugar: For sprinkling over the finished product.
  • Strawberries: For garnish and more berry goodness!
a piece of french toast on a fork

How do you keep French toast casserole from getting soggy?

In order to get a firmer texture, use more binder (eggs), soak for a shorter amount of time and add less liquid (milk). If you use slightly stale bread, it can handle more moisture and therefore not become soggy during the soaking process.

Luckily, this recipe doesn't use a ton of milk so you don't have to worry about soggy french toast. I'm big on texture so I made sure that the french toast wasn't mushy!

baked strawberry french toast in a serving dish with a serving spoon

how to make strawberry french toast casserole

  1. First, spray a 9x13 baking dish with oil and slice brioche. Each piece should be about a ½ inch. Place each piece of bread into the baking dish, laying one piece on top of the next. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, brown sugar, ½ cup of strawberry jam, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix together cream cheese and remaining ½ cup of jam.
  3. Next, pour the egg mixture on top of the bread. Then, dollop cream cheese/jam mixture on top of each piece of bread and smear on top of the bread (like buttering toast). Cover with plastic wrap. Let the bread sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, optimally 3 hours to overnight.
  4. When you are about 30 minutes out from cooking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, until golden and crisp on top. Let the french toast cool for at least 15 minutes then sprinkle powdered sugar on top and garnish with strawberries! Enjoy!

watch me make strawberry french toast casserole

what can you put on french toast instead of syrup?

Maple syrup is great but it isn't the only thing to put on french toast! You can put powdered sugar, honey, fresh fruit, mascarpone, yogurt, ice cream, caramel, chocolate sauce - that's just to name a few.

I also love putting nuts on top of my french toast too! It gives it a nice crunch!

sliced strawberry french toast casserole on a plate

tips for making french toast

  • Use a quality bread like brioche or challah for a rich, super tasty french toast.
  • Cut each slice about a ½ inch wide. This will ensure the bread doesn't get soggy while baking.
  • Use a nonstick pan or be sure to spray you pan liberally with nonstick baking spray.
  • Ensure your ingredients are room temperature. This includes milk, cream cheese, and eggs for this baked french toast recipe.

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strawberry french toast casserole in a baking dish with strawberries and mascarpone

Strawberry French Toast Casserole

Strawberry French Toast Casserole is a simple yet tasty make-ahead breakfast of strawberry-flavored stacked french toast, topped with powdered sugar. Everyone will love this fruity spin on a breakfast classic. Get ready because brunch is served!
Serving: 8 servings
Prep Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Calories: 557kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf Brioche bread sliced
  • 6 Eggs room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups Milk
  • ¾ cups Brown sugar 
  • 1 cup Strawberry preserves
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 tbsp Powdered sugar for garnish
  • Strawberries for garnish

Directions

  • Spray a 9x13 baking pan with oil and place each piece of bread into the pan, laying one piece on top of the next. 
  • Whisk together eggs, milk, brown sugar, ½ cup of strawberry jam, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Pour on top of bread and press bread down to ensure the bread is submerged in the custard. Mix together remaining strawberry preserves with cream cheese and dollop on top of the bread. Smear cream mixture on top of each piece of bread. Cover with plastic wrap. Let the bread sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, optimally 3 hours to overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is golden and crisp. Of note, the french toast will swell while baking but will deflate and flatten while cooling.
  • Sprinkle powdered sugar and add strawberries on top. 

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Notes

u003cliu003eOf note, French toast will swell in the oven but as it cools, it will flatten and set.u003c/liu003e

Nutrition

Calories: 557kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 229mg | Sodium: 509mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 985IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American

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Recipe Rating




  1. 5 stars
    I made this this morning with my kids and it's Best french toast I've ever made. So easy to make too. I will be making this for my mother on mother's day, she's gonna love it!

  2. 5 stars
    I didn’t use the cream cheese on top but the recipe was still delicious and wasn’t soggy like a lot of other French toast casseroles I’ve made. I’ll be making this again for Mother’s Day brunch. Thanks for the recipe Britney!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this recipe over the weekend as part of a simple, elegant brunch gathering and it was a big hit! There were many oohs and aahs. Super easy to prep the night before and then just pop in the oven the morning of. I used a slightly smaller casserole dish than the one instructed and was still able to fit the whole brioche loaf, but because there was less room in between slices to spread the cream cheese and strawberry jam mixture, I only used about 75% of the amount in the recipe; it tasted very well balanced to me with the amount I used. Thank you, Britney, for an incredible recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this recipe this past weekend and it was a huge success! I am a major french toast fanatic, and when I saw strawberries I jumped for joy. This was the perfect texture, you're right, it wasn't soggy!! Will be adding this for my Mother's Day Brunch in a few weeks!

  5. 5 stars
    My husband made this for me this morning and I had to come on here and comment to say how much we loved it. It’s the best French toast I’ve ever had!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this for Sunday breakfast and goodness gracious this was delicious. The strawberry cream cheese on top made it so creamy. Also, so easy to make. I’m going to make this all the time.