Croissant Baked French Toast With Strawberries and Cream Cheese
Buttery croissants baked in a sweet spiced custard alongside sweet juicy berries and a cream cheese surprise in each bite. A very decadent luxe/splurge breakfast perfect for Sunday brunch.
Baked French toast can be made with pretty much any bread you love from brioche and challah to panettone, but after you make it with croissants you may not want to use anything else to make it. The French toast is soft, tender, and the true definition of buttery perfection.
It’s best to use day old croissants if possible that way they will soak up the custard a little better and end up with a better textured, puffed French toast that isn’t too soggy. It can easily be made the night before which is great when you want to have something ready first thing in the morning - just pop it in the oven in the morning and all you have to do is set the table and make the coffee while it bakes away.
The berries that are nestled into the croissants become jammy and delicious. The croissants stay soft and tender but they develop a nice caramelised crispy exterior that is wonderful to cut into and enjoy. The subtly sweet cream cheese layer adds a decadence that puts this French toast over the top if it already wasn’t with the use of croissants in it. It is like jammy buttery toast and bagels with cream cheese combined. If you like both those things you will love this French toast.
The best thing about it is how easy it is to make and enjoy. Just assemble and chill until ready to bake, then bake and serve. Simple, beautiful, and delicious and just the most decadent way to enjoy croissants. Baked French toast is my family’s favourite kind of breakfast and this has quickly become their favourite version and I’m sure it has to do with the croissants. I think it will become a favourite in your home too, and is perfect enjoyed with maple syrup drizzles before enjoying each bite.
- 10 medium size croissants, cut in large segments/chunks
- 2 cups milk or half and half
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs
- ¼cup light brown sugar, plus 1 tbsp
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 8 ounce cream cheese room temperature and softened
- 2 tbsp of confectioners sugar plus more for dusting
- 2 cups strawberries, cut into ¾ to 1-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons cold salted butter, thinly sliced
- Butter a 9x13 casserole dish. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl whip the cream cheese with a hand mixer until soft and fluffy (just a couple of minutes) then mix in the confectioners sugar and set aside
- In a large bowl, whisk together milk (or half and half), vanilla, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Dip half the croissant halves into mixture until fully coated.
- Arrange half the croissants into prepared casserole, overlapping.
- Dollop the cream cheese over the first layer of croissants
- Spread ¾ of the strawberries
- Dip the remaining pieces in the egg milk mixture and arrange over the berries
- Pour remaining milk and egg mixture over the casserole, gently pressing to absorb.
- Sprinkle the remaining berries over the top of the casserole. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight
- Preheat oven to 375°F. And remove the dish from the fridge and remove plastic wrap.
- Lay the thinly sliced butter over the croissants and bake 40- 50minutes, or until the French toast is golden and crisp. If the tops of the croissants begin to brown too quickly, loosely cover the french toast with foil.
- Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar, cut into wedges, and serve with maple syrup