Cinnamon-spiced French toast meets blueberry cheesecake in this sweet and simple breakfast bake. Baked Blueberry French Toast Casserole is a dish that’s perfect for Mother’s Day, or anytime!
An Easy Mother’s Day Brunch Idea!
If you’re like me, Mother’s Day is the perfect occasion for a wonderful breakfast, or better yet, brunch! Yes, I’m an unashamed brunch girl. Just put that Mimosa in my hand and stand back. Or better yet, give me a rosé float (more on that below)!
And, every brunch, in my humble opinion, needs an easy casserole dish. I love breakfast casseroles of all kinds, but this super simple blueberry and cream cheese bake might just be my fave!
Although it sounds and tastes rich, indulgent, and sweet, you’ll be happy to know that this recipe is full of wholesome ingredients. Sourdough, blueberries, eggs, and a touch of pure maple syrup come together to make an almost dessert-like casserole, from scratch, with no artificial ingredients and practically no effort. It’s sweet perfection in a baking dish!
What You’ll Need
The ingredients for this berry-filled bake are pure and simple! You’ll love how this easy recipe comes together to make something truly special.
- Bread: We’ll start with the bread, which should have a tangy taste and firm texture. I prefer using a loaf of sourdough bread, or Italian bread, cubed into 1-inch pieces. Whatever you use, you’ll need about 8 cups of cubes.
- Eggs: To make the French toast mixture, you’ll need six whole eggs.
- Half & Half: You can just use milk, but I find that using half & half gives this recipe a holiday-appropriate richness.
- Maple Syrup: Instead of sugar, go ahead and sweeten the recipe with ⅓ cup of pure maple syrup. It is the perfect flavor for a French toast casserole! You could also use honey, if you’d like!
- Cinnamon: A full tablespoon of ground cinnamon adds warmth, fragrance and unforgettable flavor.
- Vanilla: I also use a full tablespoon of pure vanilla extract. Regular vanilla flavoring will work fine as well.
- Blueberries: Whether you use fresh or frozen is up to you; both will work in this easy recipe.
- Cream Cheese: You’ll need ¾ cup of cubed cream cheese.
- Optional Garnishes: I love topping off this tasty casserole with fresh berries and powdered sugar.
How to Make this Baked French Toast Casserole
Honestly, I’m such a fan of bakes like this. Anything you can mix up in a baking dish and walk away from is super helpful, in my book! Whether it’s a busy day or a relaxing morning, I love being able to set it and forget it, at least for a little while.
- Prep Baking Dish: Lightly grease a large casserole dish with cooking spray or butter. You can also use a Dutch oven.
- Add Bread: Cube your bread into 1-inch pieces. Place your bread pieces in the prepared baking dish.
- Top with Blueberries: Evenly distribute 1 cup blueberries and the cubed cream cheese pieces on top of the bread.
- Make Egg Mixture: Whisk together the eggs, half & half, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread.
- Chill: Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or overnight, if preparing the evening before).
- Bake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove plastic wrap and then recover the baking dish with foil (or a lid, if you’re using a Dutch oven. Make sure the lid is baking-proof!). Bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil or lid, and bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes, or until the middle is set and the edges are lightly browned.
- Enjoy! Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh blueberries and powdered sugar. Serve with warm maple syrup.
There are tons of fun variations you could do with this easy bake. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite combos below, for inspiration! Happy baking!
- Banana Nut: Follow the basic recipe as written, but substitute honey for the maple syrup, chopped banana for the blueberries, and sprinkle a cup of chopped pecans in along with the fruit and cream cheese. Your tastebuds will thank you!
- Strawberry Cheesecake: Follow the basic recipe, but omit the cinnamon. Substitute fresh or frozen strawberries for the blueberries, and serve with whipped cream.
- Bear Claw: Omit the fruit, and use challah or brioche bread instead of the sourdough. Instead of a tablespoon of vanilla, use a teaspoon each of vanilla and almond. Sprinkle slivered almonds and bits of marzipan over the bread along with the cream cheese cubes. Enjoy!
- Classic American: Omit the fruit and cream cheese. Instead, sprinkle crispy bacon bits and shredded cheddar over the bread before adding the sweet egg and milk mixture. This will make a bake that’s sweet and savory at the same time!
- Cozy Raisin & Sausage: Use your favorite cinnamon raisin bread for this one, and reduce the added cinnamon to one teaspoon. Instead of the fruit, sprinkle your bake with cooked, crumbled breakfast sausage. Omit the cream cheese.
Tips for Success
Here are my top tips for awesome baked French toast! From presentation to substitutions, these easy ideas will help you create the perfect breakfast bake.
- A Pretty Presentation: You don’t necessarily have to cube the bread! If you’d like, just arrange slices of your preferred bread in neat, overlapping rows before topping with your add-ins and egg mixture.
- Go Dairy-Free: I don’t recommend replacing the eggs, but you can definitely use a non-dairy milk in this recipe! Keep in mind that some milks, like coconut, will bring a distinctive taste, while others may not be as rich.
- Ditch the Gluten: If you need a gluten-free breakfast, this is a really good choice, because all of the work of gluten-free baking is done for you! All you have to do is swap in your favorite gluten-free bread instead of regular bread, and voila!
A French toast casserole is practically a meal in and of itself, so if all you do is make this (and maybe add a cup of coffee), you’re golden! But if you’d like to make a nice brunch menu to accompany your bake, here are some great ideas for sides and drinks.
- Eggs Benedict Casserole: What could be better than dueling casseroles, one sweet and one savory? Guests will love the option of your sweet blueberry version along with this delightful egg, cheese and ham casserole topped with Hollandaise. Eggs Benedict Casserole for the win!
- Baked Bacon: I mean, we all know bacon is a big hit anytime, but especially for brunch! And with this basic prep method, you can stick your bacon in the oven and not have to stand over the stove. Perfectly Crispy Oven Baked Bacon is going to become your go-to!
- Salmon Fillets: A simple platter of Maple Mustard Salmon Fillets adds a touch of elegance to any brunch table.
- A Chilled Rosé Cocktail: You’ve got to try my amazing Rosé Sorbet Floats! Sweet rosé wine is paired with raspberry sorbet for a beautiful, fruity cocktail Mom will adore.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Store leftover casserole squares in food storage bags or airtight containers in the refrigerator. This casserole will stay good for up to 2 days in the fridge.
- I don’t recommend freezing it because, the texture may degrade.
- To reheat, place the leftover casserole in an ovenproof dish and bake, uncovered, at 350°F until piping hot all the way through.
Baked Blueberry French Toast Casserole
- Lightly grease a large casserole dish with cooking spray or butter. You can also use a Dutch oven.
- Cube your bread into 1-inch pieces. Place your bread pieces in the prepared baking dish.
- Evenly distribute 1 cup blueberries and the cubed cream cheese pieces on top of the bread.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, half & half, maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or overnight if preparing the evening before).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cover the baking dish with foil (or a lid, if you’re using a Dutch oven. Make sure the lid is baking-proof!). Bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil or lid, and bake uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the middle is set and edges are lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven, and garnish with fresh blueberries and powdered sugar.
- Serve with warm maple syrup.
More Brunch Recipes to Try
I could eat brunch food every day for the rest of my life! Especially when it comes to these easy dishes: