INGREDIENTS 1 large loaf white bread, cubed 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temperature ½ cup sugar Zest of 1 lemon 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 ½ cups fresh raspberries 9 eggs 2 cups milk ⅓ cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla
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Raspberry Cheesecake French Toast Bake

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Raspberry Cheesecake French Toast Bake is a delightful and indulgent breakfast or brunch dish that combines the flavors of raspberry cheesecake with classic French toast. This make-ahead casserole is perfect for feeding a crowd or enjoying a special weekend breakfast. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of making Raspberry Cheesecake French Toast Bake, provide helpful cooking notes, and offer variations to suit different tastes and dietary preferences.

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Ingredients

  • 1 large loaf white bread, cubed
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups fresh raspberries
  • 9 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Bread and Cream Cheese Mixture

  1. Cube the Bread:
    • Cut the large loaf of white bread into cubes and place them in a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Make the Cream Cheese Mixture:
    • In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, ½ cup sugar, lemon zest, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the Raspberries:
    • Gently fold in the fresh raspberries into the cream cheese mixture.

Step 2: Assemble the French Toast Bake

  1. Layer the Bread and Cream Cheese Mixture:
    • Spread half of the cubed bread evenly in the prepared baking dish.
    • Spoon dollops of the cream cheese and raspberry mixture over the bread.
    • Top with the remaining cubed bread, spreading it out evenly.
  2. Make the Egg Mixture:
    • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, ⅓ cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until well combined.
  3. Pour the Egg Mixture:
    • Pour the egg mixture evenly over the layered bread and cream cheese mixture in the baking dish.

Step 3: Chill and Bake

  1. Chill the Casserole:
    • Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight to allow the bread to absorb the egg mixture.
  2. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  3. Bake:
    • Remove the plastic wrap from the baking dish.
    • Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center is set.

Step 4: Serve

  1. Cool Slightly:
    • Allow the French toast bake to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
  2. Serve:
    • Serve warm, with additional fresh raspberries, a dusting of powdered sugar, or a drizzle of maple syrup if desired.

Cook Notes and Variations

Cook Notes:

  • Bread: Day-old bread works best for this recipe as it absorbs the egg mixture more effectively.
  • Cream Cheese: Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature for easier mixing.

Variations:

  • Berry Mix:
    • Use a mix of berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries for a different flavor.
  • Nutty French Toast Bake:
    • Add ½ cup of chopped nuts such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts for added texture and flavor.
  • Chocolate Raspberry:
    • Sprinkle ½ cup of chocolate chips between the layers for a chocolatey twist.
  • Gluten-Free Version:
    • Use gluten-free bread to make the recipe gluten-free.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use frozen raspberries?

Yes, you can use frozen raspberries. Thaw and drain them well before folding them into the cream cheese mixture to prevent excess moisture.

2. How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover French toast bake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

3. Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, this recipe is perfect for making ahead. Assemble the casserole the night before and refrigerate it overnight. Bake it the next morning for a fresh and delicious breakfast.

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4. What can I serve with Raspberry Cheesecake French Toast Bake?

This dish pairs well with a fresh fruit salad, bacon or sausage, and a cup of coffee or tea.

5. Can I use a different type of bread?

Yes, you can use other types of bread such as brioche, challah, or sourdough for different flavors and textures.

Raspberry Cheesecake French Toast Bake is a delicious and indulgent breakfast treat that’s perfect for any occasion. With its creamy cheesecake filling, fresh raspberries, and rich French toast, this casserole is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. Whether you’re making it for a special brunch or a weekend breakfast, this recipe is easy to follow and full of flavor. Give this Raspberry Cheesecake French Toast Bake a try and enjoy a comforting and satisfying meal. Happy cooking!