Stuffed French Toast Strata (Christmas breakfast recipe)

I’m bringing this recipe forward from 2006 for folks who may not have seen it yet.  We still make it on Christmas Eve morning every year!


Here’s our traditional Christmas breakfast. I love that we can make it the night before and just stick it in the oven in the morning! It can be made egg-free, by adding a little more milk instead of the eggs. If you need it to be gluten free, just cube up a loaf of gluten-free bread instead of french bread.

Stuffed French Toast Strata (Christmas breakfast recipe)

Stuffed French Toast Strata (Christmas breakfast recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of French bread
  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, cubed
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Cut French bread loaf into cubes (about 12 cups bread cubes). Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan. In the prepared pan place half of the bread cubes. Top with the cream cheese cubes and then the remaining bread cubes.
  2. Whisk together eggs, milk, melted butter, maple syrup and cinnamon until well combined. Pour the egg mixture evenly over bread and cheese cubes. Using a spatula, slightly press layers down to moisten.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. Remove plastic wrap and bake in a 325 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until the center appears to be set and the eggs are golden. Let stand for 10 minutes. Makes 6-8 servings.
  4. Note: If you'd like to make this with blueberries, just sprinkle a cup or two of berries on top of the cubed cream cheese and serve with blueberry syrup.
    For more affordable recipes, check out Mary's cookbook Family Feasts for $75 a Week
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Here’s a video of me making this recipe for ParentsTV a few years back.  Begin around 2:30 to jump straight to the recipe tutorial.

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{ 56 Comments }

  1. Wow. That sounds really, really yummy.

  2. Ooh, that sounds fabulous!!

  3. who doesn’t like french toast ! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. There certainly are a lot of modifiers in that title. But it sounds fabulous. I love nice breakfasts and am always looking for good recipes. Printing it off as we speak.

  5. Dude… we are totally having this this year. Thanks so much!

  6. Mmmm.. Sounds good! I was about to look up a breakfast casserole for that morning, but I’ll do this instead!
    Thank you, Mary!

  7. This beats store bought cinnamon rolls. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Oh YES! We will be having that at the Dryer household! Thanks!

  9. Just hit the Print button. It sure looks tasty!
    We won’t have it for Christmas morning, but soon, very soon.

  10. yum! what time should i show up?

  11. Thanks for stopping by. The food sounds good. Maybe I will have to try it!

  12. Thanks for stopping by….The food sounds yummy I will have to try it

  13. Yum! That sounds wonderful!

  14. Ooo, sounds SO yummy! Thanks for sharing =) Happy Holidays!

  15. That looks amazing. I’ve copied it and will be giving it a try.

  16. That looks wonderful! I have a son who is egg allergic also. How do you make it egg-free?

  17. oops..never mind! I just saw the “add a bit more milk part”

    Sorry!

  18. Can’t wait to try this! Thanks.

  19. Mmmmmm…this sounds yummy. Maybe I will make this for Christmas Eve breakfast! Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas!

  20. That looks good. I think we might be starting a new Christmas breakfast tradition this year. Thanks!

  21. That sounds SOOOOO good!! I’m going to try it for breakfast in the morning!!

  22. Wow! That sounds really yummy – especially the blueberry part.

  23. Mmmm – I love it when you put recipes on your blog! They always look good, and I don’t even like french toast (I know, I know – that’s weird!)
    Blessings!

  24. yes this is what we have every year (You can do it with jut regular bread too, although the french bread is better, you can also add a pound of precooked bacon of sausage per my sister. We don’t as we don’t eat meat but…)Its really great, easy to prepare and best b/c prepared a head and the whole house smells greast while its cooking and the kids are unrwrapping!

  25. Two questions:

    1) Have you (or anyone else) tried using whole wheat, or partly whole wheat bread? Does it work?
    2) Approximately how many cups of cubed bread does 1 lb. work out to be?

    Okay, that was three questions.

  26. Bub
    I think you can use wheat bread– it would end up being a little softer. I might use just a dab less milk so it wouldn’t be too mushy..say 1/4 cup less or so. But I think it would be fine. It is about 12 cups of bread cubes….

    Mary

  27. Oh Mary – now that sounds delicious!

  28. We make this too on Christmas morning…we also make one that is savory, with sausage, cheese and cream soup….

    Love it!

  29. YUMMMMMMY!!! I believe I will be making this too this Christmas. I was trying to think of something different and yummy and this sounds exactly like what I was looking for. Thanks for the recipe!!

  30. Oooooo – that sounds delicious. And definitely with the bluberry syrup. Yummm………

  31. Recipe IS YUMMY – I’ve even made it with not very good , dry,whole wheat croissants and with day old cinnamon rolls (leave out sweetener and cinnamon). Really good and no one knew exactly what was in it.

  32. I found your recipe via a link on Rocks in My Dryer. I read the ingredients which sounded great then I read that you can make it egg free! I too have an egg (and nut) allergic child and have a very difficult time with breakfasts. I make another french bread casserole recipe with nuts for holidays and have to make him pancakes on the side. So my question is:

    If you make a smaller dish without the eggs, about how much more milk do you use?

    Thanks!

  33. Yum! I was just looking for a Christmas morning recipe – and here it is! Thanks for sharing.

  34. We made it this morning and it was YUMMY! Thanks for sharing.

  35. Good recipe. However, I would suggest using somewhat stale (which is to say somewhat dry) bread. It absorbs the batter more and tastes better. If your bread isn’t stale, just cut it into slices and leave it out a while.

  36. Juanita Hildreth says:

    This sounds very much like a breakfast recipe I use to make for my family years ago. I used shredded shsrp cheese instead of cream cheese, baked in a 350 oven about 45 -60 minutes. We called it scrabble.

  37. I think I have serious issues- Since trying this, I have made it 5, yes 5 times!! I am sending the recipe to my sister for Sunday brunch.

    Oh, did try it with strawberries, not so good- what was I thinking??

  38. I just made this to celebrate our family’s first full Saturday home together since early November. It was delicious. Then honey got called in to work. At least he was happily well-fed.

  39. PS I used cinnamon roll bread.

  40. Aaahhhh:) This sounds delicious! I will surprize my family with it on make it on Christmas. I hope they will like it too !

    Thanks for sharing

    Bebe

  41. Sounds delish!

  42. Sherry Blair says:

    Has anyone tried making this in a crockpot? I am preparing food for a brunch for my work (feeding approximatley 50) and am running out of oven space/time for that morning. I normally fix two trays of this along with two trays of what I call “Lazy Lady Cinnamon Rolls” (coffee cake) which I can do in about an hour before heading to work. This week I want to do real cinnamon rolls and the six trays will fill my oven (convection), so I am wondering if I could do this in my largest crockpot. Any suggestions out there? Thanx!!!

    • Sherry, Super late in answering this– sorry!– but this recipe comes out better if the ingredients aren’t layered much deeper than 2-3 inches. That way every serving has some rich cream cheese in the middle layer as well as some crunchy top bits as a contrast.

  43. Mary, you need to make this video or an image on your website pinnable so we can put this recipe on Pinterest!! :)

  44. Great; it worked! :) Thanks, Mary!

  45. This is a recipe used in one of our local bread and breakfasts though they use peaches.

  46. Mary,

    I started making this several years ago after you posted the recipe. It’s our Christmas tradition too. Once I made it at another time and my boys all said “it smells like Christmas!” It’s a fave around here.

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