Jan 11, 2014

Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Juicy berries, crunchy walnuts plus yummy cream cheese and warmed up maple syrup make this a fantastic breakfast or brunch dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day! 


It is an established fact that my family loves French Toast (or eggy bread as my British hubby would say) for breakfast and especially for brunch. I have a few versions of it including 3 in this blog! We surely cannot get enough of it. I have tried many variations of this delicious American-style stuffed French toast but the blueberry version is one of our favorites. It is just so wonderful to bite into this warm overnight-soaked baked bread and then into your mouth suddenly burst delicious juices from the berries! But that's not all - the almost melted cream cheese provides a delightful contrast of texture and flavor which makes your palate truly dance with joy! As if that's not enough, make it even better by drizzling your freshly baked french toast with warmed up pure Maple syrup and then help yourself with a generous dusting of powdered sugar on top to add extra sweetness and love! Aren't you hungry yet?

Juicy berries, crunchy walnuts plus yummy cream cheese and warmed up maple syrup make this a fantastic breakfast or brunch dish - Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole | manilaspoon.com

This version is good for about 4-6 servings. I only have a small family of 4 and to leave any guesswork every time I make it, I have finally decided to jot down my exact measurements and how I make it. Of course, this can easily be doubled when you are serving more. Just use a 9 x 13 baking dish instead. Please enjoy!


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Ingredients

Butter (for greasing baking dish)
One loaf brioche or Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (about 12 oz),  cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 a block of an 8-ounce package cream cheese, halved then sliced into cubes
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup fresh Blueberries, plus an extra handful (separated)
4 large Eggs
1 cup Milk
1/4 cup firmly packed dark Brown sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground  Nutmeg
1 pinch ground Cloves
3 Tablespoons melted Butter (to be used after baking)

To serve

Powdered sugar, for dusting
Pure maple syrup, for drizzling


Procedure

Butter or grease an  8 x 8  square baking dish. Place half the bread cubes in a single layer, filling in all the gaps.

Evenly scatter the cream cheese cubes, nuts, and blueberries on top. Cover completely with the remaining bread cubes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Evenly pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes. Gently press down on the cubes with your palms to allow the top layer of bread to absorb the liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


The next day, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Meanwhile, remove the dish from the refrigerator and let sit for 20-30 minutes at room temperature. Bake the French toast covered for 20 minutes. Take the dish out of the oven, uncover and then take the remaining blueberries and gently press them into the bread evenly spreading them all over. Return to the oven and bake for another 18-20 minutes or until the cubes are nicely toasted and there’s no more liquid at the bottom.

Transfer the dish to a rack and drizzle the melted butter on top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to release the French toast. Cut into squares. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar and warmed maple syrup drizzled on top. Enjoy this lavish breakfast or brunch dish!



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28 comments

  1. Hi Manila Spoon, your post made me realize I haven't had my breakfast yet. Yummy post. When are you swinging by Manila again?

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    1. Am not sure yet, hopefully soon. Thanks, January Roads. I do miss the Philippines.

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  2. Those are fresh blueberries, yummy!
    I haven't tried baking but when I decided to, gonna use this recipe for my first piece.

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    1. Oh, you're going to love this iAn! Please enjoy!

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  3. Abby, this french toast bake looks SO good! I love those sweet blueberries studded through it.

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  4. Thanks, Cindy! Adding those blueberries on top was a last minute whim but am so glad I did it, it made this already yummy dish even better, for me at least. Glad you stopped by.

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  5. Did you cover the casserole with foil the 2nd time you baked it for another 18-20 mins.?

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    1. Not anymore, Tinay 'cause you want it to brown and become a little crispy on top. Please enjoy!

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  6. Wow!!! Wonderful....can't wait to make this one and soon.

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  7. I made this wonderful dish today. I made a few slight alterations which included: Gluten Free Brioche Bread (8 oz), Blueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and reduced the eggs to 3. My family absolutely loved it. When they say, "This is going on the menu", you know you have a winning dish. Thank you for sharing new family favorite.

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    1. I am so delighted to know that your family enjoyed it. Thanks for the kind feedback. Love the use of Blueberry Cream Cheese, oh yum! Have to use that next time. :)

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  8. This sounds amazing!! I will definitely have to try this next weekend :)

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  9. I made this as well! New favorite i used chocolate cream cheese and was delicious!

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    1. I am so delighted to know that Becky. Thank you very much.

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  10. Just finished putting two casseroles for my daughter's bridal shower. Even unbaked they look and smell wonderful. I can hardly wait to pop them in the oven. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Wonderful, Denise! I do hope you all enjoy it! Thanks for trying it out.

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  11. A perfect brunch recipe for the upcoming holidays, Abby. This New England girl loves anything with blueberries and maple syrup. And now I'm hungry!!! :)

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  12. Yum!! This sounds like the perfect brunch dish, especially while we have guest staying with us over the holidays!

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  13. I can't wait to try this out! I LOVE blueberry flavored sweets! :) Thanks for this great idea!

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    1. Hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. could you use frozen blueberry's? or would that not turn out the same

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    1. I haven't tried it with frozen blueberries but I think it should be fine provided you thaw it first as it will sit on the fridge overnight so better to remove excess liquid from it before using.

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  15. WOW !!!!! Awesome recipes, going to try it this Sunday ! EASTER BRUNCH !!!!!!!

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  16. Any suggestions if we have nut allergies? Would it work with leaving them out or should there be some sort of substitution?

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    Replies
    1. You may leave it out, Marti. It should be fine. Hope you like it.

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  17. Seriously it really looks delicous. Gonna let my mom make this for us.

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