This Blueberry Cheesecake French Toast Bake will satisfy all of your breakfast needs and wants in one dish: part bread pudding, part French toast, 100% delicious and feeds a crowd!
Buttery and rich challah bread soaked in a lemony custard, flecked with juicy blueberries and the pièce de résistance: a hidden cheesecake layer! Oh and it’s topped with maple butter while it’s still hot so it melts into the golden bread. It makes my knees weak.
This was a huge hit when I served it and I’m willing to stake all my worldly possessions to say it will be for you too. Aside from the initial time investment, it bakes away in the oven with no intervention from you so you can sit down and enjoy a mimosa or two. And it’s one of the few breakfast bakes that doesn’t require you to plan ahead for an extended or overnight soaking-not that that’s a bad thing, it’s just sometimes I don’t have my head on straight to plan ahead like that, ya know?
But it’s the perfect make-ahead dish too if you are one of the organized ones; just make it the night before and tuck it away in the fridge until you’re ready for it so you can have a relaxing morning with your people AND have a delicious breakfast for them.
No matter what you do, it will be perfect!
Part bread pudding, part French toast with juicy blueberries and a cheesecake-y filling!
- 1 pound Challah bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 12 to 16 ounces fresh blueberries
- 8 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Pure maple syrup, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.
- For the custard: Whisk together the eggs, whole milk, heavy cream, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- For the cheesecake layer: Combine the cream cheese, lemon juice and powdered sugar until thoroughly mixed.
- To assemble: Place half of the bread cubes in the prepared baking dish, spreading into a single layer. Spoon dollops of the cheesecake layer over the bread, using a rubber spatula to spread over as much of the bread as possible. Scatter half of the blueberries over the cheesecake layer. Top with the remaining bread cubes and blueberries. Pour the custard mixture over top and gently press down to ensure the bread cubes are submerged in the custard.
- For the maple butter: combine the butter and maple syrup in a small mixing bowl.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until golden on top and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and immediately spread the maple butter over top, using a pastry brush to coat bread as it melts. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Dust liberally with powdered sugar and grate the lemon zest over the top. Serve with maple syrup, if desired.
Inspiration: Blueberry Cheesecake Breakfast Bake on kitchn.com