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Lemon Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Lemon Blueberry French Toast Casserole with cream cheese and a dreamy warm blueberry sauce is the perfect brunch dish. It's got it all! Zingy lemon and blueberry, sharp cream cheese, and soft ooey-gooey bread. A sweet breakfast for a sweet morning! 

 

Slice of blueberry French toast topped with blueberry sauce.

 

Why you will love this recipe

 

I know you love delicious brunch dishes! This is so comforting, with a crisp crumb topping, ooey-gooey center, and a warm blueberry sauce. However, in addition to this, it is easy to prepare the day before. In the morning, just pop it in the oven, relax, and enjoy the slow morning. 

 

That's definitely my favorite kind of morning. I love to be up way before I need to, simply to sit down with a cup of tea, look out the window and just take a breather. I also love to be out for a morning walk before everyone wakes up.

 

And since this lemon blueberry French toast casserole needs some time in the oven, you'd get a chance too! Surprise your family with a super easy, yet immensely delicious and indulgent breakfast treat (and you've got your appetite going with a stroll!).

 

White pie pan with French toast casserole, pink flowers in the foreground.

 

Ingredients

 

So what ingredients do we need to make this French toast casserole?

 

  • White bread: Preferably stale to soak up all the creaminess. You can use sourdough, brioche, regular white bread - whatever you want! However, I think whole grain would ruin the texture of the dish, making it a little too heavy.
  • Cream cheese: Ooo, that tangy cream cheese cuts through the sweetness of the dish so well!
  • Powdered sugar and vanilla extract: To flavor the cream cheese. 
  • Eggs, milk, and heavy cream: For a delicious custard sauce to soak the bread in.
  • Brown sugar and warming spices: To sweeten and flavor the custard sauce.
  • Lemon zest: That tangy zest is perfect with the sweet blueberries.
  • Blueberries: Again, those sweet blueberries are amazing with lemon!
  • Crumb topping of flour, cold butter, and sugar for that deliciously crisp topping.
  • Blueberry sauce to make this dish even more berrylicious. I love the warm sauce over the French toast casserole! Use cornstarch to thicken it to make it just pourable enough.

 

Ingredients to make lemon blueberry French toast casserole.

 

Step-by-step instructions

 

This recipe is adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction, but I wanted it more fresh and zingy and added the awesome combination of lemon and blueberry. I use half a loaf because come on, it sure is enough. This is more of a leftover treat to me, I don't buy loaves to use it all for a French toast casserole.

 

I don't have enough people in my family to justify that. BUT, if you do - just double the recipe! It's so, so delicious and I ate French toast casserole every day for at least three days. A bonus dessert!

 

Steps to make the egg mixture and bread pieces.

 

How to do it

Take a day-old (or several days old, don't worry) loaf, and cut the bread into thick slices and each slice into around 12 cubes. Just roughly chop it up. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan with non-stick or butter, and add in half of the cubed loaf (3).

 

In the photos, I used an 8-inch pie pan, and that was the absolute minimum size that could work. A little bigger is also fine.

 

Beat softened cream cheese with a handheld mixer on medium-high, until soft, and add in the powdered sugar and ¼ teaspoon vanilla. Drop random spoonfuls of cream cheese over the bread (4-5). Place a few blueberries (or blackberries) evenly over the bread (6), and layer the remaining bread cubes on top (7). Set aside.

 

Steps to assemple the French toast casserole and the blueberry sauce.

 

Whisk milk, eggs, cinnamon, brown sugar, and the remaining vanilla together, until no more brown sugar lumps (1-2). Pour over the bread (8), and add in the zest of one lemon, more cream cheese, and blueberries (9). Cover the pan with a plastic wrap and chill for 3+ hours, preferably overnight.

 

Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175℃).

 

The pie pan with the French toast is missing one slice and the slice in on a plate next to it.

 

Make the topping:

Whisk brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add in small cubes of cold butter (11), and cut it with a pastry cutter or two forks until the butter is mostly pea-sized (12). Remove the pan from the refrigerator and sprinkle the mixture on top of the soaked bread (13).

 

Bake uncovered for around 50-60 minutes until the top is golden brown. The longer you bake it, the crispier the top will get. I found 60 just enough crispy, but the rest is super soft.

 

Steps to make the crumb topping.

 

Meanwhile this is baking, make the blueberry sauce. Bring sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice to a boil, add in the blueberries and/or blackberries and continue to boil. Stir often, until it thickens, about 10-15 minutes.

 

Serve the warm French toast casserole with warm blueberry sauce. Enjoy!

 

Slice of French toast casserole with blueberry sauce on top.

 

Storage

 

You can store leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days, I had mine for three days and it tasted just as good the third day! 

 

I love to re-heat it in the oven to crisp up the topping. Heat the oven to about 300℉ (150℃) and re-heat until warm on the inside and crisp at the top, about 10-15 minutes. 

 

Meanwhile, warm the blueberry sauce! The blueberry sauce lasts for about a week when covered and stored in the fridge. The sauce is also delicious on these French crêpes, chia yogurt bowl for breakfast, or fill these Norwegian krumkake with it. So many choices!

 

Close-up of a slice of French toast casserole wth blueberry sauce.

 

Recipe FAQs

Why is my French toast casserole soggy?

There are mainly two reasons for this: 1) you have too much egg mixture compared to the amount of bread, so the bread can't soak everything up as it should, and 2) your bread is too fresh, again so it doesn't soak up the eggs. 

 

This recipe shouldn't turn out soggy if you follow the recipe instruction, and to be extra sure, follow the scale as opposed to the cups measurements.

 

Close-up of the pie pan with French toast casserole and crumb topping.

 

What should I serve with the casserole?

For this lemon blueberry French toast casserole, you won't need anything else than the warm blueberry sauce. However, you could also use this blackberry syrup and fresh fruits, crème anglaise, or just simply whipped cream.

 

Can you put French toast in the oven?

Yes! Then it turns into French toast casserole, as in this recipe. Scroll down to the recipe card to see exactly how!

 

Pie pan with lemon blueberry French toast casserole seen from above.

 

And if you love the lemon-blueberry combination as much as I do, I can highly recommend this 6-inch lemon blueberry cake!

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. 

 

 

As thanks, you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year. 

 

To keep the blog up and running this post may contain affiliate links, it will be at no extra cost to you, please read the disclosure for more information.

 

This recipe was originally published on March 23rd, 2018, but updated on June 6th, 2022 for better photos and content.

Slice of blueberry French toast on a small plate, topped with blueberry sauce.

Lemon Blueberry French Toast Casserole with Cream Cheese

Yield: 10 slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This French toast casserole is ooey, gooey delicious, bursting with fresh lemon and sweet blueberries and a crunchy crumb topping - perfect with warm blueberry sauce!

Ingredients

French Toast Casserole

  • 6 cups cubed, white bread (about half/third of a bread, 210 grams)
  • 5 ½ oz softened cream cheese (160 grams)
  • 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar (to taste)
  • 2 + ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract (divided)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (250 milliliters)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (60 milliliters, or more milk)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar (100 grams)
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • handful blueberries, or blackberries (60 grams)

Topping

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
  • ¼ cup flour (30 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • ¼ cup butter, cold and cubed (60 grams)

Blueberry Sauce

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (15 grams)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (60 milliliters, about 1 lemon)
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries (or blackberries, 150 grams)

Instructions

  1. Take a day old stale loaf, cut the bread in thick slices and each slice into around 12 cubes. Grease a baking pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray. The minimum size that can work is an 8 inch (20 centimeters) round pie pan. You can also go bigger, for example 11x7 inch (28x18 centimeters) or 8-inch (20 centimeters) square pans, bake time will be the same.
  2. Mix softened cream cheese with a spoon (or mixer if you want), until soft and add in the powdered sugar and ¼ teaspoon vanilla, about a minute. Drop random spoonfuls of cream cheese over the bread. Place a few blueberries or blackberries evenly over the bread, and layer the remaining bread cubes on top. Add more cream cheese and blueberries on top.. Set aside.
  3. Whisk milk, eggs, cinnamon, brown sugar and the remaining vanilla together, until no more brown sugar lumps. Pour over the bread, and sprinkle with the lemon zest. Cover the pan with a plastic wrap and chill for 3+ hours, preferably overnight. 
  4. Preheat oven to 350F° (175C°). 
  5. Make the crumb topping: Whisk granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon and cardamom in a small bowl. Add in small cubes of cold butter and cut it with a pastry blender or two forks, until the butter is roughly pea-sized. Remove the pan from the refrigerator and sprinkle the butter mixture on top of the soaked bread. 
  6. Bake uncovered for around 50-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
  7. Meanwhile this is baking, make the blueberry sauce. Combine all the ingredients and bring it up to a simmer. Stir often, until it thickens, about 10 minutes.
  8. Serve the warm French toast casserole with warm blueberry sauce. 

Notes

Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Leftovers: You can store leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days, I had mine for three days and it tasted just as good the third day! To re-heat, add the casserole to a 300F° (150C°) oven for about 10-15 minutes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1/10
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 248mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 2gSugar: 41gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information isn't always accurate, estimate for informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!

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melve

Sunday 1st of April 2018

I am excited to surprise my family with these super easy, yet immensely delicious and indulgent breakfast treat. I can't wait to try it. Thank you.

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Tuesday 3rd of April 2018

I hope they'll love it! Thank you so much.

Nicole Tingwall

Thursday 29th of March 2018

Lemon and cream cheese is such a dreamy flavor combo! Absolutely adding this to my Easter brunch menu!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Friday 30th of March 2018

Totally, there's something about it! Hope you'll love it!

Asia

Thursday 29th of March 2018

I am so doing this casserole. It seems to be super easy and super tasty!

Asia

Thursday 29th of March 2018

I am so doing this casserole! It seems super easy and super tasty!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Friday 30th of March 2018

Yay, thank you!

Fred Nonterah

Thursday 29th of March 2018

This is definitely the kind of breakfast that will get you set for the day! This is quite the cration, thanks for ssharing!

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