Raspberry Cheesecake French Toast Bake is super easy to put together, great for holidays and family gatherings, and is so delicious everyone will be asking you to make it again! Bites of challah bread soaked in traditional french toast batter topped with cream cheese cheesecake mixture and sweet raspberry preserve swirls.
This sweet and tangy raspberry cheesecake spin takes french toast to a whole new level!
Listen friends, this dish is the recipe I will forever be looking for an excuse to make. If I'm going to any sort of gathering where a brunch or breakfast type item is needed - expect me to show up with this.
In the past 3 months, we've made this at least 10 times - including Easter - and there have never been leftovers.
Challah is my go to bread for this recipe, but you know I love a sourdough loaf too.
What do you serve with it?
This stuffed french toast casserole certainly feeds a crowd. It definitely covers the sweet breakfast/brunch option. If you want to have some savory options, these breakfast lamb gyros are ridiculously tasty.
Or for something you can prep the night before and throw in the oven the next day, I love this ham and cheese strata from Stressbaking.
What does it taste like?
This raspberry cheesecake version of a classic french toast bake - or french toast casserole - tastes just like an Entenmann's raspberry danish with just a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg.
While it's 'technically' a breakfast or brunch recipe, you could absolutely serve this for dessert.
We're combining classic cheesecake elements and french toast ingredients with a decent amount of dairy to make this breakfast treat!
For the french toast:
- challah, brioche, sourdough loaf, or french bread
- brown and granulated sugar
- heavy cream
- vanilla extract
For the raspberry cheesecake swirl:
- cream cheese
- granulated sugar
- raspberry preserves
- fresh raspberries (optional)
For the crumble topping:
- butter (cold)
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar
If you're raiding your kitchen and find you need to make some swaps, its ok! This dish is pretty flexible when it comes to switching things around.
My favorite substitution is to switch up the cream cheese with mascarpone cheese for a slightly creamier and richer taste.
Using just one type of sugar - either brown or granulated - will work too. I love the flavor of combining the two, the brown sugar adds just the right amount of caramel flavor. But we've made this both ways and it works.
Preserves - use your favorite and what you have on hand! My favorite is raspberry preserves, but if you prefer strawberry, blueberry, or mixed berry - go for it!
What's the best bread to use?
This casserole-style french toast is great because you can use several different types of bread.
My go-to is challah bread, it's soft but doesn't turn to mush once it soaks in the french toast liquid. You can also use:
- french bread
Sourdough and french bread are great if you want to prep the recipe the night before and just put it in the oven the next day. They're a little 'sturdier' and won't completely fall apart.
If using brioche, you might need two loaves of bread.
How to make raspberry cheesecake french toast bake
The only thing better than how good this recipe tastes is how easy it is to put together!
Step 1: Prep the bread by hand tearing or cutting the loaf into bite-sized pieces. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, spices, sugars, milk, and heavy cream for the french toast batter.
Step 3: Toss the bread pieces with the french toast liquid until fully coated. Try to be somewhat gentle so the bread doesn't fall apart, but each piece gets soaked with the mixture. Transfer it to the greased pan.
Step 4: Make the cheesecake batter topping by beating or whisking the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. Drizzle it over the top of the soaked bread. Dot the top with raspberry preserves and use the back of a butter knife to swirl through the bread.
Step 5: Make the crumble topping by pulsing the cold butter, flour, and sugar in a food processor. You can also use a pastry cutter or your fingers to do this. Sprinkle over the top. Add fresh berries if you like! Bake for 50-55 minutes. The edges will be golden brown and the center should be just a little jiggly. Serve warm for ultimate deliciousness!
Tips & tricks
Yes! My recommendation is to prep everything up to baking the french toast bake and cook it before you plan to serve it. Serving it warm is key for maximum wow factor!
Yes, but it might lose a little moisture reheating the next day. It won't be a huge change though because we often will snack on this for breakfast if there are any leftovers and just pop a piece in the microwave before eating.
I love fresh fruit but I would recommend using some amount of preserve if you really want that danish-like sweet filling. Otherwise, I'd recommend macerating the berries in a little sugar first to increase the sweetness.
Add a little more bread! Loaf sizes differ depending on where you shop. If you have to add in a little sandwich bread or left over hot dog buns, don't sweat it!
Again, loaf sizes can differ depending on where you shop and the brand available. Add ¼ cup heavy cream until the bread pieces are soaked.
If you want to cut some of the sweet and prep time, dot the top of the bread with pieces of the cream cheese instead of making the cheesecake batter to pour on top. You'll still get that tangy taste with a little less cheesecake sweetness!
Don't forget to whip up a batch of cold brew coffee or boozy orange mocha coffees depending on the style of gathering! And if we're talking bottomless mimosa style brunch you're going to want these grapefruit lavender mimosas!
If you made this recipe I would love to know what you made it for and to leave a star rating in the recipe card below! Thank you for your support!
Raspberry Cheesecake French Toast Bake
- 9x13 baking dish
- large mixing bowl
- 1 loaf challah, sourdough, or brioche (see notes)
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cheesecake and Raspberry Swirl
- 8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup raspberry preserves
- ¼ cup unsalted butter (cold)
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray or grease with butter. Cut the challah bread into bite-sized pieces using a bread knife or by hand tearing.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the 6 eggs, 2 cups whole milk, ½ cup heavy cream, ¼ cup brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
- Add the pieces of bread to the french toast batter mixture in the large bowl and gently toss until all the pieces of bread are coated. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- Beat the room temperature cream cheese with 1 large egg, ¼ granulated sugar, and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth. You can use a hand blender, standing mixer, or whisk and spatula.
- Drizzle with the cheesecake mixture over the top of the bread. Dot with spoonfuls of raspberry preserves. Using a butter knife, run the knife back and forth through the dish to swirl into the bread.
- Bake in 350°F oven for 50-55 minutes. The center will be just a touch jiggly and the edges should be golden brown. Serve warm.
- The bread. Challah loaf yields the best results for me. It's the perfect amount of bread and the right softness - it's tender but doesn't fall apart. If using brioche you may need two loaves depending on the size. Sourdough or french bread is a great option, especially if you want to prep everything the night before and bake in the morning.
- The cheese. Cheesecake is known for its use of cream cheese to get that tangy yet sweet heavenly taste. That said, if you're in a rush, you can 100% dot the top with spoonfuls of cream cheese instead of making the cheesecake mixture. This also works deliciously with mascarpone cheese. Lastly, if you want a less sweet version I'd recommend substituting that option as well.
- The raspberries. I highly, highly recommend using raspberry (or your preferred berry) preserves versus fresh fruit. You can absolutely add fresh fruit to the dish, but the preserves are what give the dish it's almost danish like quality.