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French Toast Strata Recipe

I'm always on the lookout for different breakfast and brunch ideas. I like to serve this easy make-ahead casserole when we have out-of-town guests. —Jill Middleton, Baldwinsville, New York
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. + chilling Bake: 35 min. + standing YIELD:8 servings


  • 1 loaf (1 pound) cinnamon bread, cubed
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • 1. Arrange half of the bread cubes in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Layer with cream cheese and remaining bread. In a blender, combine the eggs, milk, butter and maple syrup; cover and process until smooth. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • 2. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  • 3. For syrup, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Gradually whisk in cider and lemon juice. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in butter until melted. Serve warm with strata. Yield: 8 servings (1 cup syrup).

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 piece) equals 578 calories, 34 g fat (17 g saturated fat), 285 mg cholesterol, 537 mg sodium, 58 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 17 g protein.

Reviews for French Toast Strata

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Reviewed May. 5, 2012

"I make this frequently in mass quantity (for 150) volunteers who also are using donated funds, and it always gets rave reviews. Due to the cost of cinnamon bread I use plain french bread torn up sprinkled with generous amounts of cinnamon & sugar. To assure everyone gets the creamy melted cream cheese I make smaller dollops and make sure I evenly distribute them in each serving before I put on the second layer. Also to save money we just serve it with plain maple syrup. Delish!! It isn't expensive to make for huge crowds and it is wonderful to have the convenience of prepping it the night before. Thanks for the wonderful recipe."

Reviewed Feb. 2, 2011

"We absolutely LOVE this recipe! Have made it many times for various family events (including a baby shower brunch), as well as just for us to eat at home. Wonderful every time! Not sure why the last review didn't like it, but I get rave reviews from everyone who has tried this. Sometimes skip the cider syrup and just use our homemade pure maple syrup to top. Yum! Also love the idea of prepping it the night before and just popping into the oven when we need it. I have tried with low-fat and fat-free cream cheese with no problems."

Reviewed Jan. 30, 2011

"We did not like this recipe at all. Cooking it uncovered made the top hard and bottom never got cooked. It was real soggy. And the cream cheese stayed in glops and never spread out. The cream cheese added nothing to the recipe. Next time...I will just make regular french toast using the cinnamon bread!!! And have scrambled eggs on the side."

Reviewed Nov. 8, 2009

"I want to try this again -- when I made it, it came out a little too wet, I thought, but I also had another casserole in the same oven. So I want to try it on its own to see if I can get the consistency I want. Also, weirdly, the cream cheese globs on top didn't melt. I didn't think they added anything -- I will leave them out next time. Still had a great flavor and was a big hit at a birthday brunch. Also incredibly easy to make."

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