The fall and winter entertaining seasons are upon us. If you are like our family, in the next couple of months you’ll have more overnight house guests than normal, and might be looking for some delicious, make ahead breakfast options to feed all those extra mouths.
Whenever I have a full house, I like to do a big breakfast bake for the morning meal. This Strawberries and Cream French Toast Bake is one of those recipes you can prep ahead of time, put in your refrigerator, then bake right before you are ready to serve it. It is the perfect recipe for those busy mornings when you want to focus on the company you have seated around your table and not be stuck in the kitchen working hard to get a meal on the table.
This Strawberries and Cream French Toast Bake will definitely brighten up your brunch table too. Plus with more vitamin C than an orange and loaded with nutrients, the California strawberries in this recipe are a nutritious and versatile fruit to enjoy every day, including in the cooler months!
Fall may not be when you naturally turn to California strawberries in your baked goods, however, you should! With family farmers growing 90 percent of the nation’s strawberries in California, odds are the strawberries you’re enjoying came fresh from the Golden State – with mild and beautiful temperatures all year round. So throw out your ideas of what is expected in the fall, and instead bake up something delicious using fresh, California strawberries.
To encourage you to start thinking about baking with California strawberries this fall, California Strawberries is sharing a giveaway.
For a chance to win an 8-piece Le Creuset Baker Set head over to California Strawberries’ giveaway page! For bonus points, share a link to your favorite baked strawberry dish (from your favorite blog, recipe site or even CA strawberries) in the comments below!
- For the French Toast Bake:
- 12 slices Texas Toast, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 8oz packages cream cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 cup fresh California strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 cups half and half
- 12 eggs
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- For the syrup:
- 1 cup California strawberries, hulled and chopped
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 3 Tablespoons water
- ½ cup half and half
- For the French toast bake:
- Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place half the bread cubes in a baking dish. Top with cream cheese cubes. Next, layer the sliced strawberries on top of the cream cheese, then place the remaining bread cubes over the strawberry layer.
- In the jar of a blender, add the half and half and eggs. Blend until fully mixed.
- Add the maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon and blend until smooth.
- Pour mixture evenly over bread mixture. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
- After refrigerated time is up, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until bread is toasty and cream cheese has melted.
- For the Strawberry Cream Sauce:
- While the French toast bake is cooking, place 1 cup strawberries, orange juice and sugar into a saucepan. Heat to a low boil.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together corn starch and water until smooth. Stir into the saucepan and cook over low until strawberry sauce has thickened.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the half and half.
- Remove the French Toast Bake from the oven, cut into slices and serve topped with Strawberry Cream Sauce.