By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

French Toast Casserole

A delicious French Toast Casserole is a great way to begin a holiday morning. And, having the casserole benefit from an overnight stint in the refrigerator makes it a harried hostess’s newfound friend.

What is surprising about this casserole is how much it tastes like real French toast. The flavor secrets are the cream cheese and maple syrup in the custard. Once baked, the casserole is puffed and golden. A sprinkling of powdered sugar and a drizzle of real maple syrup or fruit syrup top it off perfectly.

French toast casserole has been the centerpiece of a "breakfast for dinner" at my house, served with sausage patties and a fruit salad. It’s also a delicious addition to any breakfast or brunch for a crowd.

  • 16 slices good white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 2/3 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar, for garnish
  • Maple or fruit syrup, for garnish
Place bread cubes in a 9x13-inch baking dish that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Place cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add milk, half-and-half, maple syrup, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Pour over top of bread cubes, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove casserole from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake for 50 minutes, until puffed and golden. Slice into individual servings, and top each serving with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup, if desired.

Makes 12 servings.