This crockpot French toast casserole is a "Must-Try" recipe. Fresh sweet strawberries and dolops of creamy cheesecake slow cooked together with the classic flavors of French toast. Brunch will never be the same!
Not really sure there is much to say - the title says it all. This delicious combination will be the highlight of any brunch, office party, shower or other occasion for which you choose to serve it. Bring this to a potluck just once and you will instantly be the most popular person there!
To make this awesome dish you will need:
- French bread (stale if possible)
- heavy whipping cream
- vanilla extract
- whipped cream cheese
- powdered sugar
- non-stick cooking spray
🥣How to assemble
Start by whisking together milk (any milk will do. I tend to use fat free just because it is what I have on hand), cream, vanilla and eggs. Cut your French bread into cubes and allow them to soak up the egg/milk mixture until all of the liquid is fully absorbed.
While the bread is soaking, clean strawberries and remove their stems. Cut the berries in half, or if they are very large, cut them in quarters. In a separate bowl, mix whipped cream cheese and powdered sugar together and set aside.
Spray slow cooker (or slow cooker liner, if using) with non-stick spray of choice. Gently mix strawberries into soaked bread mixture. Pour half of this bread/strawberry mixture into your slow cooker. Drop teaspoon sized dollops of half of the cream cheese mixture randomly on top. Pour remaining bread mixture in to slow cooker and repeat with remaining cream cheese mixture
Cover and cook on high for about 2 hours. Your casserole will be finished when the middle reaches 165ºF on a food thermometer. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and watch as everyone around you drools!
This dish is really high on the YUM scale! If you choose to serve it just as is at this point, you can't lose! However, there are a few toppings that take this dish from wow to - O! M! G! They are:
- Whipped cream
- Agave nectar
- Maple syrup
- Chocolate chips (add when the dish is warm to let them melt in!)
- and of course - ice cream (like waffles and ice cream on steroids!)
WARNING: it is highly unlikely that you will have leftovers! This dish is usually the first to go. In the rare event that you do have some left, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. If you wont get to it in that time period, it can be wrapped up and frozen. Frozen French toast will last in the freezer for 2-3 months. Leftovers are great reheated in the microwave or toaster oven.
😉Hints and hacks
- Stale bread works best! It will absorb more of the egg mixture if it is stale.
- Although I am a big fan of slow cooker liners, I often forgo them when making this dish for aesthetic reasons. When serving to guests right out of slow cooker vessel, it is much nicer looking without a liner. If you are not a fan of traditional liners, but would like to minimize your clean up, parchment paper works well as a liner for this recipe as well. Regardless of which method you use, you should spray either your slow cooker pot or liner with a non-stick spray.
- This is a great way to use up extra strawberries, or berries that are just about to turn. It is an especially great family activity if you live in an area where you can pick your own fresh strawberries when they are in season!
- Although any vanilla extract will work, there is just something about pure vanilla extract and the amazing flavor it adds.
- If your slow cooker cooks unevenly (as some of mine do) lifting your slow cooker pot out of the heating element and rotating it 180 degrees before putting it back in will help to even things out. I try to do this about half way through the cooking time. Just beware that the pot will be HOT! Pot holders are a must!
- In the market for a new slow cooker? Here is the one I am currently lusting after.
More great crockpot brunch dishes
❓Frequently asked questions
Overnight cooking here isn't recommended However, if you want to serve it early, you can prep it the night before and let it marinate in the refrigerator. In the morning, pop it into your slow cooker and cook on high. Depending on your slow cooker, it could be done in just a couple of hours.
Absolutely! So many different breads are delicious with this recipe. Some favorites include brioche, baguette, sourdough and challah. Regardless of what bread you use, having your bread be a little stale will help it absorb the egg/milk mixture.
My general experience with this recipe has been that if it is soggy, it needs to cook a little bit longer. Since each slow cooker is different, it is hard to predict a precise time your French toast will be done. But if you feel it is too wet, let it cook a little bit longer.
Lazy Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast Recipe
- 3.5 oz slow cooker or larger (works well with a casserole crockpot
- knives and spoons
- measuring spoons and cups
- 1 large loaf stale french bread
- 8 eggs
- 1¾ cup milk of choice I use skim milk
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 heaping cup fresh cleaned and cut strawberries
- 6 oz whipped cream cheese
- ¼+ cup powdered sugar
- non-stick cooking spray
- cut french loaf into large cubes (about 2" each)
- beat eggs together with milk, cream and vanilla
- add bread into egg mixture and stir. set aside and allow the bread to absorb all of the egg mixture
- While bread is absorbing, clean and cut strawberries into bite sized pieces.
- in a separate bowl, mix together whipped cream cheese and ¼ cup powdered sugar
- when all egg mixture has been absorbed by the bread, gently stir in strawberries
- spray slow cooker or slow cooker liner with non-stick spray
- add half of bread/strawberry mixture into slow cooker
- use a teaspoon to drop dollops of the cream cheese mixture on top of the bread/strawberry mixture
- add remainder of bread/strawberry mixture to slow cooker
- use teaspoon to distribute dollops of remaining cream cheese mixture on top
- cover and cook on high for approximately two hours. You can confirm cooking is complete by checking the temperature of center most point of the dish (middle) with a food thermometer. Cooked egg dishes are considered safe to eat at 165°F
- sprinkle top with powdered sugar and enjoy!