Perfect for weekend company or breakfast in bed for that special someone, Blackberry French Toast soaks overnight for easy baking the next morning.
When we have weekend guests, I love finding special breakfast recipes that don’t require a lot of effort and that allow everyone time to visit over a leisurely cup of coffee. Last weekend, our kids were in town for a surprise birthday party for my Mom and our Saturday breakfast spread included this delicious Blackberry French Toast with a surprise cream cheese filling. For French Toast lovers, this recipe is a must-do!
This breakfast French toast casserole is made with large cubes of a French or Italian loaf layered with cubes of cream cheese and melted blackberry jam. All this soaks overnight in a cinnamon egg mixture, so the next morning all that’s left to do is pop it in the oven!
My son-in-law is a big fan of bacon, so while our breakfast baked and we sipped on our morning coffee, John played short-order cook and fried up a man-sized mountain of bacon on the griddle. These lazy days are my favorite—catching up with our adult kids over a deliciously gourmet, yet simple breakfast. Both our daughters live three hours away—which isn’t so awfully far—and we try to get a visit in with them every few weeks. Even so, each visit is special for us and we try to make the most of it, so that means not getting stuck in the kitchen doing a lot of prep work or cooking. With a little planning ahead, breakfast casseroles work out really well for these visiting weekends.
Blackberry French Toast can be served with either fresh blackberries, a dusting of powdered sugar, or maple syrup—or choose all three! A dollop of fresh whipped cream would also be a delicious touch.
By the way, do you know how hard it is to plan a SURPRISE party?!
Yields 6-8 servings
- 1 cup blackberry jam
- 1 (12-oz.) French bread loaf, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- 4-oz. cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- Toppings: fresh blackberries, powdered sugar, maple syrup
- Melt jam in a small microwave safe bowl at 50% power for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30-45 seconds until smooth and melted.
- Lightly coat a 9x13-inch baking ban with cooking spray. Add half of the bread cubes to the pan and scatter the cream cheese cubes evenly on top. Drizzle with the melted jam and top with the remaining bread cubes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour over the bread mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
- To bake, preheat oven to 325°. Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until bread is golden brown and mixture is set.
- Serve with fresh blackberries, powdered sugar, and maple syrup, if desired..
Recipe by Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2009