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This recipe comes from Lisa and Julie and their latest cookbook, Lick Your Plate.
Normally, breakfast at our house is one of two things; cereal or frozen waffles. But on special occasions, like Christmas morning, we have a special breakfast. So I’m always on the lookout for something to make on those special days.
Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast Soufflé is my new go-to special breakfast. It was so delicious I actually said, “Oh my God,” when I took my first bite.
So, let’s get to it.
I don’t have pics for the prep because it was night and they might make you rethink making this dish, and you should totally make it.
Start with 4 cups of strawberries hulled and halved (or sliced). I actually used frozen strawberries (thawed) because I wasn’t impressed with the fresh selection. With this you’re going to make a sauce for your soufflé. It actually looks like soup, or the sauce ice cream parlors use.
Once the sauce cools, cover it and put it in the fridge while you move on. I left my sauce in the pan (so I didn’t have to wash another bowl), and just stuck the whole thing in the ice bucket in the freezer for a few minutes.
If you haven’t pre-cubed your bread, now’s the time! I had 2 baguettes and it took about 1 1/2 of them to get 14 cups.
Spray your baking pan with cooking spray and put half of the bread cubes in. It should just about cover the bottom.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the sugar and cream cheese together. Add in milk, vanilla, and lemon juice, lemon zest and salt and continue to mix. I added the vanilla and lemon juice first, then beat for 5-10 seconds, then mix in the rest. In my mind that calmed my fears about the lemon juice/milk combo.
Once the cream cheese mixture is smooth, pour it over the cubed bread in the pan. I find it easiest to use a measuring cup so I can make sure there’s cream cheese in every bite. Then you’re going to do the same with the strawberry sauce and top with the remaining bread cubes. Set the pan aside.
In a large bowl – I just used the cream cheese bowl (again, save a bowl) – whisk milk, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Pour the mixture over the top of the bread. This is where my old school pan became a pain in the patoot. It worked, but it was messy. But given the way my family gobbled this up, I may now have an excuse to by this super cute one so I can make it over and over.
Pour the mixture a little bit at a time – and if you have one of these stainless steel mixing bowls, even better – use a spoon to create little pockets for the mixture to reach the bottom layer of bread.
Cover the pan tightly and refrigerate overnight. I recommend putting paper towels under the pan in case something drips.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 350ºF. While it’s preheating, make the crumble by using your hands to cut into a combination of cold, cubed butter, flour, and sugar. You should end up with pea-sized pieces, but I got a mix of marble- and sand-size. It still tasted awesome.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until topping is golden. My oven is quirky, so I baked for 55 minutes and then turned the broiler on low for a minute or 2. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes and serve.
Time says 30 minutes prep, but that doesn’t include cubing the bread, which is another 15 minutes. All together, with cubing and the distractions provided by my 5-year-old, it took me about an hour to prep in the evening, another 15 minutes in the morning.
In my opinion, it was totally worth it!
- 4 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- 14 cups French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 12 oz cream cheese
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 6 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
- In a medium saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar, water, and lemon juice over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water until smooth. Stir into strawberry mixture and simmer over low heat for 3 minutes to thicken. Set aside to cool slightly before covering and refrigerating.
- Coat a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add 1/2 the bread cubes. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until well combined and smooth. Add 1/4 cup milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt, beating until smooth and well combined. Drop spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture over bread cubes in the baking dish. Spread as best you can. Top with strawberry sauce, pouring evenly over the cream cheese. Top with remaining bread cubes.
- In a large bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups milk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour egg mixture over the top, while creating small pockets for the egg mixture to fall through to the bottom bread. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350^F. Remove French toast baking dish from the refrigerator. For the crumble, in a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter using your fingertips until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Sprinkle crumble topping over French toast and bake 50-55 minutes, until topping is golden. Allow to rest out of the oven for 10 minutes before serving.
This is just one of the fabulous recipes from Lick Your Plate. It’s available on Amazon now, and I highly recommend it. Lisa and Julie’s recipes are delicious, easy to follow, and made with real food. Best of all, there are plenty of recipes that are perfect for busy weeknights!