20 Minute Red Curry Basil Garlic Oil Noodles.
For a Tuesday treat or upcoming brunch, make this Baked Cinnamon Crunch French Toast. Made with a vanilla egg custard, each piece is stuffed with whipped cream cheese and finished with a cinnamon crunch topping. It’s that cinni “crunch” topping, that gets everyone, it really is delicious. Every piece of toast is soft, buttery, and custardy inside, yet caramelized around the edges…almost like a creme brûlée. Enjoy warm with just a little butter. Beyond delicious!
I haven’t been that into baking lately. Ever since Christmas I’ve been baking a lot less. Which I guess makes sense since we did so much baking in December.
What I have been into, is baking more wholesome sweets. And while it’s a little tricky at times, I love the challenge it brings. It’s something new and fun for me!
All that said, we had lots of snow this past weekend. So just like that, I was left wanting to bake up something sweet for a nice breakfast/brunch. Cozy snow days are always best for baking.
And while I know Easter may not be until late in April, there’s nothing wrong with being prepared and planning ahead!
I’ve said this many times before, but I grew up eating the Panera bread cinnamon crunch bagels. They were always my favorite with a little butter smear on top. So freaking good, right?
I’ve created a few recipes with the cinnamon crunch topping in previous years, but never a french toast. So when the idea came to me, I knew it would be good. A custardy french toast with that delicious cinni-crunch topping might even be better than the bagels.
I had to make it.
Start with the cream cheese. First, I should mention that if you’d prefer, you can skip the cream cheese altogether. But I do think it makes this french toast really delicious, so personally, I wouldn’t.
You’ll want to whip the cream cheese with some whipping cream until it’s light and airy. Then take your thick pieces of challah (or brioche) bread and use a knife to make a small pocket in the middle of each piece. Stick the cream cheese into the pockets.
From here, everything is pretty straightforward. The custard is a simple mix of eggs, milk, and vanilla. Dip each piece of bread into the custard, then arrange in the baking dish. Sprinkle over some cinnamon sugar.
Once the french toast has been assembled, place it in the fridge for thirty minutes, or up to overnight. This is great if you want to have breakfast all prepped and ready for baking in the morning!
Before baking, make the cinnamon crunch topping. It’s just brown sugar, mixed with cinnamon, flour, and butter. It clumps up as it’s mixed, so you can easily sprinkle it over the french toast before baking.
As the french toast bakes, the custard sets, the cream cheese becomes warm and even creamier, and the topping begins to caramelize becoming crunchy.
Everything together is delicious, so DELICIOUS you guys!
This is by far the sweetest treat I’ve baked up since the holidays, but wow, it’s good. And it’s really great for special mornings and holidays.
Obviously serve the french toast warm. It doesn’t need any toppings, but a little sliver of butter is always welcome. And if you have extra whipped cream cheese (you should), add a dollop of that. YUM.
But be sure to keep this recipe in mind to liven up your weekends ahead. Especially Easter weekend, this will be perfect!
Looking for other easy breakfast dishes?? Here are my favorites:
Cinnamon Knots with Coffee Icing
Berry and Cream Cheese Croissant French Toast Bake
Lastly, if you make this Baked Cinnamon Crunch French Toast, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Can this be prepared the night before?
Totally, that will work well for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT
Can you cut this recipe in half and use a 8×8 pan?
Totally, that will work well for you! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx
The grocery stores near me do not carry those type of bread. What would be a good substitute? Thanks
Brioche is also great to use for French toast. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx
Hi! I’m making this for a crowd of 30 next week as a brunch the morning after the wedding. So, I’ll be using larger baking dishes. Do you have any suggestions for baking time/temp alterations or do I not need to worry about that and follow the recipe as is?
Thanks so much! Beautiful recipes!
How large are the baking dishes? I would just follow the recipe as is and then increase the bake time as needed. Best of luck!! xTieghan
I love this, especially that its not overly sweet. It was great! And leftovers were great as dessert.
Amazing! Thanks for sharing your feedback and making this recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed:)
Super excited to make this for a dinner party! Quick question – when it says “place in the fridge for 30 mins or overnight”, would it hold well for 24 hours? So if I put it in the fridge at 6PM on Friday and then in the oven at 6PM on Saturday, it will still come out fine?
Sure, I bet it would be just fine! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx
This was easy and a delicious crowd pleaser. To make it easier I didn’t do the filling in each piece of bread and it is rich enough as is for our family without the cream cheese filling! Kid and adult approved brunch!
Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Have a great week! xTieghan
Do you whip the cream before incorporating it with the cream cheese? Thanks!
Yes, you will want to whip the cream first:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xTieghan
Made this for the second time and it is just as good! Definitely one of our favorites for brunch. Followed the recipe exactly!
Happy Friday!! Love to hear you have been enjoying this recipe, thanks so much for making it:) xTieghan
I made one batch for our family and one for our family friends and both families really loved this! It was so delicious. I made this a day ahead of time and it was so easy to throw in the oven the next morning. Our kids woke up the following morning begging for more stuffed French toast.
Awesome!! Thanks for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Have a great week:) xTieghan
Omg!! This recipe is amazing!! I’ve made it twice already. My family loves it. So good for a Sunday morning breakfast or brunch!
Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it!! Have a great week:) xxT
Is this something I can make ahead of time then freeze and bake later?
Yes, that will work well for you!! Let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan
Did you try making this ahead of time? How did it turn out? Was the consistency of the eggs/cream still good?
Wonder if you tried freezing and baking later….
That should work well for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the recipe! xx
In step 4 – where does the “remaining cinnamon sugar” come from ? I also didn’t have enough egg for all the bread to soak in/ added : more eggs + a little milk . It was really good, but just a couple glitches.
The remaining cinnamon sugar is from step 1:) Sorry to hear you didn’t have enough egg mixture. Please let me know if I can help in any way! xTieghan
This recipe is absolutely delicious! Great treat to serve on a weekend morning. I put this together the previous evening, added the brown sugar/butter/cinnamon mixture in the am and VOILA a masterpiece. Thank you half baked harvest, your the best!
I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it!!☀️ xTieghan
This was delicious. I didn’t cut the slices of bread thick enough, so that made stuffing them with the filling kind of difficult, but the taste was fantastic! Nex time I’ll cut the bread the right size!
Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan
This recipe had several steps but was worth it. Everyone at my Easter brunch loved it!
Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan