This sets a new standard for breakfast! It’s a baked french toast in the shape of a loaf with a cream cheese filling in the middle. It tastes like a cheesecake french toast! Made with plain old sandwich bread, it’s so easy to make!!
This. It’s incredible. It tastes like a cheesecake….but also like french toast. It’s soft and custardy and buttery. A little bit sweet, but not too sweet. The top of the loaf has a thick, golden crust, reminiscent of the golden crust you get from traditional pan fried french toast.
Then you have that incredible cream cheese layer. It’s SO SIMPLE, but so perfect for this french toast loaf. I got the filling recipe from Mira at Cooking LSL, from her Cream Cheese Filled Banana Bread with Coconut Oil. All I did was add a wee bit of lemon because I found the overall flavour was too one dimensional and I think having a touch of freshness from the lemon makes a huge difference.
Don’t you think it looks pretty? It’s hard to believe that something like this is made with plain sandwich bread. Not fancy artisan bread or brioche. Just plain bread, the cheap sliced stuff you get from the supermarket. Though I’m sure this would be lovely made with fancy bread….
Sandwich bread is perfect because it fits neatly into the loaf tin and provides the perfect base for creating a neat layer of cream cheese in the middle. You just dip pieces of bread in a simple egg mixture, then layer it up like lasagna. The cream cheese filling is really soft and fluffy so it’s very easy to spread. Then just top with more egg dipped bread, dollop on some butter, scatter with sugar (really worth it, creates a gorgeous crust!) and bake.
Look how easy this is to assemble!
When it comes out of the oven, it will be gloriously puffed up with a rounded top, like loafs you typically make in loaf tins. But it will deflate as it cools. I wish I could tell you to slice it up straight out the oven, but it really does need 15 minutes to rest so it can “set” and be sliced neatly. But don’t worry, it’s still lovely and warm! Having said that though, I have eaten plenty of it at room temperature, and it is just as nice.
I can’t think of anything more appropriate to pile on top of this loaf than a mass of sweet strawberries. The crowning touch, don’t you think? But honestly, it is more about aesthetics than flavour. Because this french toast loaf does NOT need the extra flavour.
OK. My diet starts next week. Next week. I promise. – Nagi
- Butter, for greasing
- 250g/8oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup sugar (white)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp milk (low fat or full fat)
- 3 tbsp sugar (white)
- Pinch of salt
- 12 fresh slices sandwich bread (crusts removed) (Note 1)
- 2 tbsp butter, diced (optional) (Note 2)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (optional) (Note 2)
- 1 punnet strawberries, sliced
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Generously butter a 10cm x 21cm / 4" x 8" loaf tin
- Make Cream Cheese Filling - beat (or mix) the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until combined. Then add the egg and lemon juice, then beat/mix until smooth, light and fluffy.
- Whisk the Egg Mixture ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Dip 2 slices of bread into the Egg Mixture. Because you're using fresh bread, it should soak through with egg mixture pretty quickly.
- Line the base of the loaf tin with the egg dipped bread. Cut bread if necessary to fill in gaps. Repeat twice more so you have 3 layers of egg dipped bread.
- Spread all the Cream Cheese filling over the bread. Then top with two more layers of egg-dipped bread.
- Dot surface with butter and scatter over the sugar.
- Bake for 40 minutes until golden and puffed. Check at 30 minutes - if the top is already dark golden, then cover loosely with foil and return to the oven to finish baking (this is what I did).
- Allow to rest for 15 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a cooling rack to rest for a further 5 minutes.
- To serve, topped with Macerated Strawberries.
- Combine strawberries and sugar in a bowl and set aside to "sweat" for at least 20 minutes.
Typically, french toast recipes will call for stale bread. In this case, fresh is required because the bread is not kept aside for the egg mixture to soak into the bread. Fresh bread works better because it instantly soaks up the egg mixture.
2. If you want to reduce calories, you don't have to do the butter and sugar topping. It creates an extra crunchy sweet crust and adds a buttery flavour to the french toast. It's an optional extra. :)
3. Strawberries are optional. They are mainly for decoration. They add flavour but the french toast loaf is yummy enough without it too.
Nutrition including Macerated Strawberries, for 8 servings.