With Mother’s Day coming up in just a few weeks, you may be thinking about something special to make for a breakfast or a brunch. This overnight French toast is something special and a perfect use for the wonderful strawberries coming into the stores right now.
Instead of regular bread, this French toast is taken up a notch with the use of croissants as the base instead, and the strawberry sauce on top takes it over the edge.
I have made this dish in years past for a MOPS group, and it was always with rave reviews and requests for the recipe. It is a little different from other baked French toast recipes with a variety of textures and flavors. Lemon lovers will really enjoy the lemon cream cheese filling while the croissants themselves add a little bit of texture and flakiness to the dish. The luscious strawberry sauce and fresh whipped cream add sweetness and decadence.
Once your cream cheese is softened, this breakfast treat takes only about 15 minutes to assemble. Pop the pan in the refrigerator overnight and then bake in the morning for breakfast. I think you could easily pass this off as dessert also if you don’t want it for breakfast.
Lemon-Stuffed Overnight French Toast with Strawberries
For the French toast:
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 lemon (zest and juice)
- 5-7 large stale butter croissants (depending on size of croissants–6 worked for me this time; you might test them in your pan before you start to see how many will fit)
For the custard:
- 1 and 1/2 cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons lemon extract (or use a little more fresh lemon juice if you don’t have it)
- 1 lemon (zest only)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- strawberry sauce (highly recommend; follow the link to the recipe)
- sliced fresh strawberries
- sweetened whip cream (1 cup cream, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, splash of vanilla extract) or whipped topping
- Place the cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice (should be about 1 and 1/2-2 tablespoons) in a small bowl. Use a hand mixer to thoroughly combine until smooth and creamy.
- Slice the croissants in half lengthwise and spread the lemon cream cheese mixture generously over the bottom halves of the croissants. Once all the filling has been spread on the croissants, replace the tops. (Tip: I wait to replace the tops all at once because I always start too skimpy with the filling and inevitably have to go back to the first ones to add more.)
- Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray. Place filled croissants in the pan in a single layer, cutting them in half or trimming them to fill the pan completely.
- In the same bowl you used to make the filling, whisk together the custard ingredients: milk, eggs, lemon extract, lemon zest, and powdered sugar. Pour evenly over the pan of prepared croissants.
- Cover pan and refrigerate overnight or 8-10 hours. Follow the link to make the strawberry sauce during this time.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, covered with foil, for 30 minutes and then remove the cover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until croissants are lightly browned and liquid is absorbed. Remove from oven and let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting into 10-12 squares.
- (Make fresh sweetened whip cream while dish is baking.)
- Top each serving with strawberry sauce, sliced strawberries, and fresh whipped cream.
Source: Our Best Bites