Overnight Lemon Blueberry French Toast Casserole with Lemon Syrup

Overnight Lemon Blueberry French Toast Casserole with Lemon Syrup is bursting with juicy berries and layered with lemon-infused cream cheese for a special, make-ahead breakfast or brunch that's perfect to celebrate Easter or spring!

Lemon Blueberry Overnight Baked French Toast with Lemon Syrup with Text Overlay


 

I'm not sure how it's even possible, but Easter is right around the corner, folks. My wheels have been a-spinnin' coming up with some spring-inspired recipes for y'all. But along with menu ideas for Easter dinner, this here Overnight Lemon Blueberry French Toast Casserole with Lemon Syrup would be the perfect way to ring in Easter morning...or welcome spring in general!

Tart and Sweet Syrup Being Drizzled on Tip of Bake

I always try to do something special for breakfast on holiday mornings, and it's a bonus if that something special is make-ahead so that I can enjoy the day's festivities along with my family, as opposed to getting stuck in the kitchen all by my lonesome. In case you're late to the party, Overnight French Toast Casserole is a fun, yummy way to accomplish both of these goals! Its flavors can be customized to complement any season or holiday (just ask my Christmas-y Overnight Eggnog French Toast Casserole. Best of all, after assembling your dish the night before, all you have to do in the morning is pop it in the oven!

Serving of Lemon Blueberry Overnight Baked French Toast with Lemon Syrup on White Plate

Lemon Blueberry Overnight French Toast Casserole is everything the title says and more. It starts off like any ol' baked French toast casserole...with cubes of bread and a sweet, eggy custard. But this version has a few twists that make it very special indeed!

I used regular French bread for this version but if you prefer, you could use challah, day-old croissants, or your favorite bread o' choice. After arranging half of the bread cubes in the bottom of the baking dish, a delicately sweet, lemon-infused cream cheese gets dolloped on top. Then comes a sprinkling of plump, juicy blueberries. Finally, it's time for the remaining bread cubes and a custard of eggs, milk, and flavorings.

Serving Removed from Baking Dish

This was my first foray into incorporating cream cheese into French toast and I have to say...me likey! The cream cheese lends the French toast just a hint of decadence, but the fact that it's flavored with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest prevents it from tasting too heavy. At the same time, the blueberries are like little pops of sweet-tart juiciness...plus everyone knows that lemon + blueberries = one spectacular flavor combo.

And have I mentioned the simple, scrumptious Lemon Syrup that gets drizzled all over this Blueberry French Toast Casserole before serving?! It's reminiscent of lemon curd in syrup form and, while a little bit goes a long way, it totally takes this recipe over the top!

Lemon Syrup in a Glass Carafe

If this recipe sounds easy, that's because it is! After prepping, simply cover and refrigerate your casserole, then bake it off in the morning until puffy and golden. While your Blueberry French Toast Casserole bakes, you can quickly throw together the easy homemade Lemon Syrup to drizzle on top for serving...and then kick back with a cup of coffee (or tea...or hot chocolate...or a mimosa...I'm not one to tell you what to drink) until breakfast is served!

Talk about holy golden deliciousness, y'all. Doesn't this breakfast just scream sunshine?! Those vibrant blueberries and that luscious lemon combine for the perfect way to will warmer weather to hurry up and get here already.

So if you're on the hunt for a special spring breakfast or brunch that'll impress family, wow overnight house guests, and allow you (the chef) to relax while enjoying everyone's morning time company...this Lemon Blueberry French Toast Casserole with Lemon Syrup has got you covered! Add a side of bacon (because sweet requires some salty to balance it out, am I right?) and a glossy fruit salad and nobody will even have room for that impending chocolate bunny... 😉

Aerial View on White Plate

More Yummy Breakfast Treats

Lemon Blueberry Overnight Baked French Toast with Lemon Syrup on white plate.

Lemon Blueberry Overnight Baked French Toast with Lemon Syrup

Bursting with juicy berries and layered with lemon-infused cream cheese, Lemon Blueberry Overnight Baked French Toast with Lemon Syrup makes a special, make-ahead breakfast or brunch for celebrating Easter or spring!
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
CHILLING TIME: 1 day
Servings: 8 to 10 servings; 1 ¼ cup Lemon Syrup
Calories: 588kcal
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Ingredients

  • 1 loaf soft French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (approximately 1 pound loaf, which will yield 9 to 10 cups)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest, DIVIDED
  • 12 ounces (about 2 cups) fresh blueberries
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 ¾ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • teaspoon salt

FOR THE LEMON SYRUP:

  • ½ cup water
  • cup sugar
  • cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Generously butter (or coat with cooking spray) a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Arrange half of the bread cubes in the bottom of the dish.
  • In a large bowl, beat together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until smooth. Spoon small dollops of cream cheese mixture all over the bread cubes in the baking dish, gently spreading cream cheese with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle blueberries in a single layer over the cream cheese. Top with remaining bread cubes.
  • In another large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, remaining 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and salt until well blended. Evenly pour custard over bread cubes, gently pressing down on any cubes that are sticking up so that all bread gets soaked with egg mixture.
  • Cover baking dish tightly and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, uncover baking dish and allow to come to room temperature while preheating the oven to 350°F. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until center is puffed and surface is golden brown. If bread is starting to brown too much before casserole is done, you may lay a sheet of foil over the top and continue baking until done.
  • While French toast is baking, make the Lemon Syrup. In a small pot, whisk together water, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and corn starch until well blended. Set pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil while stirring. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until syrup has thickened. Remove pot from the heat and stir in butter, heavy cream, and vanilla, until all ingredients are smooth and well blended. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • When French toast is done, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving warm with Lemon Syrup drizzled on top.

Notes

  • You may substitute your favorite type of bread for the French bread...challah, croissants, etc.
  • It took me three large lemons to get the required amount of juice and zest for this recipe.
  • I use a stand mixer (KitchenAid) to make whisking the custard quick and easy.
  • Instead of refrigerating overnight, French toast casserole may be baked immediately in a preheated oven.
  • Baking time can be dependent on the type of bread you use, how dry it was, how long it soaks overnight, etc. Different people may prefer this type of recipe to be moister or drier.

Nutrition

Calories: 588kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 213mg | Sodium: 500mg | Potassium: 329mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 870IU | Vitamin C: 11.6mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 2.8mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Lemon Syrup adapted from AllRecipes.com.

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Recipe Rating




28 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this, blueberries and lemon, yum!! One question on the bread. Do you remove the crust before layering?

  2. Amazing recipe and the lemon syrup...oh my. I'm an innkeeper at a B&B and plan on using this recipe regularly.

    1. It makes me so happy to hear that, Deborah! I hope your guests enjoy this recipe as much as you do. 🙂 And I agree...the lemon syrup is good enough to drink, no French toast required -- ha!

  3. I just made this today... may have been the best french toast I have ever had. Wow, delicious!!! Pinned it awhile back, so glad I finally tried it!

    1. I am so happy to hear that, Carrie! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know. 🙂 Hope you've been having a great week!

  4. I just finished preparing this for Sunday breakfast with my family! It smells AMAZING and I can't wait to try it! 🙂 I appreciate the recipe being posted and look forward to trying more of your recipes!!

    1. I hope this French toast was a hit with your family, Brittany, and I hope you found some other recipes from the site to try! 🙂 Have a great rest of the week!

  5. Hi Samantha, just letting you know I will be featuring your fantastic french toast recipe tomorrow night on Best of the Weekend! Thanks for being a part of our party!

    1. Thanks so much, Amy...I appreciate the feature, and I appreciate you taking the time to let me know! 🙂 I love linking up with y'all each Friday. Hope your week is off to a wonderful start!

  6. Ohmygracious. I don't even like French toast and I want to try this! I'm so ready for spring! Bring on the lemons and blueberries and all the yummy things!

  7. Looks delicious- I love the fact that the syrup is separate because my husband likes things a lot sweeter than I do.

    I stopped by from Totally Talented Tuesdays.

    1. That's so true, Jessy...I think this french toast is sweet enough as it is, but the syrup gives a nice, extra boost of lemon for those who prefer things sweeter. 😉 Thanks so much for hopping over...hope your week is going well!

      1. 5 stars
        WOW! IS THIS EVER GOOD! Made it for Mother's day,,hoping for leftovers, but my family ate it all! My daughter can't stop raving about it. Make the syrup,,it's awesome.

  8. I can't believe Easter is so soon! I'm afraid I won't get to make everything I want to like this awesome baked french toast 😉

    1. Ha ha, Megan! Oh, there's still time to squeeze everything in...power through! If you can't, however, this recipe would still be tasty after Easter. 😉 Hope you're having a great week!

    1. Oooo, Heather...I like the way you think! There's not a brunch recipe out there that couldn't be improved by a mimosa on the side... 😉 Hope you're having a great weekend!

    1. Ha ha, Michelle...I couldn't agree with you more! Lemon + blueberries appear to have been made for one another... 😉 Hope you love this if you have a chance to try it!

  9. Lemon and blueberries are irresistible together. I also like that you use whole milk and not heavy cream in this recipe, makes it a little lighter. I will try this for a weekend breakfast soon.
    Do you think the lemon glaze can be made the night before too?

    1. I'm glad you're going to give this recipe a try, Mila...I think y'all will enjoy it! As far as the lemon syrup, I refrigerated my leftover syrup from the other day since it contains a bit of cream and butter, and it did somewhat separate and solidify in the fridge. So as an experiment for you, just now, I popped the jar in the microwave and heated it in 15-second increments, stirring in between, until it just liquified. It seems slightly more water-y and less syrup-y than when I initially made it, but it tastes the same. So if you'd like to make the syrup the night before, you should be able to...it just might lose a tad bit of its viscosity. 🙂 Enjoy!

  10. Would this work by subbing frozen blueberries instead of fresh? I live somewhere I'm only able to get frozen :(, but this sounds amazing - curious if you have ever tried with frozen?

    1. Hi Rhonda! I have not made this recipe yet using frozen blueberries, but I see no reason why they wouldn't work just fine! I use frozen blueberries in muffins, pancakes, etc. all the time, and once they're baked, you really can't tell them apart from fresh. 🙂 Hope that helps, and hope you enjoy this if you have a chance to try it! Have a great day!

      1. I tried this with frozen blueberries on Easter. It was fabulous! I thawed the blueberries in a colander, so there was almost no extra juice. I ended up with just under 1 cup of blueberries, but it was just enough to sprinkle a layer on top of the cream cheese layer. The casserole was a big hit! I felt the lemon syrup was too strong with the casserole, I actually preferred the casserole with no extra syrup at all. But, the kids loved the syrup and I will save that recipe for a pound cake or lemon cake topping!
        Samantha, thanks for the great recipe suggestions! I have loved your blog!

        1. Thanks so much for the sweet comment, Rhonda! I'm very glad that you enjoy the blog and that this French toast was a hit with your family on Easter. 🙂 And I agree with you that the recipe is perfectly tasty without the lemon syrup. I bet it would be really good on pound cake...I'll have to try that sometime! 😉 Hope your week has been going well...happy Friday!