“Upper Crust” French Toast Strata

Etta’s Place frequently gets asked for recipes of the dishes we serve for breakfast in the mornings. We are happy to share! Not only can some of these dishes bring back happy memories of your stay with us, they may actually wind up on your dining table during a special family holiday. That would truly be an honor!!

One of our very favorite recipes is French Toast Strada. It can be made sweet or savory. I think we like it so much because it’s so very versatile and offers us so many ways to be creative serving it.

Here’s the basic structure:

Upper Crust” French Toast Strata

1 1-pound loaf unsliced French bread (might add just a bit more)

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

8 large eggs

2-1/2 cups half & half

5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

¼ cup maple syrup (honey or various fruit syrups)

1 tablespoon vanilla

Slice French Bread and cut into ½-inch cubes.  Layer half of the bread cubes into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.  Cut cream cheese into ¼ inch cubes and spread evenly over bread layer.  Add remaining bread cubes.  Combine half & half, eggs, melted butter, and syrup until thoroughly mixed; pour evenly over bread and cheese cubes.  Press surface with a spatula to thoroughly saturate all bread cubes but don’t press so hard that you flatten all the texture out.  You can prepare this the evening before.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake on the middle rack for 45 minutes or until the center is raised and set and the “upper crust” is golden.  Remove from oven and use a wide spatula to cut into 9 portions to serve.

We serve this on top of a slice of ham and top with fruit and syrup.    Modestly accept the cheers and applause!!

This recipe was copied from the Texas Bed & Breakfast Cookbook revised edition by Candy Coleman.


Etta’s Place Sundance Inn variations by manager Leslie Benson:

*Sprinkle top with cinnamon and nutmeg before placing in oven.

*Replace a portion of the French bread with cut up blueberry muffins for a delicious Etta’s Place Blueberry French Toast Strata.

*Substitute cheddar cheese for cream cheese, omit syrup and add dried onion flakes, salt and red pepper and even fresh spinach, broccoli and or chicken.


As you can see the fun is in the variety.  Hope you enjoy it!!