Croissant Breakfast Casserole

Croissant Breakfast Casserole is an easy, make-ahead recipe – perfect for any occasion!

This croissant breakfast casserole tastes like a cream cheese Danish in easy casserole form, which means it’s pretty much the best breakfast casserole ever! It’s made with buttery croissants enveloped in a sweet, lemon kissed cream cheese custard, laced with berries and drizzled with silky, lemon cream cheese glaze.  It’s an intoxicating combination you will have to taste to believe!  This croissant breakfast casserole is all prepped the night before so all you have to do is pop it in the oven in the morning then enjoy the chorus of “mm mms” from around the table. 

We love make ahead breakfast casseroles at our house just like this croissant breakfast casserole!  They’re perfect for stress-free mornings whether for birthdays, holidays or just a special Sunday breakfast with the fam.  Other overnight breakfast casserole favorites include sausage breakfast casserole, pecan praline French toast bake, dulce de leche French toast casserole, eggs Benedict casserole and crème brûlée French toast.

How to make breakfast casserole video

top view of sweet breakfast casserole with croissants, berries and lemon drizzle in a white casserole dish

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BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

I am so excited to bring you this sweet breakfast casserole recipe just in time for Easter!  Because the holidays are a totally acceptable time to indulge in dessert for breakfast masquerading as a casserole.  This breakfast bake is also fabulous for brunch, lunch, dinner and again for dessert!

I always have so many recipes I want to share for the holidays and never enough time to cram them in, but this croissant breakfast casserole shot to the top of the list because it’s irresistibly delicious and I’m convinced it will become your most requested breakfast. Because really, what’s better than a sweet breakfast casserole studded with berries that tastes like a Danish?! 

I’ve seen croissant breakfast casseroles floating around Pinterest for some time, and although they look amazing, there are honestly some pretty big fails with soggy croissants and splitting custard – but not this recipe! I’ve troubleshooted the issues to bring you the best breakfast casserole:

  • First, you have to toast the croissants, otherwise, you’ll end up with soggy, disintegrating breakfast casserole. 
  • Second, you have to use half and half, not milk, otherwise the custard won’t be thick enough and you are destined for runny sogginess. 
  • Third, you have to layer the croissants and the custard in batches otherwise the custard isn’t evenly distributed.
  • Fourth, it’s best to let the croissant breakfast casserole sit overnight so it can drink up all the flavor!

Now, all you have to do is follow the easy recipe, let it sit overnight in the refrigerator and bake it the next morning for a relaxed, stress free and delicious breakfast!  With one bite, everyone in your household will be swooning over it!

overnight breakfast casserole with croissants in a 9x13 casserole dish

INGREDIENTS FOR sweebt breakfast CASSEROLE

The ingredients for this sweet breakfast casserole are easy to find at your grocery store.  You will need:

  • Croissants:  Use large croissants from the bakery section of your grocery store, not the ones in the tube.  You’ll need about 10 packed cups, but there is some wiggle room.
  • Berries:  Use your favs!  I prefer raspberries, blueberries and blackberries in this recipe but you can also add strawberries. 
  • Eggs:  Use large eggs at room temperature.  This will help them mix more easily with the cream cheese.
  • Half and half:  Pease use half and half and not milk otherwise your croissant breakfast casserole may be runny.  You may use half heavy cream and half milk to make your own half and half.
  • Granulated sugar:  Sweetens the cream cheese and allows the lemon flavor to shine.
  • Lemon juice and lemon zest:  Brightens the custard with a subtle fresh pop of citrus; please don’t skip or the custard tastes flat.  
  • Vanilla extract:  Use quality extract for the best flavor. 

HOW TO MAKE THIS SWEET BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

  • Toast croissants.  Add the cubed croissants in a single layer to a large baking sheet and bake until toasted, about 7-10 minutes.  
showing how to make breakfast casserole by toasting croissants on a baking dish
  • Make cream cheese custard.  Beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs, half and half, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer until smooth.
a collage showing how to make croissant breakfast casserole by creaming the cream cheese and sugar, beating the eggs and adding the half and half and mixing until smooth
  • Assemble casserole.  Layer a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish with croissants, berries, half of the custard and then repeat.   
a collage showing how to make sweet breakfast casserole by adding croissants to baking dish then berries, then custard and repeating the layers
  • Refrigerate overnight.  Cover the sweet breakfast casserole tightly with foil and refrigerate overnight so the croissants can drink up the custard.
  • Bake. The next relaxed, stress free morning, bake for 45 minutes or until the custard is set.  
  • Lemon drizzle.  While the casserole is baking, make the Lemon Glaze by beating cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extracting in a mixing bowl.  Drizzle it all over the croissant breakfast casserole and dig in while it’s warm!
showing how to make overnight breakfast casserole with croissants by beating cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl to make a glaze
top view of sweet breakfast casserole with croissants, berries and lemon drizzle in a white casserole dish

COOKING TIPS FOR THIS BREAKFAST Casserole

  • Prepare your baking dish:  Don’t forget to lightly grease your 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray otherwise your croissant breakfast casserole will stick!
  • Use quality croissants:  This isn’t the time for pop and bake croissants.  You want medium to large croissants from the bakery section of the grocery store because they have more fabulous flaky layers for the custard to hide in.
  • Toast croissants:  Toasting the croissants gives them structure so they have the capacity to soak up the custard without becoming soggy – don’t skip this step!
  • Don’t burn croissants:  There are severable variables when toasting the croissants such as the freshness of the croissants, so keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!
  • Cool the croissants:  Give the croissants some time to cool before drenching in the custard so they can firm up a bit – otherwise this defeats the purpose of toasting them!  
  • Use room temperature ingredients: You’ll want to use room temperature cream cheese, eggs and half and half, otherwise the cream cheese will seize and not mix well. If you do end up with some white flecks of cream cheese, it’s okay, it will melt when the breakfast casserole bakes.
  • Use soft cream cheese:  To that end, make sure you cream cheese is very soft. This is one time it’s okay to gently microwave your cream cheese, just make sure not to scorch it! 
  • Use fresh or frozen berries:  Fresh is best but frozen mixed berries will also work -no need to thaw first.
  • Submerge the croissants in the custard.  After you’ve added the last of the custard to the casserole but before you top with the remaining berries, press the croissants down gently with your hands so that most of the croissants are submerged in the custard.  The very tops will likely be sticking up which is okay.
  • Add powdered sugar to taste:  The powdered sugar dusting is honestly more for aesthetic reasons.  I recommend serving the sweet breakfast casserole without the powdered sugar and then letting individuals decide if they would like their serving sweeter.

WHAT WENT WRONG IF MY sweet breakfast CASSEROLE IS SOGGY?

You should expect your breakfast croissant casserole to be soft, but not mushy. If it’s soggy, there could be a few culprits:

  • Problem:  You did not use enough croissants.
  • Answer:  You need 10 packed cups of croissants for the proper bread to custard ratio.
  • Problem:  The croissants were too soft to absorb the egg custard
  • Answer:  Make sure the croissants are STALE like croutons by toasting the cubes in the oven and then waiting for them to cool and firm up.
  • Problem: The custard was runny.
    Answer:  Don’t use milk; only half and half.  Before you pop the sweet breakfast casserole in the oven, inspect to see if most of the custard is absorbed, if not, pour off all but about half a cup or so.
  • Problem:  The casserole sat too long.
  • Answer:  Don’t prep the breakfast bake too far in advance. Prep the casserole in the evening and bake it the next morning. 
side view of overnight croissant breakfast casserole with berries

VARIATIONS OF THIS overnight breakfast casserole

  • Other breads:  This breakfast bake will also work with French bread to create a French toast casserole.  Purchase the French bread, cut it into cubes and let it dry out for a couple days on the counter or toast the cubes like you do the croissants until crispy like croutons.
  • Other flavors:  This recipe is bright and lemony for spring, but are welcome to mix up the flavor profile. You can omit the lemon and go more maple/cinnamon by swapping half of the sugar in the custard and in the glaze with pure maple syrup and adding additional cinnamon.  Alternatively, you can omit the lemon in the glaze and go for straight vanilla. You can also swap the lemon for orange juice and orange extract and add a splash of almond extract.
  • Omit the glaze:  The lemon glaze is fabulous and a recipe highlight in my opinion, but you can omit it and sprinkle the casserole with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup instead.
  • Add a streusel:  I love adding streusels to my overnight breakfast casseroles for a contrasting crunch.  If you want to add a streusel, follow the instructions for this recipe.

HOW DO I MAKE GLUTEN-FREE sweet breakfast CASSEROLE?

You will probably have trouble locating gluten free croissants so the next best bet is to use your favorite thick gluten-free bread. Make sure to toast the bread like you do the croissants so they resemble croutons.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH this Breakfast BAKE

This breakfast bake has the fruit and sweet breakfast portion covered, and I’m honestly good with that, but if you are looking to flush out the meal, here are some savory options:

top view of croissant breakfast casserole with berries in a white casserole dish

MAKING BREAKFAST CASSEROLE AHEAD OF TIME

I usually dedicate an entire section on how to prep a recipe ahead of time, but the beauty of this overnight breakfast casserole is it meant to be prepped almost 100% ahead of time!   Besides the casserole itself, the only item left to make is the lemon glaze. This can also be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. 

The glaze will thicken upon refrigeration so you will need to let it come to room temperature before serving and may even need to whisk in a couple tablespoon of half and half to thin it again.  Taste the glaze before serving, as the lemon will mellow upon refrigeration, then adjust if needed.    

CAN YOU MAKE breakfast CASSEROLE WITHOUT SITTING OVERNIGHT?

There is a reason this is an overnight breakfast casserole – it gives the custard time to permeate and really soak into the croissant crevices.  This results in sublime flavor and texture through and through.  So, for best results, plan on OVERNIGHT breakfast casserole preparation. You can still make this recipe without letting it rest overnight, but adjust your expectations as the casserole won’t be as fluffy and may be runnier as the custard won’t have as much time to soak in.

To make and bake this breakfast casserole immediately, skip toasting the croissants and instead let the casserole sit on the counter for 30-60 minutes so the croissants can soak up the liquid then bake per recipe instructions.  

HOW LONG IS ThiS Breakbfast BAKE GOOD FOR?

This breakfast bake should be tightly covered or stored in an aright container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

breakfast bake with pieces missing so you can see the inside of the breakfast casserole with croissants and berries

HOW TO REHEAT breakfast CASSEROLE

You can reheat leftover sweet breakfast casserole two ways:

  • Microwave:  The microwave is good for instant pleasure and individual pieces but you will lose some of the structural integrity of the breakfast bake.  To microwave, add individual slices to a microwave safe plate and microwave for one minute.  Continue to microwave at 30 second intervals if needed to heat through.
  • Oven.  Reheating leftover breakfast croissant casserole in the oven will yield the best results.  Cover casserole with foil and bake at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes or until warmed through.

HOW TO FREEZE sweet breakfast CASSEROLE

You can freeze the breakfast croissant casserole before or after baking, but for best results, freeze before baking.

TO FREEZE BEFORE BAKING:

  • Completely assemble your breakfast bake in a freezer safe 9×13 dish but don’t bake. 
  • Tightly wrap casserole in plastic wrap a couple times followed by foil.
  • Freeze for up to 2 months.
  • When ready to cook, thaw casserole in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Bake the next morning per recipe instructions, being prepared to add an additional 5-10 minutes.

TO FREEZE AFTER BAKING:

  • Allow casserole to cool completely.
  • Tightly wrap casserole in plastic wrap a couple times followed by foil.
  • Freeze for up to 2 months
  • When ready to cook, thaw casserole in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat in the oven at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes or until warmed through.

LOOKING FOR MORE BREAKFAST RECIPES?

a slice of sweet croissant breakfast casserole on a plate with berries
top view of sweet breakfast casserole with croissants, berries and lemon drizzle in a white casserole dish

Croissant Breakfast Casserole

This croissant breakfast casserole tastes like a cream cheese Danish in easy casserole form, which means it's pretty much the best breakfast casserole ever! It's made with buttery croissants enveloped in a sweet, lemon kissed cream cheese custard, laced with berries and drizzled with silky, lemon cream cheese glaze.  It’s an intoxicating combination you will have to taste to believe!  This croissant breakfast casserole is all prepped the night before so all you have to do is pop it in the oven in the morning then enjoy the chorus of “mm mms” from around the table. 
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Casserole

  • 8 large croissants (from the bakery) sliced into 1-inch cubes (10 packed cups)
  • 4 cups mixed berries (I use raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)

Custard

  • 14 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups half and half at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Lemon Glaze

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Toast croissants: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add the cubed croissants in a single layer to a large baking sheet (15×21-inches). Bake 350 degrees F for 7-10 minutes until golden and very toasted (keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!). Set aside to cool.
  • Custard: Add cream cheese and sugar to a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Beat in the eggs until smooth, followed by the half and half, and finally the lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract and salt.
  • Assemble: Transfer half of the croissants to a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish, then evenly layer with half of the berries. Pour half of the custard evenly over the dish. Add remaining croissants in a single layer followed by remaining custard. Press down with your hands so most of the croissants are submerged in the custard (it’s okay if the tops aren't). Scatter remaining berries over the dish. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  • Bake: When ready to bake, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter while you preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Bake, covered with foil, for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Lemon Glaze: While the casserole is baking, make the Lemon Glaze. Add all of the Glaze ingredients to a medium mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Taste and add additional sugar for sweeter or lemon juice for tangier. Drizzle the glaze all over the casserole.
  • Serve: Serve the breakfast casserole warm. Let individuals dust their servings with powdered sugar if they would like it sweeter.

Video

Notes

to half recipe

This recipe is easy to cut in half using an 8×8 baking dish.  Hover over the “12 servings” and a sliding scale will pop up.  Slide the scale down to 6 servings and the ingredients will adjust for you. The instructions and baking time will remain the same.  

COOKING TIPS FOR THIS BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

  • Use quality croissants:  This isn’t the time for pop and bake croissants.  You want medium to large croissants from the bakery section of the grocery store because they have more fabulous flaky layers for the custard to hide in.
  • Cool the croissants:  Give the croissants some time to cool before drenching in the custard so they can firm up a bit – otherwise this defeats the purpose of toasting them!  
  • Use room temperature ingredients: You’ll want to use room temperature cream cheese, eggs and half and half, otherwise the cream cheese will seize and not mix well. If you do end up with some white flecks of cream cheese, it’s not the end of the world, they will melt when the breakfast casserole bakes.
  • Room temperature eggs hack: Add warm (not hot) tap water to a bowl then add eggs (still in their shells) for at least 20 minutes.  You can microwave your half and half until room temperature (NOT hot).
  • Use soft cream cheese:  Make sure you cream cheese is very soft. This is one time it’s okay to gently microwave your cream cheese, just make sure not to scorch it! 
  • Use fresh or frozen berries:  Fresh is best but frozen mixed berries will also work -no need to thaw first.
  • Add powdered sugar to taste:  The powdered sugar dusting is honestly more for aesthetic reasons.  I recommend serving the sweet breakfast casserole without the powdered sugar and then letting individuals decide if they would like their serving sweeter.

How to make without SITTING OVERNIGHT

You can still make this recipe without letting it rest overnight, but adjust your expectations as the casserole won’t be as fluffy and may be runnier as the custard won’t have as much time to soak in. To make and bake this breakfast casserole immediately, skip toasting the croissants and instead let the casserole sit on the counter for 30-60 minutes so the croissants can soak up the liquid then bake per recipe instructions, being prepared to add an additional 5-10 minutes.

HOW TO store and REHEAT

  • Storage: This breakfast bake should be tightly covered or stored in an aright container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
  • Microwave:  Add individual slices to a microwave safe plate and microwave for one minute.  Continue to microwave at 30 second intervals if needed to heat through.
  • Oven.  Reheating leftover breakfast croissant casserole in the oven will yield the best results.  Cover casserole with foil and bake at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
 

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19 Comments

  1. pamela stack says

    Hi yes I would like to make this could I cut the recipe in half because it just my husband and I would be eating it thank you

    • Jen says

      Hi Pamela, this recipe is perfect to cut in half in a 8×8 baking dish. Hover over the “12 servings” in the recipe card and a sliding scale will pop up.  Slide the scale down to 6 servings and the ingredients will adjust for you. The instructions and baking time will remain the same. Enjoy!

      • Pamela says

        Thank you Jen I will give it a try

  2. Connie says

    You do such an amazing job with all the details. Can’t wait to make it!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Connie, I’m excited for you to try it – it’s SO good!

  3. Stephanie says

    I’ve been making an almost identical recipe (with different ingredient quantities) for years, it’s my kids absolute favorite for holidays, birthdays or just surprise midweek breakfast before school. Your technique to toast the croissant pieces sounds brilliant. I will definitely try your recipe for Easter as while my recipes are always good, you always have a gift to elevate a dish to greatness, way better than I’ve ever made!

    • Jen says

      That’s awesome your kids love this casserole so much – I’m excited for you to try my version! I think you’ll love the toasted croissants and the lemon glaze takes it over the top! Happy Easter!

      • Stephanie says

        This recipe was phenomenal and the consensus at the breakfast table on Easter morning was that your recipe was better than mine, just as I expected, ha! I loved the texture/structure toasting the croissants gave the dish, I’ve always used only one berry but the combo was delicious, and the glaze….it made it breakfast dessert and for some really happy kids. Thank you Jen, hope you had a lovely Easter.

        • Jen says

          Thanks Stephanie! I’m so pleased this breakfast casserole was a huge success and made for happy kids! Happy Easter!

  4. Farah says

    This looks amazing and delicious, in place of the half and half, could I use coffee creamer? I have the Starbucks caramel creamer and think the flavour would be great with it.

    • Jen says

      Hi Farah, I think the consistency would work great but I would reduce the sugar in the recipe, (maybe to a cup?) otherwise I’m afraid it would be too sweet.

  5. Joddi says

    Question: The ingredient list calls for 1/4 tsp salt, but it’s not listed in the directions. Help!

    • Jen says

      Thanks for catching that, the salt should be added to the custard with the vanilla. Enjoy!

  6. Nici says

    Whole family loved this! So, so, so delicious. It was easy to prep and so nice to just throw it in the oven in the morning. And the drizzle is an absolute must.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Nici! I love hearing it was a huge hit!

  7. Carita says

    This was the perfect treat to serve during our Easter Brunch! The recipe was easy to follow and did NOT disappoint in the flavor/texture category. I will for sure make this again and again!

    • Jen says

      YAY! Thanks so much Carita for the glowing review! I love that it will be on repeat!

  8. Shannon Stovsky says

    I made this the other day and it was the hit of my family gathering. I was able to get croissants at Costco (much less expensive) and I only used raspberries and blueberries (wanted to use strawberries, but wasn’t sure if they would be too watery). My BIL took one bite and said “this is the best thing you have ever made!!!”I have been sharing the recipe non-stop and CANNOT wait to make it again- thanks for all of the great recipes!!

    • Jen says

      Thanks for making my day Shannon! I am thrilled this recipe was such a huge hit! Thanks for sharing it!