The first time I made this was when my daughters were in elementary school. I mixed up some whipped cream cheese and strawberry preserves and slathered that between two slices of honey wheat bread, then griddled it and tossed it in cinnamon sugar like one of the Fat Elvis sammiches they often asked for.
They loved it, so I kept making it, and over the years it’s evolved into what you see above: Strawberry Cheesecake Crunch French Toast. I know it’s a mouthful but each word is important!
It’s thick slices of King’s Hawaiian Bread stuffed with a strawberry and cream cheese filling, then coated in crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and fried in butter just like traditional french toast. It’s incredible, trust me.
It’s also a good jump-off point for other french toast creations. You can swap out the berries, cereal, and bread for ones of your preference (I make a Peaches & Cream version with HoneyBun cereal that is stellar).
Y’all have been asking for this Strawberry Cheesecake Crunch French Toast recipe for so so long, but I needed to make sure the measurements were correct, and you know ion measure nothing.
Swear to god somebody had better tag me so I can see the fruits of my – our – labor! There are a few videos of me preparing this on Instagram. Here’s one if you’d like to see.
1 King’s Hawaiian Round Bread (you can use whatever kind you like )
Begin by cutting the bread into two inch thick slices. Use the tip of the knife to cut a small pocket in the top center of each slice. Dig around in there a bit so it opens up, careful not to cut all the way to the sides or bottom. Set aside.
Dice your strawberries.
In a small bowl, mix the strawberry jam and 4 tbsp of cream cheese until well combined, then stir in diced strawberries. Set aside until ready to fill the bread.
In another bowl make the glaze: whisk together the whole milk, 1/2 tsp of vanilla, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the remaining cream cheese to a bowl. Adjust consistency to your preference.
Make the milk bath by combining the heavy cream, eggs, light brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and remaining vanilla and powdered sugar in a bowl. Whisk until there are no more streaks of egg.
Place the cereal in a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Alternatively, you can put them in a Ziplock bag and beat the shit out of it with a rolling pin. Pour into a shallow dish.
Use a small spoon to spoon the strawberry cream cheese filling to the pockets in the bread, careful not to overfill.
Over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter with 1 tsp of oil in a large skillet.
Dip the bread into the milk bath, coating each side – do not soak – then roll in the cereal crumbs. Make sure to press the crumbs into the bread or sprinkle generously over it to coat well. Shake off excess, then transfer directly to the hot pan.
Cook on both sides until golden brown, for about 3 minutes each, then use tongs to hold the bread upright to brown the edges. Keep warm in a 300 oven between batches.
Serve by sifting powdered sugar over the top, and drizzling with the cream cheese glaze. Strawberries, whipped cream and cereal crumbs are great accompaniments.