These French Toast Muffins are easy to make using foods you already have in your pantry! French bread, cubed and covered in a rich egg yolk, heavy cream, and vanilla mixture, is stuffed with a delicious cream cheese filling, and baked until golden and crispy. They're the perfect bite-sized breakfast.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a jumbo muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, heavy cream, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla bean paste, and salt until well combined.
Whisk in the sugar.
Pour the custard mixture over the french bread and let set for 5 minutes to allow the bread to soak it up, pressing the bread down into the milk mixture if necessary.
For the cheesecake filling
While the bread is soaking, make the cheesecake filling. Add all of the cheesecake filling ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat together on high speed for 2 minutes to ensure that it is smooth and creamy. Alternately, add ingredients to a medium bowl and use a hand mixer with the beater attachments to beat for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
To assemble the French toast muffins
Press enough of the soaked bread into each mold to create a base and walls, leaving just enough of a well in the center to fill with cheesecake filling. After filling all 6 muffin cups, there should still be about 1 ½ cups of soaked bread leftover to form the muffin tops.
Spoon the cheesecake filling into each of the muffin centers. Top with the remaining soaked bread.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving. Serve plain, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and/or topped with fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup.
The bread soaks up the custard mixture better if it has been left out in the open air for 1 day to dry out. Simply chop it up the day before and place it into a large mixing bowl, cover it with a towel and place it out of the way until you are ready to use it.Be sure to beat the cheesecake mixture well so that no lumps of cream cheese remain. If after beating it, there are still lumps, simply press them against the side of the bowl with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to disperse them.For an extra fancy touch, warm the maple syrup up slightly before serving it.