Creamy Strawberry French Toast Bake
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 loaf (1 pound) cinnamon bread, cut into 1-in. pieces
5 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half cream
Sweetened whipped cream
Toss 2 cups strawberries with sugar. In another bowl, beat the next 5 ingredients until smooth. Place half the bread in a greased 13×9-in. baking dish. Spoon cream cheese mixture over bread. Layer with strawberry mixture and remaining bread. Whisk eggs and cream until blended; pour over top. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°. Remove casserole from refrigerator while oven heats. Bake, uncovered, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Top with whipped cream and remaining 1 cup strawberries.
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