- Spread butter into a 13" x 9" casserole. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle half evenly into the bottom of the pan.
- Spread one side of 8 bread slices each with 1 Tbsp. cream cheese. Arrange those slices, cheese-side-up, in a snug single layer in the pan. Now divide and top those bread slices with half the strawberries, slightly overlapping them.
- Spread one side of each remaining bread slice with 1 Tbsp. cream cheese. Set those slices, cheese-side-down, on top strawberry-topped bread slices, gently press down on them to help them cling to the slices below.
- Beat eggs in a medium bowl until well blended. Mix in milk and cream. Using a ladle, slowly pour this mixture over the bread; ensuring top slices gets evenly coated. Sprinkle the top of the bread with remaining brown sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate French toast overnight.
- The next morning when ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake French toast, uncovered, in the middle of the oven 30 minutes. Turn oven to broil. Broil French toast 1 to 2 minutes, or until top is rich golden. If desired, dust French toast lightly with icing sugar. Serve with maple syrup and remaining sliced strawberries.
Note: It's important to cut the bread so that the stacked slices sit in a snug, single layer in the pan. Slices 4" to 5" long, and 3" inches wide, work well here.
Recipe Options: For an even richer taste, instead of cream cheese, spread the bread with mascarpone cheese, Instead of strawberries, set fresh raspberries in between the slices French bread.