This toasty Apple French Toast Casserole is packed with sweet flavors and is the ultimate breakfast treat, made with buttery brioche, creamy custard, and crispy apples.
Easy Apple French Toast Casserole
Once the cold weather kicks in, it’s harder to get out of bed every morning when you only want to stay under the covers. Fortunately, this Apple French Toast Bake can be made in advance, so you can do just that— at least for an extra hour while it bakes. Packed with cinnamon, brown sugar, and apples, every bite tastes just like a cozy breakfast in bed. Topped with pecans and maple syrup, no one will know whether you’re baking dessert or breakfast. Does it matter, though? The rich, creamy custard bringing everything together says no.
Made with buttery brioche or leftover sandwich bread, this French toast bake is a beautiful way to sweeten up your mornings with a mountain of whipped cream, powdered sugar, and granola. It’s like apple pie for breakfast, only better!
Why We Love This Recipe
- Make-Ahead Convenience: This overnight French toast recipe allows for advance preparation. Put it together the night before and simply bake it in the morning.
- Versatile Ingredients: Whether you have buttery brioche or some leftover sandwich bread, this recipe can transform into a wonderful breakfast treat. It’s a great way to use what you have on hand.
- Crowd Pleaser: Perfect for family gatherings or brunch with friends, this Apple French Toast Bake will impress everyone at the table. Its rich flavors and aroma make it a hit with both adults and kids alike.
Ingredients For French Toast Casserole
We will use mostly pantry staples, so you should be able to get started with this apple French toast bake asap. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts.
- Brioche bread
- Milk – I prefer whole milk, but low-fat milk works too.
- Light brown sugar – Dark brown sugar is a good substitute.
- Ground cinnamon – Allspice is a great swap-out.
- Vanilla extract
- Butter – Salted or unsalted is okay.
- Apples – Use your favorite red, green, or yellow apples for this.
- Pecans – Chopped almonds or walnuts are also great.
- Pure maple syrup – Feel free to use raw honey and agave syrup.
What’s The Best Bread for French Toast?
Brioche is the best bread for French toast. However, Challah and even Japanese milk bread are excellent for this recipe too. Basically, any sort of enriched bread loaf will yield spectacular results.
How to Make Apple French Toast Casserole
- Prepare the baking dish. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
- Add the bread. Place the cubed bread in the baking dish. Set it aside.
- Mix the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Add half of the brown sugar and half of the ground cinnamon. Mix until well combined. Pour the mixture over the bread in the baking dish. Set it aside.
- Cook the apples. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the apples, remaining brown sugar, and remaining ground cinnamon. Mix well. Cook them for 8 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the apples soften. Remove the apples from the heat.
- Assemble the casserole. Spoon the apple mixture over the bread, sprinkle with pecans, and cover the baking dish with foil; refrigerate it overnight. You can also bake the casserole right away.
- Bake it. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Remove the baking dish from the fridge. Pop it in the oven (while still covered) for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Once the custard is set, remove it from the oven.
- Serve. Let the casserole rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Finally, don’t forget to top it with lots of whipped cream, powdered sugar, sliced apples, and even granola. It’s amazing!
Overnight French Toast Casserole
- French toast casserole can be made up to a day in advance. Assemble it and leave it covered in the fridge overnight or for up to 24 hours. Then bake and enjoy.
- You can also freeze unbaked French Toast Casserole. Cover with two layers of aluminum foil and keep it in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. To freeze a baked casserole, please ensure it is completely cooled before putting it in the freezer.
Tips for Making a French Toast Bake
Follow these tips to keep yourself safe while handling the baking dish and make cleaning up easier:
- Watch your face. Keep your face away from the baking dish when removing the foil from the baking dish before returning it to the oven. Steam tends to get trapped inside and will release violently when the foil is removed.
- Don’t use wet towels. When managing hot baking dishes, never use wet or moist kitchen towels to remove them from the oven. They’ll heat up and burn your hands within seconds.
- Use foil. Line your baking dish with foil for easy clean-up.
- Use leftover bread. If all you’ve got is sandwich bread at home, use up all the leftovers to make this amazing casserole.
I love this apple cinnamon French toast bake with a side of crispy bacon and scrambled eggs for breakfast. It’s like dessert and breakfast all in one. If I’m craving something lighter, I pair it with some Frozen Yogurt Bark with Berries and an Acai Bowl.
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How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Refrigerate any cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. It will technically last up to 5 days, but the texture will soften too much after the third day. You can also refrigerate it in the baking dish as long as you cover it with foil.
- To reheat it, sprinkle it with a couple of teaspoons of water and then microwave it until warm. You can also reheat it in the oven at 350˚F, covered, for 10 minutes or until heated through.
More Easy Breakfast Recipes
- Healthy Easy Overnight Oats Recipe
- Frozen Yogurt Bark with Berries Recipe
- Pumpkin French Toast
- Easy Bacon and Spinach Frittata
Apple French Toast Casserole
- 1 pound brioche bread loaf, cut into about 2-inch cubes
- 8 large eggs
- 4 cups whole milk
- ½ cup light brown sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 large large apples, peeled, cored, and diced
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- pure maple syrup, for serving
- Butter a 9×13 baking dish. Place the bread cubes in the baking dish and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture over the bread; stir and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Once melted, add in the apples, remaining brown sugar, and remaining cinnamon. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the apples begin to soften and the liquid thickens.
- Remove from heat and spoon the apple mixture over the bread mixture. Sprinkle the top with pecans.
- Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight, or bake it right away.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Take the casserole out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter while the oven is preheating.
- Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue to bake for about 20 more minutes or until the custard has set.
- Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Top with maple syrup and serve.
- Bread: Brioche is most commonly used for French toast, but sourdough bread, ciabatta, or challah are also excellent choices. Leftover, dry, or stale bread works best.
- Apples: I like to use any fresh apples I have on hand, mostly Honeycrisps, but Granny Smith apples are good to use, as well as Jonathans.
- Freezing French Toast Casserole: Fully cooked casserole can be frozen – cover with a couple of layers of foil and freeze for up to 3 months. However, I suggest freezing the French toast casserole before baking because it produces a better, more firm texture.
- Baking: This casserole can be baked right away, or for a better-tasting French toast, prepare the casserole, but don’t bake it. Cover the baking dish with foil, store it in the fridge, and let the casserole sit overnight or for at least 4 hours – this gives the bread a chance to soak up the egg custard.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.