Made with buttery brioche, creamy custard, and crispy apples, this toasty Apple Cinnamon French Toast Bake is packed with sweet flavors and is the ultimate breakfast treat.
Easy Apple Cinnamon French Toast Bake
Once the cold weather kicks in, it’s harder to get out of bed every morning when all you want to do is stay under the covers. Fortunately, this Apple Cinnamon 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. Just dig in!
What You’ll Need
We will use mostly pantry staples, so you should be able to get started with this apple cinnamon 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 kind 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 Cinnamon Apple French Toast Casserole
Thankfully, the oven does a lot of the work for this apple cinnamon French toast bake.
- 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. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy.
Can This Be Prepared in Advance?
Since this recipe contains raw eggs until cooked, this French toast casserole can only be made up to a day in advance. Assemble it and leave it covered in the fridge. Then bake it the next day as usual and enjoy.
You can also freeze it unbaked. 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.
For drinks, use these as inspiration and make your own breakfast combo with this sweet casserole:
Finally, don’t forget to top it with lots of whipped cream, powdered sugar, sliced apples, and even granola. It’s amazing!
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
Butter a 9×13 baking dish.
Place 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 apples begin to soften and 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 right away.
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Take the casserole out of the fridge while the oven is preheating.
Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and continue to bake for about 20 more minutes or until custard has set.
Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes before serving.
Serve with maple syrup.
- 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 it before baking because it results in 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.
Serving: 12 servings | Calories: 391 kcal | Carbohydrates: 39 g | Protein: 12 g | Fat: 22 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g | Trans Fat: 0.2 g | Cholesterol: 208 mg | Sodium: 284 mg | Potassium: 263 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 19 g | Vitamin A: 786 IU | Vitamin C: 3 mg | Calcium: 159 mg | Iron: 1 mg | Net Carbs: 37 g
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.