Cinnamon Apple French Toast Bake

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Cinnamon Apple French Toast Bake is a perfect make-ahead dish for any holiday, family or friend gathering, or low-key lazy weekend brunch. Crusty bread PLUS apples get soaked in an egg custard and are then topped with a delicious buttery crumble.

Making meals in advance is key to less stress. For others, try a fruit-filled Blueberry French Toast Casserole or my Make-Ahead Omelette Casserole!

Closeup view of a French Toast Casserole with apple slices and a crumble topping.

Apple French Toast Casserole

Fall is a great time to use those apples you pick up at the orchards or if you’re like me, those you find in the grocery stores. I have wonderful memories of times spent in the orchards up north, but since living in Texas, the store will have to do.

Adding apples to recipes just makes sense. They add texture and sweetness along with some healthy factors to sweets – and I’m all about balance.

Try my Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce, Apple Crumb Bars, or Applesauce Cinnamon Muffins next!

Why This Recipe Works:

  1. Make Ahead. We love the ease of making this casserole one day and then baking it the next. (OR you can bake it right away!)
  2. Great for entertaining. This is a perfect holiday breakfast because it feeds a crowd!
  3. Uses up leftover bread. If you’re like me and are on the sourdough train, you have a freezer full of bread that needs to be used up. What a great resource!
  4. Tastes delicious! The apples are the star of the show in this French toast bake.
Side view of a slice of French toast with apple slices.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Apples – Use any baking apple that you like. I went with Fuji this time, but you could use Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Honey-crisp, Jonathan, or Pink Lady (or others).
  • Bread – Like I mentioned, use up any leftover bread that is on the crusty side. For this casserole, I used my Sourdough Sandwich Bread but I also regularly use some Chewy French Bread.

How to make Cinnamon French Toast Bake:

Step 1
Prep apples. Peel and core the apples. Then chop into thin or thick slices, according to what you prefer. The apples will brown quickly so add a squeeze of lemon to them if you don’t plan to cook them immediately.

Step 2
Cook apples. In a medium saucepan, add the butter and melt. Then add the sliced apples, granulated sugar, along with a splash of water and cook until softened, approximately 10 minutes. Add a pinch of cinnamon and remove to cool.

Step 3
Add bread to dish. To a 9×13 casserole dish (or similar size) – prepped with baking spray, add the chopped bread.

Step 4
Make custard. In a medium bowl, combine the custard ingredients – the eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Step 5
Add custard. Pour the custard evenly over the bread.

Step 6
Cover with apples. Then add the cooled apples on top of the casserole, spreading evenly to all sides. If baking right away, the apples don’t need to be cooled.

Side view of the casserole with apple layer.

If making this casserole the day before, cover the casserole dish tightly with Saran Wrap. Place in refrigerator overnight.

Step 7
Prep topping. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the cold butter and use your fingers to combine until mixture is crumbled.

If making this casserole the day before, place mixture in a resealable plastic bag in your refrigerator overnight. (Continue with the following step in the morning.)

Step 8
Add topping. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of the casserole.

Step 9
Bake. In a preheated oven, bake casserole uncovered for 35-40 minutes, until piping hot and bubbly.

Step 10
Serve. Serve French toast bake with a drizzle of butter, some warm syrup, or a dusting of powdered sugar.

Leftovers

Storing leftovers: Store the leftover French toast in an airtight container. Leftovers are good for about three days.

I don’t recommend freezing this casserole as the apples won’t freeze well.

Recipe Tips:

  • Pre-cooking the apples will guarantee that they are soft and tender in the the French toast bake. Don’t skip this step.
  • Use a nice crusty bread for best results. I’ve got lots of homemade bread recipes on the blog, but I prefer the sourdough bread for this recipe. You can buy it in the grocery store, if desired.
  • If you don’t have maple syrup (for the custard), use brown sugar in its place.
  • I recommend serving this French toast casserole with butter and warm maple syrup.
Side view of a partial French toast casserole showing the insides.

What to serve with Apple French Toast Casserole:

Since this is a great one for a holiday brunch, you may need to round out your meal with some sort of eggs and/or fruit. See the ideas below or search for others on the blog!

Two plates of cinnamon apple French toast.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

Side view of a helping of apple French toast bake.

Cinnamon Apple French Toast Bake

Cinnamon Apple French Toast Bake is a perfect make-ahead dish for any holiday, family or friend gathering, or low-key lazy weekend brunch. Crusty bread PLUS apples get soaked in an egg custard and are then topped with a delicious buttery crumble.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 396kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

For the apples:

  • 4 large apples – peeled and sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a splash of water

For the custard:

  • 1 ¼ pounds crusty bread (sourdough or French bread) – cut into cubes (about 10-11 cups)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups 2% milk – can use whole or half and half for a richer custard
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup – or use brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter – cold and cubed or shredded
  • butter and warm maple syrup – to serve

Instructions

For the apples:

  • Peel and slice the apples into thin slices. Add to a sauce pan and add the butter, sugar, and a splash of water. Cook over medium heat until apples are softened, approximately 10 minutes. Add the cinnamon and stir well. Set aside to cool.

For the casserole:

  • Grease a 9×13 casserole dish.
  • Slice the crusty bread in bite sized pieces and add to dish.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, maple syrup and cinnamon – and whisk until very well combined. Pour over the bread.
  • Then add the cooled apples over top the bread mixture, spreading evenly.
  • If making this casserole the day before, cover the casserole dish tightly with Saran Wrap. Place in refrigerate overnight.

For the topping:

  • In medium bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the cold butter and use your hands to combine, until mixture is crumbly.
  • If making this casserole the day before, place mixture in a resealable plastic bag in your refrigerator overnight. (Continue with the following step in the morning.)
  • Pour topping mixture evenly over the casserole right before baking. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until piping hot and bubbly.
  • Serve French toast casserole with a dusting of powdered sugar, a pat of butter, and some warm syrup. Enjoy!

Notes

Recipe Tips:

  • Pre-cooking the apples will guarantee that they are soft and tender in the the French toast bake. Don’t skip this step.
  • Use a nice crusty bread for best results. I’ve got lots of homemade bread recipes on the blog, but I prefer the sourdough bread for this recipe. You can buy it in the grocery store, if desired.
  • If you don’t have maple syrup (for the custard), use brown sugar in its place.
  • I recommend serving this French toast casserole with butter and warm maple syrup.

Nutrition

Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 457mg | Potassium: 289mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 538IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!
Side shot of a casserole dish of baked cinnamon apple French toast.

7 Comments

  1. What a treat and perfect for those special occasions! Love it!

  2. Ann Ronneberg says:

    Defintely adding this to the menu for Thanksgiving weekend! Your Blueberry French Toast Casserole is already a favorite, but this apple one is perfect for Fall!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      So glad to hear this, Ann! 🙂

  3. Rebecca G Hensley says:

    How many hungry people will these feed? 8-10 people
    Make 2?

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I think it will feed about 8 hungry people!

  4. This was great for a brunch, being able to prepare the night before is so nice and it was very tasty.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks for trying it Shari!! 🙂

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