Bake up an apple French toast casserole, topped with cinnamon brown sugar, for busy mornings on the go or an easy holiday breakfast. Perfect for a crowd!
I never imagined how much I would love a good overnight French toast bake until I actually tried making that instead of regular French toast.
Especially during the fall and holiday season, I love having an easy breakfast I can feed a crowd. And this apple French toast bake is just that.
Very similar to my favorite French toast casserole, an apple French toast casserole is slightly different.
The one major difference is the apple.
I make this French toast casserole with apple pie filling. And I really prefer to make the pie filling from scratch.
While you can make overnight apple French toast without the topping, it won’t be nearly as good. The topping is super quick to mix up, and you can just crumble it right onto the casserole before baking.
I also use this topping on my favorite slow cooker French toast. And I use a variation of the topping in the bottom of the pan with my brioche French toast casserole. Along with the topping, you can even bake up a quick batch of easy baked apples or microwave cinnamon apples to go with your breakfast casserole. So delicious!
INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED:
- Sandwich bread
- Chopped pecans
- Chopped apples
- Salted butter
- Sour cream
- Light brown sugar
- Corn starch
- Lemon juice
- Whole milk
- Vanilla extract
Keep in mind, all of the amounts you'll need are in the printable recipe card below.
KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED:
Aluminum Foil – for baking.
HOW TO MAKE APPLE FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
- Mix together the chopped apples, melted butter, sour cream, sugar, brown sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice.
- Toss the apple mixture with the bread and pecans in the casserole dish.
- Then whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes, making sure all of the bread is soaked with the egg and milk.
This is the part where you'll cover it and chill it either overnight or for at least 4 to 6 hours.
Next morning when you're ready to bake it, you'll need to mix up the topping super quick…
- Mix together the sliced butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
- And you'll just crumble the topping over the casserole.
Then it's ready to bake! Bake it according to the instructions in the recipe card below.
WHAT KINDS OF BREAD MAKE GOOD FRENCH TOAST?
While you can make an apple cinnamon French toast bake with Texas toast, sourdough, challah bread, French bread, or really any other type of fresh baked bread, I used a regular loaf of plain old butter bread.
Butter bread is a type of sandwich bread (or white bread) you can find at just about any store.
This recipe is simple, so you can hopefully either use what you already have or easily find what you need at the store.
CAN I MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE?
Yes, you can. Just substitute in your favorite gluten-free bread in place of the regular sandwich bread included in the ingredients.
BEST APPLES FOR APPLE FRENCH TOAST BAKE
While you can make this recipe with apple pie filling, I really recommend fresh apples.
I also recommend finding apples in season because you'll get a lot better flavor. And if you buy seconds at a local orchard, produce stand, or farmer's market, you'll get them cheaper too.
Some of my favorite apples to use for recipes include the following:
- Granny Smith
- Golden Delicious
DO I REALLY HAVE TO CHILL IT OVERNIGHT?
While overnight apple French toast has the best flavor after chilling in the refrigerator overnight or for at least a few hours, you can just bake it and eat it.
If you’re in a hurry, don’t have time to plan ahead, and need to make it a quick and easy French toast casserole for a crowd, that’s ok.
Just mix it up, make sure the bread cubes are moistened well with the egg and milk mixture, add the topping, and bake it.
CAN YOU FREEZE THIS SWEET BREAKFAST CASSEROLE?
You can totally freeze a French toast bake. While I recommend freezing it after it’s already been baked, you can also freeze it before baking.
Keep in mind it’ll keep longer in the freezer if it’s already been cooked. And I'd add the topping later, right before you actually bake it.
Be sure to cover it well or seal it in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn.
Also, be sure you have plenty of time for it to thaw and re-heat when taking it out of the freezer. Allow time for it to thaw in the fridge; then cook or re-heat.
WHAT GOES WITH BAKED FRENCH TOAST?
Apple breakfast bake pairs really well with eggs and bacon, or better yet, eggs and sausage.
It adds a little sweet treat to breakfast time and puts smiles on faces who are just waking up. And it's especially perfect for those memorable family occasions like Christmas morning.
MORE FAVORITE BREAKFAST RECIPES:
- Blueberry French Toast Bake
- Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
- Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
- Butterbeer Pancakes
- Chocolate Chip Pancakes from Scratch
GET THE PRINTABLE RECIPE
If you love this apple cinnamon breakfast casserole as much as we do, please write a 5 star review, and help me share the recipe on Facebook and Pinterest!
Cinnamon Apple French Toast Casserole
- 20 ounces sandwich bread
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 3 cups apples diced
- 1 tablespoon salted butter melted
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 1/8 cup cane sugar
- 1/8 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cube the bread into small 1-inch cubes, and layer with the pecans in the prepared baking dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the diced apples, melted butter, sour cream, sugar, brown sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice.
- Toss the apple mixture with the bread and pecans in the baking dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes and pecans in the baking dish, making sure all of the bread is soaked with the egg mixture.
- Cover and chill for a good 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
- When you're ready to bake the casserole, remove it from the fridge, and preheat the oven to 350° F.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together the sliced butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
- Crumble or clump the topping over the entire breakfast casserole.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake at 350° F for about 40 minutes. Then uncover and continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes.
- Once it's thoroughly cooked through, remove it from the oven and let it cool for just a few minutes.
- Then slice and serve with powdered sugar and/or maple syrup.