This apple cinnamon french toast casserole is one of my family's favourite special occasion breakfast treats. And I love it because I can get it ready the night before so I can have an easy and relaxing morning. This baked breakfast casserole is rich and sweet. You hardly need to serve with maple syrup, but of course, we always do.
If you are a fan of apple cinnamon this is the baked breakfast casserole for you. Apple cinnamon is one of my favourite cold-weather flavours.
For me, the best part of of this casserole is the apples! Since we don't add the streusel until the very end of the baking, the streusel melts and gets a little crispy, melting into an almost syrupy caramel sauce between the soft apple pieces. It's so, good. Think caramel apples and apple pie and breakfast all in one.
Make ahead french toast casserole
The beauty of an overnight french toast casserole is that you do all the work, all the prep, mess-making, and clean up, the night before. In the morning you just take the casserole out of the refrigerator, let the oven come to temperature and bake. While you can sit and have a warm cup of coffee.
This is my go-to Christmas morning breakfast. Literally, I can sit and enjoy some family time while breakfast bakes. And it is amazing! Rave reviews all around. And I'm still in my slippers.
An easy breakfast casserole recipe like this is good to have handy anytime you want to have a special breakfast. Busy weekends, lazy Sundays or any day really where you want something a little bit extra without a lot of extra work.
How to make Apple Cinnamon Overnight French Toast
Prep a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray. This is one of my favourites, it has a lid for easy overnight storage, but if you don't have a casserole with a lid, use foil to cover the dish overnight.
Cut or tear up a loaf of bread into 1-inch cubes or chunks. You don't need to get too fussy about this. Toss into the casserole dish.
Choose your bread
I like a french toast stick the best. It's dense and chewy and gives the baked french toast casserole a bit of heartiness. But any kind of bread will do. Feel free to use a loaf of thick-sliced white or whole wheat. For an extra decadent treat use a rich butter and egg-based bread like brioche or challah.
For a gluten-free option -- simply use your favourite gluten-free toast bread.
Peel and chop apples. And then toss them in with the bread into the casserole dish. Toss them a bit so the apples are a little mixed in with the bread.
Mix eggs with milk, cream, sugar and spices. Pour over the bread and apples. Cover and wait. This is where you let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
If you want to bake the same day for some reason, give the casserole a good 2 hours in the refrigerator so the bread has enough time to soak up the egg mixture.
Bake 40 minutes. Take the casserole out of the refrigerator in the morning and let it warm up slightly while the oven pre-heats. You will bake this at 350, uncovered, for about 40 minutes.
Make the streusel topping. While the casserole bakes, mix topping ingredients together. It's important to use cold butter here so that you get a really crumbly texture.
Add streusel & bake again. After 40 minutes, take the casserole out of the oven and sprinkle with streusel topping. Return to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes. The streusel will get a little crunchy and browned.
Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole
- 1 loaf bread french stick, texas toast, use challah or brioche for a richer casserole
- 3 cups apples peeled and chopped into chunks
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups milk your choice, I used almond milk
- .5 cup half and half feel free to use non-dairy, unsweetened, unflavoured creamer
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- .25 teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅔ cup all purpose flour
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- .25 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch of allspice and ground ginger optional
- .25 teaspoon sea salt
- .5 cup unsalted butter cold and cut into small cubes
- Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Chop or tear bread into 1 inch pieces and add to prepared baking pan
- Peel and cube apples. Apples can be sliced or cut into ½ inch-sized pieces. Apples should be smaller than the chunks of bread. Add apples to baking pan along with the bread chunks. Toss a little to evenly distribute.
- Pour egg and milk mixture over the bread and apples. At this point, cover the casserole with foil and refrigerate for atleast 2 hours or overnight. The bread needs time to soak up the egg mixture.
In the morning, just before baking:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from refrigerator and uncover.
- Bake casserole, uncovered, 40 minutes or until browned and bubbly.
- While the casserole bakes, in a small bowl mix the topping ingredients: the flour, second portion of brown sugar, cinnamon, spices and salt. Add the cold butter and push in with your fingers or mash with a fork until you have a crumbly mixture. This can also be done in a food processor by pulsing a few times until you have a fine crumb.
- After 40 minutes, remove the casserole fromthe oven and sprinkle brown sugar streusal topping all over the top of the casserole. Bake for another 5-10 minutes so the stresual topping melts and browns a little. Remove from the oven and allow to set for a few minutes before serving.