Apple cinnamon French toast casserole is an easy-to-prepare breakfast with lots of familiar “Fall” flavors! You can make it ahead so it’s great for guests.
I’ve been thinking about something lately: stuffed French toast. Specifically, apple cinnamon stuffed French toast. I was imagining diced apples cooked down with butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar, piled between slices of challah or brioche, dredged in eggy batter, fried on the stove top.
And then…then I thought better of it.
The problem with food like that, you guys, is flipping. It’s like when you make a grilled cheese with any filling other than the cheese. You flip it, you lose half the filling. Besides that, French toast has a tendency to evoke in me those food tantrummy feelings that are also evoked by pancakes. I feel like it always gets too dark in some spots, not dark enough in others…it can be dangerous for me to embark on adventures like this. I was envisioning spotty sandwiches with gooey (in a bad way) centers and apple filling burned in the pan. Not ideal.
Enter apple cinnamon French toast casserole. We’ve been down this road before, in a way anyway. Cubes of slightly sweet challah (or whatever sturdy bread you’d like) drenched in that eggy batter I mentioned before, with brown sugar and cinnamon glazed apples and toasted pecans, baked and served with maple syrup? Why, yes please. This a great make-ahead breakfast dish, so it’s perfect when you have houseguests or, like me, you just know that on Saturday morning bacon and eggs are really all you will be able to manage if you don’t think ahead. Don’t let the long cook time scare you….most of it is just the bread cubes drying or the casserole baking. This apple cinnamon French toast casserole is totally worth your time!
Yield: 8 servings
10 minPrep Time:
1 hr, 10 Cook Time:
- 1 lb. sturdy bread, cut into 2-inch cubes (I like challah or brioche)
- 1 cup pecans - chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 pounds apples - peeled and diced (about 4 cups of diced apples)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon - divided
- 6 large eggs
- 3 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- maple syrup, apple butter, and/or powdered sugar for serving
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the bread cubes on a large baking sheet. Place the bread in the oven until dry and crusty but not brown-about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Preheat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Place the pecans into the skillet and cook until they JUST begin to brown and smell "nutty"-don't let them brown completely because they will end up burning.
- Add the butter to the skillet and allow it to melt. Add the apples and cook until tender. Add the brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and cook until the sugar melts and glazes the apples.
- While the apples are cooking, whisk together the milk and eggs until homogenous. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and pour the eggs and milk over the bread. Stir to completely incorporate. Spread into a 9 x 13 baking pan.
- Evenly distribute the apple & pecan mixture over the bread cubes. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
- To bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and remove the foil. Combine the two tablespoons of granulated sugar with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake for 30 minutes or until no liquid appears when you press on the bread. Serve immediately with maple syrup, apple butter, powdered sugar, etc.
Prep time does not include overnight rest in the refrigerator. Cook time assumes that you will cook the apples and pecans while the bread cubes are drying in the oven.
Click here to print the recipe for apple cinnamon French toast casserole!