This overnight apple cinnamon french toast casserole is the perfect family breakfast for the weekend and a must during the holiday season! It’s full of cinnamon and sweet sautéed apples. Top it powdered sugar and maple syrup for sweet breakfast casserole everyone will love!
French toast has a special place in my heart. As much as I love pancakes and waffles, I love french toast even more. When I was a kid and all through college, one of my favorite places we would go out for breakfast to, also had the best french toast I’ve ever eaten.
They were big thick slices of cinnamon bread soaked in a rich custard and served with a generous amount of honey butter and powdered sugar melting on top of them. I would douse them in maple syrup and literally be in heaven while I was eating it.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to recreate that french toast and I don’t know if I really need to since the restaurant is still open today and I can get it anytime I visit my parents in Arizona.
Instead of trying to replicate it, I came up with my own french toast recipe and this version is in casserole form and you can make it overnight. This apple cinnamon french toast casserole is the perfect weekend breakfast treat and a great option if you have a large family or company in town.
Ingredients For Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole
- sourdough bread
- maple syrup
- vanilla extract
- ground cinnamon, ground allspice
How To Make Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole
To make the french toast casserole, start by cutting the bread into about 1 inch cubes. Make sure that the bread you are using isn’t fresh, but rather a few days old and a little stale. If you don’t have stale bread, put the bread cubes on a sheet pan and dry them out in the oven at 350° F. for 8-10 minutes.
For the apples, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add in the apple slices, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Sauté the apple for 3-4 minutes and then pour in the maple syrup. Continue to cook until the apples are tender, but not mushy, about another 3-4 minutes.
In a large bowl combine the eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk everything together until it’s well combined. If the bowl you’re using is large enough to hold the bread cubes add them into the custard and toss them around until they’re coated.
Pour half of the bread mixture into a greased 9×13 baking dish and press it into an even layer. Top the bread with half of the apples and then repeats the steps again.
If your bowl isn’t large enough to add in the bread cubes, put the bread and apples into a greased 9×13 baking dish and pour the custard over the top. Use your hands to press the bread cubes into the custard until they’re saturated.
Cover the casserole dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. This will allow the custard to soak into the dried bread cubes. The following morning add the chopped pecans to the top of the french toast and then bake at 350° F. covered with foil for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes before cutting into it. For a special touch, garnish the top with powdered sugar and serve with warm maple syrup.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, but I think it’s best that way. If you want to make and eat the casserole in the same morning follow the same steps, but rather that letting it refrigerate overnight, just make sure to give it at least 30-60 minutes to soak up the custard.
If you use this method, be sure to really press the bread cubes into the custard so that they’re completely coated. You may also want to use a bread that is slightly softer or not as dried out.
My personal preference is to use a crusty sourdough boule. I love the sturdier texture of the bread. It holds up well to the custard and doesn’t get overly soggy. It also has a nice tang to go with all the sweetness.
Other great options are a crusty whole wheat boule, french bread, challah, or brioche.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
More Breakfast Recipes A Crowd
- Crustless Vegetable Quiche
- Crustless Sausage, Kale, and Ricotta Quiche
- Spinach, Bacon, and Cheese Strata
- Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal
- Cranberry Maple Pecan Baked Oatmeal
- Blackberry Vanilla Sweet Rolls
- 16 ounces sourdough bread, dried out bread is best
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups milk of choice
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 apples, peeled and cored
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Cut the bread into approximately 1 inch cubes.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter then add in the sliced apples, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Sauté the apples for 3-4 minutes and then pour in the maple syrup. Continue to cook until the apples for another 3-4 minutes until they are tender. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Add the bread cubes into the bowl and toss them around until they're coated in the custard.
- Pour half of the bread mixture into the casserole dish, pressing it into an even layer. Top with half of the sautéed apples. Repeat these steps again with the remaining bread and apples. Use your hands to press everything down making sure it's covered in the custard and there are no dry spots.
- Cover the casserole dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. In the morning, preheat your oven to 350° F. Top the casserole with chopped pecans and cover it with a piece of foil. Bake covered for 20 minutes then remove the foil and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
- Let the casserole sit for 10 minutes before cutting into it. Garnish with powdered sugar and serve with warm maple syrup.