Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole — An EASY recipe with a make-ahead overnight option so it’s perfect for weekend or holiday brunches!! Soft bread, juicy apples, and buttery streusel topping is pure DECADENT comfort food!!

blue baking dish full of overnight apple french toast casserole

Apple French Toast Casserole Recipe

How does this overnight apple french toast bake taste?

In a word: amazing.

It’s decadent, beavy, comfort food and you may want to return right back to bed and take a nap after diving into a plate of this. No shame, folks.

The bread is soft and tender, the apples add juiciness and texture, while the streusel topping adds extra flavor. Those buttery, cinnamon-sugary little streusel nuggets pair so well with the apples. I couldn’t stop eating them.

What’s in This Apple French Toast Bake? 

To make this easy french toast casserole, you’ll need: 

  • French bread
  • Apples
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg 
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour

portion of apple french toast bake on a white plate with a spoon

How to Make Apple French Toast Casserole

This is such an easy french toast casserole recipe that you’ll never want to make it another way. You can prep it an hour before you want to bake it or you can prep it the night before. It’s a perfect recipe for a weekend brunch or holiday gathering because it feeds a crowd, tastes decadent and complicated, but in reality is so easy.

To a casserole dish, add cubed French bread and diced apples. Mix together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and drizzle that mixture over the bread and apples. 

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour — or up to 12 hours if making an overnight french toast casserole — before you bake for 20 minutes. 

Midway through baking, add a simple cinnamon streusel my mixing together flour, white and brown sugars, cinnamon, and drizzling in butter. Crumble that over the French toast, bake for another 20 minutes, drizzle with caramel or salted caramel sauce, and get ready to taste some very heavenly French toast.

portion of apple french toast casserole on a white plate with a spoon

What’s the Best Bread for French Toast Casserole? 

Do not use regular bread from an average loaf of bread. It’s too thin, not hearty enough, and will disintegrate. I used day old French bread, but even my day old bread was still very soft and tender and that’s okay in this recipe.

Make sure you cut your bread into cubes about 1 to 1 1/2-inches. It’s okay if they look a little big at first. Remember they will appear to ‘shrink’ as they absorb the liquid mixture. Cubes that are initially too small tend to turn mushy and disintegrate.

What Type of Apples Should I Use? 

I used two large Gala apples that I didn’t even bother to peel (because I am lazy). But by all means, peel away if desired. Use your favorite kind of firmer apple such as Fuji, Braeburn, or Honeycrisp.

I would shy away from Red Delicious or softer apples because they’re too soft for baking and can turn mushy.

Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole — An EASY recipe with a make-ahead overnight option so it's perfect for weekend or holiday brunches!! Soft bread, juicy apples, and buttery streusel topping is pure DECADENT comfort food!!

Tips for Making Apple French Toast Casserole 

I didn’t peel my apples, but you’re welcome to peel yours if desired. Make sure to dice the apples quite small so they cook through in the oven. 

I’ve only made this recipe as written, but you may be able to add chopped nuts to the streusel topping, if desired. 

I highly recommend drizzling this overnight apple french toast bake with salted caramel sauce. Otherwise, pure maple syrup will work too. 

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Streusel French Toast Casserole - An EASY recipe with a make-ahead overnight option so it's perfect for weekend or holiday brunches!! Soft bread, juicy apples, and buttery streusel topping is pure DECADENT comfort food!!
Yield: 12

Caramel Apple French Toast Casserole

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

An EASY recipe with a make-ahead overnight option! Soft bread, juicy apples, and buttery streusel topping is pure DECADENT comfort food!!

Ingredients

French Toast

  • 1 pound French bread, diced in 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes (I used day old)
  • 3 cups apples, diced small (I used unpeeled Gala, you can peel if desired and use another variety of apple if desired)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I prefer 2% or whole)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Streusel

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more if needed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup caramel or salted caramel sauce, optional but recommended for serving
  • maple syrup, optional for serving (not needed if using caramel)

Instructions

French Toast:

  1. Spray a 9x13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray, add the bread pieces, apples, and toss with your hands to mix; set aside.
  2. To a large bowl, add the eggs, and lightly beat to break the yolks and combine.
  3. Add the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and whisk to combine.
  4. Evenly drizzle the liquid mixture over the bread and apples.
  5. Cover pan, and place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to 12 hours overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F and remove pan from the fridge while oven is preheating.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes and while French toast ist baking, prepare the streusel topping.

Streusel:

  1. To a medium bowl, add 3/4 cup flour, sugars, cinnamon, salt, and stir with fork to combine.
  2. Drizzle in the melted butter and mix and fluff very lightly with a fork to combine until small marbles and pebbles form. You are not ‘stirring’, you are fluffing lightly and gently. If the dough is very wet and is not fluffing into small pebbles and marbles, add 1 to 2 additional tablespoons of flour; set aside until the French toast has baked for 20 minutes.
  3. Pull the casserole dish from the oven, evenly sprinkle with the streusel, return to oven, and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until lightly golden browned on top.
  4. Optionally but recommended, before serving, evenly drizzle caramel sauce or salted caramel sauce over the top, and/or lightly drizzle maple syrup, and serve immediately. Recipe is best warm and fresh.

Notes

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 470Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 622mgCarbohydrates: 84gFiber: 2gSugar: 55gProtein: 11g

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