We just celebrated my very favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving. I don’t know about you, but for me it wasn’t just the Thanksgiving dinner, but also all of the other meals that made the weekend so special. I hosted the Thanksgiving holiday at my cabin, and that meant that I also needed breakfast for a crowd. Apple French Toast Bake is one I’ve been making for a few years, and is both adult and kid approved. And the very best thing about it? Not only is it foolproof, but you make it ahead of time!
I love to host people up at my cabin. There is something so calming about being near the water and I love the completely unfussy atmosphere of lake living. You want to play outside? Play outside! You want to curl up by the fire with a good book? Absolutely! You want to take a mid afternoon nap? Yes, please! Going to have a whole weekend of pajama days? Me too! Cocktails before dinner? Always.
This Apple French Toast Bake fits right into this laid-back lifestyle and has become a staple up here. I’ve served it both at a 26 person brunch (I got dressed for that one) as well as at smaller gatherings with our best friends. It’s always a hit. I can throw it together while we’re all hanging out playing board games in our pajamas and the first person awake in the morning throws it in the oven. What could be easier?
Apple French Toast Bake combines all of the best things about french toast, with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Throw in some diced apples for crunch and you have perfection. If you have extra apples, throw them in a small crock pot over night with some cinnamon and brown sugar and in the morning you will have the perfect applesauce to accompany the main event.
Trust me, there is nothing like waking up on a snowy Minnesota morning to a warm, comforting breakfast like this Apple French Toast Bake!
- 1 loaf of artisan bread (I use Challah or Italian bread)
- 8 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
- 2 apples, finely diced
- ½ cup butter, cut into pieces + extra for greasing the baking dish
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with butter.
- Tear loaf of bread into small, bite sized pieces and place into baking dish.
- Sprinkle diced apples among the bread pieces.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Pour egg mixture over pieces of bread in baking dish.
- In a small bowl, using a fork or pastry blender, combine flour, brown sugar, remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cold butter until a pebbly mixture .
- Pour crumbly topping mixture over top of baking dish.
- Cover with foil and place into the refrigerator overnight.
- When ready to make french toast bake, preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Take baking dish out of the refrigerator and allow to warm up for 10 minutes.
- Place foil wrapped baking dish into preheated oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove foil and continue to bake for an additional 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Slice and serve.
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s Baked French Toast recipe from her cookbook “A Year of Holidays“.