French toast casserole is my happy place. It is eggs and bread baked together and that is basically all I want in my comfort food. In this recipe, we are adding apple pie filling to make a delicious fall spin on my classic french toast casserole recipe. It is the perfect recipe to serve guests at brunch around the holidays.
French Toast Casserole Recipe
How to Make French Toast Casserole With Apples
This is a brief overview of how to make this delicious baked french toast recipe. For the full recipe with all of the measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Make the egg mixture. Whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Combine the bread, apple pie filling, and egg mixture. Mix well so that all the bread is coated in the egg mixture. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
- Make the streusel topping. Combine the brown sugar, butter, and quick-cooking oats using a pastry cutter or two forks. Pour it over the egg mixture.
- Bake. Bake for 50 minutes or until the casserole starts to pull away from the edges of the dish. Allow to cool before serving.
Homemade Apple Pie Filling
This french toast bake gets its apple flavor from apple pie filling. Since the apples in pie filling are already cooked and sweetened, it is a quick way to add flavor, sweetness, and spice to this overnight french toast casserole recipe with one ingredient.
While you can use store-bought cans of apple pie filling, making your own is easy and comes together in 30 minutes. This apple pie baked french toast recipe calls for two cups of Homemade Pie Filling or a 20-ounce can of store-bought apple pie filling.
Drying Bread For French Toast
Dry bread is a key for making any french toast recipe, including this baked french toast casserole. The dryer it is, the more of the egg batter goodness it can soak up.
You can dry out the bread by cutting it up into cubes and leaving it out overnight. To dry it out quicker, pop it in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 45 minutes. If you put it in the oven, make sure to flip it once during baking so that it is dried out all around.
The Best Bread For French Toast Casserole
I buy a 16 ounce loaf of french bread from the grocery store which makes 10 cups of bread cubes once it is cut up and dried out.
Part of what makes this french toast bake so irresistible is the streusel topping. Typically streusel is made by combining flour, butter, and brown sugar. In this recipe, we are using quick-cooking oats instead of flour to change things up a bit.
Here are a few tips and tricks:
- Make sure the butter is cold. This can make it harder to combine, but it will help it hold up while baking.
- Cutting the butter into the sugar is key for the streusel. If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can use two forks. (See my recommendation below.)
- If you would prefer flour over oats, you can replace the 1/2 cup oats with 2/3 cup all-purpose flour.
- If you only have rolled oats, you can give them a quick chop in your blender to get the consistency of instant oats.
If you notice the top of the casserole browning before it starts to pull away from the edges of the dish, cover it with foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.
Making Apple French Toast Casserole Ahead
It is easy to make this recipe for overnight french toast casserole the night before so that you can just throw it in the oven in the morning. Follow these simple steps:
- Follow the recipe as written through step three.
- Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- When ready to bake, make the streusel topping and add it to the casserole.
- Bake the french toast casserole uncovered for one hour.
This casserole is delicious served right out of the oven. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat leftovers by putting in the oven until heated through. Always use your best discretion with leftovers.
Freezing French Toast Casserole
This apple french toast casserole is great to freeze if you want to prepare it in advance. Build the recipe through step three on the recipe card. Wrap the casserole dish at least two times with aluminum foil and place it in the freezer for up to three months.
I recommend using an aluminum or disposable baking dish if you want to freeze it. Glass or ceramic baking dishes can shatter in the oven if they go straight from a freezer to a hot oven. Uncover before baking.
You do not! I never do and always love the results.
I prefer using a loaf of French or Italian bread. It works best if you pick a bread with a soft exterior.
This recipe hasn’t been tested with gluten-free bread, but I can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t work great with gluten-free bread.
Apple French Toast Casserole
Apple French Toast Casserole
- 8 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream I used fat free half and half
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups apple pie filling (or 20 ounce store-bought can)
- 16 ounces French bread cubed and dried
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, vanilla, and cinnamon.8 eggs, 1 1/2 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Stir the bread and apple pie filling into the egg mixture. Mix well so that all the bread is coated in the egg mixture. Pour into the prepared baking dish.2 cups apple pie filling, 16 ounces French bread
- Use a pastry cutter or two forks to combine the brown sugar, butter, and quick-cooking oats. Pour it over the egg mixture in the baking dish.1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the casserole starts to pull away from the edges of the dish. If it begins to brown too much, cover it for the last 10 minutes of the baking time.
- Allow the casserole to cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.