Baked Apple French Toast

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Baked Apple French Toast

A lovely mash-up of French toast and apple pie, this prep-ahead baked apple French toast has all the makings of a special holiday brunch dish.

baked apple french toast

A lovely mash-up of French toast and apple pie, this prep-ahead baked apple french toast has all the makings of a special holiday brunch dish – the kind that becomes a much-loved family tradition. You can assemble and bake it straight away or prepare it the evening before, let it sit in the fridge overnight, and then pop it in the oven in the morning when you’re ready to eat.

I like to add a little bourbon to the custard mixture for depth of flavor but it’s fine to substitute apple cider or more half & half, if you prefer. Serve the baked apple French toast with a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar, a drizzle of maple syrup, and bacon on the side.

What you’ll need for Baked Apple French Toast

Baked Apple French Toast

how to make Baked Apple French Toast

Begin with the custard: in a large bowl, combine the eggs, half & half, maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and salt.

Baked Apple French Toast

Whisk to combine.

Baked Apple French Toast

Dip each slice of challah into the custard mixture for about 5 seconds, then arrange in an overlapping pattern in the prepared baking dish.

Baked Apple French Toast

Be sure the entire bottom of the dish is covered with the bread. Pour any remaining custard over the bread. Set aside.

Baked Apple French Toast

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.

Baked Apple French Toast

Add the apples, brown sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon.

Baked Apple French Toast

Bring to a gentle boil.

Baked Apple French Toast

Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are softened and the sugar-syrup is thickened, about 8 minutes.

Baked Apple French Toast

Spoon the apples and sugar-syrup evenly over the bread, making sure not to leave any of the syrup behind. If not baking immediately, cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Otherwise, proceed with the recipe.

Baked Apple French Toast

When you’re getting ready to eat, cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes more.

Baked Apple French Toast

Remove from the oven and, using a fine sieve, dust with the confectioners’ sugar. Serve with maple syrup.

baked apple french toast

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Baked Apple French Toast

A lovely mash-up of French toast and apple pie, this prep-ahead baked apple French toast has all the makings of a special holiday brunch dish.

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 55 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes

Ingredients

For the French Toast

  • One 1-lb challah or raisin challah
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups half & half
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional; replace with apple cider or half-&-half if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Apple Topping

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Serving

  • Confectioners' sugar and/or maple syrup

Instructions

For the French Toast

  1. Butter a 9 x 13-inch or 3-QT baking dish. Slice the bread into 3/4-inch-thick slices.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half & half, maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Dip each slice of challah into the custard mixture for about 5 seconds, then arrange in an overlapping pattern in the prepared baking dish. Be sure the entire bottom of the dish is covered with the bread. Pour any remaining custard over the bread. Set aside.

For the Apple Topping

  1. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, brown sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are softened and the sugar-syrup is thickened, about 8 minutes. Spoon the apples and sugar-syrup evenly over the bread, making sure not to leave any of the syrup behind. If not baking immediately, cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Otherwise, proceed with the recipe.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  3. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes more. Remove from the oven and, using a fine sieve, dust with the confectioners' sugar. Serve with maple syrup.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 473
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Saturated fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 65 g
  • Sugar: 33 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Sodium: 358 mg
  • Cholesterol: 177 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn! Love your recipes 🙂 If I prep this a day before and refrigerate overnight, do I need to adjust the baking times as it will be cold from the fridge? Thanks in advance!

    • — Katherine on March 20, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yes, I would add a few minutes to the baking time. You could also take the dish out of the fridge 30 to 45 minutes before you bake it to take the chill off. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 22, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Is there a way to make this in a slow cooker so I can bring it to work and serve it hot?
    Thanks for all the recipes.
    M

    • — MC on March 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi MC, Unfortunately, I don’t think this would translate very well to a slow cooker. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on March 15, 2021
      • Reply
  • Could this be made as a freezer meal? If so, would you suggest thawing out the night before or cook straight from the freezer? I’m wondering if it would be soggy? Any suggestions?

    • — Jennifer on February 27, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jennifer, I haven’t frozen this myself so I can’t say for sure, but I’d be a bit hesitant to freeze it because of all the dairy it has. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on March 1, 2021
      • Reply
  • SO good!!!! Made is as part of our “breakfast for dinner”! And it’s still delicious the next day

    • — Lyne on February 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi. Could I use Amaretto in place of the Bourbon? I have some leftover from another recipe. I’m not that familiar with liqueurs, so not sure if these could be switched or not. Thanks!

    • — Lou on February 5, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure – it will have a slightly different flavor but will still be delicious. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 7, 2021
      • Reply
  • This recipe was not one of my favs. It was a little more of a pain to put together bc you are dipping and arranging the bread. Next time, I think I’ll just tear the bread in pieces and pour the egg mixture over it. I will also mix the apples into the bread mixture bc the bread mixture by itself tasted a little bland.

    • — Janet Nill on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • My kids made this for me for my birthday breakfast. It was wonderful! and the instructions are really easy to follow for kids. I need to remind them to make it again for me!

    • — JLee on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • We loved this recipe. We made it the night before and baked it the next morning. All the flavors together…fresh apples, eggy custardy creaminess soaked into the bread made this an amazing breakfast. Definitely making again.

    • — Katie in AZ on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this recipe many times and it is always requested for family brunch gatherings. It is moist without being soggy. The apples really add lovely flavor and it is so easy to make the night before, then bake in the morning.
    Another winner from Jen!

    • — Morag Miller on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this Baked Apple French Toast twice over this past Christmas season. It was so good. I omitted the bourbon but will try it next time. Mine looked exactly like the picture (which almost NEVER happens for me) 🙂 I loved that I could make it the day before and just pop it in the oven the next morning. It was a delicious restaurant quality brunch item that was really easy to make. Thank you for your amazing recipes.

    • — Lori on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe changed how I make French toast forever! The Jim Beam Vanilla Bourbon infuses the French Toast with a unique flavour that will have your breakfast guests talking about your French toast for a long time. First time I served this my friends were clamouring for the recipe.

    I had to bake it a little longer to ensure it wasn’t too moist. I assume the type of bread I used made the difference.

    • — Larry on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi. I make this french toast regularly & our family & friends love it. It is super easy prep the day before & popped in the oven in the morning for an amazingly delicious brunch/breakfast.
    I have substituted the apples for blueberries, preparing the way the recipe calls for, & it is a huge hit.
    We make a ton of Once Upon a Chef recipes & they never disappoint! Please keep them coming!

    • — Sharon Farrey on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Outstanding – this was an amazingly decadent dessert. Made Challah the day before (using Jenn’s recipe!), added some raisins to it, and then cut it into pieces to dry overnight. Served this for dessert after a decadent meal, and it was still devoured! Highly recommend!!!

    • — Elizabeth Masanoff on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was a delicious holiday treat. I used Orowheat potato bread (this might be a West Coast brand), evaporated milk for half-and-half and brandy for bourbon, as that’s what we had on hand. I also dialed back the sweetener a little as I knew we would not be able to resist putting maple syrup on it. In my opinion it turned out great using a fluffy, not-too-sweet white bread rather than challah, so I wanted to let others know that this might be an option. Thank you so much for a very straightforward and tasty recipe.

    • — CH on December 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • Thank you for this recipe! It was a HIT for breakfast this Christmas morning! I added a little more Bourbon. FANTASTIC!

    • — CHRISTINE PAULL on December 25, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn I dont have half and half but have heavy cream or whole milk, would either of these work? Thanks so much!

    • — Melissa on November 27, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Melissa, Mix equal parts whole milk and heavy cream and you’ll basically have half and half. Hope that helps! 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 27, 2020
      • Reply
      • Awesome! Thank you so much! Just finished putting it together and my kids are super excited to have it for breakfast!

        • — Melissa on November 27, 2020
        • Reply
  • Hi Jen – love all your recipes and this one too is perfection. Am making it again but my daughter doesn’t like apples. (I know, weird). I was wondering if you think I can make it as written but eliminate the apples from the topping? Thanks so much!

    • — Kristen on November 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Kristin – I think it’d work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • After jumping around comparing recipes, I decided on yours with a couple minor changes.
    I cubed French toast and baked them at 250 for about 15 minutes to a very light crisp, and added 10 minutes to the bake time.
    Instead of bourbon, I used a tbs of Amarreto.
    After baking, I topped it with a glaze using 1/4 cup each of powdered sugar, softened cream cheese and maple syrup and baked it another 5 min.
    The results were exceptional.
    I will experiment more with peaches, peach bourbon or different liqueurs, but the base recipe is spot on.

    • — Michael on November 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • I was disappointed in this recipe, but it may be due to the challah I used (Trader Joe’s – rather dry and tasteless). The apples were delicious but the French toast part was just bready without much flavor – very surprising with all that egg, half & half, maple syrup, bourbon, and vanilla! I will definitely try it again with my favorite but harder to get challah. I also may have reduced the apple syrup too much – there wasn’t any to drip into the bread.

    • — Nancy on November 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have smaller honeycrisp apples and am wondering what the weight might be for the 4 large granny smith apples so I can figure how many of these to use.

    • — Sona on October 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Sona, I’ve never weighed them, but I’d guesstimate it would be around 2 pounds of apples. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 30, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made this as part of a well-received brunch for 16 we served the morning after my daughter’s wedding. I used challah from Whole Foods and local Honeycrisp apples. I used 1T bourbon and 1T apple cider for one pan and 2T of apple cider for the other pan. I also served a fruit platter, sour cream coffee cake, broccoli crustless quiche, latkes, and sausage patties. For reference, in total, one pan’s worth was eaten. Next time I would use the full 2T of bourbon. Individual pieces cut from the leftovers do reheat in the microwave better than I would have expected.

    • — Carol F. on October 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, this looks delicious. I plan on putting it in fridge overnight….how much longer do you bake it? Also have your cookbook. Really enjoy it. If I wanted to make half a recipe would I use 2 or 3 eggs? Thanks

    • — Carol on October 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, You don’t need to bake it any longer if you refrigerate it overnight. Feel free to take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before putting it in the oven, though, to take the chill off. And If you want to halve the recipe, I’d use 2 full eggs, and for the other one, beat an egg in a measuring cup, discard half of it, and use the remaining half. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • Made as written but used brioche instead. Delicious, didn’t need additional syrup when serving. The whole family enjoyed!

    • — Melanie on October 17, 2020
    • Reply
  • this is a great breakfast! My grandkids love it, and everyone agrees that it is good(and that is almost a miracle since the 5 of them rarely agree on food!). The kids love to make this themselves and are finally old enough to do it (ages 5,6,7,8). I assemble the ingredients and sit back an laugh! The challah slices easily and the mixture of eggs and cream etc., is easy for the kids to do themselves. I think it has to sit overnight in the refrigerator for the texture to come out right.

    • — Judy on October 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • What is the texture supposed to be when this is done? Mine came out kind of soggy and I’m wondering if I should have cooked it longer?

    • — Lauren on August 30, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lauren, The texture should be moist but not soggy.

      • — Jenn on August 30, 2020
      • Reply
    • Hi Jenn,
      Can I make it a day before? Leave it in the fridge overnight and just put it in the oven in the morning?

      • — Angelika on October 1, 2020
      • Reply
      • Definitely! Hope you enjoy. 🙂

        • — Jenn on October 1, 2020
        • Reply
  • We make this all the time when we want a sweet breakfast treat to last for a few days. SOOOOO GOOOOD!

    • — Bryn on June 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • Can I use Dutchoven instead of a 9×9 dish

    • — SJ on May 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • While technically it should work, I’d make sure that your Dutch oven is large enough to hold everything (the recipe calls for a 9 x 13-inch baking dish; not a 9 x 9-inch). Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on June 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • If I wanted to make half of this recipe, would I change the baking time or temperature? Also, could I use brandy instead of bourbon?

    • — Jessica Villanueva on May 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Jessica, the temperature would remain the same; the baking time should be about the same but would depend on the size of the baking dish you’re using. And, yes, brandy will work but will change the flavor a bit. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 18, 2020
      • Reply
  • A delicious and easy to assemble dish!!! In an effort to use up what I had in the kitchen, I substituted whole milk for half and half, vanilla rum for bourbon and half a loaf of week-old brioche for challah (I halved the recipe) and this still came out perfectly. 10/10!!!

    • — Megara on May 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • What is challah?

    • — Cecile on May 7, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Cecile, Challah is a loaf of braided bread made with eggs (in addition to the typical yeast bread ingredients). It is usually a touch sweet.

      • — Jenn on May 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • Yummy!!

    • — Liz McLean on February 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is the recipe I have been looking for and when I saw it on Jenn’s site I knew this was the one. One of the items we sell at my diner is a grilled coffee roll — many weeks we sell out but there are some weeks we don’t. I am always looking for ways to incorporate some of our leftover items into a fun recipe and offer it as a special. I have tried a couple of different things with the coffee rolls, none were big hits, but I came across this one and thought this is it.

    Jenn call’s out for Challah bread and I decided I was going to use this recipe but swap out the challah bread with my leftover coffee rolls (that is one of the great things about Jenn’s recipe I have been able to make some tweeks and they still come out great, hope that is OK Jenn :-)). With this recipe its not so much about the bread, instead what makes this one special is the custard mixture and apple topping and sugar syrup. Oh my, when I made the apple topping the smells while I cooked got my wife out of the kitchen office to check it out. The topping is what makes this a great one in my opinion.

    Like all of Jenn’s recipes they are easy to follow and execute right. I made this as one of the specials for our Sunday specials board. This was a big hit, it sold out on its debut. This past weekend I made this recipe and Jenn’s Amish-style oatmeal. Both of these specials sold out — let me tell you that doesn’t happen often at all. But when I saw these two on Jenn’s site I knew they would go well with our customers.

    Like the Amish-style oatmeal each of the customers who had this raved. Thanks for another successful recipe and to many more!

    • — Tim Ober on January 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • My family loved this! Doesn’t even need extra syrup. I nixed the bourbon (might try it next time) and used half Granny Smith and half honeycrisp apples. I put it in the refrigerator overnight and it came out perfectly. Will make it again!

    • — Mindy on December 28, 2019
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    Can I replace granny smith with honey crisp apples?
    Thank you,
    Alicia

    • — Alicia on December 17, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Alicia. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 17, 2019
      • Reply
  • Easy and delicious – accidently added bourbon to both the apples and the bread – like eating moist apple pie for breakfast!

    • — Julie on December 5, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. I can’t wait to try this recipe but would you please advise do I need to use pure maple syrup or just the regular maple syrup like Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Butterworth?
    Thankyou in advance.

    • — Dana on November 29, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Dana, You need pure maple syrup here. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 30, 2019
      • Reply
  • Prepared it last night, baked it this morning. It’s just the right amount of sweet and by far the easiest and most delicious French toast (even without the booze since I didn’t have any on hand) I’ve ever made. A keeper for sure. Thanks, Jenn!

    • — Regina M on November 24, 2019
    • Reply

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