Apple-Caramel French Toast

Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins

Need a make-ahead breakfast for the family or for overnight guests? Assemble this caramelized-apple-and-challah casserole the day before, and simply ferry it from fridge to oven in the morning. Pro tip: while the casserole is resting, crank up the oven temperature and make this mess-free bacon to go on the side.


  • 1 loaf challah or brioche (1 pound), cut into about twelve ¾-inch-thick slices

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar, divided

  • Kosher salt (we use Diamond Crystal)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 4 crisp apples, such as Gala, Braeburn, or Envy, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges (about 5 ½ cups)

  • 6 large eggs, whisked

  • 1 ⅓ cups whole or 2 percent milk

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Confectioners' sugar

  • Greek yogurt, toasted chopped pecans, and raspberries or pomegranate arils, for serving


  1. Spread bread slices on a baking sheet; let stand at least a few hours and up to overnight. Melt butter in a large ovenproof, nonreactive skillet (like an 11-to-12-inch enameled cast iron) over medium heat. Add 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and lemon juice. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil; cook 1 minute.

  2. Add apples and cook, turning occasionally, until they begin to soften and brown a bit and liquid thickens, about 12 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes.

  3. In a wide, shallow dish, whisk together eggs, milk, remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Dip bread in mixture, turning to coat. Arrange atop apples, shingling in concentric circles. Pour remaining mixture on top. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 24.

  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle French toast with cinnamon and bake, uncovered, until set and golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar; serve with yogurt, pecans, and fruit.

    apple-caramel french toast
    Nico Schinco
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