Applesauce French Toast Casserole {Overnight} with Apple Cider Syrup

Applesauce French Toast Casserole with Cider Syrup | The Law Student's Wife

Lazy weekend mornings, how I cherish thee.

You know the ones. Bright, gentle sunbeams replace the unwelcome alarm clock’s beeeeeep. Sweatpants are the dress code. Triple-fisting with coffee, OJ, and a Bloody Mary is acceptable, if not encouraged. Reality is postponed.

Applesauce French Toast Casserole with Cider Syrup | The Law Student's Wife

From December 30th to January 1st, Ben and I mastered the fine art of postponing reality with our lazy routine. We’re talking PJs-all-day, West Wing rerun-marathon lazy. Even our New Year’s Eve celebration started in sweatpants—we newlyweds popped the champagne (OK, cava from Trader Joe’s) at 6 p.m., sipped it from wine glasses (apparently I don’t own champagne glasses), and contemplated wearing our sweats to dinner. Is this what being married means? For better and for worse, I managed to switch to sparkly tights in time for our dinner reservation.

Champagne

On New Year’s Day, we feasted on Applesauce French Toast Casserole with Apple Cider Syrup, the ideal brunch to savor our last day of vacation. Applesauce French Toast Casserole with Apple Cider Syrup is the ultimate lazy morning breakfast.

First, Applesauce French Toast Casserole requires zero effort. Yes folks, this breakfast is the baked incarnation of lazy. What little assembly is required, you complete the night before. Simply dump the egg batter over the bread and refrigerate. Done. When you wake, pop the pan in the oven and relax as the sweet scent of cinnamon satisfaction wafts through your home.

Pan to left with Applesauce French Toast Casserole with Cider Syrup | The Law Student's Wife

Second, Applesauce French Toast Casserole is comforting. Overnight, the bread cubes gulp up the liquid and transform into fluffy, custardy slices of lazy luxury. Because the bread is piled high in the pan, each piece is incredibly thick and moist. You’ll love sinking your fork all the way through with each bite.

Applesauce French Toast Casserole {Overnight} with Apple Cider Syrup | The Law Student's Wife

Thirdly, Applesauce French Toast Casserole is meant to be shared. I adore French toast, but making it for company is a pain. Your guests are seated at the table; you are stuck at the stove. By the time the final slices are ready, the first are cold and soggy. No so with Applesauce French Toast Casserole. This bake emerges from the oven in one scrumptious piece, so everyone can dine together while it is fresh.

Applesauce French Toast Casserole with Cider Syrup | The Law Student's Wife

Finally, Applesauce French Toast Casserole defies reality. On lazy mornings, we live as if we need never be productive again; Applesauce French Toast Casserole tastes as if it is loaded with heavy cream and all sorts of rich, resolution-blowing ingredients; yet, it is reasonably healthy. Applesauce adds moisture without adding fat; orange zest, honey, and cinnamon provide natural flavor boosts; whole-grain bread packs in the fiber. Something this good for you simply should not tastes this bad. Reality defied.

Applesauce French Toast Casserole with Cider Syrup | The Law Student's Wife

Now, we must discuss Apple Cider Syrup. You know that juicy ooze inside your grandma’s homemade apple pie? Envision extracting that liquid magic, then drizzling it all over a thick slab of cinnamon French Toast—that is Apple Cider Syrup. As the syrup reduces, the scent of pure, All-American intoxication fills your kitchen.  I literally licked the cinnamon stick.

Though Apple Cider Syrup requires more effort that the Applesauce French Toast Casserole, it is not difficult and is more than worth the few extra minutes at the stove. To keep your lazy morning intact, make it the night before, refrigerate in a tight container, then reheat in the microwave just before serving.

Applesauce French Toast Casserole with Cider Syrup | The Law Student's Wife

Though I’m back at work today, my eye is on lazy mornings to come. In the meantime, breakfast for dinner anyone?

Lazy mornings will have to wait for now—on Saturday at 5:30 a.m., Ben and I are off to Miami to watch Notre Dame compete in the NCAA FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! The Irish might be the underdogs, but as demonstrated by Applesauce French Toast Casserole with Apple Cider Syrup, reality was made to be defied. GO IRISH! 

 

Looking for more lazy weekend breakfast ideas? Try my Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, Orange Date Yogurt BreadBlueberry Yogurt Scones, or Super Apple Cinnamon Bran Muffins, all of which can be prepared a night in advance.

Curious what I’m packing for Miami? No Fail Sugar Cookies with Perfect Icing. These sweet treats have a 100% victory rate! If I’m feeling ambitious, I might just tote along a loaf of Irish Soda Bread and some Cranberry Almond Granola Bars for a plane-ride snack. I’m sure they’ll fit in my carry on, right beside the face paint and jersey.

Applesauce French Toast Casserole {Overnight} with Apple Cider Syrup

The ultimate in lazy weekend breakfasts: Quickly assemble the bake the night before, then pop it into the oven the next day. You will be wowed as the bake transforms into thick, custardy slabs of cinnamon French toast. You'll never believe it's actually healthy!

Ingredients

For the French Toast:

  • 5 cups whole-wheat bread — cut into 1-inch cubes (about 10 slices sandwich bread or 1, 24-inch French baguette; the more stale the bread, the better)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup non-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Apple Cider Syrup:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups apple cider — I use Trader Joe’s
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Instructions

  1. Coat a 8x8 inch pan with cooking spray. Fill with bread cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, applesauce, honey, orange zest, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Pour over bread cubes. Gently press and turn top cubes to ensure each is at least a little coated with the egg mixture. Cover pan and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The next day, remove casserole from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Lightly toss bread cubes with your fingers to coat any top pieces that did not soak up as much liquid overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 30-40 minutes until bread is puffed and no longer wet.

Recipe Notes

Serving size note: I created this recipe to be a smaller batch, since it was just to serve Ben and myself. This recipe can be easily doubled to feed a crowd. Simple double the ingredients, use a 9x13 inch pan, and increase the baking time to 40-50 minutes. Make ahead tip: For an extra lazy morning, make the apple cider syrup in advance, then refrigerate in a tight container. Heat in the microwave just before serving. Storage tip: The apple cider syrup will save in the fridge for up to a week; the bake will save for 3 days. Reheat each separately in the microwave. To dry fresh bread prior to assembly: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the cubes onto a baking sheet, then place in oven for 8 minutes. This step is not required, but it will help the bread cubes better absorb the liquid if the bread is very fresh.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Applesauce French Toast Casserole {Overnight} with Apple Cider Syrup, French Toast Recipe

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

21 comments

  1. I love lazy weekends! This French toast is perfect for a day of sweatpants and TV – love…!

  2. overnight breakfast dishes are perfect..prep before bed and enjoy in the morning love that…jealous of your lazy day…safe travels to miami! jealous of the weather you are heading towards.

    • Couldn’t agree more Angela! Thanks for the wishes for smooth travels. Our fingers crossed for the team too :) Have a fantastic weekend!

  3. I recognize that bubbly from Trader Joe’s. Love it!
    This looks incredible. I will be saving this recipe for sure as I LOVE breakfast food!

    • Oh yes, Trader Joe’s is best! They keep me well hydrated ;-) Glad you like the looks of the recipe! If you try it, let me know how it goes. Thanks Jennifer!

  4. I really love overnight breakfasts…so simple. Great flavors, Erin!

  5. Julie @ Table for Two Reply

    I love a good overnight breakfast such as this casserole! It just makes everything so much easier in the morning :)

  6. Btw – LOVE the apple cider syrup!!

  7. Miss Erin–do we get a game-watch recipe for today?!? Wish you were around to share the festivities!

    • Alas Elizabeth, I can’t post from our hotel down South! Love the game-day recipe idea though. Stay tuned for pics from our trip to Miami and a new dish. Considering the score, a comfort food recipe might be in order as well!

  8. I love lazy days in Pj’s, and I seemed to do a lot of it in the last couple weeks :) I love overnight french toast, it’s just so quick and simple to put together with so much flavour! I absolutely love the apple cider syrup!

  9. i love all things apple cider. :)

    and i should totally do a West Wing marathon!

    • How about sipping cider WHILE watching the West Wing?? Cider is seriously the best all winter. Thanks Kale!

      • genius! gonna do it. well… i can’t fulfill the apple cider end from here, but i will drink apple juice with some sparkling wine while watching WW torrents – oh yeah!

  10. YUM apple cider syrup. i made a french toast breakfast casserole the other day but it seems like i’ll have to be making it again just to include such a decadent topping (though i don’t think my family will mind!)
    great blog btw!

    • Hi Emma! Thanks so much for your comment and for visiting my blog. EVERY weekend merits french toast casserole. I hope your family likes the topping too. If you make it, let me know what you think!

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