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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

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