Autumn Harvest Baked French Toast Recipe

Our Autumn Harvest Baked French Toast recipe (aka Winter Warmer Baked French Toast) is one of our guest’s favorite breakfasts at the Wolf Cove Inn.  It’s up for grabs whether this recipe or our various Quiches get the most great comments in the morning.  You can also find the recipe on the Wolf Cove Inn Pinterest board.  Your taste buds will be having a party!

Make the casserole the day (or night) before and refrigerate overnight.  You may also make the syrup the night before and refrigerate.  Prep time is about 30 minutes.  Plan to remove the casserole from the refrigerator about an hour and 40 minutes before you wish to serve.   That timeframe consists of bringing the casserole to room temperature for 30 minutes before placing it in the pre-heated oven, baking for an hour and then resting for 10 minutes prior to plating.

Autumn Harvest Baked French Toast Recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 slices day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes or even better, 2 (8 oz) tubs cream cheese and use two spoons to distribute as described below
  • 3 Granny Smith or other apples, diced, divided
  • 3/4 cup whole pecans
  • 1 cup halved fresh (or frozen) cranberries or 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 12 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1.5 cups light brown sugar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Optional: Additional caramelized apple slices for garnish
  • Optional: Berries and apple slices for plate garnish

Preparation

Casserole

The day before, lightly grease a 9×13 inch-baking dish. Arrange half the bread cubes in the dish.  Top with cream cheese cubes or spread around using two teaspoons if using tubs of cream cheese. Sprinkle two diced apples, pecans and cranberries over the cream cheese.  Top with one teaspoon cinnamon, then remaining bread cubes.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then whisk in the milk, one cup of brown sugar, vanilla extract, orange extract, and remaining two teaspoons of cinnamon until well blended. Pour mixture over the bread cubes in baking dish. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place casserole in over, covered, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes, until center is firm and surface is lightly browned.  Internal temperature should be 160F (continue baking and checking until 160F).  Rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Syrup

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add remaining diced apple and cook until slightly soft. Add apple cider, brown sugar and cinnamon stick.  Stir.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes until reduced by one-third.

Plating

Plate one slice of French toast. Drizzle with apple cider syrup to taste. (Optional) Arrange three caramelized apples slices on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Garnish plate with assorted berries and sliced apples.

This breakfast is especially good with the wonderful organic, all natural sausage and/or bacon from our friend Dan at A Wee Bit Farm.

Bow While Receiving Applause!

Note – The Autumn Harvest Baked French Toast Recipe is the same for the Wolf Cove Inn Winter Warmer Baked French Toast.  It all depends on the season!

Note 2 – This dish stands up well to reheating in a microwave if by some miracle it isn’t polished off by everyone!

And finally, by all means share the Autumn Harvest Baked French Toast recipe.