This Apple Chai Spiced Baked French Toast is exactly what you need during the holiday season! It can be made ahead of time and baked when you’re ready to serve. Filled with sweet apples and warm chai spices, it is a perfect cozy breakfast option.
Why You’ll Love This Baked French Toast
I don’t know about you, but breakfast is my favorite. I don’t often have the luxury to sit and enjoy an indulgent, leisurely breakfast (as I’m sure you don’t either). So when I have a good excuse to make something special, I’m doing it! This Apple Chai Spiced Baked French Toast is the perfect holiday breakfast or brunch recipe!
- It is easy to make ahead! Just assemble the night before, keep it in the fridge, and bake the morning you are ready to serve. You will have a fresh, delicious breakfast that will feed a crowd.
- It is packed with delicious sweet apples, and warm chai spices. The contrast of those flavors is AMAZING. I also added in some dollops of (dairy-free) cream cheese into the mix, which makes the whole thing feel rich and indulgent. The creamy texture is so perfect.
- I think we love anything Fall flavored, right?! The chai spices are giving ALL the cozy vibes here.
- You can even take this to a brunch themed event because it travels well! (think bridal or baby shower) You can either bake it at your destination, or bake it before you leave and let it cool enough to handle it. It can be served warm, or at room temperature.
- It is RICH, CREAMY, SWEET, COZY, WARM.
Ingredients for Apple Chai Spiced Baked French Toast
- BREAD – of course I used my favorite gluten-free bread on the planet, Canyon Bakehouse. We have a loaf in our fridge or freezer at all times. I used their Ancient Grain loaf for this recipe, but you can use any type of bread you want. I love the earthy flavor and hearty texture that the ancient grains provide.
- EGGS – This helps everything hold together and gives it that custard consistency.
- NON-DAIRY MILK – You can use any type of milk you want, but I used unsweetened almond milk.
- APPLES – They add an extra sweetness and soft texture that goes perfectly with the chai spices.
- CHAI SPICES – Warm, cozy, and ALL the Fall vibes.
- CREAM CHEESE – I used Tofutti vegan cream cheese for this, but you can use regular if you are not dairy intolerant. Tofutti is my favorite brand for vegan cream cheese because it tastes like the real thing!
- MAPLE SYRUP – My favorite sweetener that I use in everything! It goes perfectly with all of the Fall flavors happening in this dish.
- VANILLA EXTRACT & SALT – These ingredients bring out SO much flavor in just about every sweet dish!
- COCONUT OIL – I used coconut oil to saute the apples, as well as rubbing the baking dish to prevent sticking, but butter works equally as well!
All you need are a few simple ingredients that result in BIG flavor!
Baked French Toast in 5 Easy Steps
One of my favorite times to make this type of dish is during the holidays, or for a special occasion when you have house full of guests and you want to make everyone a cozy breakfast.
STEP 1 – Prep your pan and chop up the bread – start by prepping a 9×13 inch pan by rubbing the entire bottom and sides with coconut oil, and then chop up an entire loaf of bread into 1-inch cubes.
STEP 2 – Make the egg custard mixture – combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, maple syrup, salt, and all of the chai spices in a medium sized bowl. Whisk until combined.
STEP 3 – Saute your apples – in a large skillet over medium heat, saute your apples in coconut oil and coconut sugar until they are soft.
STEP 4 – Combine everything together – Add the bread to the pan, spread dollops of cream cheese all over the bread, then add the apples over the top. Next, pour the egg mixture over the bread, making sure to cover all of the pieces.
STEP 5 – Let it sit, then bake – it is best to let the bread soak in the egg mixture for about 2+ hours, then softens the bread and lets all of the flavors come together. Then bake at 350 degrees for about 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Make it Ahead of Time
One of the best things about this recipe is that you can make it the night before to set yourself up for an easier morning. Simply assemble it all and store it in the fridge until the next morning. This allows the flavors to really soak into the bread, and you can bake it up the next morning for the perfect holiday breakfast.
How to Store & Freeze Baked French Toast
To Store: you can store the entire dish covered in foil in the fridge, or in an airtight container after you’ve cut it into squares. It will last about 3-4 days.
To Freeze: first, wrap individual slices (or the whole thing) in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil on top of that, and then place the french toast bake in a zip-top freezer bag. When you’re ready to serve it, just thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then heat in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until heated through.
Apple Chai Spiced Baked French Toast
- 1 loaf of bread , cubed (*see notes)
- 9 large eggs
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 4 oz plain cream cheese (I used Tofutti vegan cream cheese)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil , for the baking dish
- powdered sugar , optional for topping once baked
- 3 medium sized red apples , cored and chopped
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar (you could also substitute with maple syrup)
- Prep your pan and chop up the bread: start by prepping a 9×13 inch pan by rubbing the entire bottom and sides with coconut oil, and then chop up an entire loaf of bread into 1-inch cubes.
- Make the egg custard mixture by combining the eggs, milk, vanilla, maple syrup, salt, and all of the chai spices in a medium sized bowl. Whisk until combined.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium heat, melt the coconut oil, and add the chopped apples. Stir occasionally, and let them cook for 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle the coconut sugar over the top and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent them from burning.
- Assemble your casserole: Place all of the bread in the bottom of the pan, add the apples over top and give it a gentle stir. Then add small dollops of the cream cheese all over the apple and bread mixture. You can either leave them on top, or press it down to nestle it into the bread. Then pour the egg mixture all over the top, making sure to soak all of the bread.
- Cover with foil, and let it sit for at least an hour. It is even better if you let it sit in the fridge overnight, the longer the better.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Leave the foil covering the top, and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil, and bake for another 20-25 minutes, until it is golden brown on top.
- Let it cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into it. Then when you want to serve, sprinkle some powdered sugar on top, or serve with more maple syrup and fruit!
- I used Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free bread, but any type of bread will work. I personally like heartier breads for baked french toast because they hold up to the moisture better.
Looking for more Fall breakfast recipes?
- Paleo Gingerbread Pancakes
- (Grain-Free) Pumpkin Almond Bread
- Baked Pears with Cinnamon & Honey
- Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- (Dairy-Free) Gingerbread Latte
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
This post is sponsored by Canyon Bakehouse, they are truly my favorite bread company and we have a loaf in our house at all times. All opinions are my own, thank you for supporting The Wheatless Kitchen and the companies I work with.