Caramel Apple French Toast is the perfect sweet treat for special breakfasts and brunches. Fry the French toast to golden perfection then finish it off with sweet and tart apples in a creamy caramel sauce.
What is your breakfast style? Is it sweet or savoury, quick or luxurious, or coffee only? I’m a weekend breakfast person and on weekends we enjoy everything from fresh baked Tahini Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins to savoury Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole. Coffee is non-negotiable!
Caramel Apple French Toast
I don’t always crave a sweet breakfast, however I can never resist apples and caramel sauce. There’s just something irresistible about the aroma of apples cooking in warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
With the rich and luxurious butter caramel sauce, this apple French toast is much more than the average Apple Cinnamon French toast. It will bring everyone to the table with fork in hand. You won’t have to call them twice!
If I had to choose between pancakes and French toast, French toast would win each time. While they both take approximately the same time to cook, French toast is much simpler to prepare. Instead of whipping up a multi-ingredient batter, eggs and cream are whisked together, and slices of bread are dipped and immediately fried in a hot buttery pan. Sounds like a win to me.
You could skip the apple caramel topping and add a drizzle of maple syrup. However, I love creating French toast with flair and especially with fruit of any kind.
French Toast Facts
You may think you know French toast as ‘slices of bread soaked in eggs and milk then pan fried’ and you are right. It is just that. However, this is a recipe that was developed to use up stale bread. In France, it is known as ‘Pain Perdu’ or ‘lost bread’ but despite its name, French toast is not exactly…French.
This bread and egg dish existed during the Roman empire, where it was known as pan dulcis or aliter dulcia (another sweet dish). It seems that many other cultures through time (and space) had the idea to revive old bread in this way.
There’s eggy bread (UK), Gypsy toast (UK), Poor knights’ (Germany, UK, and Nordic countries), pafese or pofese (Austria/Bavaria), kikliko (Georgia), Bombay toast or Sweet French Bread (India), and finally, pain doré (golden bread) here in Canada. Just to name a few.
While basic French toast recipes involve bread, eggs, and milk or cream. Some variants are soaked in sweet wines, orange juice or rosewater. They may be stuffed with delicious fillings (Hong Kong and North America) or slathered with delicious Kaya jam (Singapore). Toppings are generally sweet (powdered sugar, honey, various syrups, or jam) but savoury variations also exist.
Ingredients for Caramel Apple French Toast
While this recipe evolved as a means to use up stale bread, today’s luxurious versions suggest searching out specific styles of bread. This recipe is full of rich ingredients which, when combined, create a decadent and memorable breakfast feast.
- Brown Sugar
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Nutmeg
- Ground Ginger
- Heavy Cream
- Vanilla Extract
The spices in this recipe; cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger represent a trio of spices commonly known as ‘apple pie spice’. This gives the entire breakfast the aroma of a fresh baked apple pie. You may wish to add 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves to round out the flavour. Be sure to use fresh spices (less than a year old) for best flavour results.
While this recipe calls for heavy cream, you can also use whole milk, half and half, or light cream. The results will be similar.
Recently, I’ve been replacing butter with ghee in recipes that call for ingredients to be fried in butter. Ghee has a higher smoke point than pure butter and makes frying so much simpler.
You can use any sliced bread, however thickly sliced bread such as Texas toast or Brioche will yield the best results. Better yet, buy unsliced bread and slice it to your desired thickness.
Apples that hold their shape during cooking work best in this apple French toast recipe. I suggest Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, Fuji, Jonamac, Gala, Cortland, Braeburn, or Pink Lady Apples.
How to Make Caramel Apple French Toast
For the Caramel Apple Topping
To begin, melt the stick of butter (minus 2 Tablespoons) in a heavy skillet. Add the diced apples, brown sugar, and apple pie spices to the pan. Stir well to coat the apples then sauté the apple mixture in the pan over medium high heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the brown sugar has dissolved and the apples have taken on a deep caramelized brown colour, stir in the cream.
Bring the apples mixture to a boil over medium high heat, then immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the liquid has thickened into a thin creamy caramel. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the French Toast
For the French toast, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in another skillet over medium heat. Next, whisk the eggs, cream, vanilla extract, and cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl or 9 x 9 glass baking dish.
Dip one slice of bread in the egg mixture, then turn to coat the other side. Immediately lay the coated bread in the buttered skillet and cook until golden brown. Turn the heat down slightly if it turns colour too quickly.
When the one side becomes golden, flip the bread over, then cook the other side until it reaches the same shade, and the inside of the toast has set. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with remaining bread slices.
To Serve: Place 2-3 slices on each plate. Top them with caramel apple topping and a light dusting of powdered sugar. Add whipped cream or ice cream if desired.
Make Ahead and Storage Information
This is a quick breakfast recipe and is best when eaten fresh off the frying pan. You can also make the Apple French Toast ahead of time and freeze it for later.
Store Apple French Toast leftovers (without the topping) in the fridge for 4-5 days.
The easiest way to reheat one French toast is to use a toaster. Thaw a slice in the fridge overnight, then toast it in the morning. To reheat the whole batch, preheat the oven to 375 F and place frozen toasts on a single layer on a baking sheet.
Cover loosely with Aluminium foil and reheat for 8-10 minutes. Reheat the apple caramel topping in separate saucepan over medium low heat.
If you make this Caramel Apple French Toast recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
FOR THE APPLE TOPPING
- 1 4 oz (250 g) stick of butter; divided
- 4 apples; peeled, cored, and diced
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons apple pie spice*
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
FOR THE FRENCH TOAST
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4-6 slices of bread
FOR THE CARAMEL APPLE TOPPING
- Melt the stick of butter (minus 2 Tablespoons) in a skillet.
- Add the apples, brown sugar, apple pie spices to the pan and stir well to coat the apples.
- Cook the apple mixture 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once the brown sugar has dissolved and the apples have taken on a deep caramelized brown colour, stir in the cream.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the liquid has thickened into a thin creamy caramel. Remove from heat and set aside.
FOR THE FRENCH TOAST
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in another skillet over medium heat
- Whisk the eggs, cream, vanilla extract, and cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl.
- Dip one slice of bread in the egg mixture, then turn to coat the other side.
- Immediately lay it in the buttered skillet and cook until golden. Flip it over, then cook the other side.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 with remaining bread slices.
- Serve 2-3 slices on each plate. Top with caramel apple topping and a light dusting of powdered sugar. Add whipped cream or ice cream if desired.
TO MAKE YOUR OWN APPLE PIE SPICE: Mix 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon with 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 1207Total Fat: 64gSaturated Fat: 38gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 348mgSodium: 760mgCarbohydrates: 147gFiber: 12gSugar: 91gProtein: 18g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.