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Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole

Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F with the rack in the middle position. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Place croissant pieces into a large bowl.
  2. If using vanilla bean: Soak in hot water for 5 minutes. Remove from water and pat dry. Slice down the middle, then draw a sharp knife across the inside of each half to remove the tiny seeds. Reserve.
  3. Prepare apple mixture: Melt butter in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add apples and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Toss or stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes or until apples soften. Mix cornstarch and water together in a small bowl. Add to apple mixture along with lemon juice and cook until apple mixture thickens. Remove from heat. 
  4. Prepare custard: Whisk cream together with eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  5. Assemble casserole: Spoon apple mixture into bowl with croissants and gently toss. Transfer to greased casserole dish and spread to an even layer. Add spoonfuls of applesauce in and amongst the croissant mixture. Whisk the custard mixture then pour it over top of the croissants and apples. 
  6. NOTE: If making ahead, cover and refrigerate overnight. Then, next day, continue...
  7. Transfer to oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes, then dust with icing sugar. Serve with maple syrup.
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Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole

3.1 / 5. 23

Apples sautéed in spices and brown sugar, tossed with pieces of buttery croissant, then topped with custard and oven baked…

  • clock icon
    45 MIN
  • 8 SERVINGS
Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole.

Need an easy, crowd-pleasing breakfast idea? Make this APPLE FRITTER BREAKFAST CASSEROLE!

This post is proof that magic happens when a favourite donut shop treat meets a casserole dish. And like a great magic trick, the contents within said casserole dish will disappear before your very eyes. Seriously, no joke; the only downside to serving this APPLE FRITTER BREAKFAST CASSEROLE is the disappointment when the final morsels of scrumptiousness are gone.

It’s rare I give a pro tip right off the top, but for this recipe, it’s necessary; make a double-batch, just to be safe!

Here’s why this homemade breakfast casserole recipe works:

  • It’s made using store-bought, ready-baked croissants; no making dough from scratch.
  • The star ingredient in this recipe is apples. We used Honeycrisp apples, but Ambrosia and Gala apples work too.
  • You know the flavor is fab when the ingredients include cinnamon, nutmeg, dark brown sugar, and butter.
  • This dish only takes 15 minutes of prep time, and yes, you can make the casserole the night before you intend to serve.
  • Only 30 minutes of bake time, and it will fill your home with all the sugary spiced aromas of freshly baked apple fritters.
  • This recipe is perfect for family gatherings and the holidays; think Chanukah, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Sounds too good to be true? No way! Here are some tips on making an APPLE FRITTER BREAKFAST CASSEROLE.

All of the ingredients needed to make the Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole.

INGREDIENTS

One look at the above picture and you’re hopefully thinking, “He’s right! This is going to be easy!” Everything on the list is readily available at your local supermarket or grocer. The one odd item on this ingredient list is the applesauce, which gets dabbed in and amongst the croissants and apples right before we soak the dish with the egg custard. The quantity is only a half-cup, so a small container will do the trick.

Six store-bought plain croissants.

CROISSANTS

In testing this recipe, we initially started out using freshly made dough from this pull-part MONKEY BREAD RECIPE. After reviewing the process, we decided there had to be an easier way. What about those pop-and-bake crescent rolls, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, or puff pastries? Even they seemed like too much work, especially with us pitching this recipe as being perfect for holiday breakfasts with the family. Okay, what about store-bought croissants? Perfect.

The croissants cut into bite-size pieces.

Using ready-baked croissants is this recipe’s light bulb moment, and is it ever a bright idea. Look for them in the bakery section of your grocery store. All you need to do is cut the croissants into small bite-sized cubes and you’re ready to continue with the recipe. 

Four Honeycrisp apples.

APPLES

Frequent visitors to WATC know we absolutely love apples. We like ‘em raw in our CRUNCHY APPLE SALAD and tasty CHICKEN WALDORF, zipped up in our healthy ABC SMOOTHIE or cooked in our APPLE PIE or scrumptious APPLE SKILLET CAKE. As mentioned off the top, use Honeycrisp, Ambrosia, or Gala apples for this recipe. Peeling, coring, and dicing the apples is easy work. Head HERE for more great information about ONTARIO APPLES!

A large skillet containing the apples being sautéed with sugar, spices and butter.

SAUTÉED APPLES

Cooking the apples before tossing them with the croissant pieces is easy. Simply grab a favourite non-stick or cast iron skillet set on medium heat. Then melt the butter, add the chopped apples, dark brown sugar, spices, and salt, and sauté. The one extra step in this portion of the recipe is where we add watered cornstarch into the skillet along with lemon juice. The lemon juice brightens the flavours of the spiced apples while the cornstarch thickens up the caramelized apples. After all, this is an APPLE FRITTER BREAKFAST CASSEROLE, so it needs the look and feel of apple fritter donuts. Yum!

A large measure containing the custard mixture of eggs, heavy cream, cinnamon and vanilla.

CUSTARD

We’ve made similar custards for our ham-and-Gruyère ULTIMATE BREAKFAST CASSEROLE and our simple MAKE AHEAD BREAKFAST BAKE. For this recipe, nothing complicated: eggs, 35% cream, cinnamon and vanilla. We often get questions from our readers in the U.S. about 35% cream. You know it as heavy cream or whipping cream, they’re the same thing. Just make sure you use the unsweetened kind for this recipe.

Two bottles of pure vanilla extract plus two vanilla beans.

REAL VANILLA

Yes, you can use simulated vanilla for this recipe. Better still, splurge a little and make it using pure vanilla extract. But, if you want to craft this recipe with flavours that exceed all expectations, make it using a vanilla bean. Look for whole vanilla beans in bulk food stores or specialty grocers and gourmet shops. Usually sold two in thin glass tubes, you’ll only need one bean for this recipe.

The vanilla seeds in a small bowl after being extracted from the vanilla bean.

Extracting the seeds from the pod is easier than you might think; watch the VIDEO attached to this recipe for a quick and easy tutorial. One pro tip: whisk the heck out of the custard before adding it to the croissants, apples, and applesauce to make sure the vanilla paste is thoroughly distributed.

The casserole topped with the creamy custard.

CASSEROLE

The final assembly of this breakfast casserole could not be easier. Toss the apples and croissants, spill them into the buttered dish, spreading the mixture out to an even layer. Dab the top of the casserole with applesauce, then add the egg and cream mixture. If creating the recipe as a make-ahead for the following day, cover with wrap and refrigerate overnight. Simply bake the following day, as directed.

Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole fresh from the oven.

SERVE

Prepare to field questions when you first take the casserole dish out of the oven. As mentioned, your home and kitchen are going to be filled with the enticing aromas of a freshly baked, sugar-and-spice treat. Of course, patience is a virtue that few possess, especially when something this delicious is on the way. Ask for five minutes to allow the casserole to cool, then portion spoonfuls on breakfast or luncheon-sized plates. Add a sprinkle of icing or powdered sugar and serve with pure maple syrup on the side. If you’d like, you can also add a drizzle of a sugar glaze. Watch closely as everyone takes their first bite. Joy!

Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole served.

This recipe is included in our HOLIDAY BAKING COLLECTION. Click HERE to see all of the recipes we’ve deemed holiday-worthy, but truth be told, this casserole will be well received any morning you feel inspired to make it.

Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole.

Because it’s so tasty and extremely popular, we suggest you PIN the recipe to a favourite breakfast or brunch board on PINTEREST or BOOKMARK this tab for easy access. SHARE it with friends so they can make it too. We’d also appreciate seeing pics of all the scrumptious stuff you’re making these days. Use #weekendatthecottage when you post those pics on Facebook and Instagram. Thanks!

This APPLE FRITTER BREAKFAST CASSEROLE will bring joy to the world!

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Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole

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Products used in this recipe

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Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients

  • 6 store-bought croissants, cubed to bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • For the custard:
  • ½ cup 35% cream (whipping cream)
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • For the apple mixture:
  • 4 Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • juice from ½ a lemon
  • To serve:
  • dusting of icing sugar
  • maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F with the rack in the middle position. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Place croissant pieces into a large bowl.
  2. If using vanilla bean: Soak in hot water for 5 minutes. Remove from water and pat dry. Slice down the middle, then draw a sharp knife across the inside of each half to remove the tiny seeds. Reserve.
  3. Prepare apple mixture: Melt butter in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add apples and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Toss or stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes or until apples soften. Mix cornstarch and water together in a small bowl. Add to apple mixture along with lemon juice and cook until apple mixture thickens. Remove from heat. 
  4. Prepare custard: Whisk cream together with eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  5. Assemble casserole: Spoon apple mixture into bowl with croissants and gently toss. Transfer to greased casserole dish and spread to an even layer. Add spoonfuls of applesauce in and amongst the croissant mixture. Whisk the custard mixture then pour it over top of the croissants and apples. 
  6. NOTE: If making ahead, cover and refrigerate overnight. Then, next day, continue...
  7. Transfer to oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes, then dust with icing sugar. Serve with maple syrup.

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