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Cooking With Lauren

Holiday Special!

French Toast Apple Bake with Sugared Cranberries & Spiced Coconut Whipped Cream

French Toast Apple Bake


  • 1 large loaf country bread, cut into 1” cubes (you can also use brioche, whole grain or gluten-free)
  • 2 apples, medium dice
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for greasing

Streusel Topping

  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar or light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup oat flour or AP flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.  Combine the bread and chopped apples and lay in an even layer in the bottom of the dish.  In a large bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients (minus the streusel topping) and pour evenly over the bread and apples, pressing to make sure every bread cube is covered and soaking up the mixture.  Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.  When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place your casserole dish in the oven uncovered and bake for 25 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine the streusel topping ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until combined.  After the french toast apple bake has baked for 25 minutes, remove from the oven and sprinkle the streusel topping on top and return to the oven to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until crispy.   Let cool for a few minutes, then serve with spiced coconut whipped cream and sugared cranberries. 

Sugared Cranberries


  • Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup cane sugar for sprinkling


Line 2 large sheet pans with parchment paper.  Place a wire cooling rack on top of each lined sheet pan and set aside.  Place 1/2 cup cane sugar in a bowl and set aside.

Make a simple syrup by combining 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup cane sugar in a small saucepan.  Heat on medium until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture just starts to boil.  Remove from heat and add the fresh cranberries.  Stir the cranberries gently to coat.  Allow the cranberries to rest in the simple syrup for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Using a slotted spoon, remove the cranberries from the simple syrup and place them on the cooling rack being careful to separate them.  Allow them to dry for about 10 minutes, then toss a few at a time in the small bowl of sugar.  Return the coated cranberries to the clean wire cooling rack to dry.  Dry at room temperature for at least an hour, then refrigerate until ready to use. 

Spiced Coconut Whipped Cream


  • 2 14-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Place the cans of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.  Make sure to not shake the can as you want to keep the cream and liquid separated.  When you are ready to make the spiced coconut whipped cream, chill a large mixing bowl for at least 10 minutes before preparing.  Remove the coconut milk from the refrigerator and carefully scoop out the thickened coconut cream from the top and leave the liquid behind, saving it for a later use (smoothies, etc.).  Place the coconut cream in the chilled bowl and beat for 30 seconds using a stand mixer whisk attachment or a hand mixer using a whisk attachment.  Then add the vanilla, powdered sugar and spices and mix until smooth and creamy, about one minute.  Use right away or store in the refrigerator where it will keep for a week.

Bonus content! Mini salted caramel apples

In less than 7 minutes Lauren will walk you through her take on salted caramel apples! This is super easy, and fun to make with kids!

Woman in beautiful modern kitchen talking to camera.
Beautifully plated chicken breast dinner

Meet Taylor, a first grader who cooks along with Lauren!

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