Upside Down French Toast

How about Brunch this week, for the weekend or for dinner? This is so simple, so easy (much easier than making regular old French toast in a skillet or a griddle!) and an elegant treat. Your family will think you’ve really went overboard when all you’ve done is throw some pantry ingredients and day old bread in a skillet. Shhhh…I won’t tell if you don’t!

Upside Down Caramel Apple French Toast
Upside Down Caramel Apple French Toast

I modified Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Upside Down French Toast for this post; I wanted this to be a dish you could make with what you might have on hand, so no heavy cream here. I also wanted to bring it into sync with my fat/carb ratio and make it a bit more frugal.

By all means, make the actual recipe if you wish, thank you Tyler! His Ultimate French Toast IS amazing. If you want to bring it in on a budget, with about 1/2 the fat, here’s my version.

My pricing for this recipe, this week is $4.60. For a few cents more, I’ve served it with a “salad” of marinated orange supremes. Simply peel and slice out the orange segments and toss them with a little of my Honey Citrus Vinaigrette. For a different variation, consider some of the variations, below, under Put Your own Spin on It.

Upside Down French Toast

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 1 hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 7 ounces bread, one small baguette, cut into 1 inch-thick slices, sliced on a diagonal
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 Granny Smith apples, 1″ slices from apple slicer
  • 1/4 cup pecans or almonds or nut of your choice
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a flat dish, crack eggs and add milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined then lay bread slices in mixture to coat and absorb it all, turning occasionally.

Set a 12-inch skillet, seasoned cast iron if you have, over medium heat. Add the butter and 1 cup sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has melted and caramelized, about 5 minutes, then add the 1/2 cup of water, stirring and bring to a boil. Turn off and begin adding the rest of your ingredients.

While the sugar is melting, peel apples, then use an apple corer to make your slices.

Sprinkle in the pecans and cranberries and gently press in the apple, fanning them in concentric layers. Lay soaked slices of bread over the top so it is completely covered – you should be able to arrange the large slices and small slices so there are no gaps.

Sprinkle the top with some brown sugar and place into the preheated oven. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden and puffy. When done, allow to cool for 5 to 7 minutes then invert on a large plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, and serve.

FYI – if your cast iron skillet is not seasoned, the cranberries will react with the skillet and turn black.

Note: Make sure you have a platter large enough to invert the 12 inch skillet on to, and be careful – hot skillet, hot caramel can be a dangerous combination. Make sure you have a clear workspace to set it down on. I use a large rimmed cookie sheet. If the apples are juicy, hot caramel may squirt out as you invert.

Depending on the apples and how juicy they are, there can be variances in how thick the caramel is – While this is always impressive, don’t expect absolute perfection every time.

from the kitchen of, adapted from Tyler Florence

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read Strategies for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.


Per Serving: 311 Calories; 12g Fat (34.9% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 43g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 149mg Cholesterol; 211mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

Put Your Own Spin on It:

  • Make this with any nut you prefer, or vary the fruit.  How about Pears? Perfect for winter. Leave the cranberries out, or substitute some dried fruit of your choice.
  • One of my favorite variations is to use a little Kahlua in the eggs, crushed hazlenuts and no fruit. Amazing.
  • I’ve made this with pumpkin pie spice, leftover from my Pumpkin Spiced Lattes we loved so much this fall, and it was wonderful.

My Pay Off:

A fun change from regular, old dinner, and this brunch dish is great:  it’s quick to get in the oven, then there’s 40 to 45 minutes of down-time.

Upside Down French Toast Made December 2012

2 thoughts on “Upside Down French Toast”

    1. I did visit your site and even translated it so I could read it. We’re all entitled to our own opinions, it’s when we decide others are entitled to our own opinions that we run into trouble…hope you find what you CAN enjoy somewhere.

      For me, staying on budget is a serious business, not always fun and enjoyable, and sometimes nitpicky and skinflinting. The French Toast – that I enjoyed!

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