Make-Ahead Brunch

Make-Ahead Brunch - French Toast Bake and Quiche

Some of the most chaotic, unpleasant moments of my life have been the 10 minutes leading up to any party I hosted. Instead of relaxing with a cocktail and touching up my lipstick before guests arrived, I spent those final pre-party moments madly shoving dirty dishes into cabinets, chopping last-minute garnishes, and looking for my left shoe. I couldn’t have been farther from the picture of a calm, organized hostess, and I was barely able to enjoy the party myself.

I adore welcoming friends and family over for meals, but it took me a few years to learn how to relax and have fun at my own party. The secret: make it ahead. Both of today’s recipes—a decadent Apple Cinnamon French Toast Bake and creamy, dreamy Sweet Potato, Rosemary, and Goat Cheese Quiche—can be prepped days (or even weeks) ahead, are straightforward to prepare, and are guaranteed to impress your guests at a lovely autumn brunch.

Make-Ahead Brunch - Apple Cinnamon French Toast Bake

Prepared in individual slices, French toast is a party nightmare. Who wants to stand trapped at the stove flipping bread, while the hungry guests stand waiting and prior batches grow cold? Instead, make an easy all-in-one French toast bake.

French toast turned into a breakfast bread pudding, French toast bake is prepared by slicing good-quality bread into cubes and placing them into a baking dish, pouring the custard over the top, then baking it into a fluffy, decadent dish that can serve your entire party at once. For the bread, I like to use a hearty multigrain that adds flavor complexity and can stand up to the custard, and I add extra vanilla and cinnamon for the maximum amount of flavor. For simplicity, I serve it in my beautiful KitchenAid® Streamline Ceramic Casserole, which transitions directly from oven to table.

Make-Ahead Brunch - Apple Cinnamon French Toast Bake

French toast bake is endlessly customizable. For a fall twist, I tossed apple slices in maple syrup, melted butter, and cinnamon-sugar, then layered them across the top before baking. As the French toast cooks, the apples soften and form a delightful topping. The entire dish can be assembled and refrigerated up to two days in advance, so all you need to do the morning of the brunch is pop it into the oven and wait for your house to fill with its enticing, warm scent.

Make-Ahead Brunch - Apple Cinnamon French Toast Bake

Next on the menu: a gorgeous Sweet Potato, Rosemary and Goat Cheese Quiche. To make this recipe special, be sure to use homemade pie crust. Buttery, flakey, and far superior in flavor to store-bought crust, it’s worth the few extra steps. Although pie crust can be intimidating at first, a food processor makes the process easy. Forget cutting the butter pieces in by hand—with a few pulses of the KitchenAid® 13-Cup Food Processor, the dough is ready in moments! I use a blend of whole wheat and all purpose flour, then double the recipe to make two crusts. One crust I use immediately, then I freeze the other for another time. Depending upon how far in advance you are planning, you can prepare the pie dough four weeks ahead, then keep it in the freezer until the night before you prepare the quiche.

Make-Ahead Brunch - Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese and Rosemary Quiche

Now that we have our golden pie crust, it’s time to fill it with wonderful flavors. One of my favorite things about quiche is that it is an ideal vehicle for almost any ingredient you love or have on hand. The combination of roasted sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, creamy goat cheese, and earthy rosemary I used in today’s recipe is richly satisfying and perfect for fall.

Make-Ahead Brunch - Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese and Rosemary Quiche

Another make-ahead tip: the filling ingredients can be cooked and the crust par-baked 24 hours in advance. The day of the brunch, all you need to do is whip together the custard (which takes about 5 minutes), pour it into the crust, and bake. I used my KitchenAid® Professional-Grade Nonstick 9″ Pie Pan. It cooked the quiche evenly, and clean up was a breeze.

Make-Ahead Brunch - Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese and Rosemary Quiche

With a little advance planning, you’ll be serving these two beautiful brunch dishes, completely stress-free. All that remains is to pour yourself a celebratory mimosa. Cheers!

Apple Cinnamon French Toast Bake

Makes 6 servings


For French toast

12 ounces day-old hearty bakery bread (whole wheat, sourdough, or a baguette all work well)
5 large eggs
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For apple topping

3-4 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


Lightly coat a KitchenAid® Streamline Ceramic Casserole with cooking spray. Slice the bread into 1/2-inch cubes, then place the slices into the bottom of the pan so that you have a solid layer of bread that is about 1 1/2 inches deep.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Pour over the bread cubes, then gently press down the bread with your fingers to help it soak up the liquid.

In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with the sugar, maple syrup, melted butter, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. Spread the slices over the bread cubes in a single layer.

To bake the French toast immediately, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the apples are soft and the eggs are set. To prepare the bake ahead and bake it at a later time, cover and refrigerate the unbaked French toast for up to 2 days. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, remove the cover, and bake for 55 to 65 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm with maple syrup.

Apple Cinnamon French Toast Bake Recipe


Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese and Rosemary Quiche

Makes 6 servings


For pie crust

8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or substitute all purpose flour)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

For filling

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped


For pie crust

Cut the butter into small pieces and place it in the freezer while you prepare the other ingredients. Place the whole wheat pastry flour, all purpose flour, and salt in the bowl of a KitchenAid® 13-Cup Food Processor fitted with a steel blade, then pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter pieces, then pulse just until the butter is the size of pebbles and peas, about 8-12 pulses. With the machine running, add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough begins to form a ball. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board, pat into a disk, then refrigerate for 30 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Place a rack in the center of the oven, then preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

For filling

Wash and peel the sweet potatoes, then cut them into 1/4-inch cubes. Toss the pieces with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer, then roast at 400 degrees F until soft, about 20 minutes. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a well-floured surface. Working from the center, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle, then transfer it to an ungreased KitchenAid® Nonstick 9″ Pie Pan. With a fork, pierce rows of holes in the bottom and sides of the dough, about 1 inch apart. Place the pan in a 350 degree F oven and bake until the crust is lightly golden, 10 to 15 minutes. If you will be baking the quiche right away, increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

For quiche

Layer the sweet potatoes in the bottom of the par-baked crust, then sprinkle the caramelized onions, goat cheese, and rosemary over the top. (At this point, the crust and toppings may be covered and refrigerated together for up to 24 hours.) When ready to bake, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, nutmeg, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Pour the egg mixture over the quiche, then carefully place the quiche on a large baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 to 55 minutes, until the quiche puffs up and just barely jiggles. Remove from the oven and let sit 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese and Rosemary Quiche Recipe


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*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*


KitchenAid® Streamline Ceramic 2.8-Quart Casserole
Ideal for lasagna, noodle casseroles, shepherd’s pie, or ragout. It’s freezer and microwave safe and won’t absorb oils, odors, or sauces. Also resists staining, chipping, and cracking or crazing. Learn More

KitchenAid® Streamline Ceramic 2.8-Quart Casserole

KitchenAid Nonstick Nine Inch Pie Pan
Bake fresh fruit pies and breakfast quiches with this standard-size round pan with nonstick coating for neat, hassle-free removal. Ideal for mealtime desserts, holidays, and other special occasions. Learn More

KitchenAid® Nonstick 9″ Pie Pan

The revolutionary ExactSlice™ System features and external adjustable control that allows you to slice from thick to thin with one slide of a lever—without having to remove the blade or turn off the food processor. And, the Ultra Wide Mouth™ Feed Tube accommodates foods of all shapes and sizes.

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KitchenAid® 13-Cup Food Processor with ExactSlice™ System

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  • Marnely Rguez-Murray

    I’m definitely inspired to host a brunch for friends after seeing these recipes – that quiche looks amazing. Printing the recipes right now!

  • Love these make ahead recipes for brunch!! Delicious!! and oh my gawd, my first time seeing the KitchenAid® Nonstick 9″ Pie Pan. . WANT!!

  • I’ve never been a big fan of French toast, but I like this recipe. I would add a bit more spice to the egg mix. It would also have been nice if the pan size had been mentioned in the recipe. I used the best estimate I could find in my cabinet, and it ended up being very deep, and it had to set up for a while before I could serve it, once I got it out of the oven. (Actually, I ended up waiting to eat it until the next day.) This recipe is a definite keeper.

  • Roshena

    How do you freeze the quiche ahead of time?

    • Roshena, you can either make and freeze only the crust ahead (as the post describes) or fully bake the quiche. Once it comes to room temperature, wrap it very tightly with aluminum foil, then put it in a large ziptop bag and freeze until ready to use. When you are ready to bake, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat it in a 350 degree oven. I suggest putting foil around the crust edges when you reheat it to make sure it doesn’t burn. Hope that helps!


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