Pumpkin French Toast Bake

Pumpkin french toast = breakfast of champions. Take my word.

Remember my 7-ingredient muesli bread? Well, it’s making another appearance in this pumpkin french toast. Chopped up into cubes, it makes the perfect base for a very fall breakfast.

I’ve always made french toast the traditional route: dip bread into egg batter and fry right when you’re ready to eat. But, making it the day before and baking in the morning is actually a lot easier. Plus, it doesn’t require a griddle and allows the bread plenty of time to soak up the pumpkin-y goodness.

The ‘batter’ consisted of several free range eggs, a healthy dash of milk, a scoop of pumpkin butter and plenty of pumpkin pie spice. Topped with brown sugar and it was good to go.

You guys, it’s possible that I’ve never been so excited to hop up out of bed on a Saturday to preheat my oven. The anticipation nearly stole precious hours of sleep, but it was so, so worth it.

As you can see, it turned out phenomenal. The crusty, raisin-dotted bread soaked up the batter and yielded a custard-like french toast bake that smelled like heaven in the oven.

Topped with a little maple syrup (agave or honey) and it’s phenomenal. Not to mention it could feed your entire family and most of your neighbors. I ended up driving mine around to several friends and sharing a healthy portion. Now they think I’m the “french toast fairy” – not sure that’s a reputation I’m willing – or able – to keep up. Either way, it was fun while it lasted.

If there’s just two of you dining on this breakfast, simply cut the recipe in half or even one-fourth for a more appropriate serving size. Either way, this recipe should be on your fall bucket list. I’m so glad I’ve already crossed it off of mine.

4.2 from 40 reviews
Pumpkin French Toast Bake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Sweet and spicy pumpkin french toast is made the night before for an easy, early-morning preparation.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: French Toast
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 5 1/2 - 7 1/2 cups 1-inch bread cubes (depending on type of bread)*
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk (any kind)*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin BUTTER (or 1/2 cup pumpkin puree)*
  • 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar for topping
  • nuts, like pecan or walnuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cut any kind of bread into 1-inch cubes - I recommend a crusty, whole grain variety, but sandwich bread will work, too. Just use enough slice to fill a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish quite full.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin butter and pie spice until well combined. Pour over bread and push down with a spoon or your hands until it's all soaked and mostly covered. Cover with saran wrap or lid and refrigerate overnight.
  3. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees, uncover and top with brown sugar, additional pumpkin pie spice and nuts (optional). Bake for 35-45 minutes or golden brown and no longer wet.
  4. Serve immediately with maple syrup, honey or agave nectar. Store leftovers in the refrigerator covered for up to a couple days.
Notes
* For the bread cubes, just use as much bread as it takes to fill the bottom of your dish generously, plus up about 1 to 1.5 inches. If you've added too much to soak up the liquid, just remove some. And if it looks too wet, add some more bread.
* I HIGHLY recommend using pumpkin butter as it has a concentrated pumpkin flavor and is much sweeter than puree. But if using puree instead of butter, it's important to compensate the flavor by adding a bit more puree, pumpkin pie spice, and a little agave nectar, brown sugar or maple syrup to the batter. Otherwise, it will lack that delicious fall, pumpkin flavor you're going for.
* I used 2%, but use skim or low-fat for a lighter recipe. Alternatively, use non-dairy such as soy or almond.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 10 slices; per slice: Calories: 122 Fat: 4 g Carbohydrates: 13.7 g Sugar: 7.4 g Sodium: 145 mg Fiber: 1.3 g Protein: 7.8 g

* Some commenters have tried this recipe and varied the amount of pumpkin butter or bread they used for a better result. Because different breads can have different levels of sponginess and the pumpkin butter can vary in taste if it’s store bought or homemade, play with this recipe and make it your own! If you need more bread cubes, add more. And do the same with pumpkin butter. Please let me know if you have any questions in the process as I’d be glad to help!

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Comments

  1. Katrina says

    Tried it this morning but didn’t notice that I should have made it last night and then put it in the oven this morning. It was crunchy on top and soggy in the middle. My kids and I loved the smell but no one finished even eating what I put on their plate. Dissapointed for sure! Maybe I’ll try it once more but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Kaye J. says

      You HAVE to let bread pudding sit over night. Not really right to rate so low when you didn’t follow directions.

  2. Aida says

    I’ve made this today for the first time, it was really good. I had to use pumpkin puree, and although I used more pumpkin spice and sugar, there was not much pumpkin flavor. Nex time maybe I will use more puree, or I’ll try to do my own pumpkin butter! I used Challah bread, and bake it for 45 minutes, and the texture was excellent.

    Here’s a little tip: if using nuts (I’ve used pecans) toast them in a pan really quick (they get burn very easily) and put them in the bread, then bake. It reaaaaaally enhances their flavor!

  3. Kel says

    Can someone explain ((about)) how wet this should be before baking? The bread cubes were all moist this morning when taking it out of the fridge but there was no extra liquid, so I made added a little more. I followed the recipe but split it in half and used a smaller pan. How much liquid should you see before baking?

  4. Brandi says

    I read some of the other reviews as I was making this. I used a very dense 10 grain bread from the best bakery in the city…the kind you have to wait in line for at the farmer’s market outside in 25 degrees :) I used pumpkin butter that I made from allrecipes.com. I did soak it overnight, but drained some of the excess that did not get soaked up by the bread. I baked at 375 for 40 minutes. I also sprinkled brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice on top before baking.

    Next time I will increase the pumpkin butter and pumpkin pie spice. I will also cover the top with foil for the first 1/2 of baking and then remove for the last part to prevent the top from over browning. I may also try adding the cream cheese as someone suggested as a future variation.

  5. says

    I just made this for Thanksgiving and made a couple of substitutions. For the bread, I used Pepperidge Farms pumpkin bread, I used Kroger brand vanilla Carbmaster milk (60 calories per cup and 11 grams of protein), I used 3 whole eggs and the rest egg whites with a big spoonful of pumpkin pie filling since I forget the pumpkin butter. It was really good although I think I cooked it about 5 minutes too long-it was a little dry but some Torani’s pumpkin pie sauce fixed that! Thank you for this idea. I’m toying with a cranberry-orange version for Christmas.

  6. Melissa says

    not a fan of this dish. I love pumpkin more than any other flavor and i felt like this was to eggy for me. I added extra pumpkin pie spice and all i could taste was the eggs! Will not be making this again..

  7. Sue says

    Made this dish for Thanksgiving breakfast. I used your basic 100% whole wheat sandwich bread, and pumpkin puree (adjusting spices, as suggested). Toasted pecans, and put them, along with brown sugar, on the top before baking. I like the flavor. Will do it again with a bit of tweaking to bring it around to just how I, and my family, like it. (Possibly adding some crumbled bacon – delish.) Thanks for the recipe.

  8. Melindamari says

    This was amazing! I served this at Thanksgiving brunch and everyone loved it.
    I use brioche which I think would make a big difference in how this would come out. The bread being super fluffy, soaked up all the ingredients and came out perfect- soft in the middle and toasty in top. I did not use the pumpkin butter so I used more of the other ingredients like suggested. Topped it with sliced almonds and warm maple syrup.
    It was much easier than doing individual peices of French toast and tastes delish:)
    Thanks for sharing
    BTW…trying to give this 5 stars but not allowing me.

  9. Cathy says

    Made this this morning for Christmas and it was very good! I used cinnamon bread (just regular stuff you buy in the bread isle), a little extra pumpkin butter but still didn’t taste very pumpkinny, dots of cream cheese and I made a streusel topping that I put on right before going in to the oven. I made it at 8:30 last night and pulled it out of the fridge at 8:15 this morning. Put tin foil on it for first half hour then uncovered for 15 more minutes. It was yummy! Will definitely make this again! Used a 9×13 pan, there were 4 adults and half a pan left.

  10. says

    I made this today for brunch with my family. It was a hit and even my 2 picky boys LOVED it!! I forgot about the brown sugar on top but sprinkled it on after 30 min of baking. It tasted perfectly crunchy and delicious!! I did have to add about 15-20 min of baking time. Maybe because I used sandwich bread and it wasn’t quite done in the middle. I will be adding this to our family favorite recipes :). Thank you!!

  11. Anna says

    I made this for a meeting this past weekend and it was AMAZING! I took the extra time to make your muesli bread (two loaves, delish) and the pumpkin butter. Homemade really made the difference here and it was very good. The pumpkin butter recipe yielded quite a bit so I shared a small jar with my sister-in-law:) The muesli bread base is adaptable for any kind of filling (dried fruit, nuts, etc). You really could put anything in there and it would still be amazing. Next time I might add some diced apples and cinnamon to the base recipe. Thank you for sharing!!

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