HomeDessertPumpkin French Toast Casserole Recipe

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole Recipe

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Pumpkin French Toast Casserole Recipe

Welcome to the ultimate fall breakfast dish – Pumpkin French Toast Casserole. This delightful recipe combines the rich flavors of pumpkin and warm spices with the classic comfort of French toast. Perfect for a cozy weekend brunch or a holiday breakfast, this casserole is easy to prepare and sure to impress.

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Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

This Pumpkin French Toast Casserole is everything you love about traditional French toast but with a seasonal twist. The creamy pumpkin custard infuses every bite with autumnal goodness, while the crispy, caramelized topping adds a satisfying crunch. It’s easy to assemble, can be prepped ahead of time, and makes a wonderful centerpiece for your breakfast table.

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Key Ingredients

Bread

  • Bread: Day-old or slightly stale bread works best. Use a hearty bread like challah, brioche, or French bread for the best texture.

Pumpkin Puree

  • Pumpkin Puree: Adds moisture and a rich pumpkin flavor. Make sure to use pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.

Eggs

  • Eggs: Essential for binding the ingredients and creating a rich, custardy base.

Milk and Cream

  • Milk and Cream: A combination of milk and heavy cream provides a luxurious texture to the custard.

Spices

  • Spices: A blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves gives the casserole its warm, seasonal flavor.

Sweeteners

  • Sweeteners: Brown sugar and maple syrup add sweetness and a hint of caramel flavor.

Essential Baking Tools

  1. Large Mixing Bowl: For mixing the custard.
  2. Whisk: For combining the ingredients.
  3. Baking Dish: A 9×13-inch baking dish works well for this recipe.
  4. Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurate measurements.
  5. Spatula: For mixing and spreading.

Step-by-Step Preparation

Preparing the Bread

  1. Cube the Bread: Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. If the bread is very fresh, leave it out for a few hours to dry out slightly.
  2. Grease the Baking Dish: Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick spray.

Mixing the Pumpkin Custard

  1. Combine Wet Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup of pumpkin puree, 6 large eggs, 2 cups of milk, and 1 cup of heavy cream.
  2. Add Sweeteners and Spices: Whisk in 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, and a pinch of salt until well combined.

Assembling the Casserole

  1. Layer the Bread: Place the bread cubes in the prepared baking dish.
  2. Pour the Custard: Pour the pumpkin custard mixture evenly over the bread cubes, pressing down gently to ensure all the bread is soaked.
  3. Refrigerate: Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight for a more intense flavor.

Preparing the Topping

  1. Make the Topping: In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of melted butter, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of chopped pecans (optional).
  2. Sprinkle the Topping: Sprinkle the topping evenly over the casserole before baking.

Baking the Casserole

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Bake: Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the custard is set.
  3. Cool: Allow the casserole to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Tips for Perfect Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

  • Use Day-Old Bread: Slightly stale bread absorbs the custard better, preventing a soggy casserole.
  • Press Down the Bread: Ensure all bread cubes are submerged in the custard for even soaking.
  • Don’t Overbake: Bake just until the custard is set and the top is golden brown to avoid drying out the casserole.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Add-Ins: Mix in raisins, dried cranberries, or chocolate chips for extra flavor.
  • Nut-Free: Omit the pecans if you have a nut allergy.
  • Dairy-Free: Use almond milk or coconut milk in place of dairy milk and cream.

Serving Suggestions

  • Toppings: Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup, a dollop of whipped cream, or a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
  • Sides: Pair with fresh fruit, bacon, or sausage for a complete breakfast.

Storing and Reheating

  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat individual portions in the microwave or cover the entire dish with foil and reheat in a 350°F oven until warmed through.

Nutritional Information

Each serving (based on 12 servings) has approximately:

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  • Calories: 300
  • Protein: 8g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 20g

Conclusion

This Pumpkin French Toast Casserole is a delightful addition to any breakfast or brunch table. Its rich, custardy texture and warm, spiced flavor make it a crowd-pleaser that’s easy to prepare and perfect for fall. Give this recipe a try, and enjoy the comforting flavors of pumpkin in every bite.

FAQs

1. Can I make this casserole ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the casserole the night before and refrigerate it overnight. Just bake it in the morning for a fresh, warm breakfast.

2. Can I use a different type of bread? Absolutely! Any sturdy, slightly stale bread will work, such as sourdough or whole wheat.

3. How can I make this casserole healthier? You can reduce the sugar or use a sugar substitute. Also, consider using whole wheat bread and low-fat milk.

4. What if I don’t have pumpkin puree? You can substitute sweet potato puree or even mashed bananas for a different flavor profile.

5. Can I freeze the leftovers? Yes, you can freeze individual portions. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and foil, then freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Source: justsotasty.com

Yield: 8

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole Recipe

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole Recipe

Welcome to the ultimate fall breakfast dish – Pumpkin French Toast Casserole. This delightful recipe combines the rich flavors of pumpkin and warm spices with the classic comfort of French toast. Perfect for a cozy weekend brunch or a holiday breakfast, this casserole is easy to prepare and sure to impress.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • French Toast Casserole
  • 1 15-18 oz loaf of stale white bread*, such as challah, French bread, or Brioche
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, or make your own - see recipe notes
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Streusel Topping
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

French Toast Casserole

  • Lightly grease a 9x13 inch (23 x 33 cm) glass baking pan.
  • Cut the loaf of bread into small cubes or rip into pieces with your hands. Place the bread in the prepared pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, pumpkin spice and vanilla extract.
  • Pour the pumpkin mixture over the bread and gently stir (if needed) to ensure that the bread is evenly coated.

Streusel Topping

  • In a medium bowl stir together the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, pumpkin pie spice and chopped pecans.
  • Stir in the melted butter.

If Baking Immediately

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) degrees.
  • Sprinkle/crumble the streusel over the French toast casserole.
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes covered. Then remove the foil and continue baking for 15-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

If Baking the Next Morning

  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the fridge overnight.
  • Cover the bowl of streusel with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
  • When ready to bake, remove from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350F (180C) degrees.
  • Sprinkle the streusel over the French toast casserole.
  • Bake covered with aluminum foil for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for 15-20 minutes.
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